The story opens with the Green Goblin gleefully admiring his handiwork, as Spider- Man carries the lifeless body of Gwen Stacy. Killed in the last issue by being tossed off the George Washington Bridge, the Goblin reassures the anguished Spider-Man by promising him that he’ll soon be joining her in death! Peter listens to the boasting of his antagonist as he brings Gwen down from the bridge and lovingly lays her down on the riverfront dock, before quickly jumping back up into the fight.
Missing a punch, he swings around and catches the Goblin off-guard, managing to leap onto the enemy and lock himself onto the Goblin’s neck! Once the tables are turned, the Goblin’s bravado seems to dry up, and as Spidey sets about punishing the trapped Goblin, hears him whisper, “No!”
“No? Do I hear You begging, Goblin?” asks Spider-Man angrily. “ Don’t make me sick, friend- Why should I show YOU any mercy?” “What mercy did you show Gwen? Answer me THAT, Goblin! ANSWER ME THAT!” The Goblin for once is speechless, and only barely manages to escape Spidey’s wrath by knocking him off by flying under a Pipe.
The Green Goblin flies off, and Spider-Man is about to pursue him, when he notices a crowd starting to gather around his beloved Gwen. He leaps down to dock and orders the police and onlookers to back off. Cradling her, he realizes that Gwen was chosen as the Goblin’s victim because she was going out with Peter. The specter of Spider-Man has once again crept into his life, this time with mortal consequences. “She’s dead… and Spider-man killed her,” he sadly states. After the disturbing confession, a cop wants to take Spidey in, but Spidey isn’t having any of that with the Goblin still about. “There’s a man out there who owes me- owes me PLENTY. I’m going to find him, and when I DO—This town’s going to be minus one Green-Garbed MONSTER!” He flings the approaching policeman back, and swings off as the police “Shoot To Wound!”
His first stop is at his house, where he finds an addled Harry Osborn still fighting off the ill-effects of his last drug-binge. He had hoped Harry might have some clues as to where to find his father, but realizes Harry is in no condition to help even himself. The disoriented Harry begs Peter to stay with him, but the driven youth has more urgent matters to attend to.
Next stop is the Daily Bugle, where, as Spidey, asks Robbie Robertson if he can help locate any warehouses or empty buildings that businessman Norman Osborn might own. After a few calls, Robbie has just located such a place along the Hudson River, when J. Jonah Jameson bursts in. With all that has been going on, Spidey has no time for his bluster, and as the publisher begins his usual ranting, webs Jonah’s mouth shut before he can say another word! Then He is out the window, off on his way to pay a visit to the headquarters of the Green Goblin!
At the deserted warehouse of Norman Osborn, the psychotic Green Goblin has been holed up, spending his time working on his weaponry and preparing for the final showdown with Spider-Man. As night approaches, he can sense that his enemy will be arriving soon. When he hears the sounds of activity outside, he plans a surprise attack by flying out the rear exit and attacking from the side. As he zooms around the warehouse, he finds that this is exactly what Spider-Man has expected, and kicks the Goblin off his glider! As Spider-Man leaps onto the Glider and stomps it to the ground, he is incredulous when he hears the Goblin bitterly complain that he’s ruined his jet-flyer. “Mister, are we living in the same UNIVERSE? You killed My WOMAN, Goblin…and you’re raging about a blasted bargain-basement TOY?!”
He attacks the Goblin with blind fury, laying solid, destroying blows to the Goblin’s head, not holding back and beating him down until, slowly, sickly, he comes to his senses. He realizes he’s come close to actually killing someone! And whatever Spider-Man may be, he isn’t a murderer. He realizes that though it may be the end of his career, the Goblin must live and be judged according to the law.
Although barely conscious, the Green Goblin manages to get up enough energy to summon his remote-controlled Bat-flyer, in a last-minute attempt to kill Spider-Man. The twisted Bat-head serves as a deadly razor-sharp spear that he directs right into Spider-Man as he hovers above. But just as the flyer is about to hit him, Pete’s spider-sense kicks in, and he manages to dodge the glider just in time, and, missing its target, the jet flyer goes past Spider-Man, and plunges right into the heart of the Goblin, pinning him screaming against the wall!
As the Bat-Glider slowly peters out, the body of the Goblin crumples down with it. The Green Goblin is dead, killed by his own cowardly choice of attack. Peter realizes that there is no satisfaction in the Goblin’s death. The Goblin’s death will not bring back Gwen. As he comes to terms with the passing of both his girlfriend and his deadliest arch enemy, a stranger skulks in the shadows, a witness to it all!
Peter returns home, where Mary Jane is waiting for him. Overwhelmed with grief, he lashes out at her condolences, saying “Don’t make me Laugh, Mary Jane- You wouldn’t be sorry if your own mother died! What do you care about straights like Me and Gwen? Go on…get out of here! I know how you hate sick beds, and believe me, I wouldn’t want to spoil your fun!”
Her first thought is to leave after Peter’s vicious remarks, but as she opens the door, she realizes that he’s just acting out of pain, and more than ever, needs a friend by his side. As Peter succumbs to his pain, Mary Jane steps back in and quietly closes the door.