Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Counting my split of SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #60 into two installments and the White Tiger serial as its own review, I've written a series of more than sixty posts on Roger Stern's Spider-Man, covering the gamut from his early days on SPECTACULAR to his beloved run on AMAZING, including some annuals, a couple guest spots in AVENGERS, and the coda in HOBGOBLIN LIVES and its sequel, "Goblins at the Gate", plus the more recent "Something Can Stop the Juggernaut". That's a lot of material. Other writers have produced more Spider-Man issues than Stern -- Stan Lee, David Michelinie, and Brian Michael Bendis spring to mind off the top of my head -- but few have captured the character, his supporting cast, and his trappings as well.

I figured that, while all these issues are relatively fresh in my mind, I might as well mention some of my favorites. Five seems like a nice, round number. These aren't in any sort of ranking order other than chronological; they're just my personal top five issues from throughout Roger Stern's time with Spider-Man. Some of them probably seem like the safe or obvious choices, but it occurs to me that certain things are obvious for good reason:

Monday, December 29, 2014


Writer: Roger Stern | Artist: Lee Weeks
Color Artist: Dean White | Color Assist: Matt Hollingsworth
Letterer: VC'S Joe Carmanga | Assistant Editor: Tom Brennan | Editor: Stephen Wacker
Executive Editor: Tom Brevoort | Editor-in-Chief: Joe Quesada
Publisher: Dan Buckley | Executive Producer: Alan Fine
Web-Heads: Gale, Kelly, Slott, Van Lente, Waid & Wells

The Plot: As Captain Universe confronts Spider-Man and Juggernaut, an earthquake hits. Spider-Man realizes that the Uni-Power has taken control of Captain Universe so that he can repair damage done to the fault lines beneath New York caused by Juggernaut's escape from the concrete in which Spider-Man had buried him years before. When Captain Universe's vendetta against Juggernaut proves more important to him than accomplishing his mission, the Uni-Force deserts him and possesses Juggernaut instead.

Juggernaut imprisons Spider-Man and William Nguyen, the former Captain Universe host, in an energy sphere, then heads beneath Manhattan to fix the fault line. Meanwhile, Spider-Man uses some ingenuity to get William and himself out of their makeshift prison. But Juggernaut arrives immediately after to finish off William. Spider-Man convinces Juggernaut to spare the young man, and the Uni-Power leaves Juggernaut after he agrees to do so. Juggernaut departs.

A few weeks later, William has become a minor celebrity, having written a book about his experiences with Juggernaut and the Uni-Force.

Sunday, December 28, 2014


Merry Christmas to all! It's been a busy couple months for me, but there's always time to unbox a new shipment of books. First up this month is something we actually already covered a couple weeks back, DANGER GIRL: MAYDAY -- so I won't waste any time talking about it here. A full review of this story, as well as all the other Danger Girl installments to date, is available on the DANGER GIRL reviews page.

Marvel, meanwhile, brings me two books this month: One is INVADERS: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION volume 2, the second and final volume in the series. Now, along with Volume 1, all of the original INVADERS series from the seventies is collected. These World War II adventures of Captain America and his cohorts are stories I've wanted to read for quite a while, so I may crack these two open sooner rather than later.

Lastly is the X-MEN: INFERNO PROLOGUE volume. As I've noted in the comments to my X-Men Collected Editions chart, this welcome book fills in a notable gap in the Chris Claremont X-Men canon, as well as covering several issues each of X-FACTOR and NEW MUTANTS. And it's an oversize hardcover to boot, something which has become rarer and rarer for the X-Men these past couple years!

And that's a wrap on a year's worth of Unboxings. What will 2015 bring? I know of a few items, which I've already pre-ordered, but for the most part I'm eager to find out which classic collections will come my way next.

Friday, December 26, 2014


I mentioned this in the comments on my X-MEN COLLECTED EDITIONS page a while back, but now we have enough information for a real post: Coming in July, filling a gaping hole in Marvel's oversize hardcover X-Men collections, is the long-awaited, highly anticipated ONSLAUGHT OMNIBUS:

Merry belated Christmas to all, says Marvel! The Collected Editions page will be updated with this info in the near future.


