This week we really wanted to see two characters from Spider-Man's world go at it. But, instead of using the super obvious choices, we decided to give some love to the characters who haven't received nearly as much page time as the Sinister Six roster and others (fret not, they will be used in due time). Yes, that means some of you may not have knowledge on these characters right away, but that's why voting and debate is open for the entire week, silly. This isn't just an opportunity to speculate on battles -- it's a chance to potentially learn all about new characters, too! So, who did the Comic Vine community ultimately side with in this one? Roderick Kingsley took down Cardiac, earning 54% of the votes. Cardiac wasn't too far behind though, taking 42% and 4% thought it was too close to call.
After much internal debate, I agree Hobgoblin can take a small majority. Cardiac has the physical edge (listed as having 15 ton strength in his handbook entry and has matched Spider-Man in grapples) and has fantastic durability thanks to his vibranium mesh skin. However, this isn't a fight that I think will be determined by a slugfest, nor will Cardiac's armor render him immune to the variety of attacks Hobgoblin has at his disposal. A direct connect with a bomb would definitely faze Cardiac (a blast from Chance certainly did and so did bullets, after all) and the villain's electric glove could prove especially devastating. Kingley's been shown to utilize his glove's projectile with shockingly impressive speed, so one connect from this could absolutely be an immediate game changer. Yes, Cardiac's fast and has solid reflexes, but he's no Spider-Man in this regard, and the webhead had a good deal of difficultly evading these attacks. Cardiac has more potential when it comes to sheer firepower (but he has to charge the blast for a moment), but Hobgoblin's weapons are far from weak and can be used at a more rapid rate.
It's possible for Cardiac to take an advantage as the match begins, though. With this starting range and the goblin already in the air, this comes down to a "who shoots first?" scenario. Cardiac has already proven to be quite accurate with his blasts and even hit Styx and Stone when they were fleeing on a glider. I think it's fair to assume Cardiac will be more effective at that distance, but this isn't something that'll take Hobgoblin out of the game right away, either. Once they're on the ground, I think Hobby's variety of gear and more villainous mentality (cheap shots aren't beyond him, and like I said, one proper use of the glove can turn the tide) will overcome the doctor's physical edge in a very good fight. He'll likely take some tough hits in the process, but his cheap tactics are likely to prove critical in saving him from Cardiac.
Viner Argument of the Week for Hobgoblin is by Wyldsong
"Let's not sell Kingsley short here. This man has been a master manipulator, awesome with prep and is quite the mercenary. If you can overlook the fact that he started out as a fashion designer...regardless, he was intelligent enough to improve upon Norman's original goblin formula, and enjoys superhuman stats himself.
This is a guy that has been able to go at it with Spidey, and has enhanced speed (fast enough to tag Spidey), strength (near or equivalent to Spidey), durability/stamina, and reflexes -- if I get a chance, when I get home, I'll try and share some scans, but I am making no promises at this point in time. Cardiac is not so far beyond Hobgoblin stat wise that this battle is unreasonable, and I really don't think @k4tzm4n would have made this battle if that were the case. Kingsley is not just some guy in goblin suit. This is a mercenary with an enhanced goblin formula running through his veins without the nasty side effects that Norman got, and was said to be even stronger than Norman initially.
Equipment wise, he is pretty decked out. He has a goblin glider (heavily armored and I believe he can control from a distance with cybernetics and such), routinely carries explosive/incendiary/concussive devices, smoke bombs, razor sharp throwing blades (not much of an issue for Cardiac on that one unless maybe used to help disarm), bullet proof armor (to go with his durability), can do pulses of electric shocks through his gauntlets (I don't remember the exact voltage, but most sites claim up to 10,000 volts -- enough to affect at least Spidey's level durability), and of course the blasters in his gauntlets (at the fingertips) with a computerized system that can alter how and where shots are fired when trained on a target, and are more than capable of stunning someone with Spider-Man's durability (who is beyond durable). The blasters have been shown to punch through a city street and blow a gas main beneath it, and the randomized patterns were enough to push Spidey's abilities to their limits.
Spidey and Hobgoblin have gone toe to toe, with Hob's strength being more than enough to harm Spidey. Not to mention the fact that having a multitude of fairly even back and forth battles, there is at least one very telling instance of Kingsley having Spidey dead to rights...had it not been for outside interference, Spidey would have been dead without a doubt. Kingsley has survived all out assaults from Spidey, and can take a punch...he is exceedingly durable.
Let's not forget chemical warfare. He has used bombs that have various neurotoxins, capable of knocking people out (and I can think of at least one instance where Cardiac was rendered unconscious by some fumes at a toy factory), dulling Spidey's spider-sense, and even stripping Spidey of his wall crawling ability. Incendiary bombs capable of tearing through at least 3 inch thick steel, and of course bombs capable of affecting large areas. Kingsley with his standard bag of tricks brings a lot of options and versatility to the fight.
And anyone who thought Phil would be a better match? The Goblin War in Amazing Spider-Man...Kingsley and Urich go toe to toe, nearly evenly matched, and Kingsley ends up winning in the end (via cheapshot, but a win is a win). Besides, the more current appearance by Kingsley even shows he grew in skill (see the Devil-Spider scene in The Goblin War, where he displays some martial arts, weapons use, and tagging foes he is not even looking at).
This is not a stomp by any stretch of the imagination, and honestly, I feel Kingsley is far more skilled and experienced. Cardiac is a tough opponent, and is far from inexperienced, and has a ton of raw power on his side, but can be hurt by people with strength levels comparable to Spidey, which Kingsley has.
I am going with Hobgoblin for this one after a hard fought battle that ends with maybe a little neurotoxin and a cheap shot =)"
Corey Schroeder, Comic Vine Staff Writer
"There's definitely something to be said for ruthlessness and while I give Cardiac credit for being both a supervillain and being extremely well-supplied, I ultimately think this match goes to Hobgoblin if, for no other reason, than because he'll pull out ALL the stops to ensure his victory. So while I think Cardiac would have an initial advantage, there are only so many times Goblin can dodge his beta blasts, before being knocked off of his glider. Even if they're meeting air-to-air, goblin can only fling those pumpkin bombs as far as and hard as he himself's arms can go while Cardiac can blast away at more angles and velocities. But once they're on the ground, his advantage disappears as Hobgoblin can skulk through the shadows and toss out the occasional pumpkin bomb whenever needed. Still, Cardiac's armor is nothing to laugh at, so I really think it would come down to a slug-out, where Cardio would, again, show an initial advantage, but when he had the Goblin down, Hobby would just cackle before shoving one last pumpkin bomb into Cardio's face, blasting him into defeat."
There you have it, folks. It seems that the majority of us agree Hobgoblin's technology and unmerciful mindset will allow him to overcome Cardiac's durability, physicals and beta particle blasts. Do you share this opinion or are you on team Cardiac here? Let us know!
Also, there's no teaser because next week will be a new edition of "Does Batman Always Win?" Prepare yourself, Viners!