Appearing in "Masques, Part 1"
Synopsis for "Masques, Part 1"
In an abandoned warehouse, the Hobgoblin has kidnapped a number of people and strung them up on the walls. Although they are silent, he can hear voices mocking him as he strips off his costumed mask, revealing the demonic face underneath.[Continuity 1] When one of his victims tells him that nobody has said a word, he doesn't believe her. When confronted with the Hobgoblin's demonic face, she begs him not to harm her son, Adam. Mentally unhinged, the Hobgoblins calls them all sinners that must be cleansed. To this end, the Hobgoblin pushes the woman's face into the ectoplasmic material that binds her, smothering her to death. When Adam asks what the creature has done to his mother, the Hobgoblin reassures the boy that she is in a better place. Deciding to teach the child his ways, the Hobgoblin pronounces Adam his disciple. When Adam cries out for his mother, the Hobgoblin tells the boy that he will ascend beyond such human wants.
Meanwhile, Peter Parker is sleeping in bed with his wife Mary Jane, his Spider-Man costume is discarded on the floor, forgotten as the weary hero sleeps.[Continuity 2] While in Brookyln, the Ghost Rider dangles a human trafficker off the roof building. The Spirit of Vengeance seeks to avenge the children the man manipulated into performing in child pornography. The man insists that he love the children, and the films were their way of paying him for putting a roof over the head. This rationalization, and the sight of the crusifix the man wears around his neck disgusts the Ghost Rider and he lets the man fall to his death. However, instead of splattering on the pavement, the Ghost Rider races to the ground and catches him. He then uses his Penance Stare to make the man feel everything that he has inflicted upon his victims. This leaves the pedophile a gibbering wreck, and the Ghost Rider races away.
Back at Peter and Mary Jane's Soho apartment, Peter is caught trying to sneak out and patrol as Spider-Man. Mary Jane is unimpressed that Peter is going out as Spider-Man again, but she relents and lets him go on his way.[Continuity 3] While back in the warehouse, the Hobgoblin continues to be haunted by the voices. He explains to Adam how he used to be a mercinary for hire, but now must answer to a higher calling. Not wanting to endure the voices anymore, the Goblin takes Adam and flees on his glider, sending a pumpkin bomb down on the warehouse blowing it to pieces. Soon the authorities arrive on the scene where they discover that twelve of the victims are dead and another fifteen have been horrifically disfigured. The lead officer on the scene is disgusted by th display and wonders where the super-heroes are to deal with sick individuals like this. They are unaware of the Ghost Rider watching from the alley nearby.
As the news of the fire hits the 24 hour news cycle, Spider-Man is patroling the city, looking for sign of the Hobgoblins. He happens upon a man snorting cocaine in a nearby alley. He webs up the addict and demands answers, dangling the drugs in front of his face. Going into withdrawl, the drug addict cracks and tells him everything he knows. Satisfied, Spider-Man dumps out the drugs and swings away. Meanwhile, the Ghost Rider is roughing up an illegal arms dealer, also seeking information on the Hobgoblin. This man also agrees to talk, but the Ghost Rider warns him that he will be back to deal with his illegal business dealings soon. In a nearby alley, the Hobgoblin is pleased that Adam has decided to embrace his new role as his desciple as they have a lot of work to do. Unfortunately, they are interrupted by Spider-Man who gets between the demonically possessed mercinary and the boy. Ignoring that the boy is asking Hobgoblin for help, the wall-crawler tries ushering the kid to safety while also battling the Hobgoblin. The Hobgoblin wants Spider-Man to repent his apparent sins. As the battle begins to escilate, Adam tells them to both stop fighting. The boy comes out into the light, telling Spider-Man that the Hobgoblin only wishes to do good. However, that's when the wall-crawler finally notices that the boy's face is now half demonic.
As Spider-Man tries to process this horrific revelation, the Ghost Rider draws closer to confronting the Hobgoblin himself.
- At the time of this story, the Hobgoblin had recently been given demonic powers by the demon N'Astirh in Spectacular Spider-Man #147.
- Peter and Mary Jane are referred to as husband and wife here. However, years later, their marriage was erased from existence by the demon Mephisto in Amazing Spider-Man #545. As such, they shold be considered a common-law couple as opposed to being married.
- Peter states that one day he wants to divorce Mary Jane just to marry her again. In the original timeline, Peter and Mary Jane were married in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21. However, after Mephisto changed history, the couple are merely engaged as revealed in Amazing Spider-Man #638–639. In this new timeline, one could assume that instead of the comment about divorcing and getting re-married, Peter hopes to one day get married to Mary Jane.
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