Credits: Fabian Nicieza (writer), Alex Saviuk (penciler), Keith Williams & Mike Eposito (inkers), Rick Parker (letterer), Janet Jackson (colorist)
The Plot: Hobgoblin demands work from the Arranger, who sends him after Spider-Man as busy work. Meanwhile, Peter and MJ throw a goodbye party for their friends at their Chelsea apartment. When Peter hears word that Hobgoblin is wrecking havoc across town, he skips out of the party. He finds Hobgoblin, but soon notices that his reflexes are impaired. He figures out that the punch was spiked, as he tries to fight Hobgoblin. An electrical flash damages Hobgoblin’s cybernetic control, forcing him to retreat. Peter returns home and learns that his landlord’s spouse, Barney Muggins, spiked the punch.
The Subplots: None.
Web of Continuity: Peter and MJ are moving out of the Chelsea Apartments, where Peter’s lived for years. As of Amazing #300, they’re moving to the Bedford Towers condo.
I Love the ‘80s: Spuds Mackenzie is at the party. Mrs. Muggins wants to know why a dog is drinking beer.
Review: I believe this is Fabian Nicieza’s second professional work (following a fill-in on a New Universe book). It doesn’t read like something a novice would write, as it’s well-structured, quite funny, and has a great hook. A drunken Spider-Man fights the Hobgoblin. What’s not to love? Spidey even gets off the “Peter Parker wouldn’t do that!” hook because the punch was spiked. Nicieza also has a handle on the various characters in Peter’s life, so the party scenes are fun to read. Although we’ve entered a stretch of issues without a regular writer again, this actually doesn’t feel like a fill-in. A few of the ongoing plot threads are acknowledged (new villain Tombstone even makes an appearance, throwing Hobgoblin out of a window at Kingpin’s headquarters), and the issue serves as a goodbye to the long-standing Chelsea Apartments location. Peter has some moments with his neighbors, and (while still under the influence) even gives the vile Mrs. Muggins a kiss goodbye. A strong debut from Nicieza, who should’ve done more Spidey work over the years.