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The Abandoned An’ Forsaked – So Who Was the Hobgoblin Anyways?

by  in Comic News Comment

Every week, we will be examining comic book stories and ideas that were not only abandoned, but also had the stories/plots specifically “overturned” by a later writer (as if they were a legal precedent). Click here for an archive of all the previous editions of The Abandoned An’ Forsaked. Feel free to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.

Today, inspired by this week’s Comic Book Legends Revealed (where Peter David had the reveal of Goblin 2099 changed on him) we take a look at the back and forth history of who the Hobgoblin really was…

The mysterious Hobgoblin was introduced in Amazing Spider-Man #238, with writer Roger Stern keeping his identity a mystery from the readers. Stern left with issue #250. Incoming writer Tom DeFalco had his OWN views on who the Hobgoblin was. However, he, too, left the book before the honors fell to Peter David to tell the reveal, where the answer turned out to be Ned Leeds, who had been killed recently in a Spider-Man/Wolverine one-shot. Amazing Spider-Man #289 (drawn by Alan Kupperberg, Tom Morgan and Jim Fern) tells the tale, as the Kingpin gives Spider-Man proof…







And that was the status quo for years until Spider-Man: Hobgoblin Lives #1 (art by Ron Frenz and George Perez) in 1997, where Hobgoblin creator Roger Stern was able to reveal the Hobgoblin to REALLY be the person he originally meant it to be.

Go to the next page to see how he did it!

First, he shows how it couldn’t be Ned…




And in #3, he has the Hobgoblin explain how he used Ned and how all the evidence was faked…







So that was how Ned Leeds as the Hobgoblin was abandoned and forsaken.

By the way, in #3, we finally learn that the Hobgoblin was really a minor supporting character from back in the 1980s, Roderick Kingsley…


Kingsley had a brother who would impersonate him and/or the Hobgoblin as the need arose, but since Stern left the book before he could further establish that, all we got were hints, like Kingsley saying…


Since Daniel had not yet been introduced, incoming writer Tom DeFalco felt it was a bit of a cheat to use a not-yet-shown twin to explain how Kingsley was present at the same time as the Hobgoblin, so he went another direction. I believe he intended for the Kingpin’s son, Richard Fisk, to be the Hobgoblin.

That’s it for this week!

If YOU have a suggestion for a notable comic book retcon, let me know at bcronin@comicbookresources.com