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Cover of the Hobgoblin's debut
|First appearance||The Amazing Spider-Man #238 (March 1983)|
|Created by||Roger Stern
John Romita, Jr.
Harry Osborn (Ultimate)
The Hobgoblin is the alias of several fictional characters that appear in comic books published by Marvel Comics. The first Hobgoblin, Roderick Kingsley, first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #238, and was created by Roger Stern and John Romita, Jr. In 2009 the Hobgoblin was ranked by IGN as the 57th greatest comic book villain.
- 1 Publication history
- 2 Fictional character biographies
- 3 Other versions
- 4 In other media
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 External links
The Hobgoblin was created by writer Roger Stern when he was writing The Amazing Spider-Man in the early 1980s. Like other writers Stern found himself under pressure to have Spider-Man fight the Green Goblin again, but did not wish to bring Norman Osborn or Bart Hamilton back from the dead, have Harry Osborn become the Green Goblin again, or create yet another Green Goblin. Instead he created a new character as heir to the Goblin's legacy and developed the Hobgoblin.
The character's identity was not initially revealed, generating one of the longest running mysteries in the Spider-Man comics. However, Stern left the series after The Amazing Spider-Man #252 and subsequent writers struggled with the question of the identity. Interviews with Tom DeFalco and Peter David, artist Ron Frenz and editor James Owsley are all somewhat at odds with one another over the course of events and what was agreed. However, all sources agree that DeFalco, who had taken over the writing chores on the title, was due to bring the storyline to a revelation when he suddenly departed the title. (DeFalco has since stated that he had intended to reveal Richard Fisk, The Kingpin of Crime's son, as the Hobgoblin, and Roderick Kingsley as the Rose; the ultimate outcome was the exact reverse.) Owsley then wrote the one-shot Spider-Man vs Wolverine in which Ned Leeds was killed off (though the actual death was not shown), fully intending that Leeds not be the Hobgoblin. Shortly afterwards Peter David (at the time the regular writer on The Spectacular Spider-Man) was commissioned to write The Amazing Spider-Man #289, a double-sized issue in which the Hobgoblin's identity would be revealed. After examining the recent issues David came to the conclusion that the only person who fit the clues was Leeds, and so the Hobgoblin's identity was revealed posthumously. With Spider-Man's then-archenemy now dead, a new Hobgoblin was created from the storyline of Jason Macendale's hatred of the Hobgoblin.
Macendale supplanted the original Hobgoblin for a decade (1987-1997). Initially he wielded only the weaponry of his predecessor, but during the 1988-89 Inferno crossover writer Gerry Conway had him imbued with demonic powers by N'astirh. In addition to giving him power over hellfire and increasing his strength and speed to far greater than that of the original Hobgoblin, these powers also disfigured Macendale so that his head was even more grotesque than his Hobgoblin mask, and ultimately altered his mind so that he was deluded into thinking that his appearance was normal. Several years later, in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man, Macendale succeeded in purging himself of his demonic powers. Towards the end of Macendale's run as the Hobgoblin he was revamped again, this time with cybernetic implants.
Stern was unhappy with the revelation that his character's civilian identity was Ned Leeds, and in 1997 he wrote a three-issue miniseries, Spider-Man: Hobgoblin Lives, with the retcon that Roderick Kingsley (whom Stern had introduced in The Spectacular Spider-Man #43) was the original Hobgoblin, and had brainwashed Leeds into serving as a fall guy. Macendale is killed off in this miniseries, and Kingsley is returned to operating as the Hobgoblin.
Fictional character biographies
Amoral billionaire fashion designer Roderick Kingsley becomes obsessed with Norman Osborn, the original Green Goblin, after discovering locations of his various hideouts. Kingsley frames Ned Leeds for his crimes,[volume & issue needed] and murders his successor Jason Macendale years later.[volume & issue needed] Kingsley's villainous identity is finally exposed by Spider-Man and Leeds' wife, Betty Brant,[volume & issue needed] and he flees to the Caribbean to hide from both the law and his enemies.[volume & issue needed] Roderick's brother and accomplice Daniel later poses as him,[volume & issue needed] attempts to take the Hobgoblin identity and is murdered by Phil Urich,[volume & issue needed] who takes up the mantle himself.[volume & issue needed] Donning his old costume, Roderick returns to New York and battles Urich, but ends up agreeing to let him continue in the role as long as Kingsley gets his share of the profits.[volume & issue needed]
Arnold Samuel "Lefty" Donovan was a petty thug working for Roderick Kingsley until he was exposed to the Goblin formula as a test subject. Similar to how Norman Osborn got exposed to the formula, Kingsley has Donovan mix the two vital chemicals that were mixed to create the formula. The formula explodes, disfiguring Donovan's face and granting him its power. Donovan is taken to a hospital. Kingsley uses the Winkler process in order to brainwash Donovan. Donovan eventually escapes the hospital and follows preprogrammed instructions to go to a hidden cache of goblin weapons and dress up as the Hobgoblin.
