Appearing in "Sacrifice Play!"
- Daily Bugle Staff
- Mary Jane Watson
- Detective Lou Snider
- District Attorney Blake Tower
- Osborn Manufacturing (Mentioned)
- NYPD (Mentioned)
- Captain Jean DeWolff (Mentioned)
- Avengers (Mentioned)
- Black Cat (Felicia Hardy) (Recap)
Races and Species:
- United States of America
- New York
- New York City
- Long Island
- Mercy Medical Center (First appearance)
- New York
- United States of America
Synopsis for "Sacrifice Play!"
Spider-Man has come to the office of the District Attorney to compare notes about the Hobgoblin. Getting an audience with D.A. Blake Tower, he tells him that the recent break-ins at various Osborn Manufacturing plants were carried out by a new supervillain calling himself the Hobgoblin who has been utilizing the equipment of the original Green Goblin. This is interesting news to Tower, who had not heard of the Hobgoblin up to that point. According to his sources, the last robbery was at least carried out by a small-time crook named Lefty Donovan. Spider-Man then asks to look over the files the police have on Donovan, but Tower explains that he just can't get the police commissioner to allow the wall-crawler to look at the files. When Spider-Man argues the point, saying that he would do so for the Avengers, Tower points out that at least the Avengers have proper security clearance. He tells the wall-crawler that information is a two-way street, and asks Spider-Man to give him more details about the Hobgoblin and why he is looting Osborn buildings. Spider-Man tells him to forget it and abruptly leaves. However, this gets Blake to thinking about his first order of business as District Attorney was to clear Spider-Man of involvement in the death of Norman Osborn, and thinks there is a stronger connection that there appears to be. Web-slinging across the city, Spider-Man finds it frustrating that he cannot reveal that Norman Osborn was the original Green Goblin and his fears that his secret identity may have been written down somewhere.
At that moment at a mansion on Long Island, a man who is apparently the Hobgoblin orders his assistant out of the room as he makes the final touches on the Goblin Formula that gave the Green Goblin the strength to hold his own against Spider-Man. After mixing the chemicals together, they explode in his face, horribly burning him. His assistant drags the man out of the mansion as it catches fire. With the authorities on their way, the assistant runs inside to try and hide evidence, but the mansion suddenly explodes once he is inside. When firefighters arrive on the scene they find the horribly burned body. Unable to identify the man, he is sent to the hospital where the majority of his identifying features are bandaged up.
Back in the city, Spider-Man wishes he had the resources and money that the Avengers had as they would help in his search for information on Lefty Donovan. Instead, the wall-crawler goes to the Daily Bugle so he can check their morgue as Peter Parker. Peter spends hours searching through the files but can't find anything and wonders if he should ask Ben Urich if he knows anything about Donovan. Just then, Peter's spider-sense goes off and he is startled by Betty Leeds. Betty decided to see what Peter is up to and invites him out to lunch. On their way out they see a strange sight coming out of the elevator: J. Jonah Jameson carrying a gym bag. The pair theorizes what Jameson could possibly be doing with it, however, the gym bag mystery becomes all but forgotten when they arrive at the restaurant. There Peter discovers that not only are the meeting up with Ned Leeds but also Mary Jane Watson as well -- a transparent attempt by Betty to try and play matchmaker for the pair. As they sit down, Peter tells them that he has quit school, much to everyone's surprise. As they discuss Peter's future, he can't help but notice that Mary Jane's eyes are similar to those of the Black Cat. This causes him to wonder why his love life can't be simpler.