Written and Illustrated by Charles Vess
Lettered by Gaspar Saldino | Edited by Jim Salicrup
Editor-in-Chief, Tom DeFalco

Well, it's the day after Christmas, but I thought I'd talk a little bit about a Christmas present I received some time back. SPIRITS OF THE EARTH, an original graphic novel from Marvel, was published in 1990. I'm not absolutely sure that I got it that year; it could've just as easily been '91 or maybe even '92.

I do, however distinctly recall the circumstances under which I received it. I was at the local comic shop (Flying Colors in Concord, California) and my mom was with me, and I saw the book on one of the shelves. It seemed to call to me. Even back then, apparently, I was a hardcover comic book snob, because the fact that the book was a nice sturdy volume was the first thing that drew me to it. Here was a comic book, starring Spider-Man -- but in hardcover format! Surely it had to be something far more special and wonderful than any old issue of his monthly series, right?

I wanted it then, but I didn't have the money for it and the $18.95 cover price was a bit much for an impulse buy from my mom. But apparently she kept it in her mind even as it drifted from mine. I moved onto other things, but come Christmas morning of that year (be it 1990, '91, or '92), SPIRITS OF THE EARTH was under the tree waiting for me. I read it right there on Christmas Day and, at the time, I really liked it.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014


Writer: Roger Stern | Artist: Lee Weeks
Color Artist: Dean White | Letterer: VC'S Joe Carmanga
Assistant Editor: Tom Brennan | Editor: Stephen Wacker
Executive Editor: Tom Brevoort | Editor-in-Chief: Joe Quesada
Publisher: Dan Buckley | Executive Producer: Alan Fine
Web-Heads: Gale, Kelly, Slott, Van Lente, Waid & Wells

The Plot: Captain Universe announces his intention to kill Juggernaut, then hurls him out of the armory with Spider-Man hanging on for the ride. The captain pursues, but Spider-Man attacks him to keep the still-unconscious Juggernaut safe. Captain Universe flies around the city trying to be rid of the web-slinger, while Juggernaut comes around and goes in search of his foes.

Captain Universe leaves Spider-Man in a construction yard and heads under the Earth's surface, beckoned by the Uni-Force to repair a fault line. But when Juggernaut reaches the yard, Cap abandons his mission and returns to the surface to finish his vendetta against the unstoppable villain.

The Sub-Plots: None to be found this issue.

Continuity Notes: While Spider-Man and Captain Universe skirmish inside Juggernaut's cell, the video screen outside shows Juggernaut still unconscious with nobody nearby, thanks to the wall-crawler setting the security camera on a loop last issue.

Monday, December 22, 2014


Writer: Roger Stern | Artist: Lee Weeks
Color Artist: Dean White | Letterer: VC'S Joe Carmanga
Assistant Editor: Tom Brennan | WHAM!ed: Stephen Wacker
Editor-in-Chief: Joe Quesada
Publisher: Dan Buckley | Executive Producer: Alan Fine
Web-Heads: Gale, Kelly, Slott, Van Lente, Waid & Wells

The Plot: Peter Parker suffers an intense blast of spider-sense while on a date, and ducks out to investigate. Following the danger to its source, he finds the Juggernaut, fallen from the sky, crash-landed in Central Park. Before the web-slinger can investigate, the police arrive and Juggernaut is taken into custody. Later that night, Spider-Man finds a car parked atop a large structure in Washington Square. The vehicle's drunk driver tells Spider-Man he was deposited there by a blue-and-white figure.

The next day, Spider-Man infiltrates the Inwood Armory in Upper Manhattan, where the Juggernaut is being held. He questions the villain about his current state, and Juggernaut also cites a blue-and-white "flying guy" as the cause of his crash-landing in the park. Then, as if on cue, the all-powerful Captain Universe appears, declaring his intention to destroy Juggernaut.

The Sub-Plots: At the story's start, Peter is on a date with Carlie Cooper, a CSI investigator. They have a second date later in the issue, which is how Peter learns where Juggernaut is being held. Also, Carlie and Peter discuss the fact that Peter recently lost his job at Front Line, the newspaper which replaced the Daily Bugle when the latter ceased publication.

Sunday, December 21, 2014


Let me preface this by saying that I love Ron Frenz. He's a great artist; one of my favorites. But nonetheless, I found this very funny. From the Ron Frenz "How To Draw A Mystery Story" playbook:

And, hey -- note that after Peter/Spider-Man, Roderick Kingsley is seen strokin' the ol' stubble more than anyone else in the story! The biggest clue was hidden right in front of us all along!

