Appearing in "Haunted by the Hobgoblin"
- Daily Bugle Staff
- 🢐 Ronald Vancolder
- Karen Macendale (Photo)
- Jay Macendale (Photo)
- Green Goblin (Norman Osborn) (Photo)
- Captain America (Steve Rogers) (Mentioned)
- Fantastic Four (Mentioned)
- Green Goblin (Harry Osborn) (Mentioned)
- Hobgoblin (Ned Leeds) (Mentioned)
- Hobgoblin (Roderick Kingsley) (Mentioned)
- Spider-Man (Peter Parker) (Mentioned)
- Sandra Bullock (Mentioned) (Topical Reference)
- New York
- Goblin Electric Gloves
- Pumpkin Bombs
- Razor Bats
- Spy-Eye (1st appearance; destroyed)
Synopsis for "Haunted by the Hobgoblin"
Exiting his loft apartment, Phil Urich is ambushed by Ricko the Sicko, a local bully. Ricko is angry because he thinks Phil has been ducking him and wants Urich to use his connections at the Daily Bugle for information to benefit his criminal activities. Without his Goblin gear, Phil meekly agrees to do what he can for Ricko. Satisfied the self-proclaimed Sicko departs, telling Phil that he'll be in touch soon. Feeling sorry for himself, Urich wonders how things could get worse when he suddenly spots the Hobgoblin flying overhead. Even though the Hobgoblin couldn't possibly know who he is, Phil is paranoid and instinctively hides. He eventually runs off, thinking about the original Hobgoblin, and how his discovery of some abandoned Green Goblin gear to develop his identity.[Continuity 1] This is not unlike how Phil Urich gained his own Goblin gear and became the new Green Goblin.[Continuity 2]
Returning to his apartment, Phil decides to go up against the Hobgoblin in his costumed identity. He begins digging through the various gear that he recovered from the Osborn facility, unsure what all the equipment does or how it works. The following morning, Phil reports to work at the Daily Bugle where his Uncle Ben just got a box full of his new book about the original Green Goblin, "Dynasty of Evil". While on his lunch break, Phil spends his time investigating the current Hobgoblin, Jason Macendale, Jr. He learns that Macendale has an ex-wife who has since remarried to banker Ronald Vancolder. His research is interrupted by Lynn Walsh, a Bugle intern whom Phil has a crush on.[Continuity 3] Always bashful around Lynn, Phil turns it over to her and rushes out of the office.
That evening, Phil stakes himself out near the home of the Hobgoblin's ex-wife. He feels like a creep watching a strange woman's house, but his effort pays off when the Hobgoblin finally arrives. Feeling that the Hobgoblin is out of his league, Phil rushes to the nearest payphone and calls the police. However, the next day there is no news about a confrontation between the Hobgoblin and the police. That's when he reads an article about the Manhattan Transit Authority and a press conference by Ronald Vancolder being scheduled for later today. He suddenly remembers that this was the story that Lynn was researching the day before and asks her more about it. He learns that the press conference is going to be aboard the MTA's Money Car. Phil worries that this would be the perfect time for a robbery and decides what to do about it. Still doesn't feel confident to go up against the Hobgoblin alone and since he finds the police ineffectual, he decides to try calling the Fantastic Four. The phone is answered by the Thing who dismisses the warning as a prank phone call and hangs up.[Continuity 4] Since the Thing didn't believe him, Phil finds himself beside himself over what to do with his information.
That evening, Phil is still thinking about it at his apartment. Having figured out how his spy-drone works he decides to go out at the Green Goblin instead. He sends the drone ahead to follow the Money Train while he catches up from behind. Also aboard the train is Lynn Walsh who is with Bugle reporter Jacob Conover. Suddenly, the lights go out as the Hobgoblin derails the train. Seeing this, the Green Goblin fears Lynn's safety. Meanwhile, the Hobgoblin spots Phil's drone and destroys it. This causes feedback to the Green Goblin's mask, causing Phil pain. His scream blows his stealthy arrival, prompting the Hobgoblin to attack. At first, Phil panics at the idea of facing a more experienced foe. However, he gains his confidence when he uses his lunatic laugh to incapacitate the Hobgoblin's minions. Unfortunately, he doesn't fair so well against the Hobgoblin who easily overpowers the novice hero. Before the Hobgoblin can eliminate his foe, the Thing arrives with an NYPD SWAT team, prompting the Hobgoblin to retreat. With the danger over, the officers check and make sure the passengers are okay. When one of the officers tries to arrest the Green Goblin, Phil flees the scene. His departure is so quick he doesn't see when the Thing stops the officer and calls the Goblin a hero.
Returning to his apartment and stripping off his costume, Phil can't help but think that he is nothing but a failure. Still, after his near-death experience against the Hobgoblin, he finally has the courage to stand up against Ricko the Sicko. Going to a nearby pool hall, Phil tells Ricko that he isn't giving him any information from the Bugle. While Ricko can respect Phil's dedication to his job, he warns him that this will not make him safe in Ricko's neighborhood. Realizing that Ricko is not giving him any choice in the matter, Phil walks out and wonders why he even bothers.
- Phil erroneously believes that the original Hobgoblin was Ned Leeds, who was unmasked as the Hobgoblin in Amazing Spider-Man #289. However, the public at large is incorrect, as the original Hobgoblin was actually Roderick Kingsley who later brainwashed Ned into thinking he was the Hobgoblin. This is revealed later in Spider-Man: Hobgoblin Lives #1–Spider-Man: Hobgoblin Lives #3.
- Phil discovered a cache of Goblin weapons in Green Goblin #1.
- Phil is depicted using a microfiche reader to examine the Bugle's archives. This should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616 as this is generally considered an obsolete technology.
- The Thing's face is scarred here because he is still recovering from being slashed in the face by Wolverine in Fantastic Four #374. It won't be fully healed in Fantastic Four #409. He also makes mention that he is waiting for a phone call from Sandra Bullock. This is a topical reference.