The original Hobgoblin design as depicted in The Amazing Spider-Man #238 (March 1983).
Art by John Romita Sr. and John Romita Jr..
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceThe Amazing Spider-Man #238 (March 1983)[1][2][3]
Created by
In-story information
Alter ego
  • Criminal mastermind
  • Superhuman strength, intelligence, speed, durability, and healing
  • Uses Halloween-themed paraphernalia, high-tech gadgetry and a Goblin Glider equipped with various weapons
  • Chaos magic (Ned Leeds)

The Hobgoblin is the alias of several supervillains appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics, most of whom are depicted as enemies of the superhero Spider-Man and belong to the collective of adversaries that make up his rogues gallery, most of whom are brainwashed by the Winkler Device into becoming Hobgoblins. Created by writer Roger Stern and artist John Romita Jr., the first incarnation of the Hobgoblin was introduced in The Amazing Spider-Man #238 (March 1983) as a criminal mastermind equipped with Halloween-themed weapons similar to those used by the Green Goblin.

The true identity of the Hobgoblin was one of the longest-running mysteries in the Spider-Man comics. In 1987, the Hobgoblin was revealed to be Ned Leeds, Peter Parker's journalist co-worker at the Daily Bugle, while in 1997, ten years later, his identity was retroactively established to be Roderick Kingsley, a fashion designer and Mary Jane Watson's former boss, with Ned reframed as a fall guy, and later in the 2020s as the second Hogoblin and secret sorcerer apprentice of Baron Mordo. Other characters that have assumed the Hobgoblin mantle over the years include criminals Lefty Donovan and Jason Macendale, Roderick's twin brother Daniel Kingsley, Spider-Man 2211's daughter Robin Borne, Ben Urich's nephew Phil Urich, and Kingsley's butler Claude. Leeds, Donovan and Claude were first brainwashed to serve as Hobgoblins as part of a scheme orchestrated by the Kingsley brothers, with Kingsley, Macendale, Borne and Urich being the only versions to operate independently of the others (although occasionally partnering with them), with Leeds and Kingsley later also being brainwashed by Queen Goblin to serve as her enforcers. In the alternate continuities of The Amazing Spider-Man comic strip and Ultimate Marvel, Harry Osborn has also adopted the Hobgoblin persona.

The Hobgoblin has been adapted from the comics into various forms of media, including television series and video games. An amalgamated version of the character named Jason Philips appeared in the 1994–1998 Spider-Man: The Animated Series, voiced by Mark Hamill, while the Harry Osborn incarnation is featured in Spider-Man (2017–2018), voiced by Max Mittelman.

Publication history

The Amazing Spider-Man #238 (March 1983), the Hobgoblin's first appearance. Cover art by John Romita Sr..

The Hobgoblin was created by writer Roger Stern and artist John Romita Jr. for The Amazing Spider-Man #238 (March 1983).[4] 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 be the Green Goblin again, or create another Green Goblin. Stern instead created a new concept as heir to the Goblin legacy and developed the Hobgoblin.[5] Stern recounts that he directed Romita to base the costume on the Green Goblin's but to make it "a little more medieval-looking", while Romita asserts that he was given no direction beyond using the Green Goblin as a basis. Both agree, however, that the costume was chiefly Romita's design.[6]

The Hobgoblin's identity was not initially revealed, generating one of the longest-running mysteries in the Spider-Man comics. According to Stern, "I plotted that first story with no strong idea of who the Hobgoblin was. As I was scripting those gorgeous pages from [John Romita, Jr.], particularly the last third of the book, and developing the Hobgoblin’s speech pattern, I realized who he was. It was Roderick Kingsley, that sunuvabitch corporate leader I had introduced in my first issue of [The] Spectacular [Spider-Man]."[6] A handful of readers deduced that Kingsley was the Hobgoblin almost immediately. To throw off the scent and in the same stroke provide a retroactive explanation for Kingsley's inconsistent characterization in his early appearances, Stern came up with the idea of Kingsley having his brother Daniel Kingsley sometimes impersonate him, sealing the deception by having the Hobgoblin conspicuously appear in the same room as Kingsley in The Amazing Spider-Man #249.[6]