Friday, December 19, 2014


Script: J.W. Rinzler | Art: Mike Mayhew
Colors: Rain Beredo | Lettering: Michael Heisler | Cover Art: Nick Runge

Nearly a year ago, when I began to cover the CLASSIC STAR WARS newspaper strip collections, I noted that I often enjoy, as a curiosity, licensed fiction based on well-known properties before their mythologies were set in stone. They give you an interesting look at what could have been, if creative decisions had gone in different directions. In a way, THE STAR WARS is almost a retroactive version of these sorts of situations.

The premise of THE STAR WARS is simply: what if George Lucas's original draft screenplay had been produced as a movie? There's a lot different in Lucas's earliest conception of his saga: Luke Skywalker is a veteran Jedi general. Han Solo is an alien. Darth Vader is just an Imperial agent -- not even a Sith, though the dark Jedi cult does play a role in the story.

Providing this adaptation of the draft script are writer J.W. Rinzler and artist Mike Mayhew. Rinzler is known for his extensively researched MAKING OF STAR WARS books -- the first of which covers the evolution of Lucas's original idea into the film it would ultimately become -- so he seems a reasonable and even obvious choice to write the story. I'm not certain how much actual creative work Rinzler did though, since this is ostensibly adapted from an already-existing script. I'm sure some polish must've been involved in the process, but there's no real way of telling how much has been changed.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Writer: Roger Stern | Pencils: Val Semeiks | Inks: Mike Getty
Colors: Andres Mossa | Letters: Jared K. Fletcher
Assistant Editor: Tom Brennan | Editor: Steve Wacker
Executive Editor: Tom Brevoort | Editor-in-Chief: Joe Quesada
Publisher: Dan Buckley | Executive Producer: Alan Fine
Webheads: Gale, Slott, Guggenheim, Waid & Kelly

The Plot: Peter Parker stops by Aunt May's house to spend the anniversary of her wedding to Uncle Ben with her. As they sit and reminisce, May tells Peter for the first time the story of how she met Ben in Atlantic City when she was eighteen years old. Ben was on leave from the army and they spent time together, but eventually Ben returned to service and May met another man, a gangster named Johnny Jerome. When Ben returned from the service he found May with Johnny and trailed the hood, learning that he was a criminal. Johnny was eventually arrested and May and Ben wound up together.

Early in their marriage, the couple faced a challenge when May miscarried and the doctor discovered she suffered from a cardiac defect which, at the time, was irreparable. But May and Ben persevered and looked after young Peter when his parents, Ben's brother Richard and his wife Mary, left the country. The couple took Peter in as their own when Richard and Mary were killed.

In the modern day, Peter and Aunt May share a toast as Peter realizes he still knows so little about his late uncle. May discusses her relationship with her new fiance, Jay Jameson, then Peter departs to head home.

Monday, December 15, 2014


Co-Plotter: Roger Stern | Co-Plotter/Scripter: Glenn Greenberg
Penciler: Luke Ross | Inks: Al Milgrom
Letters: RS&Comicraft's Liz Agraphiotis | Colors: John Kalisz
Green Goblin: Ralph Macchio | Hobgoblin: Bob Harras

The Plot: The Green Goblin prevents the Hobgoblin from unmasking Spider-Man. Grabbing both the web-slinger and Daniel Kingsley, the goblins return to Norman Osborn's waterfront hideout, where Osborn reveals that he already knows who Spider-Man is, then gets the Hobgoblin to admit that there never was any surviving journal. After showing the Hobgoblin paperwork stating that Osborn has already taken control of Kingsley Limited, Osborn declares that he no longer needs the Hobgoblin around. This prompts Hobgoblin to attack Osborn.

Meanwhile, Spider-Man comes around and breaks free of his bonds. He tussles with the Green Goblin, unmasking him and forcing him to retreat. The wall-crawler then carries Daniel Kingsley out of Osborn's warehouse, which has gone up in flames thanks to some errant pumpkin bombs from the Hobgoblin's bag. Spider-Man returns to separate Osborn and the Hobgoblin, but Osborn manages to escape. The warehouse collapses on Spider-Man and Hobgoblin, and when the webhead emerges from the wreckage, he finds that his foe has gotten away.

