Phil Urich

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Phil Urich
Phil Urich Hobgoblin.jpg
Phil Urich and his Hobgoblin alter ego.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance As Phil Urich:
Web of Spider-Man #125 (June 1995)
As Green Goblin:
Spectacular Spider-Man #225 (June 1995)
As Hobgoblin:
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)
In-story information
Alter ego Philip Benjamin "Phil" Urich
Team affiliations Loners
Daily Bugle
The Hand
Goblin Nation
Notable aliases Green Goblin, Hobgoblin, Goblin Knight, Goblin King
Abilities (As Green Goblin):
Superhuman strength, speed, stamina, durability and reflexes
Enhanced intellect
Ultrasonic scream
Use of goblin-themed weapons and paraphernalia
(As Hobgoblin):
Superhuman strength, speed, stamina, durability, reflexes and senses
Enhanced intellect
Ultrasonic scream
Wears a costume with wings on the back
Use of goblin-themed weapons and a flaming sword

Philip Benjamin "Phil" Urich is a fictional superhero character created by Marvel Comics. He first appeared in Web of Spider-Man #125, written by Gerry Conway. Once the fourth Green Goblin, he later became the new Hobgoblin, a supervillain. He was later crowned the Goblin Knight by the Green Goblin before replacing the Green Goblin as the new Goblin King.

Publication history[edit]

Phil Urich first appeared in Web of Spider-Man #125.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Heroic Green Goblin[edit]

Phil Urich, nephew of Ben Urich of the Daily Bugle, stumbles upon one of Harry Osborn's old Green Goblin hideouts. Using a mask that delivers a "zap" gives him Goblin-level strength without the psychotic side-effects of the original Goblin formula, and he gains enhanced strength and endurance.[1] He tries to gain a reputation as a superhero following the death of Harry Osborn, son of the original Green Goblin. However, he is sometimes seen as being as maniacal as his villainous predecessors. His equipment is damaged during a battle against a Sentinel in the Onslaught crossover; Urich sacrifices his glider to destroy a Sentinel by ramming the robot in the head, but a fragment of metal ricochets off the explosion and damages his mask's circuitry.[2] Urich is unable to repair or replace it and retires from being the Green Goblin.[3]

He later forms a superhero self-help group with Mickey Musashi in order to prevent teenagers from becoming superheroes, and to help young former superheroes get over their pasts, attempting to convince them and others that their powers had damaged their lives.[4] Urich suffers 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 though she only saw him as a friend. He attacks Mickey and Chris and steals the Darkhawk amulet from Chris. The Loners join together to fight Urich, but he is able to escape with Hollow.[5]

Villainous Hobgoblin[edit]

Urich 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. Urich goes to one of the old Goblin hideouts, hoping to find something there to impress her. He encounters Daniel Kingsley (posing as his brother Roderick Kingsley,[6] the original Hobgoblin) who is also looking for some new Goblin technology.[7] Kingsley is about to kill him when Urich snaps and uses his Lunatic Laugh to incapacitate the Hobgoblin. Using the fire sword that Kingsley had just found, Urich decapitates Kingsley and steals the new Green Goblin equipment from Osborn's secret lair. Urich 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, Urich tries to decapitate him.[8] Bella Fishback, one of the workers at the think tank, is able to disrupt the sonic waves to save Spider-Man, but Urich escapes with the Reverbium he had come to steal. He delivers the metal to the Kingpin and becomes one of his operatives.[9] Spider-Man and Black Cat fight Urich and the Kingpin to retrieve the experimental metal. During the fight, Urich's Lunatic Laugh causes the building to collapse, and he saves the Kingpin from falling to his death.[10]

Urich gives Norah tips about possible Hobgoblin sightings so they can spy together in an attempt to woo her away from Randy Robertson. Urich's jealousy of Randy also causes him to break a support beam when Alistair Smythe’s Spider-Slayers attack the Front Line offices. 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.[11] Urich, as the Hobgoblin, fights Hercules after he defeats a gang that works for the Kingpin. His pumpkin bombs cause debris to fall on Hercules, who however escapes from the rubble. He then resumes the fight as the Hobgoblin films the fight with hidden cameras while airing the footage live. Hercules wins the fight, boosting his own popularity instead of Urich's, which was Urich's original intent. The Kingpin convinces Hercules not to hand him over to the authorities.[12] Urich attacks Spider-Girl after Norah talks about how impressive she is; he wants to show Norah that he, as the Hobgoblin, is more impressive. He lures her to him by leaving a destructive path for her to follow. Spider-Girl almost defeats him, but Spider-Man intervenes after seeing what she is doing, believing she is still too inexperienced to fight such a powerful opponent. By doing this he causes the Hobgoblin to get away.[13] Urich finally breaks up Randy and Norah after he stalks and confronts them in his Hobgoblin persona. Urich then seduces Norah—who does not know the role he played in the breakup—and kisses her.[14] Under orders from the Kingpin, Urich teams up with Spider-Girl to fight the Sisterhood of the Wasp in Spider-Island.[15] Urich infiltrates a prisoner transport headed to The Raft to kill the Human Fly for stealing money from the Kingpin. On the transport, he encounters Agent Venom and fights with him. The fight results in a stalemate and the Human Fly escapes.[16]

