Characters : Hobgoblin I (Kingsley)
Blue or gray, depending on who is doing the coloring.
May actually be his older, balding brother impersonating him; you always want to tug on the hair and see if there's a hairpiece involved!
The ability to maintain his balance while riding that glider thingy (hey, that always impressed me!)
The vertical-thrust goblin glider, which was powered by a miniature turbo-fan. It could go up to 90 miles per hour and support 400 pounds.
Over-confidence. And an unshakable belief in his own sanity when he was clearly tottering on the edge of insanity.
None other than super-human strength.
"Nearly" that of Spider-Man's.
Jack O'Lantern bombs, razor-edged bat-wings, and gloves capable of conducting pulses of electricity upwards of 10,000 volts.
None, although he was often impersonated by his brother Daniel
Fashion Designer, Corporate Head
Ned Leeds, under brainwashing. Donovan (Hobgoblin II). The Rose, under the assumption he was dealing with Ned Leeds.
Just Daniel, who didn't always appreciate it!
Daniel Kingsley, older brother
Spider-Man, Betty Brant
New York City
Spider-Man's first encounter with Roderick Kingsley certainly gave him no reason to think that the scrawny man would become a persistent enemy over the course of years. Peter Parker witnessed a robbery of neo-atropine at Empire State University and managed to toss a spider tracer onto one of the escaping thugs. Later, while searching for the tracer as Spider-Man, he found Kingsley working at his desk . The tingling of his spider sense got stronger as the same goons from the robbery burst through Kingsley's door and a woman calling herself Belladonna entered. The woman came for revenge against Roderick, claiming he had stolen even fashion idea he ever had from her. Spidey arrived to stop her but she and the crooks escaped, as the gas that had been stolen was used as a weapon. Spidey took Kingsley to the rooftop to escape the fumes. The webhead didn't get any thanks, as Kingsley chewed him out for ruining his studio. Spider-Man webbed him to a rooftop chimney, telling him that the webbing would dissolve in an hour or two.
The next day, Peter got more information on Roderick from a Daily Globe reporter, Sandy Jones. She told him that Kingsley reportedly was known for stealing fashion designs and had driven a dozen small European cosmetics companies out of business so he could start his own Kingsley Fragrances. (Roderick owned Kingsley International, a company that started out in fashion and cosmetics and branched out into publishing and electronics. (Spider-Man: Hobgoblin Lives #2)) Even fashion photographers wanted nothing to do with him, as they had "bad dealings" with him. Jones mentioned that Kingsley was having a fashion show that night, and Peter decided he would go see it. At the show, the fashions that Kingsley wanted to reveal had been replaced by torn burlap sacks. Belladonna then showed up, claiming that it was all poetic justice and proceeded to rob the attendants of the show. Belladonna was about to take her revenge on Kingsley when Spidey showed up and she fled. (Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #43)
A week later, Spider-Man was again dealing with Belladonna and her ally, Prowler II. Putting two and two together that Belladonna was Desiree Vaughn-Pope, he confronted her at her penthouse. Her sister, Narda Ravanna, clued him in on their past with Rod Kingsley and that Desiree was going to meet with Kingsley as they spoke. Spider-Man went to prevent her attack on Kingsley and Narda, pleased by her fooling the web head, gave Roderick a phone call as Belladonna. She told him that Spider-Man was now her ally and was coming to kill him. A trembling Kingsley waited for Spider-Man to arrive with a pistol and opened fire when a figure in a Spider-Man costume crashed through his sky-light. He only shot a dummy in a Spider-Man costume but the shots alerted the nearby police and he was taken into custody for questioning. (Spectacular Spider-Man #48)
Several months passed, and Peter, Aunt May and Nathan Lubensky were nearly run over by a group of fleeing bank robbers. Peter went after them as Spider-Man and one of the crooks escaped into an industrial park. Spidey had him cornered until the crook escaped down a sewer manhole...which happened to lead under Osborn Manufacturing. Spidey didn't feel like chasing the hooligan into the sewer and let him go. Under the Osborn building, the crook (named Georgie Hill) stumbled upon a secret room filled with Green Goblin costumes, journals and equipment. Later that night, Georgie took a silhouetted man (Kingsley) to the hideout and helped him move the items into a truck. The man told Georgie to get rid of the truck, then blew it up with a remote control as Georgie drove away. Afterward, the man re-dyed the Green Goblin costume, made other alterations and proclaimed himself the Hobgoblin. (Amazing Spider-Man #238)