Days later, Roderick Kingsley relaxes on a beach in the Caribbean, reflecting on the trouble he caused himself by reassuming the mantle of the Hobgoblin. He now plans to live off his secret Swiss bank accounts, anyplace he can find without extradition treaties.

Sunday, December 14, 2014


Even though they were published over a decade after Stern left AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, I consider the entirety of HOBGOBLIN LIVES and the subsequent "Goblins At the Gate" storyline in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN to be an essential coda to Stern's original run with the character, tying up, as they do, the biggest loose end mystery from those previous stories. Stern did a bit more work for the Spider-Man office around this time, but nothing as integral as those stories, and therefore the remaining contemporaneous issues aren't anything I consider necessary in order to get the full "Roger Stern on Spider-Man" experience. The real meat is the original SPECTACULAR/AMAZING run, after all; the subsequent Hobgoblin stories are, as noted, merely an epilogue.

However, about ten more years later, in 2009, Stern returned to Marvel again, accepting a few odd Spider-Man assignments once more. And while the majority of these stories are fun reads, once again very few relate in any major way to Stern's previous time with the wall-crawler... with the exception of two. First up is a short story from AMAZING SPIDER-MAN FAMILY #7, picking up a stray thought from Aunt May in AMAZING #238, and explaining its context. The second tale is a sequel to one of Stern's best remembered Spider-Man adventures, as the wall-crawler learns that "Something Can Stop the Juggernaut" in AMAZING issues 627 - 629.

Since both these stories relate, in some way, to Stern's original Spider-Man run, I've made the eleventh hour decision to include them in my review series after all. I won't go as in-depth as I did previously with regards to categories like "Also On Sale This Month", and I won't delve into the letter columns or provide copious continuity notes -- but I figure these stories are worth at least touching upon.

So, originally my plan was to provide a sort of "Afterword" to my Stern review series this Wednesday. But instead I'm going to save that for a couple weeks. Meaning, after tomorrow's "Goblins at the Gate" conclusion, we'll continue with Stern's Spider-Man through the holidays and up to the end of the year, devoting some time to a few of Stern's final issues to date starring the wondrous web-slinger, which tie back to his original run on AMAZING all those years ago.

Then, on New Year's Eve, the afore-mentioned Afterword will make its appearance to cap off the entire series.

Friday, December 12, 2014


Over the summer I posted a series of reviews on all DANGER GIRL mini-series to date. But as those reviews were underway, the latest DG series was being released monthly. The trade paperback just came out a couple weeks back, so I figure I should put a bow on 2014's "Summer of Danger Girl" with one more, slightly delayed post:

Written by Andy Hartnell | Pencils by John Royle
Inks by Jose Marzan, Jr. & Eeshwar | Letters by Neil Uyetake
Colors by Romulo Fajardo & Ronda Pattinson | Edits by Scott Dunbier
Danger Girl Created By J. Scott Campbell & Andy Hartnell

MAYDAY is another stylistically different Danger Girl series, and it's nice to see Andy Hartnell continue to try new approaches rather than stick to the same old formula. He's written these characters through nine limited series plus an assortment of one-shots over the past fifteen years, comprising more than forty issues now, so some variety at this point is appreciated. In this case, the entire series focuses on Natalia Kassle, with the Danger Girls only appearing in the final issue as minor background characters.

The story begins "years ago" as Hammer Island explodes, circa the conclusion of the original DANGER GIRL series. Not far from the island, a group of mercenaries led by one April Mayday are attempting to hijack a Hammer supply ship when a bunch of debris falls from the sky. Among the projectiles is Natalia, near death following her final confrontation with Abbey. Mayday resuscitates Natalia and takes her to a tropical island to recover.

We then skip to the present day, where Natalia's physical rehabilitation is complete -- but she has no memory of her past. Mayday, having spent the past few years researching Natalia, fills in what blanks she can and recruits Natalia into her mercenary troupe. She presents the team as a benevolent force working to recover experimental nerve gas before it can be used on Natalia's homeland, Russia (in actuality they're after the gas, presumably, to sell it for a profit). Natalia assists the mercs in tracking the gas down, first by hunting an ex-KGB agent in Moscow and then traveling to Africa, where the gas is being shipped. But Anastasia Kilbourne, villainess of THE CHASE, is after the gas too -- and so are Abbey and the Danger Girls (assisted by Dallas, Sonya's bounty from TRINITY).

