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Appearing in "A Maniac in Murderworld!"

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Synopsis for "A Maniac in Murderworld!"


The Green Goblin is the latest superhero to be captured and put through a deadly gauntlet by the assassin-for-hire known as Arcade. After being ping-ponged through a massive electrified pinball machine, he is sent falling into another chamber of the secret complex. Ultimately, the novice hero finds himself landing into a fantasy themed simulation. With a long distance to travel, he attempts to summon his Goblin Glider, but to no avail. Instead, he activates his Goblin Blades so he can "sky-skate" across the area. This is all being observed by Arcade who finds this entire situation highly entertaining.[Continuity 1] However, his client -- the cyborg known as Gaunt -- is far from amused. He reminds the eccentric assassin that his employer has hired Arcade a large sum of money to eliminate the Green Goblin and recover his equipment.[Continuity 2] Arcade assures Gaunt that this will all come in good time, pointing out that he is an artist as well as an assassin. He then sardonically suggests that his Gaunt's boss wanted to eliminate his target it would have been cheaper to buy a gun and do it himself.

By this point, the Green Goblin has entered a castle and finds someone in a cloak about to be sacrificed to a giant spider creature. Finding the environment a total cliché he assumes that this is a damsel in distress. However, as he gets closer the Goblin is surprised to see that it is Ricko the Sicko, the petty thug who bullies the Goblin's alter-ego, Phil Urich. That's when a robot designed to resemble Conan the Barbarian prepares to slay Ricko with his massive sword. Although Ricko is a constant source of misery, the Green Goblin cannot just stand back and let this automation murder him in cold blood and confronts the phony barbarian. As he battles the Conan robot, he notices that the spider creature is getting closer. With time running out, the Goblin thinks back to how he only has himself to blame for this situation...


It all happened a few days ago when Phil was working at the Daily Bugle. He was surprised to see that someone paid for a full-page ad offering a $10,000 reward for the capture of the Green Goblin -- dead or alive. He thinks it is some sick joke when his co-worker Meredith Campbell informs him that it is apparently genuine and J. Jonah Jameson allowed it to be published as it could result in a story that boosts circulation of the newspaper. Thinking it over, Phil decided that he could use the money and contemplates turning himself on. Unfortunately, on his way home he runs into Ricko the Sicko. Ricko has been looking for Phil to pressure him into using his connections at the Daily Bugle to get information, a desire that has been renewed now that there is a reward for the Green Goblin's capture.[Continuity 3] Phil later made arrangements for the Goblin's capture and goes out in costume. At the scene, the Goblin runs into Ricko just as one of Arcade's phony garbage trucks came and snatches the pair of them. Before the Goblin could break free, they were gassed...


By this point, the Goblin has fought past the phony Conan and freed Ricko the Sicko. He then makes their getaway with his Goblin Blades. This amuses Arcade to the point where he is in tears. Unfortunately, Gaunt is growing more impatient and orders the assassin to get a move on. Arcade assures Gaunt that the Goblin will not survive what he has in store for him next. Back inside Murderworld, the Goblin is ambushed by robots of Spider-Man and Colossus of the X-Men. After fighting off the Spider-Man robot, Goblin saves Ricko from the Colossus by blasting its head into pieces. Furious by this setback, Arcade decides to turn things up a notch, creating a storm that forces the Green Goblin and Ricko to take shelter in a nearby cave. There they run into a robot of the Hulk. Despite it being an impostor, the Goblin is not ready to face such a powerful foe, so he grabs Ricko and flees deeper into the cavern. There they come face-to-face with a robot of Doctor Doom. Fighting past the robot, the Goblin manages to find a maintenance tunnel and escapes through it, taking them out of Murderworld proper. No longer able to track the Goblin angers Gaunt who orders Arcade to find their target and eliminate him at once.

However, once out of the virtual reality environment, the Goblin can remotely connect with his Goblin Glider once more. Through its onboard cameras, he can see what is going on in Arcade's control room and commands the Glider to ram the controls. While Gaunt berates Arcade for failing at his task, the Goblin recalls his Glider and escapes Murderworld with Ricko. Seeing the Goblin escape infuriates Gaunt. However, Arcade doesn't care as he doesn't take these jobs for the money and offers Gaunt a full refund. Once safely away, the Green Goblin scares Ricko off and heads back home. Changing out of costume, Phil Urich suddenly hears a knock at the door to his loft and decides to check it out. There he finds a mysterious package waiting him. Opening it, Phil is surprised when the package bursts open, showering the room with $10,000 worth of cash. He suddenly realizes that Arcade was a man of his word and was paying Phil for his tip that led to the capture of the Green Goblin.


Continuity Notes

  1. Half of Arcade's face is horribly scarred here. At the time of this story, he had just recently mutilated himself in Wolverine / Gambit: Victims #14.
  2. The identity of Gaunt's employer is revealed during the Revelations story arc which was taking place in the various Spider-Man titles of the time.
    Spectacular Spider-Man #240 Sensational Spider-Man #11 Amazing Spider-Man #418 Spider-Man #75 Spider-Man: Revelations #1 Osborne Journals #1

  3. Ricko has been pressuring Phil to give him information from the Bugle for criminal purposes since Green Goblin #4.

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