Phil Urich and his Hobgoblin alter ego.
|First appearance||as Phil Urich:
Web of Spider-Man #125 (June 1995)
as Green Goblin: Spectacular Spider-Man #225 (June 1995)
The Amazing Spider-Man #649 (January 2011)
as Goblin Knight:
Superior Spider-Man #16 (October, 2013)
as Goblin King:
The Amazing Spider-Man Vol.3 #5 (October, 2014)
|Alter ego||Philip Benjamin "Phil" Urich|
|Notable aliases||Green Goblin, Hobgoblin, Goblin Knight|
|Abilities||Goblin-themed weapons and paraphernalia
Superhuman strength, speed, durability, stamina, and reflexes
Wears a costume with wings on the back that allow him to fly
Philip Benjamin "Phil" Urich is a Marvel Comics fictional character whose first appearance was in Web of Spider-Man #125 by Gerry Conway. He once was the fourth Green Goblin as a superhero and later becomes the new Hobgoblin (and later as Goblin Knight) as a supervillain.
|This section requires expansion. (December 2012)|
The first appearance of Phil Urich was in Web of Spider-Man #125.
Fictional character biography
||This section's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (February 2015)|
Heroic Green Goblin
Phil Urich, nephew of Ben Urich of the Daily Bugle, stumbled upon one of Harry Osborn's old Green Goblin hideouts. Using a mask which delivered a 'zap' that gave him Goblin-level strength without the psychotic side-effects of the original Goblin formula, he gained enhanced strength and endurance. He tried to gain a reputation as a superhero following the death of Harry Osborn, son of the original Green Goblin. However, he was sometimes seen as being as maniacal as his villainous predecessors. His equipment was damaged during a battle against a Sentinel in the Onslaught crossover; Phil sacrificed his glider to destroy a Sentinel by ramming the robot in the head, but a fragment of metal ricocheted off the explosion and damaged his mask's circuitry. Phil was unable to repair or replace it and retired from being the Green Goblin.
He later formed a superhero self-help group with Mickey Musashi in order to prevent teenagers from becoming superheroes and aiding young former superheroes get over their pasts, attempting to convince them and others that their powers had damaged their lives. Phil suffered a mental breakdown after watching Chris Powell and Mickey share a celebratory kiss, having apparently convinced himself that he and Mickey had feelings for each other when she only ever saw him as a friend. He attacks Mickey and Chris and steals the Darkhawk amulet from Chris. The Loners join together to fight Phil, but a depowered Phil is able to escape with Hollow.
Phil is next seen in the "Big Time" storyline in New York helping out his uncle at the new Front Line offices. He develops a crush on co-worker Norah Winters, who is looking into "Goblin Gangs" for a story. Phil goes to one of the old Goblin hideouts, hoping to find something there to impress her with. While there he encounters Daniel Kingsley (posing as his brother Roderick Kingsley, the original Hobgoblin) who is also looking for some new Goblin technology. Kingsley stumbles upon Urich and was about to kill him when Phil snapped and used his Lunatic Laugh to incapacitate the Hobgoblin. Using the fire sword that Kingsley had just found, Phil decapitated Kingsley and stole the new Green Goblin equipment from Osborn's secret lair. Phil then assumes the Hobgoblin identity for himself. Now operating as a villain, he attacks a local think tank, and is confronted by Spider-Man. Catching the hero off-guard with his Goblin laugh, Phil tries to decapitate him. Bella Fishback, one of the workers at the think tank is able to disrupt the sonic waves to save Spider-Man, but Phil is able to escape with the Reverbium he came to steal. He delivers the metal to the Kingpin and becomes one of his operatives. Spider-Man and Black Cat fight Phil and the Kingpin to retrieve the experimental metal. During the fight Phil's "Lunatic Laugh" causes the building to collapse, and he saves the Kingpin from falling to his death.
Phil gives Norah tips about possible Hobgoblin sightings so they can watch together in an attempt to woo her away from Randy Robertson. Phil is jealous of Randy for dating Norah, so when Alistair Smythe’s Spider-Slayers attack the Front Line offices Phil breaks a support beam. This, along with the damage caused by the attack, causes the ceiling to collapse on Randy. Randy survives the collapse, but he is seriously injured. Phil, as the Hobgoblin, fights Hercules after he defeats a gang that works for the Kingpin. His pumpkin bombs managed to cause debris to fall on Hercules, but he manages to escape the rubble. He then resumes the fight as Hobgoblin films the fight with hidden cameras as he airs the footage live. Hercules wins the fight, which ironically, boosts his popularity instead of Phil's like he originally hoped. The Kingpin manages to convince Hercules not to hand him over to the authorities. Phil attacks Spider-Girl after Norah talks about how impressive she is and he wants to show her that he, as the Hobgoblin, is more impressive. He lures her to him by leaving a destructive path for her to follow. As the fight ensues Spider-Girl is on the verge of defeating him, but Spider-Man decides to intervene after seeing what she is doing and thought that she was still too inexperienced to fight such a powerful opponent. However, by doing this he only causes the Hobgoblin to get away. Phil finally breaks up Randy and Norah through stalking and a confrontation with the couple in his Hobgoblin persona. Norah then kisses Phil shortly after, knowing exactly what to say to seduce her unbeknownst to her, having instigated the break up. Under orders from the Kingpin Phil teams up with Spider-Girl to fight the Sisterhood of the Wasp during "Spider-Island". Phil infiltrates a prisoner transport headed to The Raft to kill the Human Fly for stealing money from the Kingpin, but Agent Venom is on the transport and they fight. Agent Venom and Phil fight to a stalemate and the Human Fly escapes during the fight.
