The rise of Hobgoblin! One of Spidey’s most elusive villains is revealed in this shocking issue! Friends and family mourn the loss of Ned Leeds- how is Betty Brant handling her grief?
The story begins with Jason Macendale hiring Foreigner to kill Ned Leeds - the Hobgoblin.
Peter and the other Bugle employees arrive at the airport to Ned's coffin. Peter reflects on the events that led to this in Germany. Hobgoblin appears but Peter has no time to change into his costume.
Meanwhile, the Kingpin is having his regular chess game with Foreigner and lets him know of his displeasure with him for killing the Hobgoblin. Foreigner lets him know it was strictly business and was nothing personal. Kingpin then tells his secretary he wants Spider-Man to come to him for information on Hobgoblin, including his identity.
The Rose is at his headquarters and realizes all of his men have been killed. The Hobgoblin reveals himself and tells Rose he still has his uses. Spider-Man is meeting with Kingpin who gives him his files on the Hobgoblin. Kingpin walks out as Spider-Man reads the file and shots one of his men he believed was working for Rose.
Spider-Man finishes reading the file and is in disbelief that Ned was the Hobgoblin. The file reveals things he did not see in Berlin, how Ned was the Hobgoblin and Foreigner's men came to kill him. Ned calls out for his worst enemy's help and apologizes to Betty before dying.
Kingpin tells Spider-Man the Hobgoblin he saw was actually Jason Macendale the former Jack O Lantern and gives him the location of Foreigner. Spider-Man leaves but Kingpin finds himself face to face with the new Hobgoblin, who wants the file. Hobgoblin tries to kill Kingpin but his henchmen ward him off.
Spider-Man swings on angrily, believing the whole time Ned's death was his fault and now realizing it was Macendale and Foreigner. When arriving at Foreigner's office it appears that he has relocated but Spider-Man does find the new Hobgoblin waiting for him. They begin fighting and Hobgoblin retreats. Spider-Man follows only to be gassed by a pumpkin bomb containing a hallucinogen. Hobgoblin stands victorious over Spider-Man until the trap is set and Spider-Man attacks having held his breath and not been affected by the gas.
Hobgoblin again gains the upper hand though setting Spider-Man on fire with a pumpkin bomb. Spider-Man falls off a building and jst as he is about to be blown to bits by another bomb, Flash Thompson comes out and catches it, throwing it back at Hobgoblin. The concussion knocks Flash to the ground and Spider-Man manages to resusitate him and get him to the hospital while Hobgoblin escapes. Eye witnesses to the event verify that Flash could not be the Hobgoblin and drop all charges against him.