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Cover of the Hobgoblin's debut
|First appearance||The Amazing Spider-Man #238 (March 1983)|
The Hobgoblin is the alias of several fictional characters that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics. The first and best-known Hobgoblin is Roderick Kingsley. He 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.
Publication history 
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 decided to create a new character as heir to the Goblin's legacy and developed the Hobgoblin.
A key part of the character's appeal was that his 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 and articles written by various writers, most notably Tom DeFalco and Peter David, artist Ron Frenz and editor James Owsley (now known as Christopher Priest) are all somewhat at odds with one another over many details about 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, in fact, 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 wrote the unusual revelation issue in which a dead man was revealed as the villain. With Spider-Man's then-archenemy now dead, a new Hobgoblin was created from the storyline of Macendale's hatred of the Hobgoblin.
The revelations proved controversial and many fans felt that the Macendale Hobgoblin was subsequently treated poorly, often coming across as one of the weaker Spider-Man villains. Roger Stern returned and pitched an idea for a Spider-Man story in which it would be revealed that Leeds had not been the Hobgoblin after all and the real identity would be revealed. Working on the basis that Leeds' death was implausible given the Hobgoblin's strength, the 1997 three-issue miniseries Spider-Man: Hobgoblin Lives was commissioned in which Roderick Kingsley (whom Stern had introduced in The Spectacular Spider-Man #43) was revealed as the original Hobgoblin, ending the mystery after over ten years.
Fictional character biography 
Roderick Kingsley 
Amoral billionaire fashion designer Roderick Kingsley became obsessed with Norman Osborn, the original Green Gobin, after discovering locations of his various hideouts, and eventually becomes the first who would claim the name Hobgoblin. 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 Donovan 
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 and disfigures Donovan's face. The explosion grants him the power of the formula. 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.[volume & issue needed]
Donovan impersonates the Hobgoblin and attacks the city. Spider-Man eventually confronts him, and, even though he has augmented strength, Spider-Man defeats Donovan 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 mumbles out the question of why was he in a Hobgoblin costume. He starts talking about his boss and Spider-Man realizes that Donovan is talking about the real Hobgoblin and tries to get Donovan to tell him the identity of the real Hobgoblin. Before he can, Kinglsey programs the Goblin glider to kill Lefty by crashing into the side of a building causing Lefty to be killed by the falling rubble.[volume & issue needed]
Ned Leeds 
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. Jason Philip Macendale Jr. 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.
Unknown 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.
Daniel Kingsley 
With Roderick Kingsley having relocated to Ecuador, his brother Daniel Kingsley returned to New York, posing as his brother with the intention of becoming the new Hobgoblin using his brother's equipment. However, when investigating Roderick Kingsley'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.
Phil Urich 
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 became one of Kingpin's agents.
Other versions 
||It has been suggested that this article be merged into Alternative versions of the Green Goblin. (Discuss) Proposed since November 2011.|
Hobgoblin 2211 
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.
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.
Ultimate Hobgoblin 
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 
- The 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!". Out of costume, he also appeared in "Rocket Racer". In this continuity, he came before the Green Goblin, though his weapons and glider were supplied by Norman Osborn; unlike the Green Goblin, he had no enhanced strength or split personality. His identity was ultimately revealed to be Jason Philip Macendale, who had become engaged to Felicia Hardy by the end of the third season. Felicia stumbles upon his secret, but it is ultimately exposed by the return of the Green Goblin and apprehensed by Spider-Man. An alternate version of the character appeared in "I Really, Really Hate Clones", where he was shown working for Spider-Carnage alongside the Green Goblin.
- Roderick Kingsley appears in season 2 of The Spectacular Spider-Man, voiced by Courtney B. Vance. In the series he owns a perfume factory and is African American. He successfully outbids Tombstone, Silvermane, and Dr. Octopus for the specifications to the Rhino armor. After collecting the specifications, Silver Sable and Hammerhead attempt to steal them for their respective employers only for Kingsley to hand them a decoy. He almost got away before being confronted by the original and very angry Rhino and fled due to the subsequent three way brawl between Hammerhead, Silver Sable, and the short-lived alliance of Spider-Man and Rhino. Spider-Man and Rhino manage to destroy the case with the specifications inside. Unknown to any of them, that was another decoy that was destroyed, with the real specifications being in Norman Osborn's possession. He does not appear as the Hobgoblin; creator Greg Weisman says the Hobgoblin would have shown up had the show gotten a third season, but did not specify if Kingsley would have been the one in the role.