Stern's original plan was to have the Hobgoblin's mystery identity run exactly one issue longer than that of the Green Goblin's identity, meaning the truth would be revealed in The Amazing Spider-Man #264.[6] However, Stern left after The Amazing Spider-Man #251, and editor Tom DeFalco took his place. Wanting to resolve the mystery in a manner that would do justice to Stern's stories, DeFalco asked Stern who the Hobgoblin was, but objected when Stern said it was Kingsley. DeFalco argued that the "twin brother" scheme was cheating the readers since there had been no hint that Roderick even had a brother (aside from a single thought bubble), much less one who could serve as a body double. Stern disagreed but said that DeFalco should feel free to make the choice of which character to use for the Hobgoblin's secret identity, Stern reasoning that "I knew that whomever Tom chose, he would make it work."[6] Upon reviewing the clues, DeFalco decided that the Hobgoblin was Richard Fisk. Moreover, he decided that the Hobgoblin's mystery should be prolonged as long as possible, since it was the chief element that made the Hobgoblin interesting.[6] Through both Stern and DeFalco's runs, the answer was continuously teased on the cover art, with the covers of The Amazing Spider-Man #245, 251, and 276 all showing Spider-Man having unmasked the Hobgoblin.[7]

Artist John Romita Jr. signing a copy of The Amazing Spider-Man #238, in which the Hobgoblin first appeared, at Midtown Comics in Manhattan

The mystery was further complicated after James Owsley came on as editor of the Spider-Man titles. Owsley's relationship with DeFalco and artist Ron Frenz was strained from the beginning. When Owsley asked who the Hobgoblin was at a creators conference, DeFalco lied and said the man in question was Ned Leeds. Owsley then wrote the one-shot Spider-Man vs Wolverine in which Leeds is killed off (though the actual death is not shown), and instructed The Spectacular Spider-Man writer Peter David to reveal the Hobgoblin's identity as the Foreigner. David objected and argued that the only person who fit the clues was Leeds. Having been present at the Spider-Man creator's conference, David also thought that Leeds was who DeFalco intended it to be. Because Spider-Man vs. Wolverine had already been drawn, however, it was too late to undo Leeds's death.[6] Thus, the Hobgoblin's identity was revealed posthumously in the double-sized The Amazing Spider-Man #289. With Spider-Man's archenemy now dead, a new storyline was created from Jason Macendale's hatred of the Hobgoblin. Though the Hobgoblin's posthumous unmasking as Leeds was unpopular with fans, David said in a 2009 interview of still being proud of the story, arguing that the Hobgoblin being unmasked in a climactic battle with Spider-Man was the sort of tale readers had already seen countless times before, whereas having an archvillain unmasked in a flashback after having been brutally killed by nameless assassins was unprecedented and shocking.[6] From 1987 to 1997, Macendale was the Hobgoblin, initially using only the Hobgoblin's costume and weaponry, but the 1988-1989 "Inferno" crossover writer Gerry Conway had Macendale imbued with magical powers by the demon N'astirh by bonding him with a demon. In addition to power over hellfire and increased strength and speed far greater than his predecessor, N'astirh also disfigures Macendale so that his head resembled the Hobgoblin mask, and ultimately alters his mind so that he was deluded into thinking that his appearance is normal. Several years later, Macendale succeeds in purging himself of his demonic powers and acquires cybernetic implants, the demon that N'astirh imbued with Macendale becoming Demogoblin.[7]

Stern was unhappy with the revelation that Hobgoblin's civilian identity was Leeds and wrote the three-issue miniseries Spider-Man: Hobgoblin Lives in 1997, with the retcon that Kingsley was the original Hobgoblin while Leeds was brainwashed into serving as a fall guy, Macendale is killed off, and Kingsley returned. According to Stern, initially he had not known how to resolve the situation of having two Hobgoblins, and it was at the suggestion of the editorial staff that Kingsley kill Macendale and return to operating as the Hobgoblin.[6] Leeds would return as an independent Hobgoblin in the 2019 miniseries Symbiote Spider-Man: Alien Reality, revealed to have trained as a sorcerer under Baron Mordo in the art of reality-altering chaos magic, before both Leeds and Kinsley would be brainwashed to together serve as the simultaneous Hobgoblin enforcers of the Queen Goblin in the 2022 storyline "The Hobgoblins' Last Stand" by Zeb Wells.[8]

Peter Parker: "If you're wondering whether the Hobgoblin is Ned Leeds or Roderick Kingsley
…The Answer is “Yes.” It's not a whole lot of fun, frankly."[8]

