Axis: Hobgoblin #3 Review


Here’s our review of Axis: Hobgoblin #3 as Phil Ulrich’s Goblin King finally clashes with Roderick Kingsley’s Hobgoblin in the brawl to end all brawls! Here Kevin Shinick seems determined to go out with a flurry of bangs but I realised that I have a small issue with the concept of a miniseries.

Three issues just isn’t enough to tell a story. Especially one as superficial as this with absolutely nothing at stake whatsoever. This is a three issue storyline surrounding a villain who has temporarily become a hero explaining how he ends up in the Axis storyline about a bunch of heroes who are now villains but eventually they will all turn back to normal. What’s the point?

Moving swiftly onto the final issue of this brief but delightful, in a light-kind-of-way, miniseries it seems that Kevin Shinick wasn’t content with the series’ main character having a change of alignment from good, to evil. He spent most of the issue having characters turn on each other in a spectacular series of alignment changes but honestly it all seemed a bit too obvious for me.

I thought from the moment it happened that Lily Hollister’s teased allegiance with The Goblin King was just a smokescreen for a double-agent reveal later on in the comic, even if the panel where Lily attacking Roderick is teased is really well done, with Roderick giving an ironic speech about knowing everything about everyone of his team.

I also thought that with the Hobgoblin’s teased descent into madness and evil when he seemingly kills his own team. Again this was handled well as the police officer effectively acted as the voice of the audience, asking Hobgoblin to prove his team was still alive. But the Steve Rogers confirmation that Hobgoblin was still get was reduced by the fact that we know that Axis happened and that allegiances were changed. Making the Hobgoblin’s actions beyond any doubt.

With that being said I enjoyed Shinick’s decision to open the issue from Missile Mate’s point of view. It was a bold move to narrate a story with a character that seems to only have been included in this miniseries as a narrative tool with no ongoing effect on the Marvel universe but it worked. As did Missile Mate’s clever gambit at the end. He was on the cusp of making a memorable villain. Perhaps he can be the arch-nemesis of the now Lily Hollister led Hob-Heroes?

Another high-point was the double-page spread depicting the

battle between Phil Ulrich’s D-list villains and Roderick Kingsley’s D-list heroes that gets called off almost immediately. It was a great panel, full of comedic effect that Roderick makes the most of with several witty quips. Is it a shame that we couldn’t see more of Water Wizard battling Killer Shrike? Probably not.

All in all Axis: Hobgoblin #3 was a fun little look at Roderick Kingsley that displayed some excellent comedy writing from Shinick and some impactful art from Rodriguez that complimented the tone and style of the book superbly. It’s by no means a crucial miniseries but there’s no denying that it’s fun. And sometimes that’s all comic books need to be!

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