Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Missed Opportunity: The "New" Hobgoblin

(An open letter to Spider-Man editorial folks...)

Dear Guys Who Just Don't Get It,

Now, recognizing that Roderick Kingsley is, when thinking straight, quite risk-averse, and recognizing that he loves the Winkler Machine and that any future author who wants to can make the now-headless Hobgoblin into "Righty" Donovan, I grant that some author in the future may choose to undo what you have so unwisely done.  In that case, that author will "get it," and I won't have to shudder with anger over the course you've chosen.

Until that day...

Seriously, you're going to waste Roderick Kingsley, one of the greatest, yet most-underused Spidey-villains of all time, in order to give *Phil Urich* a big push for his face-heel turn?  Roderick Kingsley, created by Roger Stern, one of the greatest Spidey-writers of all time?  Roderick Kingsley, whose original run as the Hobgoblin is easily one of the ten best extended Spidey stories ever?  Roderick Kingsley, one of the few Spidey villains sane enough to quit and lay low occasionally?  ...Really?

You.  Don't.  Get.  It.  Why give us such a cliched entrance for the "new" Hobgoblin?  Why not have him threaten Kingsley and have Kingsley just decide, "This fight isn't worth it.  I give up"?  At least that would save a great Spidey villain for a future writer.  Instead, we have a pointless beheading and a wise-cracking new uber-violent Spidey villain.  Hooray?  This is a waste of a good character, and it's used to set up a really boring replacement for that good character.  I honestly would have thought that such a move was beneath Mr. Slott's abilities.

I can't tell you how excited I was last issue when the "new" Hobgoblin for Mr. Slott's run was "revealed" to be the original.  My first issue of AMAZING was #251.  I tracked down all the back-issues featuring this new, superior Goblin (and this was 1984!).  When I think of how the character has been wasted all these years, only to end up... like this... it saddens me.  Now, instead of being excited about Spider-Man for the first time post-BND, I'm more pessimistic about the book than ever.  If I hadn't vowed years ago to continue buying AMAZING no matter what, this would have been my last issue.  I realize I'm not a habitual letter-writer, but I am a long-term reader and devotee.  I don't say this as a fan-boy or as some newcomer.  You have robbed me of my enthusiasm for Spider-Man.  This one story doesn't do it by itself, but it's such a "shining" example of everything that's been wrong with the book for so long...  My enthusiasm is just gone.

Finally, please do yourselves and your readers a favor:  Stop marking AMAZING SPIDER-MAN as "All Ages" if you're going to show decapitated heads dripping with blood and other such subject matter.  This issue was completely inappropriate for the rating.  I have no problem with any of the stuff you're showing appearing in a Marvel book in general, but if you're going to mark it "A," shouldn't it actually BE "A"?


Eric Teall

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