Video games 
- The Roderick Kingsley version 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 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 version of Hobgoblin appears as a boss in the game Spider-Man: Return of the Sinister Six.
- The Jason Macendale version of Hobgoblin also 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 unnamed Hobgoblin that was seen in "Secret War" appears as Green Goblin's alternate costume in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2.
- A Hobgoblin from the Marvel 2099 era exclusively 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. This Hobgoblin is a mercenary with "Psy-powers" (provided by Doctor Octopus 2099) which when combined with a tablet fragment allowed him to plunge Spider-Man 2099 into a hellish hallucination. He was hired by Alchemax (apparently 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.
- He later received toys in the animated Spider-Man and Sneak Attack toy-lines of the '90s.
- 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 3¾ inch Hobgoblin for their Marvel Universe toyline. The packaging information signifies that this is indeed the Roderick Kingsley version.
See also 
- Marvel Age #111, April 1992, Marvel Comics
- "Hobgoblin is number 57 - IGN". Comics.ign.com. Retrieved 2010-08-13.
- DeFalco, Tom (2004). Comics Creators on Spider-Man. Titan Books. ISBN 1-84023-422-9.
- Fettinger, J.R. "Squandered Legacy: The Rise and Fall of the HobGoblin Part Two: The Goblin in Decline". Spidey Kicks Butt. Retrieved 2009-02-19.
- DeFalco, Tom (w), Frenz, Ron (p), Breeding, Brett (i). "Unmasked!" The Amazing Spider-Man 276 (May 1986), Marvel Comics
- DeFalco, Tom (w), Frenz, Ron (p), Breeding, Brett (i). "When Warriors Clash--!" The Amazing Spider-Man 281 (October 1986), Marvel Comics
- DeFalco, Tom (w), Frenz, Ron (p), Layton, Bob (i). "With Foes Like These..." The Amazing Spider-Man 276 (May 1986), Marvel Comics
- DeFalco, Tom (w), Frenz, Ron (p), Rubinstein, Josef (i). "...And Who Shall Stand Against Them...?" The Amazing Spider-Man 284 (January 1987), Marvel Comics
- Owsley, James, Tom DeFalco (w), Kupperberg, Alan (p), Fern, Jim (i). "The Arranger Must Die!" The Amazing Spider-Man 285 (February 1987), Marvel Comics
- Layton, Bob (w), Fern, Jim (p), Colletta, Vince (i). "24 Hours" Peter Parker The Spectacular Spider-Man 130 (September 1987), Marvel Comics
- Owsley, James (w), Bright, Mark (p), Williamson, Al (i). "High Tide" Spider-Man Versus Wolverine 1 (February 1987), Marvel Comics
- David, Peter (w), Kupperberg, Alan, Tom Morgan (p), Morgan, Tom (i). "The Hobgoblin Revealed!" The Amazing Spider-Man 289 (June 1987), Marvel Comics
- Spider-Man: Hobgoblin Lives #1, January, 1997
- Smith, Andy (w), Pepoy, Andrew (p), Holdredge, Jon (i). "Sending in the Clowns" Deadpool 35 (December 1999), Marvel Comics
- Amazing Spider-Man #691
- The Amazing Spider-Man #649
- Amazing Spider-Man #648
- Spider-Girl #100 (September 2006)
- The Amazing Spider-Girl #18 (May 2008)
- The Spectacular Spider-Girl #3 (July 2010)
- The Spectacular Spider-Girl #4 (August 2010)
- Goldman, Eric (2010-07-07). "IGN: The Spectacular Spider-Man's Past and Future". Tv.ign.com. Retrieved 2010-08-13.
- “”. "Let's Play: Spider-Man: Web of Shadows S03 P02 - Here, Kitty Kitty Kitty!". YouTube. Retrieved 2010-08-13.
- Raub, Matt (2009-09-15). "‘Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2′ Alternate Costumes Revealed!". The Flickcast. Retrieved 2010-08-13.
- Miller, Greg (2010-06-07). "E3 2010: Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions Preview". Uk.ps3.ign.com. Retrieved 2010-08-13.
- George, Richard; Schedeen, Jesse (2010-08-23). "The Deadly Villains of Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions". IGN. Retrieved 2010-08-24.
- "Hobgoblin/Scarlet Spider Minimates exclusive review". OAFE. Retrieved 2010-08-13.
- Hobgoblin I at Marvel.com
- Hobgoblin I at the Marvel Appendix
- SpideyKicksButt.com: "Squandered Legacy: The Rise and Fall of the Hobgoblin"
- Peter David site: "Foolish Consistencies and..."
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