Fictional character biography

Ned Leeds

Main article: Ned Leeds

Edward "Ned" Leeds was a reporter working for the Daily Bugle. In a 1987, he is revealed to be the first Hobgoblin, before being murdered by the Foreigner.[9] Ten years later in 1997, Leeds is retroactively established to have been brainwashed by Roderick Kingsley to act as a stand-in on many occasions and fool the underworld into thinking that he was the Hobgoblin, before Kingsley took back over the role.[10] After a clone of the character was introduced in Dead No More: The Clone Conspiracy, Leeds is revived in a 2021 storyline showing that, under the influence of Kingsley's brainwashing, he ingested a copy of Osborn's Goblin formula which revived him shortly after his initial assassination, before he went into hiding.[11] In a 2022 storyline, Ned and Kingsley are brainwashed by the Queen Goblin into both resuming their roles as Hobgoblins once more.[8] Synergetic with his MCU adaptation as a sorcerer in the film Spider-Man: No Way Home, in Symbiote Spider-Man: Alien Reality, Ned's Hobgoblin is revealed to have trained as a sorcerer under Baron Mordo in the art of reality-altering chaos magic.[12]

Peter Parker: "If you're wondering whether the Hobgoblin is Ned Leeds or Roderick Kingsley
…The Answer is “Yes.” It's not a whole lot of fun, frankly."[8]

Roderick Kingsley

Roderick Kingsley as the Hobgoblin on Spider-Man: Hobgoblin Lives #1 (January 1997). Art by Ron Frenz.

Roderick Kingsley started out as a socialite, fashion designer and billionaire who had criminal underworld connections and had come about his wealth through unethical business practices and corporate raiding. Coincidentally, Kingsley was an employer of Mary Jane Watson for a time.[13] As a means of avoiding the drill of day-to-day appearances, he had his timid identical twin brother Daniel Kingsley pose as him to run his corporation.[14] Kingsley's activities gave him many enemies, one of which was Bella Donna (Narda Ravanna), a rival fashion designer whose business he had ruined and attempted revenge on Kingsley but is twice thwarted by Spider-Man.[15][16][17]

After these incidents, Kingsley seeks to protect himself and his empire by gaining more power. The thug George Hill reports to Kingsley of stumbling upon Norman Osborn's secret lair in hopes of earning a reward. Kingsley instead kills Hill to make sure that no one else gets wind of the discovery.[18] Upon examining the lair and gleaning its secrets, Kingsley decides to use the Goblin equipment. Arriving to the conclusion that all the previous Green Goblin mantle wearers went mad, he instead creates a similar but different mantle: the Hobgoblin identity.[18] Soon afterwards, he encounters Spider-Man.[19] He uses some of Osborn's files to blackmail prominent figures,[20] and attempts to buy Osborn's old corporation Oscorp and merge it with his own.[21] These schemes bring him into conflict with Spider-Man.[19] Among Osborn's notes, Kingsley also finds incomplete remnants of Mendel Stromm's strength enhancing potion and was obsessed with finding the complete formula or perfecting the incomplete notes.[22] During his various criminal activities, Kingsley repeatedly loses to Spider-Man, as he lacked raw physical power.[19] Kingsley eventually perfected the strength-enhancing formula, but, aware that Osborn was driven insane, Kingsley opts to test on someone else first,[22] tricking small-time hood Lefty Donovan after using a mind-control device developed by Gerhard Winkler (Osborn's former employee), the "Winkler Device", able to turn anyone into a Hobgoblin enthralled to another. With Donovan having administered the Goblin formula and then in the Hobgoblin costume to fight Spider-Man, Kingsley monitored his pawn's vital signs and behavior from a distance. When Spider-Man overwhelms and unmasks Donovan and the brainwashing begins to fail, Kingsley acts to protect his identity by programming Donovan's glider to crash into a building, instantly killing Donovan.[22][23] Judging the experiment a success, Kingsley immerses himself in his completed formula derivative and gains greater strength than the original Goblin. He uses this strength to battle Spider-Man and the Black Cat.[24] Despite his increased abilities, he is still narrowly defeated by Spider-Man. Worse, he attracts the attention of powerful criminal interests who perceive him as a threat, including the Kingpin.[20] It is also revealed later that during this time, after the Hobgoblin made his appearance, Norman (presumed to be dead at the time) made a brief return to New York City in an attempt to deal with this Goblin, but ultimately abandoned this for the sake of schemes against Spider-Man.[25] After a bitter encounter with Spider-Man,[26][27] Kingsley discovers he had been followed by Daily Bugle reporter Ned Leeds having discovered his lair.[10] Kingsley captured Leeds and brainwashes the reporter with the Winkler Device into being the Hobgoblin.[10] Kingsley discovered that Leeds had been working with Richard Fisk on a plan to bring down the Kingpin's empire as Richard adopted the Rose crime lord identity, using Leeds to handle some negotiations, and fooling many criminals into believing that his pawn was the Hobgoblin and hoping to use the Kingpin's downfall to advance his own interests. As Leeds gets too erratic to function as a decoy, Kingsley arranged for Leeds to be assassinated by Jason Macendale and the Foreigner while on a trip to Berlin, and decided to retire from the Hobgoblin identity.

