For other people using the name Hobgoblin see: Hobgoblin (Macendale), Phil Urich and Shapeshifter.
Roderick Kingsley was a famous and successful fashion designer who used questionable methods. His rather unscrupulous methods brought him many enemies, such as Belladonna, a woman whose company he ruined with a smear campaign. He had connections to several criminal associates. One such associate, a petty crook named George Hill who was on the run from Spider-Man, ducked into the sewers. He stumbled across an old secret base of the original Green Goblin, Norman Osborn.
Knowing this was valuable information, Hill passed it on to Kingsley. Kingsley thanked him by killing him to ensure no one else would know. Kingsley discovered some of Norman Osborn's journals among all the Green Goblin equipment. He decided to become a criminal himself and altered the Goblin costume and improved the Goblin equipment to become the Hobgoblin.
After a battle with Spider-Man, a battle which he barely managed to escape, Kingsley attempted to reproduce Osborn's formula to gain enhanced strength, but was cautious to avoid the insanity Osborn suffered. He tested the formula on a henchman by the name of Lefty Donovan. Kingsley had Lefty attack Spider-Man as the Hobgoblin as he watched to see any adverse side affects of the formula. Spider-Man thought he had defeated and unmasked the Hobgoblin, but Kingsley killed Lefty before he could implicate him by using a remote control on the Goblin Glider to cause Donovan to crash into the side of a building. Only Spider-Man knew that the original Hobgoblin was still alive, while the authorities and media believed him dead. This would be a running gag of Hobgoblin's career: faking his death by framing others for his crimes.
Roderick Kingsley was created by Roger Stern and Mike Zeck and first appeared in Spectacular Spider-Man #43 (1980), but his Hobgoblin alter-ego was created by Roger Stern and John Romita Jr and first appeared in Amazing Spider-Man Issue 238 (1983).
Major Story Arcs
Kingsley, as the Hobgoblin, then tried to blackmail several well-known socialites who belonged to the prestigious Century Club, including J.Jonah Jameson and Harry Osborn. This all culminated into a battle royale with Spider-Man that ended with the Hobgoblin escaping after his battle van sank to the bottom of the Hudson. The only trace of the Hobgoblin aside from his modified battle van was his mask left floating in the water.
Ned Leeds as Hobgoblin
Kingsley later discovered that reporter Ned Leeds had discovered his identity by following him to his hideout after Kingsley escaped from his battle with Spider-Man in the Hudson. Kingsley brainwashed Leeds into becoming his puppet using chemicals He was able to control Leeds and have him take his place in several meetings with other criminal bosses. To further draw attention away from himself, Kingsley even planted information to make it appear as if Flash Thompson was the Hobgoblin, after Flash publicly insulted the Hobgoblin on television. A rivalry subsequently started between the Hobgoblin and the criminal Jack O'Lantern ( Jason Philip Macendale) when Jack ruined his Flash Thompson frame-up unwittingly with his inexperience.
Believing that Leeds was the true Hobgoblin, Macendale hired the mercenary assassin, the Foreigner, to kill Leeds when he was on assignment in Paris. The Kingpin decided to pass along information on the "Hobgoblin's" death to Spider-Man. Spider-Man was devastated in thinking that one of his friends and co-workers (as Peter Parker) had been one of his greatest enemies. Kingsley decided to retire to Belize with everyone believing that the Hobgoblin was dead and his greatest foes believing as such.
Macendale decided to take on the guise of the Hobgoblin himself. Though he was a skilled mercenary, he met defeat at Spider-Man's hands many times.
In an attempt to gain more power, he went to the demon N'asrih during the Inferno crisis in Manhattan. Macendale said he would sell his soul for power but was laughed at by N'asrih. In the end as a joke, N'asrih placed a demon inside of Macendale. Later on, the demon inside would split from Macendale and dub itself the Demogoblin. He would later kill Demogoblin by blasting a building on top of him. Following this, Macendale once again sought power in the forms of Kraven the Hunter's strength enhancing formula, and later, cybernetic implants, but these, too, failed to help him.
At one point, when he was arrested and on trial, he revealed that the real "Hobgoblin" was Ned Leeds. The world had no choice but to believe this to be true.
