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  1. #1
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    Default The Secret Origin of the Secret Identity of the Hobgoblin, Part 2

    The second half of the story behind the Hobgoblin's true identity is filled with mighty Marvel retcons, backtracking and revelations!


    Full article here.

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    Funny how Hobgoblin ended up being the biggest clusterfuck in Spider-Man history. Not One More Day like the noobs once claimed. Nope. Not even clone saga. No.

    It was Hobgoblin. It was Hobgoblin.

    All impact and momentum was lost when they went through a half dozen creative teams. Trying to capture Stan Lee's glory. And a fashionista, you fucking kidding me?!?! Kingsley?

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mysterio4521 View Post
    Funny how Hobgoblin ended up being the biggest clusterfuck in Spider-Man history. Not One More Day like the noobs once claimed. Nope. Not even clone saga. No.

    It was Hobgoblin. It was Hobgoblin.

    All impact and momentum was lost when they went through a half dozen creative teams. Trying to capture Stan Lee's glory. And a fashionista, you fucking kidding me?!?! Kingsley?

    I will also to this day never understand why they didn't go with Phil being the Green Goblin during Spider Hunt because it all made sense. Osborn knew Phil was the Green Goblin, Phil had been shown that the formula was causing him to become unstable. So, it made sense that Osborn would pull a Kingsley on Phil. Then flash forward over a decade later and Dan Slott did what Greenburg originally wanted to do. It just surprises me how much editorial either wanted to screw with the creators the way Priest did in the 80s with DeFalco and then years later with Macchio and Greenburg. Even worse with Greenburg the reasoning was that the editors thought it was too much like what Kingsley did and that Phil Urich fans would be pissed. Sure.

  4. #4
    Four degrees higher Cheesedique's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mysterio4521 View Post
    Funny how Hobgoblin ended up being the biggest clusterfuck in Spider-Man history. Not One More Day like the noobs once claimed. Nope. Not even clone saga. No.

    It was Hobgoblin. It was Hobgoblin.

    All impact and momentum was lost when they went through a half dozen creative teams. Trying to capture Stan Lee's glory. And a fashionista, you fucking kidding me?!?! Kingsley?
    I don't agree, and I don't see how a convoluted story about one of Spider-man's villains could be considered a bigger "clusterfuck" then stories that affected the title hero himself.

    As for a mere fashionista being a Hobgoblin, I think it speaks more about Kingsley's devious nature, his ability to operate in plain sight, then whatever industry he worked in. But it also dovetails with his propensity for stealing competitor's designs which was established early on. I think it works better than having another supporting character close to Peter Parker, like Bannon or Leeds, turning bad, which is part of why the Phil as a Hobgoblin thing is so lame. That, and Phil sucks major balls as Hobgoblin. He's made Jason Macendale look like Norman Osborn in comparison.
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  5. #5

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    "It seemed incredibly out of character for Ned Leeds to have been the real Hobgoblin," Stern said. "Don't forget, it was the Hobgoblin-to-be who killed Georgie Hill in cold blood in ASM #238. I don't see Ned doing that, not the Ned we knew, certainly not the Ned I wrote. Ned was always a good, decent man. Sure, there were some long-time readers who felt that Ned Leeds had 'stolen' Betty Brant from Peter Parker, but -- really! -- he'd done no such thing."
    Did Stern not write Ned Leeds to be a psycho jealous boyfriend so abusive that Betty ended up turning to Flash Thompson for comfort?

    Is this not why Stern wrote Hobgoblin framing Flash Thompson, serving the dual purpose of keeping him away from Betty while allowing New York City to lower its guard while he continued to operate in the shadows?

    Was Lance Bannon -- not Ned Leeds -- not the red herring Stern threw at us to throw us off Leeds' scent?

    I continue to maintain my (purely speculative) theory that Hobgoblin was always supposed to be Ned Leeds, but that Stern course-corrected when he realized his creation was even more popular than he'd anticipated. He'd created a character that genuinely stood a chance of becoming a permanent fixture in Spider-Man's life. One that would perhaps someday make it onto an animated series, or movie.