During a confrontation with Spider-Man, Hobgoblin uses a weapon designed to disrupt Spider-Man's spider-sense. Although it initially appears to have failed, Peter later realizes that it has 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, allows Urich to capture him while he was still dazed.[17]

Peter later finds out that Urich and Kingpin have not discovered his secret identity when Urich refers to Peter as "Spider-Man's best friend". Urich 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. While Kingsley engages Urich, Max Modell helps Peter escape. Peter, using his webshooters, breaks the disruptor weapon and escapes.[18] 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 however ends up changing his mind at the last moment, letting him retain his identity as Hobgoblin, on the condition that he gives Kingsley a cut of the profits he makes. Urich reluctantly agrees to the arrangement but quickly begins to conspire to kill Kingsley.[19] When Mayor J. Jonah Jameson announces an effort to crack down on supervillains, Urich debates whether it is worthwhile to remain Hobgoblin while paying a lot of money to the Tinkerer for his Hobgoblin gear and to Kingsley for being allowed to be Hobgoblin.[20]

Goblin Knight[edit]

When The 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, encountering Spider-Bots which do not detect him.[21] Following the assault on Shadowland, Hobgoblin goes to Tinkerer and requests upgrades to his gear in order to survive Superior Spider-Man's aggressive campaign. Tiberius Stone (hiding under the Tinkerer) does the upgrades, planning revenge for Hobgoblin's ruining him while working for Kingpin. When Superior Spider-Man finally confronts Hobgoblin, his 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 Urich's skin to hear his name over the transmitters. He then publicly reveals Urich as Hobgoblin at the Daily Bugle. Urich, seeing the feeds, realizes that he has nowhere left to run.[22] With his identity as Hobgoblin revealed to the public, Urich desperately makes excuses as his Daily Bugle co-workers turn against him. Superior Spider-Man, learning Urich's location, arrives at the Daily Bugle and fights with an unstable Urich and disarms him. He seems to consider giving Urich a public execution, but Urich 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 Urich's only identity from then on as the Goblin Knight.[23] Goblin King trains Goblin Knight, who is anxious to jump into action against Superior Spider-Man. Goblin King reprimands Goblin Knight for causing him to shut down his Goblin Protocols to avoid detection by Superior Spider-Man.[24] When Monster and Menace attack Roderick Kingsley's henchmen Ringer, Steeplejack, and Tumbler, Goblin Knight kills Steeplejack.[25] Goblin Knight (alongside other Goblin Knights) was with the Goblin King when he fought (and killed) Hobgoblin. Later on, Goblin Knight checks the body to see if it was Roderick Kingsley underneath the mask. He discovers that it is actually Roderick Kingsley's butler, Claude, who died. Goblin Knight then destroys the body to ensure that Goblin King never suspects that Kingsley is still alive.[26] Learning of his nephew's identity, Ben Urich attempts to arrange a meeting to talk Phil down and convince him to accept a cure for the Goblin formula. But when Robbie Robertson is discovered in the area, Phil believes that Ben had been trying to set a trap and delivers a serious injury to Robbie before Spider-Man appears. Urich is able to get away when Ben convinces Superior Spider-Man to take Robbie to hospital, but Ben makes it clear that he has no interest in protecting Urich, acknowledging that Urich liked what he had become and was uninterested in redemption or help.[27]

Goblin King[edit]

Following the conclusion of The Superior Spider-Man storyline, the true Spider-Man returns. Phil Urich now leads the remnants of the Goblin Nation as the self-proclaimed Goblin King. Goblin King meets with Mister Negative where they wait 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 Goblin King and Mister Negative that Spider-Man had outed them and wants a share in their plans.[28]