Donovan impersonates the Hobgoblin and attacks the city. Spider-Man eventually confronts and unmasks him. Seeing his face (even though it was scarred), Spider-Man recognizes Lefty. Donovan is able to shake off some of the Kingsley programing and starts talking about his boss. Kinglsey programs the Goblin glider to crash into the side of a building, killing Lefty with the falling rubble.
Edward "Ned" Leeds was a reporter working for the Daily Bugle. Kingsley brainwashes Leeds to act as a stand in on many occasions and fool the underworld into thinking that Leeds is the Hobgoblin. He is later murdered by the Foreigner after Kingsley decides that he is no longer needed.[volume & issue needed]
Jason Philip Macendale Jr.
Around the time when the Rose and Hobgoblin's plan got out of hand, Kingsley wanted to escape from his identity. He was looking for a way out and decided to target Flash Thompson, a vocal advocate of Spider-Man who had insulted the Hobgoblin on national television that had incurred Kingsley's wrath. Kingsley attempted to frame Thompson as the Hobgoblin, so that his criminal enemies might target him instead. The plan was foiled through intervention of Jason Philip Macendale Jr., who subsequently broke Thompson out of jail, thinking he was doing the Hobgoblin a favor. Macendale was a mercenary who had been trained by the CIA and various para-military organizations, and was known in his costumed identity as Jack O'Lantern. When Macendale discovered that Thompson was not the Hobgoblin, Kingsley grew furious, as he had planned to operate "under the radar" while Thompson was in custody; this began a long-running feud between Kingsley and Macendale when the two battled for the first time. Thompson was ultimately exonerated and released.
When the Kingpin temporarily abdicated his role at the head of organized crime on the eastern seaboard, the resulting gang war tore New York City apart. During the conflict the Hobgoblin and the Rose had a falling out, with the latter ordering the former's assassination as he had become too dangerous. The Hobgoblin sold the Rose's identity to the Kingpin in exchange for information that would aid Leeds in a story, thus reinforcing the illusion of the latter's identity. Also, during the conflict both Hobgoblin and Jack O' Lantern were badly injured and forced to separately retreat. Shaken by the battle, Jack O' Lantern felt he needed to seek another way to destroy his enemy.
The Hobgoblin took one more attempt at killing Harry Osborn, and poisoned both Osborn and Spider-Man.
Hoping to give another try at escaping from his identity, Kingsley leaked word to the underworld that Leeds was the Hobgoblin. Taking this information, Macendale paid the supervillain known as the Foreigner to take Leeds out. On an overseas assignment with Peter Parker, Leeds was murdered in his hotel room. As Spider-Man, Peter was later told by the Kingpin that Leeds had been the Hobgoblin and shown a series of photos of the assassination. Although known in parts of the underworld, this information did not become public until many years later when Macendale revealed it at the end of his trial. For many years Leeds was considered to be the original Hobgoblin.
Kingsley's plan had worked: his enemies thought they had killed the Hobgoblin and now he could take his ill-gotten gains and retire to Belize. This paved the way for Macendale to take up the role, an unforeseen development that eventually forced Kingsley to come out of retirement and kill Macendale in order to protect his secret identity, as Macendale had enough information to possibly lead the authorities to discover the true identity of the Hobgoblin.
A fifth Hobgoblin was introduced in the series Secret War. Very little is known about him including his true identity. He received his equipment from the Tinkerer. He was sent along with Lady Octopus to attack Captain America in his civilian identity by the terrorist-elements wound into the events of the Secret War. Chatter from the Goblin indicated he'd been in contact with other members of Spider-Man's rogues gallery, who'd warned him about Spider-Man's constant and inane joking. This Hobgoblin is jailed along with the various defeated villains after the conclusion of the "War".[volume & issue needed]
After escaping the hospice, Deadpool was hired by the Wizard to bomb a hangar, dressed as the Hobgoblin. Deadpool mentioned he disliked the costume and after having bombed the wrong hangar, he never wore it again.
With Roderick Kingsley having relocated to Ecuador, his brother Daniel Kingsley returned to New York, posing as Roderick with the intention of becoming the new Hobgoblin. However, when investigating Roderick's old lair at OsCorp to find that Norman Osborn had been working on some new goblin gear, including new body armor, a winged jetpack in place of a glider, and a flaming energy sword. Kingsley also discovers Phil Urich trying to retrieve some of the gear to show Norah at the Daily Bugle. Urich uses his "Lunatic Laugh" to stun Kingsley long enough for Urich to decapitate him using his own sword, which allows Urich to claim the mantle of Hobgoblin.