Soon there were break ins at Osborn Manufacturing buildings all over New Jersey. Donald Menken and Harry Osborn were surprised to see that all of the looting had taken place in storage rooms not known to anyone. Peter also learned of the robberies and started checking buildings that hadn't been hit yet. At the last one, he found Hobgoblin ransacking the building. Hobby tried to escape and Spidey gave chase, eventually crashing Hobgoblin's jet glider into a road construction site. One of Hobby's hand blasts tore open a gas pipe and he escaped as Spider-Man stopped the free flow of gas. As he escaped, a battered and bruised Hobgoblin promised that once he found out how the Green Goblin had managed to go toe to toe with Spider-Man for so many years, he would be able to do the same. (Amazing Spider-Man #239)
The robberies of Osborn buildings continued, even though the new crimes were committed by men with trucks and not by the Hobgoblin himself. Spider-Man checked out the police file on the break ins at Captain Jean DeWolff's office and found that only documents regarding chemical storage had been taken. At that moment a police officer outside of DeWolff's office mentioned to another cop that a break in was in progress at an Osborn chemical storage warehouse. Spider-Man quickly arrived at the scene and apprehended the thugs but the pumpkin bomb tossing man in the getaway truck escaped. During the police interrogation, the goons revealed that they had been hired legitimately to move crates of unknown materials from the warehouse to the truck. The only one who knew what the crates contained was their boss, Arnold Donovan. (Amazing Spider-Man #244)
After Donovan was framed and murdered by Kingsley, Roderick managed to replicate the strength enhancing Green Goblin formula for himself. After administering the compound, he decided it was time to test its effectiveness by killing Spider-Man. He came upon the web swinger and the Black Cat as they were out for a swing over New York City. Cat had just told him that she didn't really have any super powers and that her "bad luck" abilities were just carefully staged tricks. This made Spidey protective of her after the Hobgoblin tried to carry her away. Spidey forced Hobby to drop her but the Goblin managed to tear a corner of a rooftop away and toss it at the web head. Spider-Man faked an injury and as Hobgoblin was about to finish him off, the Black Cat jumped in and foiled Spidey's ambush. The Hobgoblin left them, mocking their incompetence. (Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #85)
Kingsley made good use of Norman Osborn's journals, using the information that Osborn's wealthy friends had told him to blackmail them. Many rich men were threatened, from J. Jonah Jameson (regarding the role that he played in the Scorpion's creation) to Harry Osborn (his father's secret life as the Green Goblin) to Daniel Kingsley, Roderick's own identical twin brother. Harry refused to be put into a corner and punched Hobgoblin in the face...not realizing the the man giving demands to the assembled group was really a robot. The real Hobgoblin then arrived, and said he had used the robot to weed out the trouble makers. Spider-Man showed and the resulting fight took them into the country club's dining hall, where Wilson Fisk was having his dinner. While watching the fight, the mafia lord decided that Hobgoblin was a capable person and might be a threat to his organization. He prevented Hobgoblin from killing a drugged Spider-Man and then tossed one of the vigilante's dropped spider tracers onto the escaping Goblin's flying glider. (Amazing Spider-Man #249)
The gas that Hobgoblin used against Spider-Man didn't only slow his reflexes but also removed his spider sense. Without it, he had no way to track the tracer on the glider. It was only after finding the tracking receiver on the floor of his closet that he was able to hunt down Hobgoblin at his warehouse hideout. The ensuing fight left the warehouse destroyed and Hobgoblin tried to escape in a battle van. He careened across New York, ramming the van into a tavern to try and smash Spider-Man (who was riding on the front hood) against the glass window. When Spidey even escaped that trap, he managed to pull the safety hatch off the van and get inside. Hobgoblin lost control of the van and it went roaring over Pier 83 and into the Hudson River. The river water short circuited the van's self destruct device and Spider-Man barely escaped before it exploded. Searching the scene later, all Spider-Man found was Hobgoblin's mask. (Amazing Spider-Man #249 and #250)
Spider-Man believed that the Hobgoblin was dead but he survived and took the clothes from a drunk homeless man as a disguise. He arrived at another warehouse hideout but he had been followed there from the water front by Ned Leeds, whom had been assigned to find out more about the Hobgoblin for the Daily Bugle. Ned was captured and subjected to a brain washing machine and forced to work for Kingsley. (This was the same brain washing machine used on Captain George Stacy by the Kingpin years prior.) From that point onward, Kingsley used Ned as a stand in for more dangerous crimes. (Spider-Man: Hobgoblin Lives #3)
