Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Writer: Tom DeFalco
Penciler: Ron Frenz

Harry Osborn!
Before we even start, I have to say how much I admire Marvel UK's subtle recropping of the above two covers...

Harry Who?
I really think that second one looks cooler than the original.

Anyhow, this post isn't here to celebrate the joys of the Anglicised reprinting, but the contents of the strips themselves.

Once more author Tom DeFalco cannot contain his silly streak, as Spidey's opening scrap finds him accidentally webbing-up his own hand!

His recent alien costume has let him lapse into bad habits, you see, so poor Peter Parker has just been forgetting to give his old mechanical web-shooters the same regular maintenance that he always used to. Now that he's wearing them again, of course they gunk up on him. As a result we get to see him carrying-on battling goons one-handed (similar to fighting with a sling back in #257), and realising almost too late the difficulties of swinging around New York one-handed.

But don't let that fool you into thinking that this two-parter is just a comedy 44-pages. (although Spidey does later pull the same handy trick on an opponent)

In order to blackmail Harry Osborn, the Hobgoblin kidnaps his pregnant wife Liz, seizing Mary Jane at the same time just in case she gives birth while captive. (none of his henchman are too keen on dealing with that eventuality)

(In the UK publication, as the actual birth-episode had already been reprinted a year earlier, this was therefore Liz and Harry's second child. Sheesh – why were we supposed to be collecting these things again?)

Anyway, all this pressure threatens to push poor Harry over the edge, especially when you factor in that Harry's dad was the original Green Goblin, and Harry only found out this fact while he was coming off of drugs. Given that this had the effect of making him assume the Green Goblin's identity himself for a while – a trauma he's now blanked-out from his memory – his desperation to save his wife, friend and baby are now raking up some extremes in his personality that he didn't know he had. Just look at the madness that penciller Ron Frenz has planted in the poor guy's mind here:

Harry WHO?
In the event though, despite heavy implications earlier to the contrary, Harry just can't bring himself to even fire a gun. Whew.

When the entire warehouse goes up in flames around them all, it pretty much goes without saying that Liz goes into labour. As everyone eventually escapes, no-one really gains anything from the encounter, least of all the Rose who loses a great deal of desirable NY warehouse space.

As I've come to expect from Mr DeFalco, this is all good, fun, exciting stuff.


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