Who is Peter Parker's friend

MARVEL-BROKER / 028: The ultimate SPIDER-MAN 40

Brian Michael Bendis, Mark Bagley

The ultimate SPIDER-MAN (40)

Hobgoblin! Shut up, the hundredth

For more than forty years some goblin has not only tormented our all-time favorite Spider-Man, but also the readers who have to taste the stale taste of constant repetition. The first goblin was still green when he made his debut in the US magazine series "The Amazing Spider-Man" No. 14 in 1964 and has haunted the Netzschwinger alias Peter Parker again and again since then.

After the first Spider-Man film at the latest, all new Spider fans will also know that the father of Peter's best friend Harry, namely Norman Osborn, was behind the mask of the Green Goblin. While Norman was still a super villain with stature, whose initial reasons not only shaped the classic villain career, but also seemed understandable to the reader, his successors were only mere shadows of this once so promising super villain. Even Norman weakened increasingly in the constantly changing stories with the same basic tenor of the schizophrenic arms manager and company owner. Finally, the air was out, because mentally disturbed super villains come in abundance at Marvel as well as at DC - Arkham sends their regards - so that the Green Goblin was not really missed after his abdication.

But the madness never ended, for the next Green Goblin came into Spidey's life, and it was none other than his friend Harry Osborn. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, some fans will have thought, and yet there was still a certain charm about the Green Kobold Junior in the fact that, on the one hand, the original story was expanded and there was a reunion with old friends like Gwen Stacy and on others about the almost unsolvable problem for Peter of wanting to help his friend Harry and still having to fight the goblin.

The third Green Goblin was Harry's attending physician, the psychiatrist Dr. Barton Hamilton, who learned Harry's secret in talks with Harry in his therapeutic sessions. But this new, old goblin was just a tired copy of the first, and the fourth generation of goblins, represented by Phil Urich, did not bring a breath of fresh air to the stale foul that the green goblin was spreading.

The disaster continued! In 1983 the first hobgoblin appeared, which was initially called the Gnom in Germany, but later took on the American name. Here, too, there were the most diverse hobgoblins who either only briefly played the role of super villain or were prepared and presented as the perpetrator by the "real" villain for distraction reasons, such as Ned Leeds, the husband of Peter's former friend Betty Brant, or Flash Thompson, a classmate of Peter Parker's and one of Spider-Man's biggest fans. Jason Macendale, formerly known to fans as the costumed mercenary Jack O'Lantern, joined the long list of "gnomes", but a guy named Roderick Kingsley turned out to be the real hobgoblin, who went to work coldly and calculatingly knew of the danger that the experiments that created the Green Goblin were also maddening. Roderick stayed within the normal everyday madness and was finally caught and exposed by the spider.

In February 1989 the two protagonists met. The green goblin and the hobgoblin fought each other for once to find out which of them would be the worst of the super villains. In 1993 Harry Osborn died, but unfortunately not the Green Kobold. Because Norman Osborn, who had meanwhile risen from his grave, turned the old Kobold carousel on and on. It never stops, regardless of whether it is the Hob, the Green or even the Gray Goblin.

At the beginning of the new millennium, those responsible for Marvel tried out new concepts with the courage of desperation in order to stabilize the sales figures, which had been falling steadily since the mid-90s. The flagship Spider-Man had to be made fit for this, on the one hand to give it a modern update and on the other hand to keep the costs of the monthly flood of Spider-Man magazines manageable. Therefore, "Sensational Spider-Man" and "Spectacular Spider-Man" were discontinued, while "Amazing Spider-Man" and "Peter Parker, Spider-Man" were restarted. During the "relaunch", old villains appeared in new clothes - and who couldn't be missing? The green goblin.

Since the "relaunch" didn't exactly hit like a bomb, but rather behaved like a mild breeze in a winter storm, the Marvel makers wanted to use the chance that the big Spider-Man movie should bring with it to rebuild the Netzschwinger to meet the tastes of today's generation. And then you had to go back to the beginnings of Spidey and subject them to a general overhaul.

Five years ago, in October 2000, the then unknown author Brian Michael Bendis, in collaboration with "Marvel's President of Publishing to New Media", Bill Jemas, created the first US issue and named "Ultimate Spider-Man 1" breathed life into the new Ultimate series. The first edition of THE ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN appeared in Germany in May 2001 and triggered a new boom among old and new Spider fans here too.

In the first issue, with the storyline "Strength and Responsibility," which created the Ultimate Universe at Marvel, Brian M. Bendis retold Stan Lee's classic story about the making of Spider-Man, transforming the familiar story and placing it in a modernized context . It was definitely a daring and successful undertaking, which was impressively underscored by the great success, because the old comic series of our classic Marvel hero reinterpreted and without the ballast of a 40-year history, triggered a positive response among the Netzschwinger fans and also made them new readers accessible. "Ultimate Spider-Man" thus also represented a possible entry into the comic world of the wall crawler for all those who had their first contact with the hero in the big movie "Spider-Man".

With all the joy about the Ultimate Universe, which is now almost five years "young", there is also one downer left: all kinds of goblins have survived the transition. After the green goblin in the first issue - who could it be but Norman Osborn? -, in the current issue we are once again dealing with his son Harry.

Harry, who has come back to his school after psychotherapy, now hopes to be able to lead a normal life. But the most peaceful cannot live in peace if the bad neighbor does not like it. The evil Shaw, for his part Norman Osborn's henchman, wants to free his employer from custody at SHIELD. It remains unclear how he wants to do this with the help of Harry, who has mutated into a new goblin monster - because he is now running amok in Manhattan. The spider tries to stop him, and after it hits him badly, Harry, who had only turned into a monster on the outside but remained the teenager on the inside, seems to give up. Since he does not want to lead a life like his father, he asks the spider, which he knows is his friend Peter, to kill him. Will Peter use this unique opportunity to get rid of the hobgoblin?

The spider now has the chance to banish a goblin from the Ultimate Universe, but Norman-Kobold would still be preserved. And since Harry is his friend, things will go on as before, i.e. many goblins will be up to mischief in the Ultimate Universe as in the classic series, so that the newly entered readership can also enjoy them. And all true fans of the goblins get their money's worth, as they are now even available in a double pack: classic and ultimate.

Your Marvel Broker

Author: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Mark Bagley
The ultimate SPIDER-MAN (40)
Panini, Stuttgart, November 2005
52 pages, color, softcover
Small format, Euro 4.00

Copyright 2006 by MA-Verlag
Electronic newspaper Schattenblick, ISSN 2190-6963
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