Ned Leeds
Ned Leeds, in The Amazing Spider-Man vol. 1 #245 (October 1983).
Art by John Romita Jr.
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceThe Amazing Spider-Man #18 (November 1964)
Created byStan Lee (writer)
Steve Ditko (artist)
In-story information
Full nameEdward "Ned" Leeds
Place of originHuntington, New York
Team affiliationsDaily Bugle
Supporting character ofSpider-Man
Baron Mordo
Notable aliasesHobgoblin
AbilitiesExpert deductive reasoner, reporter, and investigator

As the Hobgoblin:

  • Use of goblin-themed weapons and paraphernalia
  • Superhuman strength, speed, stamina, durability, agility and reflexes via the Goblin Formula
  • Wielding chaos magic:
    • Teleportation, time manipulation, reality warping
    • Elemental manipulation
    • Able to sense magic
    • Spell casting
    • Flight

Edward "Ned" Leeds is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. A supporting character in stories featuring the superhero Spider-Man, he has been a reporter for the Daily Bugle, and husband of Betty Brant. Leeds is one of the characters that appears under the mantle of the supervillain Hobgoblin, for a long time believed to be his true identity. However, ten years following his assassination, he is retroactively established to have been brainwashed to serve as a stand-in for Roderick Kingsley and later left to be killed when he was no longer deemed necessary. The character was revived in a 20182022 storyline, with both Ned and Roderick brainwashed again by the Queen Goblin to serve as Hobgoblins once more, in service to her. Synergetic with his MCU adaptation, Ned's Hobgoblin was revealed to be a sorcerer, having trained under Baron Mordo in the art of reality-altering chaos magic in Symbiote Spider-Man.

Jacob Batalon portrays Ned Leeds in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), appearing in Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home (both 2019), and The Daily Bugle and Spider-Man: No Way Home (both 2021).

Publication history

Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, Ned Leeds made his first appearance in The Amazing Spider-Man #18 (November 1964). His character is killed off in the one-shot Spider-Man vs. Wolverine (February 1987), written by then Spider-Man editor Jim Owsley. Tom DeFalco, Ron Frenz, and Peter David (of the creative teams on the ongoing Spider-Man books) found this objectionable, saying that Owsley gave them no warning that he was going to kill Leeds, then a regular cast member in the Spider-Man books. Frenz remarked:

Owsley let Tom [DeFalco] and I continue with our plans without telling us in advance that he was going to kill Ned. We had no heads up until Spider-Man vs. Wolverine came out that Ned Leeds was killed in that story. I can't speak to why he did it, but I can speak to the way he did it. He kept it a big secret until we felt screwed.[1]

Leeds was revealed to be the Hobgoblin in The Amazing Spider-Man #289.[2]

Fictional character biography

Ned Leeds was a reporter for the Daily Bugle. He and Peter Parker compete for the affections of Daily Bugle secretary Betty Brant, but Parker drops out of the running due to realizing that Brant will not be able to accept Spider-Man's double identity.[3] He would win outright when Betty went into stress induced shock after J. Jonah Jameson was attacked at the Daily Bugle by the Scorpion. Leeds and Brant are married shortly after. However, the couple's marriage is often strained, eventually becoming abusive.[4]

