Well, what better for a slow Super Bowl Monday than to watch another 2 heavyweights go at it?? Yes, time for a new throwdown and let's make this one simple and to the point: the debuts for the (inarguably) last 2 great Spidey foes, Hobgoblin and Venom!
*ASM 238-239 ("Shadow of Evils Past") by Roger Stern and John Romita Jr: Easily one of my favorite tales of Uncle Rog's epic run, this perfect 2-part tale introduced what would become the defining villain of the decade (1980's) for Spidey and told it concisely, tantalizingly and with great artwork by JRJR! Not too much to say here; everyone knows (or should know) this story and it is an undisputed classic! Much like:
*ASM #300 ("Venom!") by David Michelenie and Todd McFarlane: If the Hobgoblin was the Spidey foe for the 1980's (and he was), then Venom was indubitably his counterpart for the 1990's! Debuting just a few years short of the dawn of the 1990's, this issue deservedly ranks among the all-time great Spidey stories IMHO. It was the issue where a young Todd McFarlane flexed his muscles and really put his mark on Spidey after a several-issue "warmup"! The story itself is fantastic: rarely do we see Peter in such a distraught state and with a feeling of real peril as when he met Venom and knew he was up against someone with all his powers (arguably stronger) and did not activate his spider-sense and knew his identity! Just a stellar story that holds up perfectly nearly a quarter century later!
Two very, very evenly-matched epic stories in my opinion but, if you had to pick one, what do you choose??