Many Marvel fans know about The Green Goblin, Norman Osborn of Oscorp gone mad and obsessed with torturing Spider-Man. You may even know that, after Norman’s death, his son Harry took his father’s gadgets and took up the mantle. The Hobgoblin is less known, and is yet another enemy of Spider-Man. But one has to wonder, was there ever a Hobgoblin vs Green Goblin scenario? It would make sense, since they have similarities. Let’s explore the comic book where this situation manifested itself.
In Amazing Spider-Man 312, Harry Osborn is alarmed when The Hobgoblin finds him and demands to be told where “It” is. Harry has no idea what he is talking about, and lies and tells Hobgoblin that he can find it in his office. However, the encounter brought back memories that Harry had suppressed about being The Green Goblin. Fearing for his family, he goes to the attic, where the Goblin gear had been hidden and stored for an emergency. He uses his glider to find Hobgoblin, who is mad that Harry lied to him. This is when we See Hobgoblin vs Green Goblin, as Harry defends himself on behalf of his family. Fighting ensues, and Harry is caught off-guard. The last time he used The Green Goblin gear, he was not in his right mind, and was less fearful.
Spider-Man gets involved and sees Hobgoblin vs Green Goblin, surprised that they were both there. He was simply looking for Hobgoblin, but got more than he bargained for. Spider-Man is thrown into a water tower, while Harry drops all of his pumpkin bombs on Hobgoblin. When confronted, it turns out that he was looking for the Green Goblin Formula, the compound that gave their predecessors super-strength. Harry lets him know that the formula was destroyed years ago, and if it still existed, he would have used it against him. Spider-Man helps drive away Hobgoblin, and Harry returns to his family.
So now that we know about Hobgoblin vs Green Goblin, who won? Apparently it was The Green Goblin, since he dropped every pumpkin bomb in his satchel on top of him, damaging his glider and allowing a face-to-face confrontation. At this point, The Hobgoblin was at his mercy. Amazing Spider-Man 312 was drawn by Todd McFarlane, and I would be lying if I said that every panel looked spectacular. That being said, the majority of the comic is drawn well, except for some of the faces.
It’s always fun when two villains fight each other, isn’t it? Especially when one is basically a knock-off of the other. After all, who wouldn’t want to see two identical villains of different colors fight to the death? It’s like watching ‘Mean Girls’ with two Regina Georges. Though personally, I think the Green Goblin would win every time. Hobgoblin just seems like the less cool, more annoying version. The Hobgoblin may have been an attempt at creating a new, more modern version of the Green Goblin, but it seems as if the attempt fell short. When one looks at the two, they can’t help but see the similarities, yet the Hobgoblin lacks the same level of charm. It’s like when a band tries to copy another band’s sound and ends up being a less polished version of the original. In the end, it’s the original that has the staying power, leaving the imitators in the dust.
If you are a fan of comic book fights and epic battles between heroes and villains, then Amazing Spider-Man issue 312 is an absolute must-read, and you should acquire it (Affiliate Link) for your collection. This issue provides a great example of what makes superhero comics so entertaining and unforgettable. The encounter between Hobgoblin and Green Goblin is just one of the many reasons why this issue is a classic. The artwork, while not perfect, is still impressive, and the story is gripping and exciting from start to finish.