When Spider-Man battles the Hobgoblin, Ned follows the Hobgoblin to a hideout. When the Hobgoblin realizes Ned is present, Ned is captured and brainwashed as a scapegoat in case of being unmasked.[5] Wanting to find out about the Kingpin, Ned approaches Richard Fisk. Discovering that Richard hates the Kingpin, Leeds helps create Richard's secret identity as the Rose. The Hobgoblin manipulates Ned to remove the Kingpin from the scene.[6] Ned's regular brainwashing causes his marriage with Betty and professional relationships to fall apart. Increasingly mentally unstable, Ned drives Betty to seek solace in Flash Thompson.[volume & issue needed] While Flash makes statements about the Hobgoblin and events are staged so Flash is revealed as the enigmatic villain, Ned and Richard reach a disagreement and Ned decides to turn in the Rose to the Kingpin, and thus Ned is no longer needed as Hobgoblin. After Flash is cleared of being framed, the New York underworld empire is known that Ned is actually Hobgoblin and that he would soon be traveling to Berlin.[volume & issue needed] Ned and Peter go on an assignment in Berlin, and Leeds is murdered by the Foreigner at Jason Macendale's request as a replacement Hobgoblin.[7][8] The Kingpin presents photos of Ned in the Hobgoblin costume (which was obtained via the Foreigner) to Spider-Man in an attempt to get Spider-Man to go after the Foreigner.[9] Peter reflected on Ned's death years later, believing Ned must have been framed as Hobgoblin as the Foreigner's non-superhuman operatives would never have been able to defeat the real Hobgoblin. Around this time, the original Hobgoblin returns to eliminate Macendale, revealing the deception of Leeds being a stand-in. Spider-Man and Betty subsequently provoked Roderick Kingsley into confessing to Ned's framing on tape.[5]

During the "Dead No More: The Clone Conspiracy" storyline, a clone of Ned Leeds is created by Ben Reilly (posing as Jackal) and is seen in New U Technologies' facility Haven.[10] The clone is revealed to have survived the end of the event and disguised himself as a hobo to continue watching over Betty. It is shown that Betty still cares for Ned. While still unaware of his survival, Ned feels that he is proud of Betty's accomplishments.[11] The clone later dies during a conflict between Spider-Man, Rhino, Taskmaster and Black Ant and tries to warn Spider-Man of something after Betty in the near future, revealed to be the real Ned Leeds, apparently revived.[12]

In Symbiote Spider-Man: Alien Reality, set before Ned's death, Ned is revealed to have become the sorcerer apprentice of Baron Mordo while serving as the Hobgoblin, training under him in the art of reality-altering chaos magic. On assisting Mordo in reshaping reality to make Mordo Sorcerer Supreme, Ned also makes himself Spider-Man's main archenemy, before luring the wall-crawler to the Sanctum Sanctorum to do battle with him, killing his Aunt May in front of Peter's newly resurrected uncle. Swearing revenge, Peter retreats into his own body, with Venom taking over his functions to train for years in a pocket dimension with Doctor Strange to defeat Ned, beating the Hobgoblin to a pulp as his girlfriend the Red Cat flees, before travelling into the realm of Nightmare to return reality to its normal state, with both Peter and Ned losing their memories of the "alien reality" as a result.[13]

By the time Spider-Man meets Kindred in person during the "Last Remains" arc, he finds that Kindred had dug up the bodies of Ned Leeds, Ben Parker, George Stacy, Gwen Stacy, Jean DeWolff, and Marla Jameson and sat them around a dinner table.[14]

In spite of this, Ned is revealed to have been alive all along, his body having resurrected himself immediately following his assassination due to him having ingested Norman Osborn's Goblin Formula beforehand. After spending years in hiding, stalking Betty, he reveals himself to her and convinces her to let him back into her life, getting back together with her and eventually even have a child together. In "The Hobgoblins' Last Stand", both Ned and Kingsley are both turned into Hobgoblins again by the Queen Goblin, serving as her enforcers.[15]

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."[15]

Powers and abilities

Ned Leeds had a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism, and was a master of deductive reasoning and investigation. He was a normal man who engaged in regular exercise, which increased to more intensive levels after assuming the Hobgoblin role. As the Hobgoblin, Ned wore his signature uniform and used the glider and equipment which included Jack O'Lantern bombs, razor bats and electrical shock gloves. However, he had no healing factor or superhuman strength, prior to ingesting the Goblin Formula, after which he developed superhuman strength, speed, reflexes, and stamina as well as a low-level rapid healing factor,[16] the latter of which allow him to survive otherwise fatal gunshot wounds.[17]