During the events of Secret Wars II, Kingsley is recruited by Mephisto to join the Legion Accursed, a team of ninety-nine supervillains who try to destroy the Beyonder.[28] The Hobgoblin later kidnaps Harry Osborn. He battles Osborn who uses his own father's weaponry against the Hobgoblin.[29]

After a retirement of several years, Kingsley returns to New York. He kills Macendale to prevent from giving the authorities information that would jeopardize his secret identity in addition to seeing Macendale an unworthy successor.[30] Learning that Betty Brant has begun to investigate Ned's activities as the Hobgoblin—informed of the truth by Spider-Man after realizing that the Foreigner's human operatives could never have killed Leeds if Leeds had been super-powered—Kingsley kidnaps Betty and sets a trap for Spider-Man.[31]

Roderick Kingsley unmasked as the Hobgoblin in Spider-Man: Hobgoblin Lives #3 (March 1997).Art by Ron Frenz.

In the final fracas, Daniel is captured and the Hobgoblin is unmasked, clearing Ned's name. Roderick is taken to prison, imprisoned in the same cell where he killed Macendale.[10] Despite his unmasking, due to Kingsley's deceptive natures, it is difficult to determine of whether he is telling the whole truth.

Furious at Norman Osborn's return and denial of being the Green Goblin, Kingsley spreads rumors that there exists a secret journal of Osborn's that proves beyond doubt that he was the Goblin, but this was later revealed to be a ruse, knowing Osborn has been sending spies on him: all of the journals in his possession had been destroyed during a battle with Spider-Man years before.[32] He offers to barter this information, for his freedom, with the District Attorney, guessing that Osborn will try to get to him first. Osborn, deciding to make a deal with Kingsley, breaks him out of prison. Kingsley is then confronted by both Osborn and another Green Goblin.[33] Osborn provides Kingsley with new Goblin equipment, and both Goblins swoop in to collect Daniel, now in protective custody, who Roderick claims knows the final journal's location. Spider-Man defends Daniel, but is drugged and both men are taken back to Osborn.[34] Osborn knew Kingsley was lying about the journal and has bought Kingsley's company out from underneath him; the purpose of helping Kingsley escape is for Osborn to personally eliminate the one person who can prove that he is the Goblin. Kingsley furiously attacks Osborn who is shocked to discover that Kingsley is stronger and thus fails at killing him. The building began to burn as a result of their battle, and Spider-Man escapes with Daniel. All three of the villains managed to escape as well. With several million dollars hidden away in foreign bank accounts, Kingsley quietly moves to a small island in the Caribbean to enjoy his retirement.[35]

Kingsley is seemingly killed by Phil Urich who takes on the Hobgoblin mantle,[36] but this was in fact Daniel with Roderick still active in Ecuador under the alias of Devil-Spider. Roderick learns that his brother has been murdered and plans his return to New York.[37] Kingsley arrives in New York City and returns to the Hobgoblin role, intending to go after Urich.[38] Kingsley attacks Urich and the Kingpin in Shadowland. After a brief battle between the two Hobgoblins, Parker and Max Modell escape with the Goblin Key (a key to one of the Goblin warehouses). Kingsley and Urich decide to call a brief truce and go after them.[39] After accessing the warehouse, Peter utilizes the Goblin tech to make himself a "Spider-Glider" and manages to escape. Urich insists on going after but Kingsley stuns Urich with a taser so they can both escape. Kingsley decides to let Urich remain the Hobgoblin, but only if Urich gives him a cut of whatever profits are made.[40]