When Daniel Kingsley attempts to assume his brother's role as the Hobgoblin in New York, he encounters Phil Urich, who once used the Green Goblin identity to operate as a hero. Kingsley is on the verge of murdering him until Urich uses his "Lunatic Laugh", stunning Kingsley. Urich then kills Kingsley in self-defense and takes on the Hobgoblin identity himself, as a supervillain. As the new Hobgoblin, Phil becomes one of Kingpin's agents. This is until the Kingpin's criminal empire is destroyed and Urich's identity is exposed by The Superior Spider-Man. He is taken down by the wall-crawler and arrested until the Green Goblin frees him from his prison transport in exchange for his full loyalty. The Green Goblin then gives Urich updated Goblin armor and crowns him his "Goblin Knight."
Claude was Roderick Kingsley's butler who Kingsley sent in his place and to talk like him so that he can distract the Goblin Underground. He fought against the Goblin King and was killed in battle. Phil Urich in his Goblin Knight alias discovered that the Hobgoblin killed was not Roderick Kingsley and destroyed the body to keep the Goblin King from finding out who was actually in the Hobgoblin costume.
Hobgoblin 2211 and her father, Spider-Man 2211
|First appearance||Spider-Man 2099 Meets Spider-Man|
|Created by||Peter David
|Alter ego||Robin Bourne|
Hobgoblin 2211 first appears in Spider-Man 2099 Meets Spider-Man. While her costume sports the green-and-purple color scheme of the twentieth-century Green Goblin, she boasted that she was the Hobgoblin of the year 2211. Her identity was not revealed to readers (or to the visiting Spider-Men of previous eras) at the time, but her later reappearance in Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man (also written by David) revealed her true identity and origin.
Hobgoblin 2211 is Spider-Man 2211's daughter named Robin "Hobby"/"Hob" Bourne. Her father always seemed to put his superhero career before raising his own daughter. She wanted to save the universes from 'intersecting'; in other words, having other parallel universes merge with the existing one, causing it to override. She was later arrested by her father for something that she would have done in future: unauthorized time travel, chronal displacement, jumping the tracks to other realities. She was held in a virtual reality prison where she lives a benign and trouble-free existence in what appears to be Kansas. Her boyfriend attempts to free her by uploading a virus into the prison, but inadvertently causes her to be driven insane. She attacked her father with a 'retcon bomb' (a variation on the original Goblins' pumpkin bombs) but it hit her boyfriend instead, erasing (or 'retconning') him from existence.
Now suited up as the Hobgoblin, Robin managed to time-travel to the current year, attacking the current Spider-Man in his reality and derailing an Uncle Ben from another reality into the present one causing a time paradox. Later, in a confrontation with her father, she threw a 'retcon bomb' at him. Spider-Man, believing it to be no more harmful than a regular pumpkin bomb, caught it with his web and threw it back to Robin, unwittingly erasing her from existence.
In this continuity, Hobgoblin is an unidentified criminal who found a stash of Green Goblin's weaponry because he had forgotten to leave the entrance locked. Delighted at his new technological power he challenges Goblin a confrontation. Spider-Man defeats them both.
The original Hobgoblin made his MC2 debut in Spider-Girl #97, as a hired assassin to kill many of the Spider-Girl characters, including Normie Osborn, Spider-Girl, and Peter Parker. After a fight against both Spider-Girl and her father, he came close to victory, but at the end his only success lay in killing the Venom symbiote, and also in escaping without a trace. He attempted a complex plot to become the new kingpin of crime, but was undone due to an act of treachery by his partner, the Mindworm. Killing the Mindworm, and deciding the New York underworld had become too "hot" for him at the moment, he chose to return to the Caribbean, but vowed someday to come back and finish off Spider-Girl. He is later revealed to be the instigator of a mob war against the Black Tarantula, returning to New York to finish the job. He defeated American Dream and the New Warriors. He then dropped them from a great height, planning to kill Spider-Girl as she tried to save them. However, he himself was then killed by Mayhem, Spider-Girl's half-symbiote clone.
In the 2007 Spider-Man/Red Sonja mini-series, the Hobgoblin was one of several supervillains who was transformed into a sword-and-sorcery version of themselves due to the spell cast by Kulan Gath. It was never specified which Hobgoblin it was.
