Appearing in "It Begins With a Bang Not a Whimper!"
- Gaunt (Mendel Stromm)
- Shirley Washington
- Devon Lewis
- Daily Bugle
- Dr. Vinnie (Only appearance)
- Karen Macendale (Mentioned)
- Jay Macendale (Mentioned)
Races and Species:
- New York
- Portland, Oregon (Mentioned)
Synopsis for "It Begins With a Bang Not a Whimper!"
The Hobgoblin has called a meeting with the other members of Cell-12 to express his disappointment in their recent failures. When they demand payment, he tells them that they cost him enough in cybernetics and medical bills and decides to cut his losses. The Hobgoblin departs, leaving a pumpkin bomb behind that destroys the entire factory, seemingly killing the entire team.
Meanwhile, Spider-Man is on the Upper East Side of Manhattan shaking down stool pigeons in order to find out where the Hobgoblin is hiding out. He is playing rougher than usual as the Hobgoblin turned his life upside down recently.[Continuity 1] Eventually, he learns that the Hobgoblin can be found at the old Macray Warehouse on Avenue A and heads there to confront his foe. At that moment, Peter and his wife Mary Jane are out shopping together.[Continuity 2] As they shop, Mary Jane asks Peter what J. Jonah Jameson wants to talk about at the meeting they scheduled later that afternoon. As they leave the story, they are unaware that they are being observed by someone who notes how happy the Parkers look, and what he can do to change that.[Continuity 3] At that moment, Spider-Man pays a visit to Shirley Washington and her son Devon. He tells them that he is going after the person responsible for burning down the Daily Grind, and assures them that Ben Reilly is innocent of the crime. Shirley knew that Reilly couldn't have done something so horrible and prays that Spider-Man is successful.
Later that afternoon, Peter Parker and Mary Jane arrive at the Daily Bugle where they are warmly greeted by friends and colleagues that Peter has worked with over the years including Charlie Snow, Ann Macintosh, Betty Brant, Ben Urich, Ken Ellis, Angela Yin, and Glory Grant. Lastly, they meet with Joe Robertson who walks them the rest of the way to J. Jonah Jameson's office. Jonah tells Peter that there is an opening for a staff photographer. Jameson acts indifferent, suggesting that it was Joe's idea, and tells Parker to tell Joe if he wants the job or not. On their way out of the Bugle Building, Peter doesn't know if he should take the job or not. The pair are then flagged down by Spider-Man who has come to ask Peter for help. While at the Macray Warehouse, the Hobgoblin thinks about his current lot in life. He has no home, no friends, his ex-wife wants him dead, and his son is frightened of him, in fact, he has nothing.[Continuity 4] His rant is interrupted by his employer, the cyborg known as Gaunt who informs him that the Hobgoblin's services are no longer needed. This angers the Hobgoblin because he is looking for something bigger to be involved with something bigger but Gaunt will hear none of it. Grabbing the Hobgoblin by the throat, Gaunt reiterates that he is no longer needed and then warns him that Spider-Man is on the way. Gaunt tells the Hobgoblin that he can harm the wall-crawler as much as he wants, but Spider-Man is to be kept alive. Gaunt's final threat is that if Spider-Man is killed, the Hobgoblin's life will be in forfeit as well.
No sooner is Gaunt gone that Spider-Man comes crashing in through one of the windows. As the two battle it out, Spider-Man demands to know who hired the Hobgoblin to terrorize Peter Parker and Ben Reilly. Already in a bad mood, the Hobgoblin attacks Spider-Man and begins detailing how he was employed to burn down the Daily Grind and having Peter Parker beaten in the street, but won't go as far as to say who hired him. Ultimately, Spider-Man webs up the Hobgoblin and his entire confession is recorded by Ben Urich and Peter Parker who were on the scene to document the battle. The next day, Ben Reilly shows the front page of the Daily Bugle -- with the story that reveals the Hobgoblin's plot -- to Shirley and Devon at the newly re-opened Daily Grind. Shirley is glad to hear that the person who was really responsible for burning down her business was brought to just. That's when Peter and Mary Jane arrive at the Grind and he is introduced to Shirley, Devon, and Buzz -- the Grind's regular -- as Ben's "cousin" and his wife. Taking a booth together, Peter and Mary Jane surprise Ben by telling them that they are staying in New York as J. Jonah Jameson has offered them a job if it's okay with Ben. Before Reilly can speak, Peter suddenly squeezes his glass so hard it shatters in his hand. This raises concern from both Mary Jane and Ben, but Peter dismisses it as nothing but a faulty glass, then asks Ben for his answer again. Ben tells Peter to take the job and welcomes him back to New York.