Kingsley obtains one of Mysterio's suits which he sells to a criminal who takes on the name Mysterion.[41] He sells the Crime Master's gear to an unnamed Maggia operative.[42] Hobgoblin ends up in a gang war with the Goblin Nation, selling equipment to low-level criminals who became the latest versions of 8-Ball, Answer, Blaze, Devil-Spider, Gibbon, Hitman, Killer Shrike, Mauler, Melter, Ringer, Steeplejack, Tumbler, and Unicorn as well as a new villain named Bruin who wears one of Grizzly's old exoskeleton bear suits.[43] He is killed by the first Goblin King while his henchmen are claimed for the Goblin Nation, but his butler Claude went in his place so that his enemies could be distracted and Kingsley is actually in Paris. Kingsley decides to lay low once again working on his personal empire.[44] It was later revealed that Kingsley sold costumes and gear that made the latest versions of Hydro-Man, Tiger Shark, Squid,[45] and Beetle.[46]

During the "AXIS" storyline, Kingsley appears as a member of Magneto's unnamed supervillain group during the fight against the Red Skull's Red Onslaught form. When Magneto arrives to recruit him, Kingsley attacks and is subjugated and forced to join Magneto's team.[47] Kingsley accompanies Magneto and the other villains recruited to Genosha.[48] The inversion spell caused by Doctor Doom and Scarlet Witch affects not only the Red Skull but all those present in Genosha, making the superheroes present evil and the supervillains present good. Following his inversion, Kingsley returns to New York and finds himself happier with his inversion, although still motivated by greed rather than altruism. He reactivates his franchises where he leases the personas and costumes of deceased or retired superheroes to ordinary people, but remains a wanted criminal. He also enfranchises his Hobgoblin persona to various people to perform heroic deeds as Hobgoblin and publishes a comic about the group for promotion. Among those who answer an ad are the amnesiac Lily Hollister and the underemployed teenager John Myers. Other attendees include a different Demolition Man, Flower Girl, Leather Boy, a character resembling Anti-Venom, a new Razorback, and a new Water Wizard. He sets a three phase program including a book and various articles with his brand and underground speeches named after Ned for people to make their own franchises in exchange for a share of their profits.[49] Kingsley debuts his Hob-Heroes: Lily as Queen Cat, Myers as Missile Mate, Flower Girl, Leatherboy, Rocket Head, and Water Wizard. When the second Goblin King confronts Kingsley in his headquarters, Myers is convinced by Urich's claims that Kingsley will soon abandon the heroes he has trained. Missile Mate goes to Urich's headquarters and asks to join to be a supervillain. Urich is reluctant, but Myers shows also gathering all the supervillains Kingsley "abandoned" after being a good guy.[50] When the celebration of a "Hobgoblin Day" is being held with a parade in Kingsley's honor, Missile Mate betrays Kingsley and attempts to murder him in the Goblin King's name. Kingsley has already expected the betrayal and has been using a hologram decoy which takes Missile Mate's blow. As soon as Kinglsey confronts Missile Mate, Urich appears with the Goblin Nation and attacks the celebration. Kingsley bests Urich in combat and leaves his rival to the authorities. After, he is approached by Steve Rogers to be part of a team of Avengers with the objective to stop the inverted X-Men from detonating a gene bomb which would kill everyone on the Earth who wasn't a mutant.[51] The Avengers team that Kingsley joins is called the Astonishing Avengers.[52] After the reinversion spell is cast to restore the Avengers and X-Men members that were affected by it back to the side of good, Kingsley is evil again.[53]

Kingsley was also revealed to have sold one of Goldbug's costume to an unnamed criminal to establish his version of Goldbug.[54]

Kingsley starts to get his old franchises back under control. Outside of recruiting Blizzard, Kingsley regains his former minions Beetle, Bruin, Hitman, Ringer, and Unicorn as well as establishing his versions of Cutthroat, Diamondback, Mockingbird, and Viper. When franchisee Porcupine informs him of an intent to end the contract, Kingsley tries to kill with a Pumpkin Bomb in order to reclaim said suit for future franchisees.[55] In the resulting battle with Porcupine and crimefighting mentor Spider-Woman, Kingsley is taken down by Captain Marvel.[56]

Kingsley turns up as a member of the Sinister Six led by the Iron Spider. He accompanies the Sinister Six in a plot to steal a decommissioned S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier.[57]

Kingsley later attempted to enter into a business deal with the sin-purged Norman Osborn, who returned the companies he had stolen from Kingsley years earlier in an attempt to put an end to their ongoing feud. Subsequently, in the storyline "The Hobgoblins' Last Stand", both Kingsley and Ned Leeds are brainwashed by the Queen Goblin using the Winkler Device into both resuming their roles as Hobgoblins once more, serving as her maniacal enforcers.[8]