Other versions

Ultimate Marvel

The Ultimate Marvel version of Ned Leeds is a reporter for the Daily Bugle and an alcoholic with an antagonistic relationship with Betty Brant.[18]

Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane

Ned Leeds appears in the dramatic comic book Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane. In this continuity, the characters are high school students, and Ned is Mary Jane's boyfriend, who breaks up with her to reunite with his ex-girlfriend Betty Brant.[19]

In other media

See also: Hobgoblin (comics) § In other media



See also: Ned Leeds (Marvel Cinematic Universe)

Actor Jacob Batalon portrayed Ned Leeds in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Video games


Ned Leeds / Hobgoblin appears in The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, voiced by Pat Fraley. This version is a member of Doctor Octopus' Sinister Syndicate.


  1. ^ The original Hobgoblin's identity had yet to be revealed in the comics when Spider-Man: The Animated Series was produced, so the show's version of the character was instead an amalgamation of Ned Leeds' and Roderick Kingsley's then-depicted personality and ambitions, with Jason Macendale's mercenary status and Lefty Donovan's criminal background.


  1. ^ Greenberg, Glenn (August 2009). "When Hobby Met Spidey". Back Issue! (35). TwoMorrows Publishing: 18.
  2. ^ Conroy, Mike (2004). 500 Comicbook Villains. Collins & Brown. ISBN 1-84340-205-X.
  3. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #37-39. Marvel Comics.
  4. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #156. Marvel Comics.
  5. ^ a b Hobgoblin Lives #3. Marvel Comics.
  6. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #253. Marvel Comics.
  7. ^ Spider-Man versus Wolverine (February 1987). Marvel Comics.
  8. ^ Cowsill, Alan; Manning, Matthew K. (2012). Spider-Man Chronicle: Celebrating 50 Years of Web-Slinging. DK Publishing. p. 161. ISBN 978-0756692360.
  9. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #289. Marvel Comics.
  10. ^ The Clone Conspiracy #4. Marvel Comics.
  11. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #42. Marvel Comics.
  12. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man vol. 5 #15. Marvel Comics.
  13. ^ Symbiote Spider-Man: Alien Reality #1–6. Marvel Comics.
  14. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man vol. 5 #50. Marvel Comics.
  15. ^ a b The Amazing Spider-Man vol. 6 #12. Marvel Comics.
  16. ^ Stan Lee (w), Steve Ditko (p), Steve Ditko (i). "Spider-Man" The Amazing Spider-Man, no. 37 (June 1966). Marvel Comics.
  17. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man vol. 5 #68
  18. ^ Ultimate Spider-Man #121. Marvel Comics.
  19. ^ Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane #6-7. Marvel Comics.
  20. ^ "Hobgoblin Voice - Spider-Man franchise". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved 2020-02-07.
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  22. ^ "17 Things We Learned on the Set of Spider-Man: Homecoming". 3 April 2017.
  23. ^ Collura, Scott (April 3, 2017). "17 Things We Learned On The Set Of Spider-Man: Homecoming Page 2 of 2". IGN. Archived from the original on April 4, 2017. Retrieved April 3, 2017.
  24. ^ Francisco, Eric (October 9, 2017). "'Spider-Man: Homecoming' Star Wants Ned to Become a Villain". Inverse. Archived from the original on October 10, 2017. Retrieved October 9, 2017.
  25. ^ Allen, Ben (April 25, 2019). "All of the cameos in Avengers: Endgame". Radio Times. Archived from the original on April 25, 2019. Retrieved April 26, 2019.
  26. ^ Alexander, Julia (October 5, 2017). "Peter Parker's best friend, Ned, may show up in an Avengers movie". Polygon. Archived from the original on October 5, 2017. Retrieved October 5, 2017.
  27. ^ "Spider-Man 3's Jacob Batalon Reveals New Look For Ned Leeds". ScreenRant. 2020-10-30. Retrieved 2021-01-29.
  28. ^ "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse' Easter Eggs You Might Have Missed". Collider. June 2023.