Lefty Donovan was a thug employed by the original Hobgoblin, Roderick Kingsley. After Kingsley discovered the formula for the Green Goblin formula, he decided to improve upon it and erase the insanity side-effect. Instead of testing it out on himself, Kingsley had Donovan test it out on himself and brainwashed him into donning the Hobgoblin costume and weaponry after he escaped the hospital. Donovan began attacking the city in order to bring Spider-Man to him. Kingsley monitored Donovan and his body signals and concluded that the new formula was a success. After failing to beat Spider-Man, Kingsley triggered Donovan's glider to go haywire and crash into the side of a building. Everyone believed the Hobgoblin to be dead, except for Spider-Man, who Donovan had told he was just a dupe just mere moments before his death.