Peter Parker: "If you're wondering whether the Hobgoblin is Ned Leeds or Roderick Kingsley
…The Answer is “Yes.” It's not a whole lot of fun, frankly."[8]

During the "Gang War" storyline, Hobgoblin is shown to run Bushwick, Brooklyn, Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and Williamsburg, Brooklyn, having broken free from Queen Goblin's influence.[58] Hobgoblin is shown looking at a map of Brooklyn.[59] Hobgoblin approaches Aaron Davis outside his apartment for help with a "spider problem".[60] Hobgoblin and Prowler provide weapons for the Enforcers in order to sway them to Hobgoblin's side. Hobgoblin later watches the altercation between Miles Morales and the Cape Killers on his screen.[61] As Hobgoblin works with Rabble on an invention using technology stolen from the Beyond Corporation, they also mention plan to go after Queen Goblin. In addition to keep his hideout safe, Hobgoblin had hired Goldbug III, Lady Stilt-Man, Man-Bull, Mr. Fish I, Ricadonna, and Shocker to be his hired muscle. When Miles Morales, Prowler, Ms. Marvel, and Cape-Killers member Gust enter the building, Miles and Ms. Marvel are ambushed by Hobgoblin and Rabble.[62] During Miles Morales, Ms. Marvel, and Gust's fight with Hobgoblin and Rabble, Miles notices that Hobgoblin's suit has been upgraded as Hobgoblin's drones show up. In the nick of time, Scorpion, Shift, and Starling show up after Scorpion convincing the hired villains to turn against Hobgoblin when Scorpion asked them when was the last time a Goblin had followed through on their promises that were made to them. While Rabble gets away, Hobgoblin sets off every one of his pumpkin bombs vowing to see Miles soon. After everyone evacuates, the hideout explodes, although Miles doubts that Hobgoblin died in the explosion.[63]

Lefty Donovan

Arnold Samuel "Lefty" Donovan was a petty thug. Similar to Osborn, Donovan was a test subject mix the two vital chemicals that were mixed into the Goblin formula, disfiguring Donovan's face and granting superhuman abilities. Donovan is taken to a hospital. Brainwashed by the Winkler Device, Donovan eventually escapes the hospital and follows preprogrammed instructions to go to a hidden cache of Goblin weapons and dress up as the Hobgoblin.[64] Donovan (impersonating the Hobgoblin) attacks New York City but Spider-Man eventually confronts and unmasks him. Spider-Man sees his (scarred) face and recognizes Lefty. As Donovan is able to shake off some of his programing and starts talking, his "boss" programmed the Goblin glider to crash into the side of a building, killing Lefty instantly on impact.[65]

Jason Macendale

Main article: Jason Macendale

Jason Philip Macendale Jr. was a mercenary who had been trained by the CIA (and various para-military organizations). He first appeared as the supervillain Jack O'Lantern before eventually adopting the Hobgoblin identity.[66]

Fifth Hobgoblin

An unidentified fifth Hobgoblin was introduced in the series Secret War. With very little to know about him (including his true identity), the only thing to know is that 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.[67] This Hobgoblin is jailed along with the various defeated villains after the conclusion of the "War".[68]

Daniel Kingsley

Daniel Kingsley is Roderick Kingsley's twin brother. He would act as a body double until being exposed by Betty Brant while the true Hobgoblin gets unmasked by Spider-Man.[10] Now in protective custody, Daniel was unknowingly used by Roderick to blackmail Norman Osborn, resulting in the Hobgoblin to swoop in to collect Daniel. Spider-Man defends Daniel but is drugged while Daniel passes out and both are taken to Osborn.[69] As Kingsley and Osborn furiously fight each other, Daniel gets rescued by Spider-Man.[70] Kingsley later returned to New York, posing as his twin brother as the Hobgoblin.[37] Kingsley investigated an old lair at OsCorp which had a flaming energy sword, but discovers Phil Urich trying to retrieve the same gear. Kingsley gets stunned by Urich's "Lunatic Laugh" long enough for Urich to kill him using his own sword, allowing his killer to claim the Hobgoblin mantle.[36]

Phil Urich

Main article: Phil Urich

Phillip Benjamin "Phil" Urich (who once used the Green Goblin identity to operate as a superhero) took on the Hobgoblin identity himself as a supervillain with some new gear (new body armor, a winged jetpack, and a flaming energy sword).[36]

