Cover Price: $.20

#122
July 1973

Value: $360 (Near Mint-)
Death
Green Goblin (Later Revived)

 

Supporting Cast:
 Gwen Stacy (Deceased), Harry Osborn, Joe Robertson, Mary Jane Watson, J. Jonah Jameson


Guests:


Villains:
Death Green Goblin

"The Goblin's Last Stand!" - 20 Pages


Writer -
Gerry Conway
Artist - Gil Kane
Inker - John Romita & Tony Mortellaro
Cover - John Romita
Letterers -
Artie Simek
Colorist - David Hunt
Editor - Roy Thomas

It would be very hard to top the drama, sadness, shock, historical importance, and overall great read of last issue, but Amazing Spider-Man #122 comes pretty close. This issue will always be remembered as the second part of the story began last issue, but it definitely takes on a personality of its own that in many ways has a bigger impact on the Spider-Verse. The death of Gwen Stacy was not enough in the minds of the creators, and as we shall see, there are many good reasons to why.

We left off last issue with Spider-Man holding the woman he loved (Gwen Stacy) dead in his arms, declaring that the Green Goblin will die! The Goblin doesn't exactly take that to heart though, as he himself declares that he "shall join her beyond death", opening up this mega-classic. Spider-Man swings down to the pier below, laying Gwen down, then furiously goes after the Goblin. He gets atop the Goblin, maintaining a leg-lock around his neck and showing no mercy. Spider-Man is filled with rage at this point, and does not see part of the bridge in his way. The Goblin glides right into a metal cable and knocks Spider-Man off of him. With his spider-sense knocked out by his anger, Spider-Man begins falling to the river below, just like Gwen. At the last moment, he shoots a web connecting to part of the bridge, and survives by just a hair.

With the Green Goblin seemingly gone, Spider-Man discovers that a horde of policemen and reporters have surrounded the body of Gwen Stacy. He becomes infuriated that the reporters would even come close enough to touch her, and swings into the area. "Nobody goes near this lady--You hear me? NOBODY!" yells Spider-Man, and they listen. He takes Gwen into his arms and speaks to her as if she was alive. "Everything will be okay, You'll see", Peter softly speaks, as his life with the woman he loved flashes by him. He remembers how they met and fell in love. He remembers the tragic death of her father George Stacy in Amazing Spider-Man #90. He also remembers how the specter of Spider-Man had kept them apart. Peter comes back to the present when a policeman interrupts his deep thoughts, as an ambulance takes her away. Spider-Man replies: "Ambulance? She doesn't need an ambulance, officer--She's dead--And Spider-Man killed her"

The police state that they will have to have Spider-Man come with them for questioning, but Spider-Man is in no mood for that, as he shrugs them off with hardly an effort. He then makes a visit to Norman Osborn's townhouse dressed as Peter Parker, but only finds a very drugged-out Harry Osborn. Harry tripped out on acid the previous day, as explained last issue, as Peter has no use of him in a moment like this, and he leaves. Peter suits up again and makes a visit to the offices of the Daily Bugle, where City Editor Joe "Robbie" Robertson learns of Gwen's death from reporter Phil Fox. Spider-Man and Robbie have a short talk, before they work on finding the location of Norman Osborn. After learning the possible location of a warehouse that Osborn owns, Spider-Man quickly takes off again for a final showdown with his arch nemesis.

In that same warehouse sits a waiting Green Goblin, sensing that Spider-Man is coming very soon. Within a few moments, Osborn discovers that Spider-Man is in the warehouse. Thinking that Spider-Man is guarding the front of the warehouse, the Goblin plans to attack him from the side by exiting the rear. Spider-Man is too smart for him, as he attacks the Goblin from behind, kicking him off of his goblin glider. As the Goblin lays on the ground, he blasts Spider-Man with his finger blast, missing him. Spider-Man counters by trampling on his glider, possibly the Goblin's greatest weapon. They both continue to battle for a couple more panels before the Goblin makes some disparaging remarks about Gwen Stacy that angers Peter to no end. Spider-Man then leaps at the Goblin, pinning him against the wall. He begins to knock the daylights out of Norman, with what seems to be a relentless punch after punch, and then Peter stops: "Good lord..What in the name of heaven am I doing? In another moment I might have killed him! I would have become like him--a-a murderer". As Spider-Man regains his composure, the Goblin signals his remote controlled glider. The glider begins to fly a path headed straight for the back of our hero, but at the very last second, Spider-Man's spider sense begins to tingle. Spider-Man ducks, and the glider flies over his right shoulder, plunging into the chest of the Goblin. Pinned against a brick wall by his very own goblin glider, the Goblin slowly falls to the ground and dies.

With his greatest enemy now dead, Spider-Man thinks to himself that seeing the Goblin dead would make him feel better about the loss of Gwen. Instead, it makes him feel empty and washed out. Spider-Man now wants to be alone, and he leaves, but he is not alone. A figure in shadows stands in the alley, and his identity will be concealed for some time. This figure plays out later on, and is quite important. Peter now returns to his apartment, where Mary Jane Watson has been waiting for him for hours. She tries to console Peter, stating that she is "Torn Up", but Peter lashes out at MJ. "You? "Torn Up"? replies Peter, next telling her to "Get Out"..."I wouldn't want to spoil your fun". MJ begins to leave, but then she hesitates. She stays, with tears in her eyes, by Peter's side.

An incredible follow-up to the previous issue, with yet another death of a major character. It would be amiss to not mention the fact that Norman Osborn came back from the "dead" many years later in Amazing Spider-Man #418, where he was revealed to be the mastermind of the clone saga. As explained in Spider-Man #75, When he was impaled by his own goblin glider, he did not truly die. It was explained that the Goblin formulae that transformed him into the Green Goblin, also helped Norman heal at a greatly accelerated rate. His son took his father's body and replaced it with that of an unlucky vagabond. Norman then when to Europe for various reasons, and viewed things from afar, including the death of his son in Spectacular Spider-Man #200, and the debut of the Goblin-like Hobgoblin in Amazing Spider-Man #238.  Norman's resurrection was very controversial when it happened a quarter of a century later, but it was also fitting in that not many a character was deserving to be revealed as the mastermind of the long drawn-out clone saga. Norman's son would go on to take the mantle of the Green Goblin in a bout a year from the release of this comic, so the character and villainy of the Green Goblin would live on. Of course, that was until the very underrated Spider-Man #75.

Quality Rating: 5
Significance Rating: 5

Overall Rating:

10

Reprinted In:
Marvel Tales
#99
Marvel Tales
#192
100 Greatest Marvels Of All Time
#2

Amazing Spider-Man #121

Also This Month:

Marvel Team-Up #11

Amazing Spider-Man #123