Last week’s ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ #694 saw the shelving (for now) of Spider-Man’s new sidekick, Alpha. I expect that decision was made because Alpha would’ve been just too much distraction going into a story about the return of the original Hobgoblin. And, as much as I liked Alpha, I honestly can’t say I missed him this issue. It was just too good!
As the story begins, Phil Urich (the current Hobgoblin) is smashing up a biker bar in Brooklyn. Spider-Man arrives on the scene and, using a few new tricks, proceeds to whup up on the Goblin. What Spidey doesn’t know is that this whole attack was a ruse to lure the web-slinger out into the open so that the Kingpin can test out a new device intended to cancel out our hero’s spider-sense. But, what happens instead is that the device does the opposite as it was intended and ends up boosting Spidey’s senses for a limited time. This leaves the Hobgoblin with no choice but to flee and rethink his strategy.
Meanwhile, Roderick Kingsley (the original Hobgoblin) has arrived in town and is preparing to take down the upstart impostor Goblin who just happened to have also killed Kingsley’s brother. This isn’t going to be pretty.
While all of this is going on, Madame Web is preparing to send her daughter to stay with family for a while. She’s doing this because of some ominous prophetic visions she’s had… including one that affects her directly.
The Kingpin, not to be swayed by the failure of his spider-dampener, decides to put it to use anyway. If he can’t beat Spider-Man by taking away his defensive mechanism… what will happen when those senses are sent into overload?
Having grown up on both the original Green Goblin and the first Hobgoblin, I was overjoyed when it was announced that Roderick Kingsley was returning to the pages of ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ and writer Dan Slott didn’t disappoint. This issue, with all of the plot involving the Goblins, the Kingpin, and Peter even hanging at the Bugle for a bit seemed very much the old school Spider-Man story, but without being cliche or boring. It was a blast!
Now in this 50th anniversary year, Spidey has faced off against Doctor Octopus and now the original Hobgoblin which is fine with me. I’d love to see the Green Goblin return as well but I think Norman Osborn is too far gone from that role to return any time soon… but I guess we’ll see. Issue #700 is still on the way and I expect that’s when the proverbial bomb is going to drop.
THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #695
Story by Dan Slott
Art by Giuseppe Camuncoli
Cover by Steve McNiven