Norman Osborn

Main article: Norman Osborn

Norman Osborn briefly impersonated the original Hobgoblin.[71]


Claude was Roderick's butler who was sent in place and to talk like his master to distract the Goblin Nation. He fought against and was killed in battle by the Goblin Knight who then discovered it was Claude who was killed and destroyed his body to keep the Goblin King from finding out about the imposter Hobgoblin.[72]

Powers, abilities, and equipment

As the Hobgoblin, Roderick Kingsley wears bulletproof mail with an overlapping tunic, cape, and cowl. A computerized system cybernetically causes the finger-blasters to randomly vary their attack vectors when trained on a particular target. He uses a Goblin glider, a one-man miniature turbo-fan-powered vertical thrust, cybernetically-controlled vehicle. It can reach high velocities and is extremely maneuverable. He uses concussion and incendiary Jack O'Lanterns, wraith-shaped smoke and gas-emitting bombs, bat shaped razor-edged throwing blades, and gloves woven with micro-circuited power conducting filaments which channel pulsed discharges of electricity. He wore a shoulder bag to carry his small, portable weaponry.[18]

Prior to his assassination, Ned Leeds wore the Hobgoblin's uniform and used the Goblin glider and equipment which included Jack O'Lantern bombs, razor bats and electrical shock gloves. However, he had no healing factor or superhuman strength.[10] Following his ingesting the Goblin Formula and subsequent resurrection, Ned developed superhuman strength, speed, reflexes, and stamina as well as a low-level rapid healing factor,[73] the latter of which allow him to survive otherwise fatal gunshot wounds.[74] Wielding chaos magic following his training as a sorcerer under Baron Mordo, Ned's Hobgoblin is capable of sensing other magic users, as well as casting spells relating to flight, teleportation, time manipulation, elemental manipulation, and reality warping, using the latter skill to rewrite reality around Spider-Man and himself to make himself Sorcerer Supreme, before he is defeated by Spider-Man, although he is able to use his magic to fake his death in the aftermath, before returning years later under the guise of having been a "patsy for the 'real' Hobgoblin", free to resume his plans.[12]

As the Hobgoblin, Phil Urich wears an orange Hobgoblin costume with wings on the back that allow him to fly without the use of a Goblin glider and he took the Hobgoblin mask as his own. He uses the traditional Pumpkin Bombs all Green Goblins and Hobgoblins before him have used, but he also has a new flaming sword.[36] He still retains his "Lunatic Laugh" and he also has superhuman strength, speed, durability, stamina, reflexes and senses, and enhanced intellect. For unknown reasons, he no longer needs his Goblin mask to activate this power. With the help of Reverbium, his "Lunatic Laugh" was able to cause a building to collapse.[75]

Alternative versions

Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows

During the "Secret Wars" storyline in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows, the Roderick Kingsley version of Hobgoblin appears as a member of Regent's Sinister Six where they are tasked to hunt down Spider-Man.[76] During the fight with Spider-Man, Hobgoblin's hand was webbed up by Spider-Man before he could throw his Pumpkin Bomb which led to Hobgoblin getting killed in its explosion.[77]

Hobgoblin 2211

Hobgoblin 2211
Hobgoblin 2211 (left) and Spider-Man 2211.
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceSpider-Man 2099 Meets Spider-Man (November, 1995)
Created byPeter David
Rick Leonardi
In-story information
Alter egoRobin Borne
SpeciesHuman mutate
AbilitiesSuperhuman strength, speed, agility, stamina, durability and reflexes
Genius-level intellect
Use of goblin-themed weapons and paraphernalia

Hobgoblin 2211 first appears in Spider-Man 2099 Meets Spider-Man. While her costume sports the twentieth-century Green Goblins' green-and-purple color scheme, she boasted that she was the Hobgoblin of 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 Robin "Hobby"/"Hob" Borne, Spider-Man's daughter. 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 the last issue of JLA/Avengers, the Hobgoblin is among the enthralled villains defending Krona's stronghold, and is defeated by Hawkgirl.[78]

Marvel Adventures

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 Green Goblin to a confrontation. Spider-Man defeats them both.[79]


The Roderick Kingsley version of Hobgoblin made his MC2 debut as a hired assassin to kill many of the Spider-Girl characters, including Normie Osborn, Spider-Girl, and Peter Parker.[80] 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.[81] 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.[82] He is later revealed to be the instigator of a mob war against the Black Tarantula, returning to New York to finish the job.[83] 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.[84]

Newspaper strip

In "The Amazing Spider-Man" newspaper strip by Stan Lee and Larry Lieber, Harry Osborn as the Hobgoblin has repeatedly attacked Spider-Man, seeking vengeance for his father's death. After trying to kill both Spider-Man and Black Widow after, under hypnotic influence of psychiatrist "Dr. Stone" (actually spy-assassin Dimitri Gregorin who has killed friends of the Black Widow in the past), Harry, seeing Spider-Man's heroism, realizes that Spider-Man is a hero, his father was a murderer, and vows to never assume the Hobgoblin identity again.