    Kingsley, unlike Ned Leeds, was an original Stern creation. The retcon didn't work straight-up, so he introduced this ridiculous "twin who's not a twin" idea that would actually make me think less of Stern as a writer, if that truly was the plan from Day 1. I'd rather believe Stern let his ego take over for a while, than believe he wasn't the great writer I thought he was.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jyeager11 View Post
    Did Stern not write Ned Leeds to be a psycho jealous boyfriend so abusive that Betty ended up turning to Flash Thompson for comfort?

    Is this not why Stern wrote Hobgoblin framing Flash Thompson, serving the dual purpose of keeping him away from Betty while allowing New York City to lower its guard while he continued to operate in the shadows?

    Was Lance Bannon -- not Ned Leeds -- not the red herring Stern threw at us to throw us off Leeds' scent?

    I continue to maintain my (purely speculative) theory that Hobgoblin was always supposed to be Ned Leeds, but that Stern course-corrected when he realized his creation was even more popular than he'd anticipated. He'd created a character that genuinely stood a chance of becoming a permanent fixture in Spider-Man's life. One that would perhaps someday make it onto an animated series, or movie.

    Kingsley, unlike Ned Leeds, was an original Stern creation. The retcon didn't work straight-up, so he introduced this ridiculous "twin who's not a twin" idea that would actually make me think less of Stern as a writer, if that truly was the plan from Day 1. I'd rather believe Stern let his ego take over for a while, than believe he wasn't the great writer I thought he was.
    Uh, Stern didn't write Hobgoblin framing Flash. I believe you're thinking DeFalco.

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    Four degrees higher Cheesedique's Avatar
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    Stern also wrote Leeds as pretty stand up guy during his run as well--for example, the Cobra / Hyde two-parter.

    It was during DeFalco's run that Ned was set up as a Hobgoblin red herring, and his behaviour was shown to be more erratic.
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    Quote Originally Posted by T-Spider View Post
    Uh, Stern didn't write Hobgoblin framing Flash. I believe you're thinking DeFalco.
    Was it really? Hmm.. I'm going to have to go back and re-read all of that and re-think my position on this one. Thanks for the correction, I was 100% convinced this was before Stern left the book.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jyeager11 View Post
    Did Stern not write Ned Leeds to be a psycho jealous boyfriend so abusive that Betty ended up turning to Flash Thompson for comfort?

    Is this not why Stern wrote Hobgoblin framing Flash Thompson, serving the dual purpose of keeping him away from Betty while allowing New York City to lower its guard while he continued to operate in the shadows?

    Was Lance Bannon -- not Ned Leeds -- not the red herring Stern threw at us to throw us off Leeds' scent?

    I continue to maintain my (purely speculative) theory that Hobgoblin was always supposed to be Ned Leeds, but that Stern course-corrected when he realized his creation was even more popular than he'd anticipated. He'd created a character that genuinely stood a chance of becoming a permanent fixture in Spider-Man's life. One that would perhaps someday make it onto an animated series, or movie.

    Kingsley, unlike Ned Leeds, was an original Stern creation. The retcon didn't work straight-up, so he introduced this ridiculous "twin who's not a twin" idea that would actually make me think less of Stern as a writer, if that truly was the plan from Day 1. I'd rather believe Stern let his ego take over for a while, than believe he wasn't the great writer I thought he was.
    Stern left before Ned Leeds became a psycho paranoid husband.

    About Hobgoblin's popularity.....well....after Stern left, Hobgoblin went from master criminal to lackey to bungling merc. His "death" was ridiculous. Seriously, what big time villain would cry out for his nemesis for help like a baby? I can understand if he was a petty thug, but Hobgoblin?? PLEASE!

    After 1989, the 2nd Hobgoblin became a bumbling idiot hitman and a joke to Spider-man. What I'm saying is, Hobby lost his badassery when Stern left. Btw, if you want to talk about ego, talk about the others who were screwing with Hobby's identity. Heck, Tom Defalco got fired because someone didn't like the way he did things.
    Last edited by SuperMagneto; 02-07-2014 at 10:15 PM.

  10. #10
    Veteran Member Hypestyle's Avatar
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    I want to see Christopher Priest write a Spider-Man storyline. Bring him back, at all costs.

