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Appearing in "Unmasked!"

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Synopsis for "Unmasked!"

The Hobgoblin believes he has defeated Spider-Man and is about to fire a killing jolt from his finger blaster. However, Spider-Man was playing possum and rolls out of danger at the last moment. Spider-Man is in no mood to have a prolonged battle; all he wants to do is take down the Hobgoblin so he can end his career as Spider-Man. When he comes in for a close-up attack, the Hobgoblin is ill-prepared for such a fight and tries to use his pumpkin bombs to keep Spider-Man at bay. Spider-Man then strikes him in the face with a ball of webbing. In order to see again, the Hobgoblin is forced to remove his mask. Fearing his identity will be exposed, the Hobgoblin flees. Seeing his enemy go, Spider-Man is furious because he didn't even get a close enough look at his enemy before he was out of range. Spider-Man returns to his apartment but sees that Candi, Bambi, and Mandi are on the roof building a pigeon roost, preventing him from using his skylight to return to his apartment. He briefly considers trying to get Mary Jane's attention from the window, but can't be sure his neighbors won't see him. Instead, Spider-Man goes to a payphone on the street to try and call her. However, when he discovers that he doesn't have a quarter, Spider-Man asks a man on the street for one. At first, the man thinks it is a homeless person begging for change, but is quick to give the wall-crawler the quarter when he realizes who is asking.

After a quick phone call, Mary Jane meets Spider-Man in a nearby alley with a change of clothing. She is uneasy watching Peter change out of his costume, but he assures her that he wasn't seriously injured. When he thanks her for helping, she tells him not to mention it. At Cornell University Medical Center, Sha Shan is visited by her ex-boyfriend Flash Thompson, following her encounter with the Hobgoblin. She is happy to see him as she thought that the masked villain might kill him. However, he isn't so happy to see her and demands to know why she had packed up all her things. She is furious to learn that he wasn't interested in her wellbeing and slaps him. She tells him to get out and to never see her again. Before Flash gets rough with her, an officer walks in on them and tells Flash to get out. On his way out, Flash is stopped by reporters. When they ask him his opinion on the Hobgoblin, Flash calls the villain a coward and dares him to face him one-on-one. Among the people watching this on the news is fashion designer Roderick Kingsley, as well as the staff at the Daily Bugle. Lance Bannon calls Thompson a loudmouth before being told to go back to work by Joe Robertson. Hearing the news, Betty Leeds worries what might happen to Thompson should the Hobgoblin hear his threats.

Later that day, the Rose calls his associate to find out what he thinks of the news. The Hobgoblin isn't bothered. The Hobgoblin ends the call and turns his attention to destroying Spider-Man. Across town at the Bwainstein Psychiatric Center for the Criminally Maladjusted, two employees bring a tray of garbage for the Human Fly, who has been a patient at the facility since his last capture. However, when they enter the criminal's cell they discover that he has broken free. The Human Fly is now flying across the city, seeking to get revenge against Spider-Man. Back at his apartment, Peter Parker is changing into a fresh costume so he can go back out hunting the Hobgoblin. Mary Jane thinks this is insane and asks why he needs to do this. He explains that the Hobgoblin is his responsibility. Mary Jane asks him what he will do the next time another one of Spider-Man's foes returns, but Peter has no answer for her. Finally, in his costume, Peter heads out to find the Hobgoblin. Mary Jane is upset and decides to leave, not wanting to be around and watch Peter destroy himself.

Elsewhere, Flash Thompson watches some kids play football and once again wonders where he went wrong in life. He thinks about how he screwed things up with Sha Shan and wonders if Betty is only using him to get back at her husband. His thoughts are interrupted by someone whose appearance comes as a shock to Flash. Meanwhile, Spider-Man is swinging across the city when his spider-sense goes off. He wonders if it's the Hobgoblin, but it is actually the Human Fly. Before the villain can attack, a garbage man shoots him in the back from behind. The garbage man shouts "Justice is served", the battle cry of the Scourge of the Underworld. By this time, Spider-Man is attacked by the Hobgoblin, leading to a chase across the city. The Hobgoblin lures Spider-Man to the docks so he can unleash the full fury of his finger blasts and pumpkin bombs. Expecting an explosion, Spider-Man dodges one bomb, but instead, it sprays him with a gas that nullifies his wall-crawling abilities. This does little to shake the hero, who uses his webbing to whip a metal pipe at his foe. As the Hobgoblin dodges the projectile, Spider-Man leaps in for the attack.

The Hobgoblin fights him off and flees into a warehouse. Here, the Hobgoblin blasts a hole in the floor and knocks Spider-Man into the basement. There, the villain blasts wildly and hits a nearby furnace igniting the gas, causing a massive explosion. Spider-Man finds who he thinks is the Hobgoblin, knocked out from the explosion. Spider-Man grabs his foe and unmasks him and is shocked to discover that the Hobgoblin is apparently Flash Thompson. The police arrive and arrest Flash Thompson before Spider-Man can make sense of this revelation. Later, the police get a warrant to search Flash's home and find all sorts of Hobgoblin weapons and costumes. This is observed from a window by Spider-Man, who finds it hard to believe that Flash could possibly be his deadliest enemy. Meanwhile, at his secret hideout, the real Hobgoblin puts away his costume, his latest scheme complete. He decides to lay low for a while, letting Thompson take the fall for his crimes.


Continuity Notes

  • The mystery of the Hobgoblin's secret identity deepens in this story. Flash Thompson is obviously framed here, with the story suggesting that the Hobgoblin is either Roderick Kingsley, Lance Bannon, or Ned Leeds. In truth, the real Hobgoblin is Kingsley, but he hypnotized Ned Leeds to act as his pawn, as revealed in Spider-Man: Hobgoblin Lives #13. Leeds is active as the Hobgoblin in the latter half of this story.

Continuity Notes

Events in this story happen behind the scenes that affect the chronology of the following characters:


See Also

Links and References


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