Under Kingsley's mind control, Ned become the Hobgoblin and convinced Richard Fisk to become the mafia boss named The Rose. Hobgoblin's plan was to have Richard attack his father's, Wilson, criminal empire and gain from the Kingpin's downfall. Kingsley even had Ned unmask for Richard as a show of trust. (Spider-Man: Hobgoblin Lives #3) Roderick still enjoyed being Hobgoblin and started demanding protection money from low level gangsters and casino owners. (This was clearly Roderick behind the mask, as he had the enhanced strength to take on mob goons bare handed. Ned was never exposed to the Green Goblin formula.) Hobgoblin and the Rose were hoping to assimilate the casinos and gangs in New York until they could match the Kingpin. (Amazing Spider-Man #259)
Around this same time, Hobgoblin gained an unwanted rival in another criminal, named Jason Macendale, that called himself the Jack O'Lantern. After the police recovered the destroyed battle van from the Hudson River, it was hijacked by Jack O'Lantern and his thugs. (Amazing Spider-Man #254) Soon after, Hobgoblin attacked Harry Osborn in his office at Osborn Manufacturing. He demanded that Harry hand over his father's remaining journals when Spider-Man arrived on a hunch that Harry would be Goblin's next target. As Hobgoblin and Spider-Man fought, agents of the Rose were kidnapping Mary Jane Watson and Liz Osborn as insurance that Harry would be cooperative. Hobgoblin escaped and Harry decided to take matters into his own hands to protect his wife and unborn son, Normie Osborn. (Amazing Spider-Man #260)
After Harry found one last journal, Hobgoblin kidnapped him and took him to the hideout where he was holding Mary Jane and Liz. Spidey followed the Goblin back to his hideout and caught up to them just in time to prevent Kingsley from killing the hostages. Harry stumbled into one of Hobgoblin's storage rooms as he tried to escape and confronted the criminal with his own weapons. Hobby thoroughly thrashed Harry and he was saved by Spidey. Meanwhile, Mary Jane and Liz were trapped by a spreading fire and Spidey left Hobgoblin to go save them. Hobgoblin escaped and was later furious that the journal that Harry brought him was useless, as he knew everything that it told. (Amazing Spider-Man #261)
Some time later, the Hobgoblin was anxious to test out a new weapon. A chest plate on his costume that fired his hand blaster in random patterns that even Spider-Man's spider sense couldn't detect. Hobby made his move at the Port Authority and kidnapped a random woman, who turned out to be Sha Shan, the girlfriend of Flash Thompson. The news media reported on the story and Spidey was soon there to save her. Sha Shan was rescued and Hobgoblin escaped Spider-Man, with the random fire hand blaster being a disappointment. Flash showed up at the hospital later to see Sha Shan and when a TV reporter asked him to comment on the Hobgoblin, Flash called him a "creep and a coward." Both Roderick and Ned saw the news report and one of them responded by kidnapping Flash and framing him as the Hobgoblin. Hobgoblin paraphernalia was left in his apartment and Flash was captured by Spider-Man while wearing the costume. (Amazing Spider-Man #275 and #276)
While Flash was in prison, he was nearly killed by a masked gunman who had been gunning down many New York criminals. He was stopped by Spider-Man, who had been visiting Flash. (Amazing Spider-Man #278) Not long after the attempt on Flash's life, he was broken out of prison by the Jack O'Lantern, thinking that he was rescuing the Hobgoblin. "Jack" if he could pull that crime off, the job offers from the crime families would come pouring in. The Rose broke the news of Thompson's escape to the real Hobgoblin, who wasn't too happy to hear it. Flash being in jail took the heat off of Kingsley, and his freedom could lead to questions. He found Flash at Jack O'Lanterns hideout and the two villains clashed. The fight went outside and Flash used the opportunity to escape. Hobgoblin accused "Jack" of trying to horn in on his action in the underworld. Both crooks left the fight to lick their wounds, both promising the other that they would meet again. (Amazing Spider-Man #281)
Hobgoblin laid low until it was time for the gang war against Wilson Fisk. At a meeting with the Rose, he promised that the fact that Jack O'Lantern was working with the Arranger was a minor problem. He would teach him to fear the Hobgoblin. After leaving the meeting, Hobgoblin crossed paths with the Punisher and mistook him for Spider-Man. The gun toting vigilante opened fire on Hobgoblin, nearly killing him. (Amazing Spider-Man #284) Surviving the Punisher's attack, Hobgoblin realized that his entrance into the Gang War changed the situation in a way he didn't like. Fighting the Punisher would be too much of a distraction for him, taking his attention off of his ultimate goal. (Just the biography writer's personal opinion: This is most likely where Kingsley forced Ned to take his place as the Hobgoblin. The situation was getting progressively more violent and unpredictable, so he used Ned to take all the risk.) The Punisher struck again, while all of the warring mobsters were at a meeting. Spider-Man deflected the rocket propelled grenade that the Punisher fired at the crowd, causing one of the Kingpin's goons to try and kill the Arranger. Rose ordered Hobgoblin to save him and an alliance was formed between Rose and Arranger...and Hobgoblin and Jack O'Lantern. (Amazing Spider-Man #285)
