Oh the dollar bins, that place where comics go to languish into nothingness when stores think that nobody cares about a certain issue (which is partly true), or they over ordered on a comic and have little choice but to drop the price to a dollar and hope they can get something for them.
It was in a bin like that, a bin that almost every comic shop has, that I found Green Goblin #3 from 1995. Why did I pick this up? Honestly because of the Scarlet Spider on the front cover, and I was curious to see how a comic about the Green Goblin would read.
Before I get into the story, the comic I picked up was bagged (but no board), and in surprisingly good condition. I’m not a grader by any means, but the spine is barely cracked, and there’s no creases anywhere. While the back cover isn’t a pristine white any more (and you can make out finger prints in something on the back) it’s condition is such that if I collected this series then I’d be happy enough to bag and board it to fill a hole. As it is? I have no idea what I’ll do with comic once I’ve finished reading it (which I haven’t done yet).
Before we start: there’s going to be spoilers. I doubt you care, but I feel obligated to tell you.
So, shall we begin?
Written by Tom Defalco with art by Scott McDaniel and colours by Joe Rosas, the comic is lettered by Jim Novak. We start off with Phil Urich, the Green Goblin, having an internal monologue that makes me hope whatever villain is in the issue will give him a severe beating. Also, when dd he become the Green Goblin? My memory of Spider-Man comics around this time is foggy at best… and three pages in that makes sense.
The next couple pages have the Goblin pretending to be Batman in order to convince some kids help him find a woman’s hotel room that he’s crushing on. The bloke seems more than a little unhinged at this point, and not exactly the most heroic person, which I suppose makes sense given who the first Green Goblin was. At this point as I’m reading his internal monologue, I’m waiting for the villain to arrive. Or the Scarlet Spider. Either way, I’d like someone to hit him.
That said, there is a nice nod to the Concorde jet here a couple pages later. I’d half forgotten about that plane after it was decommissioned more than a decade ago. So that was cool.
But then we have several more pages of the Green Goblin being a bit of a numpty, somewhat stupid and almost entirely annoying. This is a dude who broke into a woman’s hotel room because he was “in lust” with her (sounds lovely, eh?) before falling for a somewhat simple ruse from sad woman who’s intent on fighting the Scarlet Spider.
As a comic this was quite forgettable, in all honesty. The artwork had a nice feel to it, and presented well on the more newsprint-ish paper the comic is printed on, which has a far dfferent feel to the comics printed more than twenty years later. But despite it beng forgettable, and despite my desire for somebody to hit Phil Urich (yeah, Ben Urich‘s nephew. Which means there’s another Uncle Ben in the Spider-verse) for his stalkerish, and somewhat sociopathic inner monologue, this comic was almost worth a dollar.
Maybe the next one I pick up will be worth a buck (maybe two!), so find out what piqued my curiosity the next time I go looking through the dollar bins at my local comic shop. Will be utter tripe with a cool cover? Will it be a hidden gem? Who knows! But for a buck it’s hard to go wrong.
Comic: Green Goblin #3
Writer: Tom Defalco Art: Scott McDaniel
Colours: Joe Rosas Letters: Jim Novak
Rating: Worth A Dollar
Also posted on Graphic Policy