The Return of Kingsley
After some time, Kingsley decided to come out of retirement. Not satisfied with what Macendale had done to his "name," the first thing Kingsley did as the original Hobgoblin, was kill Macendale, which he did by viciously melting him in his cell, reducing him to a skeleton.
He kidnapped Betty Brant, the widow of Ned Leeds, when she claimed to have evidence that Ned wasn't the real Hobgoblin. This was a ruse to bring out the Hobgoblin, which worked, because Betty had a spider-tracer on her, thus leading Spider-Man straight to them. Their battle ended with Kingsley finally being revealed to be the one and true Hobgoblin. It was also revealed that Kingsley had a identical brother Daniel Kingsley that often impersonated him when Roderick was away on Hobgoblin business, giving him a effective alibi.
When Norman Osborn "returned" from the dead, Kingsley was upset with his denial of being the Green Goblin. He was able to contact Osborn and claimed he had an old journal of his that proved he was the Green Goblin. Osborn had Kingsley broken out of jail with he help of Osborn's genetically constructed Green Goblin. Osborn later told Kingsley that he knew there wasn't a journal with this information and used his own finances to buy out Kingsley's empire. Kingsley was furious but had in fact stashed away several millions of dollars in different overseas accounts. Following a massive battle between Osborn, Kingsley, Spider-Man, and the Green Goblin genetic construct, Kingsley then decided to retire (again), but this time in the Caribbean.
Kingsley worked under the Devil-Spider alias in Delvadia, thinking that his brother Daniel has taken the Hobgoblin alias, and works for Kingpin. But he is informed that his brother's body has found, and someone new is wearing the Hobgoblin's name.
Kingsley now blackmailed the recent Hobgoblin Phil Urich to giving him a portion of Urich's earnings from his crimes as apart of a new scheme where he sells old super villain identities to willing criminals and provides them with new gear in return for a major cut of their earnings from their crime waves, keeping him out of the public eye while also making him a lot of money.
Kingsley is now the current Hobgoblin after Phil Urich has defeated by the Superior Spider-Man and taken in by the Green Goblin as the Goblin Knight.
Kingsley was forcefully made to save the Avengers from the wrath of Red Onslaught after being captured by Magneto in a fairly short fight. Following the spell done by Scarlet Witch that inverted Onslaught's brain, it also had the side-effect of inverting the moralities of everyone at the fight itself, making the superheroes evil, and the supervillains good.
Following the inversion, Kingsley was effected in a unique manner: while he wasn't the murderous criminal he was before, he was nevertheless a business man, and as such was still motivated by greed. He reactivated his franchises, this time leasing the personas and costumes of deceased or retired superheroes to ordinary people, offering them happiness and a true purpose in life by following his lead and training. He also franchised his Hobgoblin persona to various people to perform heroic deeds as Hobgoblin, and published a comic about them for promotion. He set a three phase program, including a book and various articles with his brand, promoting his business further. Kingsley openly displayed his identity to the public, something which would have been impossible to consider before the inversion. Urich, who had became the new Goblin King since Osborn's imprisonment was furious that Kingsley was tarnishing the reputation that the Goblin name had for wealth and tried to take him down. Urich tried to fight Kingsley at a nearby abandoned warehouse, but was outsmarted and made a fool by Kingsley, who used the opportunity to legitimise his recruits by having them save the hostages that Urich used to bait Kingsley out, before getting pinned down by his glider.
Even the betrayal of one of Kingsley's top recruits and a full invasion by the Goblin Nation was unsuccessful in actually taking him down, as he used holograms to disguise the fact that he already knew about the attack: when he confronted Urich once again he outskilled him in combat, using his flame sword against him to slice through his armor before incapacitating him. Even a old Captain America was impressed by Kingsley's acts of good for the community and openly praised him.
When the second inversion spell was cast, this turn of good was reversed, making Kingsley evil once more. He still kept his schemes going, but went back to his old murderous roots, as shown by his feud with a heavily pregnant Spider-Woman and the reformed successor to the Porcupine name, whom had refused to work for his Hobgoblin boss and pay his dues. He attempted to kill the latter multiple times, but was ultimately stopped at the last second by a reappearing Captain Marvel, who quickly fought him off and sent him running, as well as the establishment of supervillains he had with him as well.
