Apparently there are some folks out there who weren’t sure if Betty cheated on Ned with Flash. I think we can safely put those doubts to bed. When we last left Betty and Flash, their significant others found out about their relationship. Sha Shan responded by trying to leave, and Ned responded by yelling. Flash responded by punching them both in the face. He was arrested, but not for domestic violence. Instead everyone thinks he’s the Hobgoblin. Where does this leave things with him and Betty? Betty and Ned? Hobgoblin and everyone? Find out below.

The fallout from Flash’s arrest is felt throughout the supporting cast in “Amazing Spider-Man” issue 278.

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Sigh.

In the past I’ve seen Betty blame stupid mundane things on Peter, but this is ridiculous.

For real Betty? It’s somehow Peter’s fault that Flash got arrested as the Hobgoblin? In the interest of context she is probably mad that he took the pictures of the arrest which landed the front page. She’s probably very confused and angry about the situation and Peter is a very easy target. Then again, it could also have to do with what Peter says to her. Peter talks about Betty and Flash being close and while that wasn’t a dig about their affair, Betty might have taken it that way and gotten defensive. Her getting defensive when someone mentions her relationship with Flash is certainly fitting with the stuff we saw in part 2.

Speaking of which, ever since part 2 it seems that Peter can’t say ANYTHING supportive to Betty without her getting mad at him.

We don’t really see much of Betty’s initial thoughts regarding the Hobgoblin frame. I wonder what her first reaction to the news was. Did she suspect it might be true? She did silently plead for Flash to be careful when he blasted the Hobgoblin on TV (see part 2), so she may have anticipated the dangers.

Later that issue Ned is having a very different reaction to Flash’s incarceration.

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Robbie is laying the “Ned is evil” anvil on thick. Get used to this.

Ned being the Hobgoblin (or not being the Hobgoblin after the retcon) adds some interesting layers to that scene. It was a bit too much of a clue (or red haring depending on what Defalco’s plan was at this point) and could have been more subtle. Then again, how would most men act when the guy sleeping with their wife gets arrested?

Peter visits Flash in jail as Flash reflects on losing everything (including two girlfriends) and Peter takes the opportunity to disagree with the “Flash wasn’t a bully” retcon that was attempted in “Web of Spider-Man”.The scene comes off to me like Defalco disagreeing with it and having his say.

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Flash’s situation looks a little bleaker when we get to “Amazing Spider-Man” issue 280. He attempts to get Sha Shan to give him a good testimony. The only problem is he cheated on her, punched her in the face, and harassed her while she was in the hopsital recovering from a near death experience. But she doesn’t hold that against him does she?

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So much to say about this scene!

First of all, Flash being at Sha Shan’s mercy is great karmic payback after the horrible treatment he gave her in my last installment.

Second, Flash is really clueless. “What’d I do? OH! The cheating and beating? Really, you’re going to hold that against me?”. Uy.

Third, I wonder about Flash’s behavior towards Sha Shan in this scene. He’s calling Sha Shan “baby”, trying to hold her and hoping she’d forgive him for “that one mistake”. Is he legitimately attempting to resume their relationship? Does he think he has a shot? Or is he just buttering her up to get her to testify for him?

If he is trying to move on and resume his life with Sha Shan, what does this say about his relationship with Betty or at least how he perceives it at this point? As far as we knew in “Amazing Spider-Man” issue 276, he was unsure if he could trust Betty and wondered if she was just using him.

There are lots of questions about that time period that we’ll never really know because in the long run it’s not that important. If I had to guess though, it seems that Flash was torn between the two girls, but honestly wanted to do what he could to fix his damaged relationship with Sha Shan. He expressed regret over losing her in issue 278 and then again in two other places that we’ll get to in our next installment.

As for Betty and Flash, her visiting him in jail indicates that she’s still seeing him and isn’t too put off by him being incarcerated. We don’t see her actual visit, but I wonder what was discussed. Betty standing by him while Sha Shan isn’t must mean something to Flash despite the fact that Sha Shan has every reason NOT to stand by him.

Later that issue Ned finally has enough and leaves Betty. I’ve posted this scene in a few other places and gone over it many times. I’m including it here for continuity purposes in our chronicle, but I won’t say much on it because it’s all been said by me elsewhere.

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I am curious about something. Ned see’s Flash and Betty together in issue 273, confronts Flash in issue 275 and he finally leaves Betty here in issue 280. So what happened in between? There is a passage of time where this married couple was living together. Did Ned tell Betty he knew beforehand? Were they just avoiding eachother until this moment? What was life like in the Leeds house between Flash’s arrest and the above scene where Ned leaves? There is alot going on off-panel that we’ll never know. I suppose that is one of the reasons the Spider-Man supporting cast is awesome.