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    ASM #275 was basically my first super-hero comic and I immediately became fascinated by the Hobgoblin and tracked down all the previous appearances. I don't remember ever giving two thoughts about Roderick Kingsley the entire time, although I can remember pretty much everything else. I do remember thinking that everything from 276 through 289 seemed confusing and disjointed, but I didn't really care much because I thought the Hobgoblin was awesome, whoever he really was.
    I can buy Stern's scenario that he intended R. Kingsley as the reveal. And I don't know that the non-twin thing really has to cause that big of a problem. There are siblings that look very similar that aren't twins (Jerry & Charlie O'Connell). Besides, as it is pointed out, we didn't even know there were 2 Kingsleys until "Roderick" mentions his brother. We don't even see him until Hobgoblin Lives #1. It seems plausible that Roderick never made himself public and nobody ever saw anybody other than Daniel as "Roderick."
    Did Stern really have that much planned out in advance. I don't know, but I find this scenario far more believable than Ned Leeds just suddenly becoming a power hungry criminal. I could buy Lance Bannon as The Hobgoblin before Leeds.

    All I know is that the entire Goblin mystique was ultimately ruined for me when they brought Norman "back from the dead" and turned him into a bad Lex Luthor knock-off.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hypestyle View Post
    I want to see Christopher Priest write a Spider-Man storyline. Bring him back, at all costs.
    Yeah, Priest is a great writer and I really liked his Spider-man work. I doubt he ever works for Marvel again though.

    Crazy to think about all the top talent working on the Hobgoblin--Stern, DeFalco, PAD and Priest. It's almost like that was the character's undoing really, all those different visions. Not a bad thing actually.
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    "It seemed incredibly out of character for Ned Leeds to have been the real Hobgoblin," Stern said. "Don't forget, it was the Hobgoblin-to-be who killed Georgie Hill in cold blood in ASM #238. I don't see Ned doing that, not the Ned we knew, certainly not the Ned I wrote. Ned was always a good, decent man. Sure, there were some long-time readers who felt that Ned Leeds had 'stolen' Betty Brant from Peter Parker, but -- really! -- he'd done no such thing."
    Well, Ned Leeds was presented in an unfavourable light during Marv Wolfman's, indirectly, when Betty ran away from him into Peter's arms and apparently thought this was the right thing to do because of something Ned did. This whole episode, and the strain it put on the Brant-Leeds marriage seems to have been something that Roger Stern on the whole ignored - Betty and Ned mostly functioned as a happy couple during his run, as if nothing had happened - but these events obviously became the precedent for Betty later seeking consolation in Flash Thompson's arms. The suggestion that all was not well between Ned and Betty and that Ned apparently had a dark side that to him that he kept mostly off-panel had been planted by Wolfman. (Not that Wolfman's story really made much sense, I can understand that Stern decided to ignore it).

    The problem for me was that Roderick Kingsley, as introduced by Roger Stern in PPSSM, seemed too much of a lightweight and too ineffectual as a villain to be the Hobgoblin. And if you say that Kingsley hid his real fiendishness and cleverness - that could also be just as true of nearly anyone else you chose, including Ned Leeds. Also, up until then Roderick Kingsley had been presented as a white-collar criminal, basically a corrupt businessman, why would a fairly minor crook like Georgie Hill approach him of all people after finding the Green Goblin's hideout? And apparently be familiar with him? To me it made a little more sense with Ned Leeds, since as an investigative reporter he could more plausibly be expected to have contacts in the lower reaches of the underworld.

    And speaking about people acting out of character, what about the jarring transformation of Betty Brant Leeds from mentally unstable secretary to hard-nosed investigator in "Hobgoblin Lives!"? That struck me es incredibly forced at the time.
    Last edited by Menshevik; 02-08-2014 at 12:36 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheesedique View Post
    Yeah, Priest is a great writer and I really liked his Spider-man work. I doubt he ever works for Marvel again though.

    Crazy to think about all the top talent working on the Hobgoblin--Stern, DeFalco, PAD and Priest. It's almost like that was the character's undoing really, all those different visions. Not a bad thing actually.
    I wonder what Stern think of Slott's take on Kingsley? Was he impressed?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperMagneto View Post
    I wonder what Stern think of Slott's take on Kingsley? Was he impressed?
    I doubt Uncle Rog cares a whole hell of a lot, actually, how writers use Kingsley now.

    I have a suspicion that Slott himself has little use for Kingsley as Hobgoblin. Seems more like it's Gage and Yost that have been pushing forward Kingsley's character lately.
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