Whether it was Kingsley or Leeds behind the mask, it all went bad again between Hobgoblin and Jack O'Lantern when Spider-Man arrived at the scene of the final meeting between the crime bosses. Hobgoblin wanted to kill the web swinger and Jack refused. Spider-Man was one of the toughest guys that Jack O'Lantern had ever faced and he refused to fight him. He fled the flight, leaving Hobgoblin alone with the arachnid. (Amazing Spider-Man #286) Hobby escaped but swore bloody revenge on Jack O'Lantern. (Amazing Spider-Man #288) Jack O'Lantern rightfully feared for his life and put a contract out on Hobgoblin. Kingsley had grown bored with being Hobgoblin (so he claimed) and set up Ned to take his fall. Ned was killed by the assassins that Macendale hired and the costume and weapons of the Hobgoblin were sent back to Macendale, who used them to become Hobgoblin IV. (Amazing Spider-Man #289)
Roderick Kingsley retired from costumed crime for many years, until Macendale was captured by Spider-Man (Ben Reilly) after one of their many battles. When asked to confirm a rumor that he had not been the original Hobgoblin, Macendale told the reporter that Ned Leeds had been the first person to use that name. This caused a furor in the media and Kingsley became concerned that the fact that Leeds had been connected to the Hobgoblin could lead back to him. He snuck into the prison where Macendale was being held and killed him in his cell. Back at Daniel Kingsley's apartment, the Hobgoblin told him they were business partners again and that he would need Daniel's help regarding his take over of Osborn Industries. (Spider-Man: Hobgoblin Lives #1)
Roderick paid a visit to his inside man at Osborn Industries, Donald Menken. They were discussing their plans for the dummy corporations they planned to use to plan a fake take over bid, Kingsley International would rush into buy Osborn Industries first. Menken got a call at that moment from George Vandergill, another wealthy industrialist, who claimed to know all about Menken's plans. Later, the Hobgoblin arrived at Vandergill's factory in the Hudson Valley. The attack killed Vandergill and forty people at the plant. Ned Leeds' widow, Betty Brant, went on live TV with a story that she had evidence that her husband was innocent of being the Hobgoblin. The real deal was waiting for her outside the TV studio but as Spider-Man had been following Betty as a guard, and a quick battle ended with Spider-Man dumped into the East River. (Spider-Man: Hobgoblin Lives #2)
Hobgoblin, thinking Spider-Man was dead, went to Betty's apartment and kidnapped her to find out more about her alleged proof of Ned's innocence. Just before he left, Hobby a TV news report that showed video proof that Spider-Man, while injured and shaken, had survived the electrocution and fall into the river. Back at his hideout, Hobgoblin scanned Betty's unconscious body to check for spider tracers, which he found and had "Roderick" place in far away locations. Upon her awakening, Betty agreed to give Hobgoblin her proof of Ned's innocence, on the condition that he tell her everything that happened to her late husband. He told her about the brain washings, the partnership with the Rose, framing Flash Thompson and ultimately sending Ned to his death. "Roderick" showed up and demanded that Hobgoblin stop the kidnappings and killings and Hobgoblin said he would have to kill Betty now that Kingsley had been seen by her. Spider-Man then showed up and unmasked Hobgoblin, revealing Roderick Kingsley. The man that Hobgoblin had been speaking with was his brother, Daniel, made to look like Roderick. Later, Kingsley was arrested and sent to the very same jail cell that Macendale had been killed in. (Spider-Man: Hobgoblin Lives #3)
Kingsley didn't stay in jail for long. Norman Osborn had been found to be alive despite everyone believing he had died years ago after killing Gwen Stacy. Norman went on the talk show circuit to prove that he was innocent of the Green Goblin's crimes. Kingsley was enraged to see Osborn free to enjoy his wealth and power while he rotted in an electrified prison cell. He demanded to see his lawyer and told him that he had one last journal of Osborn's that proved Norman was the Green Goblin. He would give it to the District Attorney for a plea bargain. However, Norman had spies all over and they immediately reported to him that Kingsley was trying to make a deal with the D.A. Kingsley was being moved to a secure location to speak with the District Attorney when he was kidnapped by the Green Goblin. The duo escaped, despite Spider-Man's efforts. Soon, Roderick was face to face with Norman Osborn...and his stand-in Green Goblin. (Spectacular Spider-Man #259)
