etragedy's The Amazing Spider-Man #14 - The Grotesque Adventure of the Green Goblin review

All the Elements of a Great Comic Without Actually Being Great

Part of CV's Top 100 Spider-Man Universe Stories - reviewed!

Another issue of The Amazing Spider-Man, and another classic Spidey villain is introduced - The Green Goblin! And we also get the return of The Enforcers... and if that still wasn't enough, there's a special guest star: The Hulk. So this is an awesome issue, right?

Not so fast. There are a lot of problems here. For one thing the characters don't seem to react to each other naturally. For example, the Green Goblin - the creepiest looking of all Spider-Man characters - shows up and starts ordering around The Enforcers; they don't like it and naturally object, but fall into line one panel later when Goblin shoots a few sparks out of his glove. That's right, The Enforcers are intimidated by a sparkler... a really small, short lived one too. Later the Goblin flies through the window of a movie mogul who's only reaction is to ask who he is and then tell him to fly away. Seriously? Super creepy guy comes flying through your window and two minutes later you're negotiating a contract with him?

Then there's the Green Goblin himself. This is pretty much a first draft of the Green Goblin here. He doesn't yet have the infamous Goblin Glider yet. Instead he sits astride a rocket powered 'flying broomstick' that looks both ridiculous and precarious (no hand holds or attachment points to keep him from falling off).

And then there's Spider-Man's power creep - in this issue we learn about his "power of chest expansion" which allows him to break free from Montana's ropes (making Montana pretty much a worthless adversary - don't worry though, Montana's lariat spontaneously regenerates). He also doesn't seem to need to see - he tells us he can make his way through a dust storm using his spider-sense (the spider-senses come in handy for dodging a blow by the Hulk too by the way, which fits with the original conception but is still kind of stretching things). We also learn that he his "spider-stamina enables me to remain without air for double the time a human can endure", and then of course his "spider instinct" tells him that The Green Goblin is somewhere in New York. Uh... yeah.

The thing is, this issue seems like a pretty lame attempt to drum up sales. The Enforcers and The Green Goblin are an odd pairing they don't seem like natural allies. The Goblin's plan to get Spider-Man is needlessly complicated - get him to agree to be in a movie have him go to Hollywood, have the Hollywood film shoot in the desert and then attack him. Why he can't just attack him in New York is never mentioned. In case you haven't guessed, it's all just a convoluted way to get Spider-Man to the desert so that The Hulk can make a guest appearance.

This has all the elements of a great Spider-Man comic without actually being a great Spider-Man comic.

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