Ned Leeds
Ned Leeds.png
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
Steve Ditko
In-story information
Full nameEdward "Ned" Leeds
Place of originHuntington, New York
Team affiliationsDaily Bugle
Supporting character ofSpider-Man
Notable aliasesHobgoblin
  • Veteran reporter
  • Master deductive reasoner and investigator

As the Hobgoblin:

  • Use of goblin-themed weapons and paraphernalia

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 the abusive husband of Betty Brant. Leeds is the first character to take on the Hobgoblin mantle as a supervillain; ten years following his assassination, he is retroactively established to have been willingly brainwashed to serve as a stand-in for Roderick Kingsley and his brother Daniel Kingsley, the true first Hobgoblins and masterminds, and killed before he could give them up to the authorities for a lesser sentence, and as such the third Hobgoblin: prior to this, from 1987 to 1997, Ned was originally depicted as having been the true identity of the first Hobgoblin. The character was revived in a 20182021 storyline where he was revealed to have been a willing Hobgoblin, faking his death to seek revenge on the Foreigner for having attempted to kill him, and using the brainwashing story to convince Betty to take him back and impregnate her, with the character confirmed to have been the first (willing, non-brainwashed) Hobgoblin in a 2022 storyline.

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]

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.[2] 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.[3]

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.[4] 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.[5] 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.[6][7] 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.[8] 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.[4]

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.[9] 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.[10] 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.[11]

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.[12]

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. While brainwashed, Ned wore the Hobgoblin's 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.

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.[13]

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.[14]

In other media



See also: Ned Leeds (Marvel Cinematic Universe)

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

A variation of Ned Leeds appears in films set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), portrayed by Jacob Batalon. This version is Filipino-American.

Video games


The Ned Leeds incarnation of the Hobgoblin appears ine 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!. TwoMorrows Publishing (35): 18.
  2. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #37-39. Marvel Comics.
  3. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #156. Marvel Comics.
  4. ^ a b Hobgoblin Lives #3. Marvel Comics.
  5. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #253. Marvel Comics.
  6. ^ Spider-Man versus Wolverine (February 1987). Marvel Comics.
  7. ^ Cowsill, Alan; Manning, Matthew K. (2012). Spider-Man Chronicle: Celebrating 50 Years of Web-Slinging. DK Publishing. p. 161. ISBN 978-0756692360.
  8. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #289. Marvel Comics.
  9. ^ The Clone Conspiracy #4. Marvel Comics.
  10. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #42. Marvel Comics.
  11. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man vol. 5 #15. Marvel Comics.
  12. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man vol. 5 #50. Marvel Comics.
  13. ^ Ultimate Spider-Man #121. Marvel Comics.
  14. ^ Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane #6-7. Marvel Comics.
  15. ^ "Hobgoblin Voice - Spider-Man franchise". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved 2020-02-07.
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ 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.
  18. ^ 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.
  19. ^ 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.
  20. ^ "Spider-Man 3's Jacob Batalon Reveals New Look For Ned Leeds". ScreenRant. 2020-10-30. Retrieved 2021-01-29.
  21. ^ "Characters". IGN Database. Retrieved January 28, 2018.