Old Man Logan

In the pages of Old Man Logan that took place on Earth-21923, the Roderick Kingsley version of Hobgoblin was among the villains that attacked the Avengers in Connecticut. He worked with the Vulture to fight Wasp only for Wasp to use her stingers to shoot Hobgoblin off his Goblin Glider.[85]

Spider-Man: Spider's Shadow

Around the events of Amazing Spider-Man #258 (November 1984), Hobgoblin battles with black suit Spider-Man; during the fight, Hobgoblin is unmasked as Roderick Kingsley, so Spider-Man threatens to Kingsley to not attack innocent civilians anymore. Kingsley causes an explosion at May Parker's house when he sees Spider-Man change into Peter Parker using the Venom symbiote; The symbiote shifts blame into Kingsley for May's death, and changes into a monstrous form. Spider-Man uses his fingers to kill Kingsley, who is regarded as Spider-Man's first victim.[86]


In the Spider-Geddon event on Earth-11580, a version of Hobgoblin is seen alongside Green Goblin, Jack O'Lantern and Demogoblin during the Goblin Night. Under the orders of the Goblin Queen, they try to kill Gwen Stacy, but Spiders-Man arrives and defeats the Goblins.[87]


In the alternate continuity of Spider-Gwen, the Green Goblin uses an army of Hobgoblin-based androids to assist him during his assault against Spider-Woman.[88]


The "Spider-Verse" had two version of Hobgoblin:

Hobgoblin of Earth-21205

Overwhelmed with rage over the death of Gwen Stacy, the Earth-21205 version of Peter Parker, as Spider-Man, murdered the Green Goblin and later retired his Spider-Man identity. He soon after became "the Goblin", a villain similar in costume to the Hobgoblin. This character was later targeted by Verna of the Inheritors (alongside the Hounds Scorpion and Rhino) as a Spider-Totem. The Spider-Woman of Earth-65 attempted to recruit him into a growing army of Spiders to protect him from the Inheritors, but he initially turned the offer down. When Spider-Woman revealed herself to be an alternate version of Gwen, he sacrificed himself to save her as atonement for failing to do so in his own dimension.[89]

Hobgoblin of Earth-001

The Earth-001 version of Hobgoblin appeared as a member of Verna's Hounds alongside the multiple Green Goblins. Hobgoblin and the other goblin-themed Hounds attacked Silk, Spider-Woman of Earth-65, and Black Widow of Earth-1610.[90] He is killed by Superior Spider-Man, Assassin Spider-Man, and Spider-Punk.[90]


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.

Ultimate Marvel

Main article: Harry Osborn

The Ultimate Marvel equivalent of Hobgoblin is Harold "Harry" Osborn when his second personality Shaw takes control.[91][92]


In 2009, an IGN list of the top 100 comic book villains ranked the Roderick Kingsley incarnation of the Hobgoblin as the 57th best.[93]

In other media

See also: Jason Macendale and Ned Leeds § In other media


The Hobgoblin as depicted in Spider-Man: The Animated Series.


A Hobgoblin mask appears in Spider-Man 3 (2007) as part of Norman Osborn's secret lab.[107][108][109]

Video games



The Ned Leeds incarnation of the Hobgoblin appears in The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, voiced by Pat Fraley.


  1. ^ Roderick Kingsley had yet to be established as the original Hobgoblin in the comics when Spider-Man: The Animated Series was produced, so the show's version of the character was instead an amalgamation of the original Hobgoblin's personality and ambitions, Jason Macendale's name and mercenary status, and Lefty Donovan's criminal background. In addition, the Hobgoblin first appeared in season one, the character was introduced as Jason Phillips in season three, where in his debut "Rocket Racer" his name was misspelled as "Jacon Phillips" with two Ls in the ending credits, while the character's full name Jason Phillip Macendale was revealed in "Goblin War!" with his full name is "Phillip" without the S.


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