This is part of an ongoing series. If you didn’t get a chance to see the First Arc you can catch Part One, Part Two, and Part Three, Part Four , Part Five, Part Six, Part Seven, and Part Eight by clicking on the links.
Arc Four, Part Two: Jill Stacey’s Aftermath
This kidnapping of Peter/Spider-Man is the culmination of months of planning and waiting. From here she refuses to wait any longer and set’s Peter free to allow them to finally have the confrontation she’s waited for so long. The actual fight is something more unique than others we’re used to seeing between Spider-Man and a foe. Jill/Hobgoblin is only holding back enough to allow her to savor the moment, whereas Spider-Man is filled with confusion about how to react.
After all, only hours before this was a woman he loved; and now that same woman is trying to kill him. In any other instance, Spider-Man would be going after Hobgoblin with everything he’s got. But now he finds himself on the defensive; reacting only as a matter of self-preservation and doing his best to subdue her without harming her. This becomes obvious to Jill the longer the fight continues and that just adds to her amusement. As the fight intensifies Spider-Man realizes that he’s going to need to get past the emotional attachment he has to the situation if he has any hope of surviving.
In the end, he fixates on the Goblin mask, refusing to see this person attacking him as Jill Stacy, but seeing her only as Hobgoblin. Despite coming back strong, Spider-Man is eventually subdued by Hobgoblin who hovers above him, the blade end of her glider glinting just beneath his throat. Rather then making a killing blow, she sets the glider in automatic hover-mode, removes her mask and slinks down until she’s right up in his face. She pulls off his mask as well. We can see in his eyes that all the fight has left Peter. He’s damaged physically and emotionally in ways he’s never been before. Jill grabs the back of his head tight and forces him to look her in the eyes.
HOBGOBLIN/JILL: Sorry lover, you don’t get to die just yet. I’m having way too much fun.
With that she leans in and kisses him, then pulls back and soars off, leaving behind a Spider-Man who is broken in more ways than one.
Rather then continuing with Peter, we follow Jill as she retreats back to her hidden lair and starts to remove her costume and put her equipment away. As she does a figure comes up out of the shadows. Paul Stacy looks at her and smiles.
PAUL: How did it go?
JILL (Smiling): You’ve no idea…
PAUL: That good huh?
JILL: Even better than I could have expected.
PAUL: So what now?
JILL: Now we buy ourselves some insurance. Get your camera.
The revelation of Jill’s true nature takes its toll on Peter. Adding even more to it is his guilt over Mary Jane. Not only has he inadvertently put her in harm’s way again, but there is still the guilt he feels about having kept his relationship with Jill a secret from her. The damage from Hobgoblin/Jill’s attack left MJ injured, but not severely. Even so, Peter finds it difficult to bring himself to visit her in the hospital. Having to face her after what’s happened and then needing to try to explain things that he hasn’t even been able to convince himself are real is too much for him. When Peter does finally muster up enough courage to
go see MJ, he’s caught off guard when he sees Aunt May at her bedside talking to her. Knowing he can’t have the kind of discussion that’s needed with Aunt May present, Peter tries to sneak away without being seen.
Unfortunately, May takes her leave of MJ and is stepping into the hallway as Peter is trying to get to the elevator. Catching up to her nephew, May chastises him for not having visited and explains that just because they may not have parted on the best of terms it’s no excuse for him to cut her out of his life, especially at a time like this. Nobody can quite lay on the guilt quite as thick as Aunt May and this time Peter just can’t deal with it on top of everything else. To try to get himself out of the lecture Peter assures May that he’ll see MJ as soon as he can but that he’d rather it was when she was stronger and they were able to talk alone. Avoiding further questions, Peter suggests that the two of them grab some lunch and they head to the nearest restaurant.
Wait for the next thrilling part of ‘Aftermath’ coming soon!