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


Co-Plotter: Roger Stern | Co-Plotter/Scripter: Glenn Greenberg
Penciler: Luke Ross | Inks: Al Milgrom
Letters: RS&Comicraft's Liz Agraphiotis | Colors: John Kalisz
Not the Karate Kid: Ralph Macchio | Chief: Bob Harras

The Plot: After breaking him out of prison, Norman Osborn brings Roderick Kingsley with him back to Manhattan. Meanwhile, Spider-Man spends the night searching for the Green Goblin and Kingsley, but turns up nothing.

The next day, Kingsley and Osborn make a deal: Kingsley will provide the journal which proves Osborn was the Green Goblin, as well as manipulate the stockholders of his company to turn the entire conglomerate over to Osborn, in exchange for safe passage out of the country. Osborn agrees, and provides Kingsley with a Hobgoblin costume and gear to carry out his mission. The journal is in the custody of Kingsley's brother, Daniel, who is being held by the police at the Big Apple Hotel while waiting to testify against Roderick.

The Hobgoblin raids the hotel, but Spider-Man arrives to save Daniel. They struggle as equals until the Green Goblin arrives and knocks Spider-Man out with a tranquilizer dart. Amid the hotel room's wreckage, the Hobgoblin prepares to unmask Spider-Man.

Monday, December 8, 2014


Co-Plotter: Roger Stern | Co-Plotter/Scripter: Glenn Greenberg
Penciler: Luke Ross | Inks: Al Milgrom
Letters: RS&Comicraft's Liz Agraphiotis | Colors: John Kalisz
"Editor": Ralph Macchio | Cause of Gray Hairs: Bob Harras

The Plot: Norman Osborn, back from an extended stay in Europe, is making the rounds on television to promote his new book, "Survivor of the Big Lie", which explains that he is not and never was the Green Goblin. Meanwhile, Roderick Kingsley sits in prison, fully aware that Osborn's claims are a lie and he is indeed an insane supervillain. Kingsley tells his attorney that he has one remaining Osborn journal hidden away, which will reveal the truth about Osborn. Kingsley's attorney informs the district attorney's office of this fact, and word eventually reaches Osborn himself.

As Kingsley is removed from Great Neck Maximum Security Prison for a meeting with the D.A., the Green Goblin strikes and kidnaps him. However Peter Parker and Betty Leeds are nearby, tipped off about the meeting, and Peter slips away to change into Spider-Man. He has a brief scuffle with the Goblin, but the villain escapes with Kingsley.

Some distance from the prison, the Goblin lands and reveals that he is not Norman Osborn when Osborn appears to confront Kingsley.

Sunday, December 7, 2014


I think I've established over the past few days that, despite my love for HOBGOBLIN LIVES, it could've been better. My chief issue with the story is that it feels rushed, like there's just too much to it to cram into three issues. Now, I fully accept that three issues may have been the length Roger Stern wanted, and is probably what he pitched to Marvel. And I understand that Marvel was in some choppy financial straits at the time, so three issues was probably all they were willing to budget for this niche vanity project anyway. So I won't second-guess anyone's thinking with regards to what we ultimately received. As I've said, I like the finished product. I still enjoy reading it from time to time, sixteen years later. But that doesn't stop me from speculating on another format and other ideas to beef it up, to make it feel like the true "event" it should have been.

A little more than a year ago, when Not Blog X reviewed HOBGOBLIN LIVES, I suggested in a comment that the series could have been better served as a twelve-issue maxi-series. Specifically, I was thinking of BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN, which launched, over at DC, around the same time as HOBGOBLIN LIVES. LONG HALLOWEEN is a thirteen-issue murder mystery set over the course of one year in Batman's life. But while the series' killings occur regularly, one on a holiday in every installment, they are not always the main plot of a given issue. Readers might see Batman tangling with the Joker or the Mad Hatter even as the "Holiday Killer" is busy in the background. I propose that this format would have served HOBGOBLIN LIVES tremendously well.