New Sinister Six
Hobgoblin would later be apart of a new Sinister Six set up to steal a Helicarrier, with the intention of selling it to Latverian sources and making a big profit. This Sinister Six group would be composed of Hobgoblin, Bombshell, Electro, Sandman, and Spot, with Aaron Davis (the Ultimate universe Prowler) being the de-facto leader. Kingsley was smart enough to see that the heist was not going to go successfully, and thus tried to sell out the rest of the squad by informing the guard of the Helicarrier: Robert Maverick, a intelligent Red Hulk created via Bannerman Gamma tech: about the heist. The heist actually succeeded after a fairly new Spider-Man accidently stopped Maverick from arresting the group. Kingsley was rewarded for his ratting out by getting KO'd by a furious Sandman and knocked off the Helicarrier mid flight. He would later be right about his initial assumption as the group failed to sell it when they made it to Latveria.
Weight: 185 lbs
Powers and Abilities
Roderick Kingsley originally had no powers. However he had a keen analytical mind and enough knowledge of chemistry and biology to not only understand the incomplete notes for the Green Goblin formula left behind by Mendel Stromm and Norman Osborn but actually improve on them with his own adjustments. His version of the formula contains none of the side-effects found on their versions, such as insanity/mental instability. The Hobgoblin equipment consisted of somewhat improved variations of the Green Goblin one. Ingesting the formula gained him superhuman strength near Spider-Man's level (able to lift c. 10 tons) and above that of Norman Osborn. His reflexes, speed, stamina and intelligence were enhanced to superhuman levels but how he compares to other superhumans has been left vague, through he can at least trade with Spider-Man blow of blow for at least a bit before being overwhelmed. The variation used by Norman granted him a healing factor but its unknown if the same holds true for Roderick.
The standard Hobgoblin equipment includes bulletproof mail armor with an overlapping tunic, cape, and cowl. a variety of concussive and incendiary devices and a manoeuvrable Goblin Glider as personal transport. The glider can reach the speed of 90 miles per hour and can support 400 pounds of weight. It is heavily armored. The equipment also includes concussive and incendiary Jack O'Lanterns, smoke and gas-emitting bombs, bat-shaped razor-edged throwing blades and gloves with channel pulsed discharges of electricity, reaching up to 10,000 volts. Weaponry is usually carried in a shoulder bag.
Arnold "Lefty" Donovan had also consumed the same version of the formula and is presumed to have had the same powers as Kingsley. He also used the same equipment. Otherwise he was a petty criminal of average intelligence, and easily manipulated by Kingsley.
Edward "Ned" Leeds was brainwashed into the role by Kingsley but did not consume the formula. He originally had the physical abilities of a man who engaged in regular exercise. Kingsley intensively trained his replacement to acquiring the abilities of an athlete. Leeds was a highly intuitive and effective investigative reporter and master of deductive reasoning. He was able to peace together the clues towards the original Hobgoblin's identity and his lairs but fell captive to said foe. Spider-Man himself was unable to piece together the same clues, pointing to Ned being a superior detective. He proved a capable Hobgoblin but Kingsley considered him overly aggressive and somewhat unstable mentally, probably due to Kingsley's mental control and his ruthless training.
Jason Philip Macendale, Jr. was a former CIA agent who had started a lucrative career as a mercenary. He was the original Jack O'Lantern before assuming the Hobgoblin identity for himself. He originally had no powers and relied on the equipment. He later offered his soul to N'astirh in exchange for powers and was bonded to a demon. As Demogoblin, Jason had superhuman strength (able to lift c. 10 tons), sharp teeth and claws. Contact with his skin could cause burns and hallucinations to others. He could throw blasts of heat and could summon a fiery magical glider to replace his technological one. He could also summon mystical versions of his razor bats and pumpkins which apart from their typical effects could emotionally paralyze his victims.
When separated from the Demon, Jason was powerless again. He later consumed a version of Kraven the Hunter's formula which gave him all the physical abilities of Kraven to a slightly lesser degree. He had superhuman strength (able to lift c. 2 tons), speed, stamina, durability, agility and reflexes. Kraven was also granted superhuman longevity by his formula but whether Jason inherited it was left uncertain. Jason later turned to Gaunt for cybernetic enhancements which further improved his abilities. He regained superhuman strength on par with Spider-Man (able to lift c. 10 tons) and gained detachable claws and a bionic left eye capable of night vision and telescopic sight.
