RandoMonday: Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #312

Here’s a comic chosen at random from my collection.

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #312 by David Michelinie (w), Todd McFarlane (a), Bob Sharen (c), Rich Parker (l), and McFarlane (cover)

This is one of those issues that I bought but hadn’t read yet when the randomizer picked it out of my collection. But being the Green Goblin and Hobgoblin fan that I am, I’m surprised it took me this long to crack those pages. While this should be a grand story unto itself (consider the cover tag line: “Not an illusion! It finally happens!”), it shares plot space with the Inferno event from 1988-89, which I found to be somewhat annoying, despite the amusing scene of Mary Jane chopping up possessed gold jewelry with an ax. Harry Osborne is back as the Green Goblin, but he is not the crazed version I’ve read in the past. While his sanity proves to be a bit of a disadvantage (thus requiring Spider-Man to help out in the fight), it was nice to see this side of Harry: a family man trying to protect his family, albeit in an extreme way. Regardless, the reason for the fight? Hobgoblin wants the Goblin formula that Norman invented. When Harry tells the defeated Hobgoblin that the formula has been destroyed years ago, the Hobgoblin manages to escape, and thus ends the goblin “fight of the century” (my quotes)–that aspect of this story was a bit of a let down.

The McFarlane art was enjoyable to see again after so many years. I especially like how he drew Peter, even if his Spider-Man was over the top. I particularly liked how he kept the Hobgoblin’s face in shadow, except for the mouth and eyes–very dramatic. The Michelinie script, however …. Well, let’s just say when you have a panel showing us Hobgoblin blasting Green Goblin, we don’t need Harry’s thought bubbles telling us what we are being shown. Plus, I certainly don’t miss the overwrought melodrama from comics of this time period. Still, I enjoyed reading this issue, and despite my criticism about this being part of an event, it did at least make me want to read up on what Inferno was about.

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