Friday, December 5, 2014


Writer: Simon Furman
Pencilers: Andrew Wildman, Geoff Senior, & Guido Guidi
Inks: Stephen Baskerville & Geoff Senior | Colorist: John-Paul Bove
Letterer: Chris Mowry | Editor: John Barber
Editor-in-Chief: Chris Ryall

Cover by Andrew Wildman
The Plot: Rodimus's forces return to Cybertron to find it changed, corrupted and haunted by shadow creatures who can kill with a touch. The Dinobots still live, and explain that this happened near instantaneously. Rodimus realizes that Primus, who he now believes to be the dark Matrix energy, is behind everything. He goes to confront Primus while sending the rest of his team to track down Galvatron.

Ultra Magnus and company find Galvatron has taken the space bridge to Nebulos. They pursue him there, where Magnus finally kills him. Fortress Maximus, also now on Nebulos, attempts to kill Magnus, but is stopped by the arrival of a second Autobot team, led by Prowl, which had traveled to Earth looking for Galvatron, joined by human forces.

Meanwhile, Rodimus reaches the Primus chamber and is transported to Zero Space, where he confronts the dark Matrix creature and fights Optimus Prime, summoned and possessed to attack him. Rodimus uses the sword of Primus to finish the creature off, sealing it into Zero Space forever. Optimus dies, and Rodimus and Spike return to the real world.

We return to the far future, where Rodimus reflects on the fact that after the corrupted Matrix energy was destroyed, all violence seemed to leave the Transformer race. They then traveled the stars, spreading peace wherever they went -- even Starscream and Shockwave. And the human and Nebulan races joined forces as well, rebuilding together.

Finally Rodimus dies, and in his place a plant-robot organism springs into existence.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


Writer: Roger Stern | Artists: Ron Frenz & Bob McLeod
Letterer: Jim Novak | Colorist: Christie Scheele
Editors: Glenn Greenberg & Tom Brevoort | Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

The Plot: As Spider-Man swims back to the surface of the East River, the Hobgoblin kidnaps Betty from her apartment and takes her to his lair. He finds a spider-tracer in her purse and another in her locket, and gives both to Roderick Kingsley with instructions to dispose of them. The goblin then brings Betty around and asks about the notes she claims will exonerate Ned. Betty agrees to provide the notes only if the Hobgoblin will grant an "exclusive interview".

While Spider-Man chases both tracers across town, the Hobgoblin explains to Betty that he met Ned after emerging from the Hudson River following his battle with Spider-Man years before. The goblin captured Ned and drugged and brainwashed him, using him to form a partnership with Ned's old friend, Richard Fisk -- the Kingpin's son and the man who would become the crimelord called the Rose. The goblin then worked with the Rose for some time before growing bored of his criminal life. He used Ned as a stand-in more often than not and eventually decided to retire from his life as the Hobgoblin. Setting Ned up one final time, the goblin tipped Jason Macendale off to Ned's "true" identity and whereabouts and let Macendale do the rest. The man behind the Hobgoblin's mask then retired back to his civilian life.

Monday, December 1, 2014


Writer: Roger Stern | Artists: Ron Frenz, Jerome Moore & Scott Hanna
Letterer: Jim Novak | Colorist: Joe Andreani
Editors: Glenn Greenberg & Tom Brevoort | Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

The Plot: While the Hobgoblin plots with Roderick Kingsley, Jonah Jameson screens security footage of Jason Macendale's death to the Daily Bugle's top reporters, then sends them off on the Hobgoblin's trail. However, despite Betty's request to be included in the investigation, Jameson orders her to remain sidelined.

Having witnessed Betty's argument with Jameson, Peter Parker changes to Spider-Man and catches up with her outside the Bugle, offering his assistance in clearing Ned. He then runs into Flash Thompson arguing with Jacob Conover on the street, and recruits Flash as well.

Meanwhile, as Kingsley and Osborn's Donald Menken plan a takeover of Osborn Industries by Kingsley International, George Vandergill calls Menken and attempts to force himself into the deal. Later that night, the Hobgoblin destroys Vandergill's manufacturing plant, killing forty people, including Vandergill himself, while the magnate is on the phone with Senator Bob Martin.

The next day, Peter, Mary Jane, Flash, and Betty go over several potential angles on the Hobgoblin and decide to investigate the men he attempted to blackmail years before. Equipped with spider-tracers provided by their ally, Spider-Man, the group splits up. Peter speaks with Ben Urich about Roxxon, the Brand Corporation, and Jonas Harrow, which leads him to suspect Jacob Conover, who had a rivalry with Ned over chasing down corporate corruption years before.