Macendale was the Hobgoblin with the most extensive training in hand-to-hand combat. He was supposed to be an exceptional martial artist, though several appearances blatantly ignored that information. He had extensive knowledge of espionage and conventional military weaponry. He also was a master of electrical engineering and physics, slightly improving the Hobgoblin glider for further manoeuvrability.
Marvel 2211 (Earth-9500)
In the year 2211, Robin Bourne is Hobgoblin 2211 and is the daughter of Dr. Max Bourne, who is Spider-Man of the said year.
In this reality, the Hobgoblin is now an assassin hired to kill Spider-Girl, Normie Osborn and Spider-Man. He didn't get to kill all of them, but found success in killing the Venom Symbiote. He planned to become the new Kingpin of Crime, but after a few setbacks, he headed back to the Caribbean until the time best suited him to return and pick up where he left off. When he did eventually return, New York was in the middle of a gang war. Ever the opportunist, he planned to pick up all the pieces when it was over, but before he could ascend to the position of the new Kingpin, Spider-Girl's clone impaled him on a pike, seemingly ending the threat of the Hobgoblin once and for all.
Ultimate Universe (Earth-1610)
The ultimate version of the Hobgoblin is Harry Osborn who was killed by Norman Osborn.
Spectacular Spider-Man (2008)
Roderick Kingsley appears in the Spectacular Spider-Man episode "Accomplices", voiced by Courtney B. Vance. This version of the character is a wealthy African-American businessman who owns a perfume factory. He outbids several crime bosses for the specifications of the Rhino's armor, resulting in the Rhino and Silver Sable attempting to steal them from him.
The producers have confirmed that the Hobgoblin would have been a major antagonist in the show's third season had it not been cancelled.
Spider-Man & Captain America in Doctor Doom's Revenge (1990)
Hobgoblin appears as an enemy in the game, allied with Doctor Doom.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (1992)
The Hobgoblin appears in the game as a boss character. After his defeat, Spider-Man uses his glider to pass a wall he previously couldn't scale.
Spider-Man: Web of Shadows (2008)
Hobgoblin appears as an assist character in the PS2 and PSP ports of the game.
Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions (2010)
This version of the Hobgoblin features as a new villain in the year 2099. This version of the character is a clone of Roderick Kingsley and other past Goblin villains created by Serena Patel. The character is game exclusive and is voiced by Steven Blum. He is another enemy who acquires a fragment of the tablet, and in doing so wreaks havoc with Spider-Man 2099. The way in which this Hobgoblin differs from others is the uncharacteristic "Psy-powers" bestowed unto him by an unnamed criminal mastermind. Combined with the fragment his powers are amplified to such an extent that he can send Spider-Man 2099 into a nightmarish hallucination, a gauntlet of his own twisted design. His is revealed to be a mercenary who was hired by Alchemax to kill the Spider-Man of this era, as they wished the meddling wall-crawler dead. His pay off is seemingly the bio-nanofiber wings which have been surgically grafted to his back, they also contain some circuitry. The task of taking down Miguel O'Hara is made somewhat easier with the addition of the tablet fragment to his arsenal, which he uses to ambush Spidey. Conveniently, while fleeing, the Public Eye intervene and constantly hinder Spider-Man 2099's efforts in defeating him. During the final bout and Hobgoblin's eventual demise, Miguel is able to deduce the company employing this maniac as none other than Alchemax, thanks to the overly complex scientific nature of his wings.
- Bowen Designs released a statue of the character.
- Roderick Kingsley was featured in Toy Biz's Spider-Man Classics line.
- Eaglemoss Publications released a lead Hobgoblin figurine.
- Hasbro released a Hobgoblin figure for the Marvel Universe line.
- Hobgoblin was featured in the HeroClix figure game.
- Hasbro released a Hobgoblin figure for the Marvel Legends Venom Spaceknight Build-a-Figure wave.
- Hobgoblin was featured in Hasbro's Marvel Mashers line.
- Hobgoblin is featured in the "Ghost Rider Team-Up" Lego kit.