Cover Price: $.60

October 1983

Value: $15 (Near Mint-Mint)


Supporting Cast:
Mary Jane Watson, Betty Brant, J. Jonah Jameson, Ned Leeds, Joe Robertson

Black Cat

Hobgoblin (Lefty Donovan)

"Sacrifice Play!" - 22 Pages

Writer -
Roger Stern
Artist - John Romita Jr.
Inker - Dave Simons
Cover -
John Romita Jr.
- Joe Rosen
Colorist -
Bob Sharen
Editor - Tom DeFalco
Editor In Chief -
Jim Shooter

After laying low for a few issues, the Hobgoblin returned to his old trick in Amazing Spider-Man #244, raiding a number of Osborn Industries warehouses looking for the Green Goblin's old equipment. The raids got the notice of Spider-Man. Not only was the original Green Goblin his deadliest villain, but the Green Goblin (Norman Osborn) also knew that Spider-Man was Peter Parker. If the Hobgoblin were to find that out, his life -- and the lives of his family and friends -- could be in danger.

So Spider-Man goes to the office of District Attorney Blake Tower looking for help. He's learned that a thug named Lefty Donovan has been involved in the break-ins. Spider-Man assumes that Donovan is the Hobgoblin (we learned that Donovan simply is working for the Hobgoblin). Tower and Spider-Man have a friendly conversation, but Tower can't release any records unless Spidey gives him more information. And Spider-Man doesn't want to reveal that Norman Osborn and the Green Goblin were one and the same, for fear that Osborn wrote down Spider-Man's true identity and investigators could discover it. Not to mention the revelation would ruin Harry Osborn's life. He feels he has to handle this case alone.

Meanwhile, Lefty Donovan is at an upscale house (a mansion, really) and is mixing some chemicals from Norman Osborn's notes. Obviously, he is trying to recreate the Goblin Formula that gave Osborn super-human strength. The beaker explodes -- and a mystery man drags Donovan to safety. The man then goes back inside and detonates a bomb to cover up the evidence. Given this level of caution, which we have seen before, it's clear the mystery man is the Hobgoblin himself.

Spider-Man keeps up his search, hoping to dig up some clue. "Now's the time when it would be handy to belong to the Avengers," he thinks. "If I were an Avenger, I could just punch Lefty Donovan's statistics on their computer. Or better yet, I could have the butler do it while I lolled around the mansion and counted the zeros on my paycheck!" But the self-proclaimed "working-class hero" has his own tactics. As Peter Parker, he goes to the Daily Bugle office and starts checking through the archives for information on Lefty Donovan. But as he's digging, who should come in but Betty Brant, his high school girlfriend and Daily Bugle staffer. Betty insists that Peter is coming to dinner with her and her husband, Ned Leeds. On the way out, they see J. Jonah Jameson entering the building -- carrying a gym bag. "I don't quite believe it, either," Betty says. "Jonah always said exercise was for health nuts." So why would Jonah be carrying around a gym bag? Hmmm....Anyway, Peter and Betty get to the restaurant and there's Ned -- along with Mary Jane Watson! Seems Betty is trying to play matchmaker with the couple. Peter is conflicted. On one hand, he's clearly not over Mary Jane. On the other, he's currently dating Felicia Hardy, AKA the Black Cat. "Why can't romance ever be simple?" he thinks.

Over at Long Island Medical Center, Lefty Donovan wakes up and decides he's ready for an early check-out. He beats up a doctor and steals his car. He's having trouble remembering things, but he feels compelled to drive to an abandoned house off the beaten path. There, he finds a trap door and, down below, he finds the Hobgoblin's costume and glider. "I have to find Spider-man and teach him the meaning of fear!" he thinks as he flies away. What he doesn't know is that his movements are being monitored by the real Hobgoblin.

The mystery deepens. Spider-Man discovers a police report showing that Lefty Donovan was in police custody the first time he and the Hobgoblin fought. So Donovan can't be the Hobgoblin. But before he can think through this new information, he learns that the Hobgoblin (actually, Donovan in the Hobgoblin's costume) is tearing up Midtown Manhattan looking for Spider-Man. They fight and Donovan displays amazing strength. However, Spider-Man subdues him and begins to question him. Before he can, though, the goblin glider takes off.

"The controls won't respond!" Donovan says. "The remote guidance system's taken over! H-he doesn't want me to talk! He-!" And the glider explodes as it crashes into a building. The police take over from there, but Spider-Man knows the battle has just begun. "The only one who died here today was Lefty Donovan! The guy who set him up -- the real Hobgoblin -- is still alive out there! He must be! And now I know he'll stop at nothing!"

Wow! Another masterpiece in the Roger Stern/ John Romita Jr. run. The Hobgoblin mystery continues to bubble and Stern & JR Jr. have done a great job of making him a calculating, dangerous foe. And then there's the Peter/Mary Jane/Black Cat romantic triangle. Where will that go? I bet it'll be fun to find out.

Next issue: We take a break from the Hobgoblin storyline for an off-beat tale about...daydreams?!?

Reviewed by Bruce Buchanan.

Quality Rating: 4
Significance Rating: 4

Overall Rating:



Amazing Spider-Man #244

Also This Month:

Marvel Team-Up #134
Spectacular Spider-Man


Amazing Spider-Man #246