During a confrontation with Spider-Man, Hobgoblin used a weapon designed to disrupt Spider-Man's spider-sense. Although it initially appears to have failed, Peter later realized that it had intensified his spider-sense, causing it to react to the most minor of threats. Peter's mental state, along with a wrongly delivered message from Madame Web, allowed Phil to capture him while he was still dazed.
Peter later finds out that Phil and Kingpin have not discovered his secret identity when Phil refers to Peter as "Spider-Man's best friend". Phil and Kingpin try to get Peter to tell them who Spider-Man is but fail. Meanwhile, Roderick Kingsley gets dressed in his old costume to go searching for him. When Kingsley engages Phil, Max Modell gets in and helps Peter escape. Peter, using his webshoters, breaks the disruptor weapon and escapes. Kingpin then orders the two Hobgoblins after him. Both Hobgoblins end up fighting Spider-Man but ultimately give up as Roderick Kingsley decides to just kill Urich instead. He ends up changing his mind at the last moment though, letting him stay as Hobgoblin, but only if he gives Kingsley a cut of the profits he makes. Phil reluctantly agrees to the arrangement but quickly begins to conspire to kill Kingsley so that he will no longer be in his way. When Mayor J. Jonah Jameson announces an effort to crackdown on supervillains Phil debates if it is still worthwhile to be Hobgoblin because he pays so much to the Tinkerer for his Hobgoblin gear and to Kingsley for being allowed to be Hobgoblin.
When Superior Spider-Man (Doctor Octopus' mind in Spider-Man's body) raids Shadowland, Hobgoblin is left to fend for himself while Kingpin escapes. Hobgoblin escapes and encounters Spider-Bots which do not detect him. Following the assault on Shadowland, Hobgoblin goes to Tinkerer and request that he do some immediate upgrades to his gear in order to survive Superior Spider-Man's aggressive campaign. Tiberius Stone (in hiding under the Tinkerer) does the upgrades, planning revenge for Hobgoblin's ruining him while working for Kingpin. Superior Spider-Man notes Hobgoblin escaped without alerting his Spider-Bot sensor net, upping his hunt for him. Green Goblin turns off the Goblin Protocol hack in the Web-Net so Hobgoblin can be found and eliminated. Superior Spider-Man finally confronts Hobgoblin whose tech fails as a result of Tiberius Stone's revenge. He escapes, but not before Superior Spider-Man manages to put tracers deep enough into Phil's skin to hear his name over the transmitters. He then publicly reveals Phil as Hobgoblin at the Daily Bugle. Phil sees the feeds and realizes that he has nowhere to run anymore. With his identity as Hobgoblin revealed to the public, Phil desperately makes excuses as his Daily Bugle co-workers turn against him. Superior Spider-Man learns of Phil's location and arrives at the Daily Bugle and fights with an unstable Phil bringing the fight outside where Superior Spider-Man disarms him. He seems to consider giving Phil a public execution, but Phil is freed from a prison transport by Menace and brought to Green Goblin who upgrades his armor and weapons. The Goblin King asks only for full dedication to Phil's only identity from here on as the Goblin Knight. Goblin King trains Goblin Knight who has become anxious to jump into action against Superior Spider-Man. Goblin King reprimands Goblin Knight that it was his fault that he had to shut down his Goblin Protocols to avoid being detected by Superior Spider-Man. Goblin King states that Goblin Knight has given him an idea. When Monster and Menace attack Roderick Kingsley's henchmen Ringer, Steeplejack, and Tumbler, Goblin Knight ends up killing Steeplejack. Goblin Knight (alongside some other Goblin Knights) was with the Goblin King during a showdown with Hobgoblin which ended with Hobgoblin death at the hands of Goblin King, however later when Goblin Knight checked the body to see if it was Roderick Kingsley underneath the mask, he finds that its actually Roderick Kingsley's butler Claude who died, Goblin Knight then destroys the body to ensure Goblin King never suspects that Kingsley is still alive. Learning of his nephew's identity, Ben Urich attempted to arrange a meeting to talk Phil down and convince him to accept a cure for the Goblin formula, but when Robbie Robertson was discovered in the area, Phil believed that Ben had been trying to set a trap and delivered a serious injury to Robbie before Spider-Man appeared. Phil was able to get away when Ben convinced Spider-Man to take Robbie to hospital, but Ben made it clear that he had no interest in protecting Phil, accepting that Phil liked what he had become and was uninterested in redemption or help.