Norman took Kingsley back to his hideout at the MultiVex Corporation and they discussed the whereabouts of the journal. Kingsley tried to play on Norman's vanity all the while, telling him that he was an inspiration, for both his exploits in and out of costume. Norman didn't buy it and demanded the journal. Kingsley told him that Daniel had it and that he would release it to the public if anything happened to Roderick. Norman eventually agreed to let Kingsley get his brother and the journal as the Hobgoblin...but had the proxy Green Goblin follow him with orders to kill both Kingsleys. Daniel was being held in protective custody but Hobgoblin quickly overpowered the guards. Spider-Man delayed Hobgoblin from taking his brother but he was hit by a tranquilizer dart from the Green Goblin. Hobgoblin wasn't happy that his victory had been taken from him but he did see an opportunity in unmasking the unconscious webhead. (Spectacular Spider-Man #260)
The Goblins took Daniel and Spider-Man back to Osborn's hideout, after the Green Goblin prevented Hob from unmasking Spider-Man. Kingsley was still eager to learn Spider-Man's identity but Norman told him "Don't waste my time with such insignificant matters, Kingsley! I want this journal situation resolved--immediately!" Kingsley suddenly realized that Norman already knew Spider-Man's secret and that he wouldn't share it with anyone. Norman accused him of lying about having one of his old journals and Kingsley confessed to it. Norman then told him that he had taken control of Kingsley International and merged it into Osborn Industries. Kingsley stammered his amazement that Osborn could have managed the corporate merger so quickly and Osborn simply replied "I'm Norman Osborn." In the ensuing fight, Norman knocked Kingsley off his glider and tossed away his pumpkin bombs, which started a fire. All of the Goblins escaped when Spider-Man rescued a group of firefighters from a collapsing wall. In the end, Kingsley lost control of his company and was a wanted fugitive but he managed to keep his secret Swiss Bank Account and retired to Isla Suerte. (Spectacular Spider-Man #261)
Years later, Daniel Kingsley was killed by Phil Urich in New York while looting another of Norman Osborn's hideouts. (Amazing Spider-Man #649) Some time later, a man calling himself Devil Spider was clearing out some drug runners from his territory in the Central American country of Delvadia (the home country of Tarantula I). An underling informed him that Daniel had been killed before he could really start as the Hobgoblin and that an impostor had been using the equipment. Roderick unmasked and promised that this new Hobgoblin had better watch his back. (Amazing Spider-Man #691)
He arrived in New York and soon set about locating the usurper Hobgoblin, using the Goblin's own GPS equipment in the flying bat-camera to find him. He captured the bat camera and used it to find Phil's apartment, where he hid his Hobgoblin costume and equipment. Roderick was unimpressed with Phil, especially after he learned that his whole motivation behind entering a criminal life was to get closer to Norah Winters. Roderick challenged Phil at Shadowland, the Kingpin's stronghold. Both Fisk and Kingsley wanted Norman Osborn's "Goblin key," which held all of Osborn's secrets as the Green Goblin and as Director of H.A.M.M.E.R. As the Hobgoblins fought, Peter Parker and Max Modell escaped with the key and Fisk ordered the Goblins to get it back or face his wrath. (Amazing Spider-Man #696)
Kingsley and Urich chased Max and Peter to Norman Osborn's hideout, where Peter was able to make a makeshift flying board to take on the Hobgoblins. (A Spider-Man costume was at the hideout, which Osborn had been throwing razor bats at.) Spider-Man managed to keep the Hobgoblins from reaching Osborn's secret stash long enough for Max to blow it up. Roderick sent a bat-pod to kill Norah, but she was saved in time, again by Max. Spider-Man left the Hobgoblins to fight it out but Roderick quickly overpowered Phil, forcing him into a bargain: Phil stayed the Hobgoblin and Kingsley got a cut of his profits sent to a Swiss bank account. Later, in Paris, Kingsley tells his servant that he is ready to expand his super villain franchise business into Russia. (Amazing Spider-Man #697)
|Jun 1980||App: Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #43|
|First as Kingsley|
|Nov 1980||App: Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #48|
|Mar 1983||App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #238|
|First Appearance as Hobgoblin|
|Apr 1983||App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #239|
|Sep 1983||App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #244|
|Search for Osborn Formula|
Here is the Full Appearance List (34 Apps) for Hobgoblin I (Kingsley).
The assistance of the Marvel Chronology Project is gratefully acknowledged.
Some of the above information is extracted from the various versions of the Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe and the more recent Marvel Encyclopaedias.