Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Spider-Man: Hobgoblin Lives TPB [1997] by Roger Stern & Ron Frenz

Before Dan Slott put Phil Urich into the Hobgoblin costume during Big Time, Ned Leeds was the Hobgoblin before his untimely death in Spider-Man Vs. Wolverine #1 and Amazing Spider-Man #289. However original Hobgoblin creator Roger Stern decided he wanted none of that because he already knew who was under the mask of the Hobgoblin. During the 1990’s writer Roger Stern and Ron Frenz had their shot of revealing the true identity of the Hobgoblin with a three issue mini-series with Spider-Man: Hobgoblin Lives detailing their sources behind each issue.

The series was downer due to the lack of any real revelations because Stern brought back a character not used within the current Spider-Man stories for a long time. A well-written issue by veteran writer Roger Stern but imagine if Darth Vader wasn’t Anakin Skywalker however rather an unknown fallen Jedi Knight whose name wasn’t mentioned until the reveal. The impact would not be as great as someone the audience already knew and had a prior readership relationship. However the series becomes a worthy read due to Dan Slott incorporating the history within this series into his current stories. Slott turned the Hobgoblin on its head by revealing to the audience who the new Hobgoblin would be however keeping Spider-Man in the dark.

Hobgoblin Lives starts with the trial of Jason Macendale who paid to kill Ned Leeds and assumed the title of the Hobgoblin. Now the real Hobgoblin has returned and considers Jason to be a disappointment and kills him. Spider-Man attempts to clear the name of Ned Leeds by finding out who is the real Hobgoblin. The list of suspects grows as the Hobgoblin is linked to Kingsley International and the Osborn Corporation takeover. The series culminates with the kidnapping of Betty Brant Leeds and a confrontation between the Hobgoblin and Spider-Man.

Jacob Conover
Senator Robert Martin
George Vandergill
Donald Menken
Roderick Kingsley
Daniel Kingsley