In the war of the Hobgoblins, who will win?
Amazing Spider-Man #696
(Dan Slott, Christos Gage, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Dan Green, Antonio Fabela)
Spider-Man lays at the mercy of Kingpin and his right-hand henchman the Hobgoblin. Max Modell brings the ransom to Kingpin when suddenly, the original Hobgoblin bursts on the scene, sparking a battle for the mask! Will Spidey be able to escape and keep his friends alive with two goblins on his tail? Dan Slott and his team have set up a duel that will surely leave New York in ruins before it’s over, and I’ll be enjoying every minute of it.
I’ve been looking forward to a story featuring the Hobgoblin for a long time. I’ve liked the character, but I couldn’t find much that was really user-friendly. Hobgoblin’s one of those characters who has a legacy reaching back years. When Phil Urich took the name, it was pretty fun, but it feels like he hasn’t had much to do recently. Now, we’ve got him battling his predecessor for the right to the name. There is another story going on about Kingpin wanting the Goblin Key, a key which grants him access to all of Norman Osborn’s greatest technology, from his Goblin tech to his H.A.M.M.E.R. tech. While the consequences of this will likely be dire, the real story here is the duel between Roderick Kingsley and Phil Urich. Kingsley is cold, calculating, and collected; Urich is young, impulsive, and angry. This should be a fun fight to see. We do have a B-story featuring Madame Web. She is going into shock, saying that the future is coming undone and the web of life is unwinding. There has been no clarification of what this means as yet, but it feels like she’s been saying this in pretty much every story for a year.
Slott’s been a little hit-or-miss lately; "Ends of the Earth" felt more like a blockbuster movie with over the top story and battles, "Alpha" just wasn’t a good story, and "No Turning Back" felt too much like it was trying to tie into the movie. The current story, though, feels like an actual Spider-Man story. Plus, Amazing Spider-Man is ending at issue #700, so why not read it to the end?
As for the artwork, if you’ll think back to this past summer with the return of the Lizard to the comics, the style is similar to that. Granted, it’s done by the same artist, but it’s been roughed up a little. The world seems a little flatter and characters are less modeled to appear “3D” for lack of a better word. It’s not a bad look, really, just a bit different than what I was expecting. Overall, I’d give this issue 7.5 pumpkin bombs out of 10. It’s not great, but this will at least lead to a potentially fun story Give it a go.