Jack O’Lantern thinks Flash is the real Hobgoblin and breaks him out of jail in “Amazing Spider-Man” issue 281.

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Flash finds himself at the mercy of thieves and killer and is able to sneak away during a Hobgoblin vs Jack O’Lantern battle.

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I’ve got to hand it to Defalco. He made me hate Flash in issue 276 but in the span of five issues, Flash has become a sympathetic character. Framed for crimes he didn’t commit, he has people trying to kill him in and out of jail and nowhere to turn. He’s forced to hide in the streets like a rat. There is one issue where he literally spends the whole time in an alley working up his courage to leave it.

Fortunately for Flash, the entire world isn’t against him. Robbie is trying to gather evidence that Flash is innocent and talks with Betty Brant about the two men in her life in “Amazing Spider-Man” issue 282.

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WHAT?

She just can’t seem to make Ned happy? Your biggest complaint about him was working all the time. His biggest complaint about you was cheating on him throughout the marriage. Want to know how to make him happy Betty? Maybe telling him you love him when he asked you to say it in “Amazing Spider-Man” issue 280? Would that have made him happy?

Ned continues to be unhappy in “Amazing Spider-Man” issue 283.

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Now Ned is setting off Peter’s spider-sense. If Ned wasn’t suppose to be the Hobgoblin (and I’ve seen interviews where Defalco and co have gone both ways) what was that all about (before the brainwashing retcon)?

By the way, first Ned starts talking to Peter, then tells Peter to “butt out”. Um, you started the conversation Leeds! I think Kingsley left you in the brainwashing machine a bit too long.

I really love those last two panels between Ned and Peter. I don’t know if it was intended or not, but it almost seems to be reference to Peter’s indiscretion with Betty from the Marv Wolfman run.

A similar scene plays one issue later in “Amazing Spider-Man” issue 284.

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Once again Ned Leeds sets off Peter’s spider-sense. Why?

1987-1996 explanation: Because he was the Hobgoblin.

1996-present explanation: He was brainwashed and it made him EVIL!

Before it was decided he was the Hobgoblin (see Peter David’s entry here): I HAVE NO CLUE!

Either way, we’re getting alot of “Ned is evil” anvils. Sit back folks, because it isn’t stopping and subtlety has taken a vacation.

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Sigh.

I blame Betty for alot that went wrong in the Leeds marriage. I’ve made that no secret.

However, no husband (at least in my opinion) should ever put his hands on his wife or ex-wife that way. Even if she is as horrible as Betty Brant. This has also become Ned’s legacy. He’s the guy who was mean and yelled at Betty and grabbed her arm. That doesn’t mean Betty is sinless either, but she certainly didn’t deserve that. I’ll move on though because this train of thought is a very slippery slope.

You know what will take our mind off of this? More “Ned is EVIL” anvils.

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Yes, we get it. Something is EVIL about Ned. Peter even spells it out and uses the word “evil”. Whatever happened to “show not tell”.

When did Ned become distant Betty? After you cheated on him and he moved out?

At the end of the issue Betty ponders her current situation and runs into an uninvited houseguest.

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Funnily enough, this is the first time we’ve seen Flash and Betty interact since “Amazing Spider-Man” issue 273 (when Ned caught them). For all the movement their affair has given the plot, we’ve only seen them together once since Tom Defalco picked up the plot from Al Milgrom. This is also the first time Flash calls Betty “Betts”. While he isn’t the only person to use this nickname for her, it is one that Flash uses often in the future of their relationship…so much so that Betty even has a narration note about it in “Spectacular Spider-Man” issue 148.

Does it bother anyone else how presumptuous Flash is about hiding out at Betty’s? He doesn’t ask her, he just assumes it. He also volunteers her for his “against the world” fight.

How was Flash so sure Betty would help him? We know from “Amazing Spider-Man” issue 280 that she saw him in jail. She stood by him when Sha Shan wouldn’t. We don’t know how deep their relationship is yet. Did she give him the impression that she was with him all the way or is this an act of desperation? My guess is both.

Note what Betty says about her mother. That is going to come into play in my next installment.

Anyway, now Betty and Flash are reunited as he hides out in her home. Good thing Ned moved out. Would’ve been tough explaining that one. Although I’m sure she somehow would’ve made it Ned or Peter’s fault.

I just hope Betty doesn’t use her relationship with Flash as an excuse to blow off work.

“Amazing Spider-Man” issue 285

Betty uses her relationship with Flash as an excuse to blow off work.

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Ned proceeds to tell Robbie he’s been researching some KGB stuff that eventually lead him to Berlin in “Spider-Man vs. Wolverine”.

Reading Ann’s conversation with Peter it’s apparent how little Flash and Betty did to hide their relationship. It’s pretty common knowledge at this point. Although kissing in football fields and in front of your place of work tends to be something that gets noticed.

