- Ned Leeds
Ned Leeds as Hobgoblin, from The Amazing Spider-Man #289 (June 1987)
Art by Alan Kupperberg
Publication information Publisher Marvel Comics First appearance The Amazing Spider-Man #18 (Nov 1964) Created by Stan Lee
In-story information Full name Edward "Ned" Leeds Team affiliations Daily Bugle Supporting character of Spider-Man Notable aliases Hobgoblin
Ned Leeds is a comic book character in the Marvel Comics universe, part of the supporting cast of Spider-Man, first introduced in 1964 in The Amazing Spider-Man #18, by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. He was a reporter at the Daily Bugle, where Peter Parker also works.
Fictional character biography
Edward "Ned" Leeds appeared early in Peter Parker's life as a reporter for the Daily Bugle. Frequently, he and Peter would struggle for the affections of Bugle Secretary Betty Brant, and eventually Ned won and married her. Ned became city editor for the paper, and hints were dropped that the couple's marriage was anything but happy.
When Spider-Man battled the Hobgoblin, Ned followed him to the villain's hideout. When Kingsley realized Ned was present, he captured and brainwashed the unlucky reporter, deciding it would be better to have a scapegoat in case he became unmasked.
Ned Leeds approached Richard Fisk, son of the Kingpin, to find out about his father. Discovering that Richard hated his father, Leeds helped him create a secret identity as the crime boss The Rose. Kingsley, wanting to become the new crime leader, wanted Ned to knock the older Fisk off his throne so he could have it.
Ned's regular brain washings by Kingsley caused his marriage and his professional relationships to fall apart. Increasingly mentally unstable, Ned caused Betty to find solace in Flash Thompson, a former rival to Peter Parker.
Eventually Flash made statements about the Hobgoblin, and Kingsley staged events so Flash was revealed as the enigmatic villain. Meanwhile, Ned and Richard Fisk reached a disagreement and Ned decided to turn in Richard Fisk's identity as the Rose to his father,The Kingpin, and Kingsley decided in turn that Ned was no longer needed as the Hobgoblin. After Flash was cleared of being the Hobgoblin, Kingsley let the New York underworld empire know that Ned was actually the Hobgoblin and that he would soon be traveling to Berlin.
Ned and Peter Parker were on an assignment in Berlin, when Leeds was murdered by the Foreigner at the request of Jason Macendale who could now become a new incarnation of the orange hooded villain. Ned died still separated from his former wife. Soon after that, the Kingpin revealed to Spider-Man that Ned was the Hobgoblin by presenting substantial photo evidence of Ned in the Hobgoblin costume, (which was delivered to him via Roderick Kingsley). The target was killed in Berlin, by the Foreigner's men, assigned by Macendale, who was following the orders of Richard Fisk aka the Rose. He also informs him that Macendale is the new Hobgoblin.
In time after the murder of Jason Macendale by the original Hobgoblin. Peter Parker was able to deduce there was no logical way Ned could be Hobgoblin. Having fought Hobgoblin several times Spider-Man could testify to Hobgoblin's augmented strength. Foreigner at that time was not using super human operatives. The true Hobgoblin would have killed Foreigner's men. Eventually following the clues, and with the help of Ned's widow Betty Brant, Spider-Man was able to discover that Kingsley was the true Hobgoblin and eventually defeat Kinglsley, thus clearing Ned's name.
Powers and abilities
Ned was a normal man who engaged in regular exercise, which increased to more intensive levels after assuming the role of the Hobgoblin. When brainwashed, he wore the Hobgoblin's uniform and used his glider and equipment. Hobgoblin equipment includes Jack O'Lantern bombs, razor bats, and electrical shock gloves. Since Ned Leeds did not take the Goblin Formula as Kingsley did, he had no healing factor or superhuman strength.
Ned Leeds was a highly intuitive and effective investigative reporter as evidenced by his ability to locate the Goblin Lair and discover the identity of the Hobgoblin, a feat which had eluded Spider-Man. Leeds was actually more effective in his role than his successor, Jason Macendale, despite that Macendale used more sophisticated equipment and had augmented strength.
Ned had a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism, and was a master of deductive reasoning and investigation.
Ned first appearance was in Ultimate Spider-Man #121. He is a reporter for the Daily Bugle just like his mainstream version, but here he is a drunk and he and Betty Brant cannot stand each other.
Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane
Ned Leeds also appeared briefly in the comic book drama Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane issues #6 and #7. In this continuity, Ned was a senior who dated Mary Jane when she was a junior and she soon began to think he was "the one". Although, ironically, after she confessed this Ned broke up with her in favor of his old girlfriend Betty Brant.
In other media
- Ned Leeds appeared in several episodes of Spider-Man: The Animated Series voiced by Bob Bergen. Used mainly as a Daily Bugle reporter, the series did not go into Leeds' background from the comics due to the fact the Hobgoblin's identity had already been revealed prior to his introduction, and Betty Brant did not appear in the series.
- Ned Leeds appears in The Spectacular Spider-Man voiced by Andrew Kishino. He was renamed Ned Lee to accentuate that fact that he is Korean-American in this continuity. A crackerjack young reporter, he is convinced that he can crack the mystery of who Spider-Man really is by piecing together the clues. Jameson thinks he's wasting his time and nearly hands the assignment to Foswell, but Robbie Robertson thinks he may have something and tells him to "run with it". He also convinces Robbie that the Green Goblin might be connected to the mystery. When Venom outs Spider-Man's true identity, Ned goes and interviews people that Peter Parker and Spider-Man both know, like Aunt May, the Connors, Norman Osborn, Quentin Beck, Flash Thompson, and Eddie Brock. He eventually concludes that Peter cannot be Spider-Man, since he wore his costume unmasked on Halloween night, a risky move the real Spider-Man would not make, and continues with his investigation. He is also shown to have an attraction to his co-worker, Betty Brant. While asking her if she believes Peter is Spider-Man, he asks her out, only for his advances to be interrupted by Jameson.
Ned Leeds as the Hobgoblin can be seen in the Islands of Adventure ride The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man as a member of Doctor Octopus' Sinister Syndicate. A wanted poster for him may be seen during the waiting period of the ride, which identifies him as Edward Leeds. At one point in the ride, he attacks guests with a pumpkin bomb that almost hits them, but stops thanks to the intervention of Spider-Man, who attacks Hobgoblin and stops him from further hurting guests. During the climax, he and Scream grab onto Spider-Man, who was webbing onto guests, and sends them through the city, before he is defeated when the ride vehicle crashes into his glider. He is last seen webbed up with the rest of the Syndicate.
- In Spider-Man: Web of Shadows, one of the questions Wolverine will ask the player to see if Spider-Man is controlled by the symbiote is "Whose killer did we track in Berlin?". The correct answer is Ned Leeds, with Spider-Man expressing frustration and grief at Wolverine bringing up such a painful memory.
- ^ Spider-Man versus Wolverine (February 1987)
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