Appearing in "The Test"

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Synopsis for "The Test"

Jason Macendale is honing his skills in order to return to his normal life as a mercenary. To this end, he has hired a group of assassins to fight him to the death. Each assassin has a piece of the Hobgoblin's costume for Macendale to collect. In an attempt to jar Jason, they have nailed up a dummy of Spider-Man to a corridor in the warehouse they are fighting in. This does little to phase Jason Macendale, who manages to kill two of his would-be killers.

Meanwhile, at the apartment shared by Peter Parker and his wife Mary Jane, Spider-Man tries to make up to his wife for being out helping Betty Brant recently.[Continuity 1] When she learns that he brought flowers and candy, she forgives him. After a moment of romance, Peter tells his wife about how Betty Brant is no longer blaming herself or anyone else for the tragedies in her life, even going so far as forgiving Spider-Man for all her woes.[Continuity 2] When Peter assures Mary Jane that Betty still only considers him a friend, Mary Jane warns him not to be so naive, especially after the apparent return of his parents.[Continuity 3]

Jason Macendale is still running through his gauntlet of death, having only recovered the mask and cape of Hobgoblin. As he searches for the other assassins he thinks about his colored career. His beginnings as a soldier of fortune, to his reinvention as the costumed assassin Jack O' Lantern.[Continuity 4] How later, he discovered that Ned Leeds was the Hobgoblin and had him assassinated in order to usurp his identity and gain more business.[Continuity 5] However, his career as the Hobgoblin was met with some setbacks and bad deals. Namely, the deal that had him bonded with a demon, a fate he was recently freed from.[Continuity 6] By this time, Macendale is ambushed by the remaining assassins but is able to slowly pick them off one-by-one, recovering a piece of his costume each time. He manages to finish off the rest in moments after recovering his gloves and sachel of weapons. As it turns out, the Hobgoblin hired the Foreigner to put on this little test. The international assassin arrives and reveals that he found out that the Macendale does not have the agreed upon amount in his Swiss bank account for the expenses he incurred. Since the Hobgoblin owes him a lot of money, the Foreigner decides to hire the Hobgoblin on a pro-bono hit job. When the Hobgoblin asks who his targets are, and is given two dossiers on his intended victims.

Later that evening, after Mary Jane has gone to sleep, Peter changes into Spider-Man and heads out on patrol. He wonders if Mary Jane's suspicions about Betty Brant could be true. However, his thoughts are interrupted by he sees the light of a spotlight that has been designed to resemble his mask. Following it to its source, Spider-Man finds that it was created by the Foreigner who is waiting atop of the Empire State Building. Spider-Man is furious to see the assassin, as he still wants to bring him to justice for the murder of Ned Leeds. He assures Spider-Man that it was only business and that he won't bring harm to Betty Brant. He then tells the wall-crawler that he had hired the Hobgoblin to assassinate Moon Knight and Daily Bugle photographer Nick Katzenberg.[Continuity 7] With that, the Foreigner escapes through a trapdoor, evading capture. Spider-Man wonders who he should go help first, Moon Knight or Nick Katzenberg. Although he dislikes Katzenberg, he doesn't want him to be killed.

Meanwhile, Moon Knight is flying across the city in his Angel-Wing aircraft. He is heading to the Four Freedoms Plaza in the hopes that Reed Richards has discovered a cure for whatever it is that is causing his body to decay.[Continuity 8] He passes into the gunsight of the Hobgoblin who blasts the Ange-Wing with a weapon that shorts out all of its onboard systems. Spotting Moon Knight's craft going down, Spider-Man swings in that direction to help him out. Meanwhile, the villain has caught up with Moon Knight, looking forward to killing the hero since their last encounter.[Continuity 9] Before he can take the kill shot, Hobgoblin's aim is thrown off by a web-line fired by Spider-Man. While the villain turns his attention with the wall-crawler, Moon Knight uses the opportunity to free himself from the downed Angel-Wing. In the ensuing battle, Spider-Man is briefly stunned with a gas bomb, leaving Moon Knight alone to fight the Hobgoblin.

By the time Spider-Man gets clear of the gas, he witnesses Hobgoblin shoot Moon Knight in the chest, causing him to fall into the river below. Horrified, Spider-Man dives into the water after his ally but finds no trace of Moon Knight. Returning to the surface, he is at the mercy of Hobgoblin who tosses a pumpkin bomb before leaving. This bomb is destroyed by one of Moon Knight's crescent darts. As it turns out, Moon Knight survived Hobgoblin's attack and uses a rope to pull Spider-Man to shore. The pair compares notes, and while Moon Knight's top priority is determining what's going on with his body, but wants to know who hired Hobgoblin to kill him. The pair agrees to work together for as far as Moon Knight can go and they head off after the Hobgoblin. Meanwhile, the Demogoblin is locked up in a high tech cell awaiting transport to the Vault. However, he doesn't intend to stay, as he has his mission to cleanse the world of sinners. In order to get out, he uses his mystical connection to the Spider-Doppelganger, compelling the creature to come and set him free.


Continuity Notes

  1. Peter and Mary Jane are referred to as husband and wife here. However, years later, their marriage was erased from existence by Mephisto in Amazing Spider-Man #545. As such they should be considered a common-law couple here.
  2. This transformation between Web of Spider-Man #9192. For years, Betty blamed Spider-Man for the death of her brother Bennett in Amazing Spider-Man #12. However, unknown to everyone Bennett didn't actually die and he will resurface in Venom (Vol. 2) #1. In addition, Betty also partially blamed Spider-Man for the death of her husband Ned Leeds, who was murdered in Spider-Man Versus Wolverine #1.
  3. In Amazing Spider-Man #365, two people appeared claiming to be Richard and Mary Parker. Peter's real parents were killed while on a mission for the US government as seen in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #5. This pair are later revealed as impostors in Amazing Spider-Man #388.
  4. Jason Macendale first surfaced as Jack O'Lantern in Machine Man #19.
  5. Macendale learned about Leeds being the Hobgoblin in Amazing Spider-Man #289, hiring the Foreigner for the murder of Leeds. However, unknown to Macendale, Ned Leeds was merely brainwashed by Roderick Kingsley into thinking he was the Hobgoblin as revealed in Spider-Man: Hobgoblin Lives #13.
  6. The Hobgoblin was possessed by a demon in Spectacular Spider-Man #147 until he was recently separated from his demonic half in Web of Spider-Man #86.
  7. There is a hit on Nick Katzenberg for photos he took in Spectacular Spider-Man #173. Those photos jeopardized the operations of the Rose to take down the Kingpin in Web of Spider-Man #8488.
  8. Moon Knight has been afflicted with this mysterious medical condition between Marc Spector: Moon Knight #4043.
  9. Hobgoblin last fought Moon Knight in {Marc Spector: Moon Knight #3233.

See Also


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