Well whatever Flash and Betty did after they closed that door, it not only kept Betty from work but it also kept her and Flash out of the books until “Amazing Spider-Man” issue 288.

Lance and Ned have a brief meeting at Lance’s apartment. Ned leaves but forgets something.

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I find it interesting that Ned and Betty’s separation has gone on long enough that she is now known as his “ex-wife”. The way people write it now, you’d think that they stayed together until he died. Lots of people disregard the fact that they broke up in “Amazing Spider-Man” issue 280. Lance goes to the Leeds home and finds that even though Flash is a fugitive, he and Betty are still not making any effort to hide their relationship.

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If Lance can tell it’s Flash from all the way across the street, then you’re not doing a very good job of hiding him. This isn’t the way hiding a fugitive is suppose to work. Interesting to note that Betty had some doubt about hiding Flash in her apartment given how Flash just assumed it was ok. “I stop breathing when you’re not around”. Wow Flash! Relationship seems to be moving fast, especially since eight issues earlier he was still weighing his options with Sha Shan. I suppose nothing speeds up a relationship like being trapped in an apartment together because you’re a fugitive. The dialoge here and Peter’s conversation with Ann seem to imply that Betty hasn’t left Flash’s side since issue 284.

Lance vows that it’s the perfect time to get Flash (it’s his turn to be red haring) and the scene transitions to..

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We don’t see Lance Bannon for the rest of the issue. While his behavior was meant to throw us off, in the context of the story it makes no sense. He see’s Flash, vows to do something about it….and then doesn’t. Maybe he saw something shiny.

There has been lots of questions about when the Hobgoblin was Kingsley and when he was Ned. It was confirmed in “Hobgoblin Lives” that the Hobgoblin in this scene was Ned gone rogue. Betty, already on her way to a nervous breakdown as the “mother” references hint, gets a push closer to that direction when she see’s her husband beating up her boyfriend while dressed as the Hobgoblin.

The next chronological story doesn’t involve Betty or Flash. Neither of them are even mentioned in it. I am including it because the events of the story bring major ramifications to Betty and Flash’s relationship. Ned (with no mention of his impending divorce to Betty the entire story) finally gets his European assignment and takes Peter Parker along with him. It all plays out in “Spider-Man vs. Wolverine”.

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When you’re having an affair with a fugitive who is accused of being a murdering psychopath, your husband being killed tends to shake things up.

How? Join us next time and find out as Betty joins a cult and blows up Flash’s apartment forcing Flash to be homeless for Christmas. I wish I was joking

Leave comments too because they make me happy!

8 Responses to “Flash and Betty part 3: The Female and the Fugitive”

  1. #1 mustached avenger says:

    Wow. the foreigner’s assasains are weird. Did the foreigner really tell them to kill ned, remove his hobgoblin uniform, and put new clothes on him?

  2. #2 Bertone says:

    No, he retcon did.

    Actually I know the gear was given to Jason. I suppose they didn’t want to leave him naked. Was considerate of them to put him in a chair though.

  3. #3 Enigma_2099 says:

    I’m gonna stop blaming Betty for being batshiat crazy. I’m gonna blame the guy writing her from now on.

    Just like I blame Joe Q for Carlie Cooper.

  4. #4 JasonM says:

    Thanks, this is a great series. The Hobgoblin/Gang War storyline was one of my favorites growing up, but I’d forgotten how horrible Flash & Betty were at this time!

  5. #5 Donovan Grant says:

    Fantastic edition, and now I hate Betty almost as much as you do. I can’t take her self-righteous BS any longer. “For some reason I can’t make him happy!”

  6. #6 666andahalf says:

    “We don’t see Lance Bannon for the rest of the issue. While his behavior was meant to throw us off, in the context of the story it makes no sense. He see’s Flash, vows to do something about it….and then doesn’t. Maybe he saw something shiny. ”

    I had a theory about Lance’s behavior after reading these issues and posted it in the Spidey Kicks Butt forum:

    http://spidermancrawlspace.com/wwwboard/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=5444&sid=287f4d59e181c5d0f6c8e59edaa25a9a

  7. #7 Proto Goblin says:

    The fact that Defalco keeps slapping us over the head with clues that Ned is Hobbie is eveidence enough Tom probably was only using him as a red hearing, otherwise that would have been a piss poor reveal if not done the Peter David way.

    And also ya Flash is a real Douchebag in this entire storyline.

  8. #8 Gerard Delatour II says:

    For God’s sake, people. The term is “red HERRING,” not “haring” or “hearing” or whatever else. HERRING. It’s named after the fish (though there’s no such thing as a RED herring, as per the point of the idiom).

    Sorry, it’s a pet peeve of mine. :P