Axis: Hobgoblin #1 Review


Roderick Kingsley is breaking good in Axis: Hobgoblin #1 but is the story of the Hobgoblin becoming a good guy itself any good? Or is it bad? To be honest Marvel’s Secret Inversion storyline has got me all confuddled. What I do know however is that Axis: Hobgoblin is as entertaining as it is satirical!

The premise is simply delightful. Roderick Kingsley has taken time out from pushing super-villain identity franchises onto small-time schmucks looking to hit the big-time and is now pushing super-hero identity franchises onto small-time schmucks looking to hit the big-time, all whilst posing as a cult-like, self-help guru!

This is a subtle change for Roderick, but it’s one so in-keeping with his character that it’s borderline brilliant. You can tell that Kevin Shinick and Javier Rodriguez are reveling in putting Roderick in front of an adoring crowd of masses whilst he delivers his keen business nous and sales patter like a slimy villain, all whilst being, on the whole, a good guy! It’s so genius that you can’t help but wonder why Hobgoblin hasn’t done this before!

Also excellent are the comics frequent elements of satire. Previously you’d need to head over to Marvel’s resident fourth-wall breaker Deadpool to get the kind of self-referential meta jokes that are present in Axis: Hobgoblin but Shinick throws them in in spades with almost every moment and line having a punch-line or a tinge of comedy attached to it. Rodriguez’s ‘homage’ panel riffing on Amazing Fantasy #15 and Action Comics #1 is perfect!

Despite being a fairly light-hearted poke at Roderick Kingsley’s character there are still more-dramatic, lingering moments throughout the issue as the aftermath of the Superior Spider-Man storyline-arc still bears its weight on anyone bearing the ‘Goblin’ title. This is evident as we see Phil Ulrich, now calling himself the Goblin King, murdering people in scenes completely lacking in that knowing nod of a punchline.

Still, it’s nice to see that someone is prepared to address the events of Superior Spider-Man and how there are consequences for the characters involved. Seeing Phil Ulrich, Roderick Kingsley and even a surprise return from Lily Hollister was all welcome. Especially considering that Dan Slott seems all to happy to

breeze over the lasting effects of his own storyline in the Amazing Spider-Man series.

Rodriguez’s bright vibrant art and innovative lettering throughout the comic really help it to pop visually and add to the crazy visuals like the Hobgoblin smiling. Also a great touch was the legion of Easter eggs and D-list characters that pop up throughout the comic all adding to the obnoxious fun that comes with Kingsley’s new lease of life. Axis: Hobgoblin is a great start to what promises to be a fun comic that really does give us a Hobgoblin we’ve never seen before! With only two more issues left make the most of it!

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