Writer: Defalco, Penciler: Frenz.
This issue really, really sets up the next run on Amazing. Hobgoblin is out for revenge. Nathan (in a wheel chair) is back home, and Peter reveals to Mary Jane that he wants to quit being Spider-Man. Same story, he feels he’s not doing enough and what he does do goes wrong.
Sha Shin calls Peter, Flash accuses her of cheating on him, she tells him she knows about him and Betty Leeds, Flash HITS HER and storms out. Segue to Peter and MJ discussing Spider-Man and she tells him she doesn’t even know how he became Spider-Man. Insert eleven page origin story. She asks him if he started being Spider-Man out of responsibility, why is he quitting now. “Too many people have suffered because of me and my overblown sense of responsibility.” Gwen Stacy died. Nathan Lubinsky was almost beaten to death. Jean DeWolf was murdered. The Sin Eater shot into a crowd trying to hit Spider-Man and killed a man. And then he beats himself up about quipping and laughing as he fights, almost oblivious to the suffering going on around him.
Betty Leeds at work breaks down and can’t choose between HER HUSBAND NED and Flash Thompson. She’s not very sympathetic, except for the reveal that Ned is always out doing undercover assignments for the Bugle and Robbie has no idea what she’s talking about. (HINT – Ned is up to no good). Next scene, Ned goes looking for Flash at Sha Shan’s place because they have deadly serious business to discuss. Next page: The Kingpin is choosing to do nothing about The Rose and Hobgoblin teaming up, although he suspects who The Rose is – which means there will be WAR!
Flash is bemoaning his fate (why can’t I be happy?) when Ned confronts him and says stay away from my wife. Flash punches him. Ned’s line: You’ll pay for this, Thompson! I swear you’ll pay!! (HINT)
Next panel is Hobby, talking to himself about clearing his mind of all distractions, not celebrating his future victory,and kidnaps Sha Shan out of the Port Authority to lure Spider-Man. Coincidence? Anyway, it’s on TV, Petey and MJ argue because he doesn’t want to go help (let the FF or the Avengers do it!), but in the end, he goes to save the day. Hobgoblin tries to kill Sha Shan the same way the original Goblin killed Gwen Stacy, but Spider-Man saves her, but the issue ends with Spider-Man hurting his shoulder saving her and giving out on him as Hobgoblin attacks, leaving him vulnerable. He’s blasted into unconsciousness and Hobgoblin moves in for the kill.
Amazing #276: DeFalco and Frenz again.
Spider-Man was faking it! He just lured him in close and beats up Hobgoblin. He webs Hobby’s mask so Hobgoblin takes it off to see and flee. He gets away, Peter can’t get home because of neighbors on the roof, so MJ comes and brings him clothes.
Flash visits Sha Shan in the hospital, wants to know why she moved her stuff out, she gets mad and hits him! So much violence. Flash is interviewed at the hospital and calls the Hobgoblin a creep, a coward, and other bad words. Cut to Hobgoblin, who is excited about getting to wreak more havoc. “After all, Spider-Man isn’t the only one who will soon taste the wrath of the Hobgoblin,” hinting that Flash is going to get some payback, too.
The Fly escaped from prison. Nobody really cared. Peter and MJ talk more, and lo and behold, Peter says, “I can’t runa way from my responsibilities! I can’t change the way I am! And, for now, I’ve got to be Spider-Man!” Spidey swings away while underneath him The Fly is shot and killed by Scourge (Justice is SERVED).
Spidey and Hobby fight. They knock each other out. There’s smoke. A minute later, Spider-Man wakes up, finds the unconscious Hobgoblin, and finds FLASH THOMPSON.
Really? Flash? Or is this a frame-job? Lasat page, last four panels, show us the Hobgoblin congratulating himself on framing Flash.
These two issues were like a modern 8 issue arc. They were great. Compelling stories, great art, fun stories, a million different interesting characters that actually matter and affect the main story.