Over the next few weeks, Peter Parker divides his time between honing his photographic skills and hunting for Lefty Donovan, the man he believes is the Hobgoblin. Whoever the villain may be, Spider-Man is completely unaware that a man who at least thinks he is the Hobgoblin is still recovering in the hospital. This man suddenly wakes up, but his memory of events are fuzzy. Remembering the explosion, he is happy to note that they have him listed as a John Doe on the records and haven't figured out his identity. Stripping off his bandages, this ban jumps one of the nurses and steals his uniform. Slipping out of the building undetected, this man steals the nurse's car and drives back to Long Island. There he finds the mansion in ruins. Still struggling to try and remember exactly what happened, he remembers that there is Hobgoblin gear hidden in a secret shelter below the mansion. There he feels an urge to put on a Hobgoblin costume but stops long enough to put a series of sensors on his body, although he is unsure why. As this man takes off dressed as the Hobgoblin, a computer suddenly comes to life.
Meanwhile, Spider-Man has come to the 5th Precinct of the NYPD to ask Sgt. Lou Snider about Lefty Donovan. Snider puts on a show, acting as though he isn't going to cooperate with the wall-crawler, but leaves him the file on Donovan to look over. Spider-Man looks over the file and is confused when he reads that Donovan was in for questioning on the evening that Spider-Man first fought the Hobgoblin. As he puzzles this new mystery, Spider-Man is interrupted by Snider, who tells him that the Hobgoblin is attacking Times Square, demanding that Spider-Man face him. On the scene, the police have a sniper try to take down the Hobgoblin. The villain manages to avoid the shot and attempts to toss the sniper off a roof to his death. However, the officer is saved by the timely arrival of Spider-Man. Spider-Man engages his foe and is surprised to discover that the Hobgoblin somehow has increased his strength to super-human levels.
When the villain tosses a construction dumpster at Spider-Man, he creates a web cushion on his chest in order to take the brunt of the falling object and prevent bystanders from getting hurt. When the Hobgoblin tosses a pumpkin bomb at Spider-Man, he is able to catch it on a web and toss it back at his foe. The Hobgoblin is caught in the blast, stunning him. Spider-Man catches up to his foe and unmasks him. To his surprise, it is Lefty Donovan, which he finds hard to believe. Donovan explains that he was exposed to Norman Osborn's Goblin formula which blew up in his face. When he mentions he was doing it for his boss, Spider-Man demands to know who this employer is. Suddenly, the goblin glider under Donovan's feet roars to life and flies at top speed toward a nearby building. The wall-crawler tries to stop him with a web line, but he cannot stop Donovan before he fatally impacts, his goblin glider exploding on impact.
As paramedics clean up the body, everyone believes that the Hobgoblin is dead. However, after hearing what Lefty Donovan said, the wall-crawler believes otherwise and fears that nothing can stop him from continuing his activities. Spider-Man is correct, as watching the events on the television, the real Hobgoblin has completed his analysis of the effects of the Goblin Formula on Donovan and can now create a means of harmlessly administering it to himself. He then vows that once he gains this power he will destroy Spider-Man once and for all.
The return of Spidey's newest and most mysterious foe, the Hobgoblin, in a battle to the death (no lie) with the Wallcrawler.
- Spider-Man recounts his first encounter with the Hobgoblin. That happened in Amazing Spider-Man #239, and the break-ins at Osborn Manufacturing. Those happened in Amazing Spider-Man #238-239, and 244.
- Blake Tower recalls how his first job as district attorney was clearing Spider-Man of an involvement in the death of Norman Osborn. He did this in Amazing Spider-Man #186. Norman Osborn was seemingly killed in Amazing Spider-Man #122. However, as revealed in Osborne Journals #1, Norman survived. He will resurface again in Amazing Spider-Man #412. Tower, like the general public, are unaware that Osborn was the original Green Goblin because this was covered up by his son Harry in Amazing Spider-Man #123. The truth is not revealed to the public until Spider-Man: Legacy of Evil #1.
- Spider-Man learns how much the Avengers earn in Avengers #235.
- When Peter Parker goes looking through the Daily Bugle's records morgue for information on Lefty Donovan, he is depicted as going through a card file cabinet. This should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.
- The true identity of the real Hobgoblin is not revealed until Spider-Man: Hobgoblin Lives #3.