Following the conclusion of The Superior Spider-Man storyline returning the true Spider-Man, Phil Urich is now leading the remnants of the Goblin Underground as the self-proclaimed Goblin King. Phil meets with Mister Negative where they are awaiting for Eel to show up in order to divide the criminal underground following Norman Osborn's defeat. The meeting is crashed by Black Cat and Electro. Black Cat mentions to Phil and Mister Negative about how Spider-Man had outed them and wants a share in their plans.
Powers and abilities
As Green Goblin
Due to ingestion of a modified version of Norman Osborn's "Goblin Formula", Phil Urich gained superhuman strength (able to lift upwards of 9 tons), stamina, durability, speed, and reflexes. However, he was unable to access these abilities without the unknown catalyst provided by the Green Goblin mask he wore. He also possessed a so-called "Lunatic Laugh" capable of creating sound waves disorienting to most people. It seems possible that the formula had also increased his intelligence since he had shown to have an unusual cleverness when it came to strategy and modifying his equipment, as the Goblin formula had done for other users such as Roderick Kingsley and Norman Osborn. Whether or not he needed the mask for this was unknown.
As Green Goblin, Phil wore an alternate/spare Green Goblin costume composed of a chain-mail mesh capable of deflecting small arms fire. He traveled on a bat-shaped, one-man, rocket-propelled "Goblin Glider". Like other Goblins' gliders, it was armed with heat-seeking missiles, machine guns, and retractable blades. Other weapons Phil typically used were incendiary Pumpkin Bombs capable of melting through 3 inches (76 mm) of steel, smoke and gas-emitting bombs with an appearance like a ghost, razor-edged bat-shaped boomerangs and gloves woven with micro-circuited filaments which channel pulsed discharges of electricity capable of discharging nearly 1,000 volts of electricity. Most of this equipment was completely destroyed or rendered inoperable during Phil's final battle with the Sentinel.
As the Hobgoblin, Phil Urich wears an orange Hobgoblin costume with wings on the back that allow him to fly without the use of a Goblin Glider and he took Kingsley's mask as his own. He uses the traditional Pumpkin Bombs all Green Goblins and Hobgoblins before him have used, but he also has a new flaming sword. He still retains his "Lunatic Laugh" from when he was Green Goblin, for unknown reasons he no longer needs his mask to activate this power. With the help of Reverbium his "Lunatic Laugh" was able to cause a building to collapse.
In the MC2 timeline, Phil Urich marries his girlfriend Meredith and becomes a forensic scientist and friends with Peter Parker. He is aware of both Peter and Spider-Girl's identities. Phil Urich resumes the Goblin identity, first under the name of the Golden Goblin, then as the Green Goblin with the assistance of Normie Osborn. After Phil lost a long series of battles, Normie recreates Phil's original mask, which grants him superhuman strength and other abilities, greatly enhancing his effectiveness. He is also a founding member of the New New Warriors.
While Phil originally required the technology in the Goblin mask to enhance his physical abilities and no longer has access to it, he retained one power that he is able to activate without the mask. Phil is capable of using his laughter as a sonic weapon of sorts. His "lunatic laugh" has been shown to disorient opponents and even shatter their eardrums. He once used the laugh while out of costume to defeat the Venom symbiote after it had taken possession of Peter.
In other media
- The Phil Urich incarnation of Hobgoblin was added to the superhero-featuring board game Heroclix in 2013.
- Green Goblin #1 (Oct. 1995)
- Green Goblin #12 (Sep. 1999)
- Green Goblin #13 (Oct. 1996)
- Runaways vol. 2 #1-6 (April - Sep. 2005)
- The Loners #5-6 (Oct. 2007, Jan. 2008)
- The Amazing Spider-Man #691 (Aug. 2012)
- The Amazing Spider-Man #648 (Nov. 2010)
- The Amazing Spider-Man #649 (Dec. 2010)
- The Amazing Spider-Man #650 (Dec. 2010)
- The Amazing Spider-Man #651 (Jan. 2011)
- The Amazing Spider-Man #654 (Feb. 2011)
- Herc #1-2 (April 2011)
- Spider-Girl vol. 2 #6 (April 2011)
- Spider-Island: Deadly Foes (Aug. 2011)
- Spider-Island: Spider-Girl #1-3 (Aug. - Sep. 2011)
- Venom vol. 2 #16 (April 2012)
- The Amazing Spider-Man #695 (Oct. 2012)
- The Amazing Spider-Man #696 (Oct. 2012)
- The Amazing Spider-Man #697 (Nov. 2012)
- The Superior Spider-Man #6
- The Superior Spider-Man #14
- The Superior Spider-Man #15
- The Superior Spider-Man #16
- The Superior Spider-Man #17
- The Superior Spider-Man #25
- The Superior Spider-Man #26
- The Superior Spider-Man Annual #2
- Amazing Spider-Man vol. 3 #5
- Green Goblin #2 (Nov. 1995)
- Green Goblin #2 - 12 (Nov. 1995 - Sep. 1996)
- Spider-Girl vol. 1 #30 (March 2001)
- Spider-Girl vol. 1 #5 (Feb. 1999)