In the AXIS storyline, Goblin King attempts to rescue Lily Hollister from a police transport. This mission goes awry and Lily is rendered amnesiac.[29] When Goblin King confronts Roderick Kingsley in his headquarters, Queen Cat comes to his defense. Goblin King recognizes Lily Hollister as Queen Cat, but she does not recognize him. Following the attack, Missile Mate is convinced by Urich that the Hobgoblin would soon abandon the heroes he had trained. Missile Mate goes to the Goblin Nation's headquarters and asks Goblin King to join him and become a supervillain. Goblin King is reluctant, but Missile Mate shows him that he has also gathered all the supervillains that Hobgoblin had "abandoned" (consisting of 8-Ball III, Killer Shrike II, Melter III, Tiger Shark II, and Unicorn IV) after becoming a good guy.[30] While the celebration of Hobgoblin Day is being held with a parade in Roderick Kingsley's honor, Missile Mate betrays Hobgoblin and attempts to murder him in the name of the Goblin King. Roderick, however, had already expected the betrayal and had been using a hologram decoy which took Missile Mate's blow. As soon as Roderick Kinglsey confronts Missile Mate, the Goblin King appears with his Goblin Nation and attacks the celebration. Hobgoblin bests Goblin King in combat and delivers him and the Goblin Nation members with him to the authorities.[31]

Powers and abilities[edit]

As Green Goblin[edit]

Due to ingestion of a modified version of Norman Osborn's "Goblin Formula", Phil Urich gains superhuman strength (able to lift upwards of 9 tons), stamina, durability, speed, and reflexes. However, he is unable to access these abilities without the unknown catalyst provided by the Green Goblin mask he wears. He also possesses a so-called "Lunatic Laugh" capable of creating sound waves disorienting to most people. It is possible that the formula also increased his intelligence since he has 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.[32] Whether or not he needed the mask for this was unknown.

As Green Goblin, Urich wears an alternate/spare Green Goblin costume composed of a chain-mail mesh capable of deflecting small arms fire. He travels on a bat-shaped, one-man, rocket-propelled "Goblin Glider." Like other Goblins' gliders, it is armed with heat-seeking missiles, machine guns, and retractable blades. Other weapons Urich typically uses are 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 capable of discharging nearly 1,000 volts of electricity.[33] Most of this equipment was completely destroyed or rendered inoperable during Urich's final battle with the Sentinel.[3]

As Hobgoblin[edit]

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.[8] He still retains his "Lunatic Laugh" from when he was Green Goblin and he also has superhuman strength, speed, durability, stamina, reflexes and senses, and enhanced intellect. 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.[10]

Other versions[edit]

MC2[edit]

In the MC2 timeline, Phil Urich marries his girlfriend Meredith and becomes a forensic scientist and friend of 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 Urich loses a long series of battles, Normie recreates Urich'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.[34]

While Urich originally required the technology in the Goblin mask to enhance his physical abilities, he retained one power that he is able to activate without the mask. Urich 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.[35]

In other media[edit]

The Phil Urich incarnation of Hobgoblin was added to the superhero tabletop game Heroclix in 2013.[36]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Green Goblin #1 (Oct. 1995)
  2. ^ Green Goblin #12 (Sep. 1999)
  3. ^ a b Green Goblin #13 (Oct. 1996)
  4. ^ Runaways vol. 2 #1-6 (April - Sep. 2005)
  5. ^ The Loners #5-6 (Oct. 2007, Jan. 2008)
  6. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #691 (Aug. 2012)
  7. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #648 (Nov. 2010)
  8. ^ a b The Amazing Spider-Man #649 (Dec. 2010)
  9. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #650 (Dec. 2010)
  10. ^ a b The Amazing Spider-Man #651 (Jan. 2011)
  11. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #654 (Feb. 2011)
  12. ^ Herc #1-2 (April 2011)
  13. ^ Spider-Girl vol. 2 #6 (April 2011)
  14. ^ Spider-Island: Deadly Foes (Aug. 2011)
  15. ^ Spider-Island: Spider-Girl #1-3 (Aug. - Sep. 2011)
  16. ^ Venom vol. 2 #16 (April 2012)
  17. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #695 (Oct. 2012)
  18. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #696 (Oct. 2012)
  19. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #697 (Nov. 2012)
  20. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #6
  21. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #14
  22. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #15
  23. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #16
  24. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #17
  25. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #25
  26. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #26
  27. ^ The Superior Spider-Man Annual #2
  28. ^ Amazing Spider-Man vol. 3 #5
  29. ^ AXIS: Hobgoblin #1
  30. ^ AXIS: Hobgoblin #2
  31. ^ AXIS: Hobgoblin #3
  32. ^ Green Goblin #2 (Nov. 1995)
  33. ^ Green Goblin #2 - 12 (Nov. 1995 - Sep. 1996)
  34. ^ Spider-Girl vol. 1 #30 (March 2001)
  35. ^ Spider-Girl vol. 1 #5 (Feb. 1999)
  36. ^ [1]

External links[edit]