In other media
- Hobgoblin appears in Spider-Man: The Animated Series (1994–98), voiced by Mark Hamill. He appeared in the episodes "The Hobgoblin" Parts 1 and 2, "The Mutant Agenda", "Mutant's Revenge", "The Spot" and "Goblin War!". He also appeared out of costume in the episode "Rocket Racer". In this continuity, he was one of Spider-Man's first enemies, even before Norman Osborn became the Green Goblin, though Osborn did supply the Hobgoblin's weapons and glider. He has negligibly enhanced strength, but no split personality. His identity was ultimately revealed to be Jason Philip Macendale, a small-time crook turned millionaire who was, at the time, engaged to Felicia Hardy. After Felicia stumbles upon Hobgoblin's armory in his home, Jason reveals himself to be the villain. The two are subsequently captured and held by Green Goblin until Spider-Man intervenes, after which Jason is taken into police custody. An alternate version of the character appeared in the series finale "I Really, Really Hate Clones" where he was shown working for Spider-Carnage alongside Green Goblin.
- The Spectacular Spider-Man creator Greg Weisman says Hobgoblin would have shown up had the show gotten a third season.
- The Roderick Kingsley incarnation of Hobgoblin appears in Spider-Man and Captain America in Doctor Doom's Revenge allied with Doctor Doom.
- Hobgoblin appears as a boss in The Amazing Spider-Man for the Game Boy. It is never stated which Hobgoblin incarnation this is.
- Hobgoblin again appears as a boss in the sequel The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Once he is defeated, Spider-Man uses his glider to pass a wall that he could not scale.
- The Jason Macendale incarnation of Hobgoblin appears as a boss in the game Spider-Man: Return of the Sinister Six.
- The Jason Macendale incarnation of Hobgoblin appears in the game The Amazing Spider-Man vs. The Kingpin.
- Hobgoblin makes another appearance in Spider-Man: The Video Game.
- Hobgoblin appears in the PSP and PS2 versions of Spider-Man: Web of Shadows. He appears as an assist character who will throw a pumpkin bomb at any enemies. In the other versions, the first appearance of the glider-bound armored enemies called Tech Flyers has Spider-Man mercilessly mocking them for their lack of originality by saying things like, "You're not the Green Goblin or the Hobgoblin, you're just a cheap knock-off!"
- The Roderick Kingsley incarnation of Hobgoblin appears as Green Goblin's alternate costume in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2.
- An exclusive Marvel 2099 incarnation of Hobgoblin appears in Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions voiced by Steven Blum. While his bio states that his origin is completely unknown, an in-game rumor implies that he's a hybrid clone of previous Goblin-based villains. Created by Alchemax scientist Dr. Serena Patel, this Hobgoblin is a mercenary with "Psy-powers" which when combined with a tablet fragment allowed him to plunge Spider-Man into a hellish hallucination. He was hired by Alchemax and paid off by having hybrid nanofiber bio-organic circuitry wings bonded to his back to kill Spider-Man as he ambushes him using the powers of the fragment. Spider-Man then goes after Hobgoblin which involves the Public Eye attacking Spider-Man during each fight. After the final fight, Hobgoblin's wings lead Spider-Man to the conclusion that Alchemax is his employer.
Hobgoblin can be seen in the Islands of Adventure ride The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man voiced by Pat Fraley. He appears as one of the villains. A wanted poster for him may be seen during the waiting period of the ride, which identifies him as Edward Leeds. Outside the ride, in the main Marvel Super Hero Island area, a giant picture of the Hobgoblin on his glider is attached to a building and is one of the main pieces of decoration.
- Hobgoblin was prominently featured in the 1990s Spider-Man: The Animated Series toyline. A total of five figures were produced including the standard 5" figure with "missile firing" goblin glider, a 10" version of the series 1 figure, a talking Hobgoblin with sound effects from the show, a 7" figure featuring an illuminated projector embedded into the chest, and an action pose figure including a motorized battle glider.
- He received 2 toys in the Spider-Man Classics. The first (Series 2), was similar to that of the demonic Jason Macendale version, while the more recent one (Series 17) is similar to that of the original Roderick Kingsley version.
- The Jason Macendale version was reused twice. The first time, it was repainted and given a newly sculpted Green Goblin head for the Spider-Man vs. The Sinister Six box set in the Marvel Legends toy line. The second time, it was repainted and renamed Demogoblin in the Spider-Man: Origins toy line produced by Hasbro.
- A Hobgoblin Minimate was released in late 2007 exclusively at select FYE, Suncoast, and Sam Goody stores in a 2-pack including a Scarlet Spider figure.
- Bowen Designs released a Hobgoblin bust in 2005 of the Kingsley version.
- In 2009, Hasbro released a 33⁄4 inch Hobgoblin for their Marvel Universe toyline. The packaging information signifies that this is indeed the Roderick Kingsley version.
- Marvel Age #111, April 1992, Marvel Comics
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