Saturday, January 12, 2013

[BOOK REVIEW] The Amazing Spider-Man: Origin of the Hobgoblin by Roger Stern

Title: The Amazing Spider-Man:  Origin of the Hobgoblin

Author:  Roger Stern

Artists:  Mike Zeck, Marie Severin, John Romita Jr., Al Milgron and Ron Frenz

Genre: Superheroes / Action / Adventure

Year Published: 1983

Year Read: 2013

Series: The Amazing Spider-Man

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 11+ (Some Intense Moments)

Buy or Add on:  Amazon  //  Goodreads 


After reading “X-Men” and “Batman” comics for so long now, I wanted to try something new, so I decided to jump into the “Spider-Man” comics and behold, “The Amazing Spider-Man: Origin of the Hobgoblin” was my first introduction into the “Spider-Man” comics and now I am actually geared up to read more from the famous web-slinging superhero!

What is this story about?

Basically, this comic takes place after the events of “The Death of Gwen Stacy” and after Spider-Man had defeated the Green Goblin, Peter Parker decides to finish up his studies at college.  Unfortunately, it turns out that a mysterious man has somehow found the lost journals of Norman Osborn and discovers that Norman Osborn was the Green Goblin!  Using Norman Osborn’s notes on how to improve the weapons he used as Green Goblin, the mysterious man then created weapons similar to the Green Goblin’s and becomes known as the Hobgoblin!  Can Spider-Man defeat this new foe and find out who this foe really is?

What I loved about this story:

Roger Stern, Bill Mantlo and Tom DeFalco’s writing: I have to admit that when I first went into this graphic novel, I thought that I would never understand what was going on in this series since this was the first time I had ever read a “Spider-Man” comic.  However, not only was the writing by Roger Stern, Bill Mantlo and Tom DeFalco extremely interesting to read through, but the story was easy enough to get into since all the writers took great care in explaining to the readers about what happened in previous events and how they all tie into the current storylines.  What I loved about Roger Stern’s interpretation of Spider-Man/Peter Parker is how Peter Parker is portrayed as being good-natured and intelligent and I really enjoyed the scenes where Peter Parker is shown working on a new type of technology, such as his Spider Tracer which works like a tracking device, that could help him defeat his enemies much easier.  I also loved the way that Spider-Man is portrayed as being a wisecracking superhero while at the same time is extremely aware of the situations going on around him, which makes him a well-rounded character.  The mystery surrounding the identity of the Hobgoblin was done extremely well as readers will be sitting on the edge of their seats trying to figure out who the Hobgoblin really is and how he knew about Norman Osborn’s notes on being the Green Goblin.  I also loved the way that the Hobgoblin was not being written as just being a copy of the Green Goblin, but proved to be an extremely difficult opponent for Spider-Man for he was extremely intelligent and used Norman Osborn’s notes to his advantage.

Mike Zeck, Marie Severin, John Romita Jr., Al Milgron and Ron Frenz’s artwork:  With many different artists in this graphic novel, the artwork was extremely brilliant to look at!  I loved the way that Mike Zeck’s artwork had a retro 70’s style look as the characters look extremely realistic and the outlining for the characters are nice and bolded, which really made the characters truly stand out.  Marie Severin’s artwork makes a brilliant transition from the late 70s to early 80s style artwork as the characters are drawn in much brighter colors and have more details on their facial expressions.  John Romita Jr.’s artwork is somewhat similar to Marie Severin’s artwork as the characters’ appearances are vastly improved and I loved the images of Peter Parker having wavy brown hair and gorgeous brown eyes.

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story:

Since this comic came out during the early 80s, I knew that I was going to be reading a ton of dialogue coming from the characters.  This graphic novel actually took me two days to finish because the dialogues with each character, especially Spider-Man, were extremely lengthy.  Even though I enjoyed reading the characters’ inner thoughts on a situation, I found it a bit difficult to get through this graphic novel in one day because it took so long to read through the dialogues.  Also, another reason I gave this volume a four star rating was because the first two stories at the beginning which dealt with Roderick Kingsley felt a bit out of place for this volume since they barely dealt with Hobgoblin. 

Final Thoughts:

Overall, even though this volume was extremely lengthy and some stories felt out of place, “The Amazing Spider-Man: Origin of the Hobgoblin” is a great introduction to the Hobgoblin and “Spider-Man” fans will definitely enjoy this volume!

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