Dave Galanter
December 1st 1969 - December 12th 2020
He was loved.

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Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
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Member Since: Tue Apr 04, 2017
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Subj: Re: Did Ned Leeds Make A Good Hobgoblin, Or Was Kingsley Better?
Posted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 at 11:35:59 am EST (Viewed 348 times)
Reply Subj: Did Ned Leeds Make A Good Hobgoblin, Or Was Kingsley Better?
Posted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 at 05:04:21 pm EST (Viewed 449 times)

    I'm just wondering if people prefer the original revelation or the Kingsley one. I recently bought and reread Amazing #289 (When Ned was revealed at that time to be The Hobgoblin.), and I kind of liked the issue. Macendale was the Hobgoblin that I read about until his death, so he was kind of "My" Hobgoblin. Looking back though, he wasn't all that great in the role. I definitely prefer the original Hobgoblin. From what I understand, a lot of people didn't really like Ned as the Hobgoblin (Including editorial.). I still think that it's a pretty good issue, but one thing that bothers me is that it said that Ned became the Hobgoblin to TAKE down criminals (Such as the Kingpin.), but then went kind of crazy. BUT, in the original issues, he was pretty cold and murderous from the beginning. When he kills his informant and then kidnaps and kills Lefty Donovan. I'm not sure how that can fit, so I think that Kingsley works better. We don't really know anything about Kingsley though, so, who knows? Anyhow, what do you guys think?

The 1987 resolution was not perfect, but I felt comfortable with it as it retroactively gave some meaning and emotional payback for Ned Leeds' otherwise arbitrary and senseless death in Spider-Man vs. Wolverine #1 (I did not know that Jim Owsley/Christopher Priest had killed Ned off in order to sabotage Tom DeFalco's plans or that DeFalco had misled Owsley into believing that Ned was going to be the Hobgoblin when he was in fact planning to reveal Richard Fisk as the man behind the goblin mask). Such weaknesses as there were could be excused (in my opinion) by the fact that Peter David had to come up with a solution at extremely short notice - something like a month for plotting, artwork, scripting and lettering IIRC - in order to honour the deadline for this double-sized issue.(1) For instance I think that had PAD been more aware of the Hobgoblin's power level, he would have equipped the Foreigner's squad with the requisite armoury etc. to take down and kill him.

There were no such hasty mistakes in "Hobgoblin Lives!", but that is not surprising or that exciting because Roger Stern had years to prepare that self-congratulatory mini-series. The resolution with Kingsley as the Hobgoblin however left me disappointed and underwhelmed. Ned Leeds was a fairly important supporting character who had been in the franchise since Ditko, Kingsley in contrast was someone I only remembered from a PPSSM story pre-Hobgoblin which left me with the impression of him being a snivelling incompetent, an impression I did not feel I had to revise in the light of his later appearances. And Kingsley had not appeared in years before Hobgoblin Lives!, even though Macendale now took over the Hobgoblin identity, which to my mind only underlined his insignificance. And the anti-climactic end of the mini-series was then compounded by the fact that shortly afterwards, when Norman Osborn returned, Kingsley was ignominously defeated and fled back to the Caribbean with his tail between his legs. To me he only became a credible villain (one who could succeed without being the author's pet character for indiscernible reasons) when Tom DeFalco started using him in the MC-2 universe. Also, since Stern's resolution involved an identical twin brother (IIRC it had only been mentioned once before 1987 that Roderick had a brother, but never that he was a twin, let alone an identical one) and hiding his real character and competence from his first appearance, I felt it involved at least a little cheating.

(1) IIRC Peter David had very little experience of writing the Hobgoblin before the job of resolving his mystery before was dumped in his lap after Owsley/Priest fired DeFalco and Shooter then fired Owsley. And apparently neither Stern, DeFalco nor Owsley/Priest had taken PAD or anyone else then still working on the Spider-books into their confidence about their intended resolutions. (DeFalco had told Ron Frenz, IIRC, but Frenz had left when DeFalco was fired).

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