Rating: 4/5 – Satirical and Humorous with a Darker Ending.
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Shawn Hoklas.
Although the big Axis event is a serious superhero story with big battles and dire consequences, the Hobgoblin mini-series that has launched out of it doesn’t take itself as seriously, and because of that works all on its own. This is a humor book, but in its own way it brings a level of seriousness to it that looks to have some lasting effects on some of Spider-Man’s less popular villains. Kevin Shinick writes the story of Hobgoblin’s change to a “hero” spinning directly out of Axis that has multiple villains becoming more heroic, with a wonderful and perfectly matching art style by artist Javier Rodriguez.
Rodriguez’s art absolutely delivered for me on this first issue. His colors are bright and significantly pop on the page. His less serious approach to the art connects the lighter-in-feel tone of the story. That isn’t to say that he never goes dark, as the last few pages of this issue will show, but he chooses to embrace the colorful and crazy chaotic world these characters live in. Main character and previous Hobgoblin Roderick Kingsley is portrayed perfectly in this issue as a middle-aged man with facial expressions and body language that absolutely sell the character. His use of different panel layouts throughout the book keep the visuals fresh and exciting as you don’t know what you’ll get from page to page.
Kevin Shinick knows humor as the writer of shows like “Robot Chicken”, but he’s also written in the world of comics with other Spidey related titles in the past such as Superior Spider-Man Team Up, and the underrated Superior Carnage mini-series. Here he takes an idea and character from Marvel’s past like Roderick Kingsley and adds a new and deeper layer, turning it into something much more. Kinglsey who was previously selling the Hobgoblin name and costume to those looking for instant fame and recognition in the super-villain world has decided he will now take that same idea, but make it even bigger, by selling his plan on how to become a super-hero. Whether it’s through his book “Hobnobbin’ with Roderick Kingsley”, or his three-phase plan to become a hero, Kingsley is out to make money through “Ned Talks” and branding.
Hobgoblin is satirical and humorous throughout, but with a darker ending that will leave you guessing just what direction this book will go in. If you’re a fan of the villainous and scary Hobgoblin, then this book may turn you off a bit as it’s not your typical Goblin/Spidey story. It’s a humorous look at the world of branding and marketing with a character who’s now even more interesting than he once was. You don’t need to be reading Axis to enjoy this tie-in issue, even though it says to in the book’s opening page. Shinick and Rodriguez are telling a wonderful story that so for makes me sad it will only be three issues since there are so many great ideas presented, and such wonderful and colorful art to be explored.
Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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