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

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Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 4,656
In Reply To
Unstable Molecule

Location: Calgary, AB Canada
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 3,064
Subj: Re: Did Ned Leeds Make A Good Hobgoblin, Or Was Kingsley Better?
Posted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 at 06:54:07 am EST (Viewed 361 times)
Reply Subj: Re: Did Ned Leeds Make A Good Hobgoblin, Or Was Kingsley Better?
Posted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 at 02:51:09 pm EST (Viewed 397 times)

    I love and I hate Hobgoblin Lives. I love it because I hated the reveal that Ned was the Hobgoblin, and Hobgoblin Lives finally fixed that.

    When I read ASM #289 it felt to me like the writers never had a clue who was behind the mask and didn't want to write about it anymore, so they revealed it was Ned and killed him just to make a problem go away. And many years later when PAD and DeFalco and Priest started blogging about it, my suspicions turned out to be right.

Well, it was actually worse because the infighting in the Spider-books editorial office led to the sacking of both DeFalco and Owsley/Priest, but unfortunately Marvel had already publicly announced that the Hobgoblin's ID would be revealed in the double-sized ASM #289 and Jim Shooter (who would also be fired the same year) rightly or wrongly thought he was legally bound to honour that promise, which resulted in Peter David (who to the best of my knowledge had never written the Hobgoblin before) having to come up with a solution at very short notice.

    And not for nothing, but any story that makes you think of the writers takes you right out of the story. Creator ego should never shine through in their work, and it's the reason I eventually turned against people like Priest, Byrne, and (of course) Joe Queseda.

    Why did I hate Hobgoblin Lives? Because Kingsley was such a disappointing choice. Almost any of the major suspects would have been better (except Flash). Donald Menken would have been a fun choice - a businessman with strong ties to the Osborn legacy. Roger Hochsburg had personal ties to Peter (although not very strong ones). The Foreigner would have been a great fit for most of the clues that we had prior to Leed's death. Even Lance Bannon would have been a fit.

That also bothered me - as I read it, it seemed to me that all Stern wanted to do was get in the last word without acknowledging how much things had changed since he left. That his successors as writers were not obliged to stick to his choice of the Hobgoblin's identity (as we now know, DeFalco wanted Richard Fisk, I'm not sure if Owsley/Priest ever revealed whom he had in mind, but it did not seem to be Kingsley). Or that once Ned Leeds had been revealed as the Hobgoblin one could not well undo that merely to replace him with a relative nonentity like Roderick Kingsley. While the Ned-is-Hobgoblin solution may have been flawed, it was something that one could live with (at least as long as one did not plan to revive Ned) and move on. At least as far as I was concerned the mystery of the Hobgoblin had already been dragged out for too long by 1987 (Marvel would make the same mistake with the second Clone Saga). So to me the main purpose of Hobgoblin Lives! appeared to me to be to allow Roger Stern to get in the last word, to satisfy some neatness-obsessed fans. ;\-\) This effect was compounded by Roderick Kingsley subsequently disappearing again in the wake of Norman Osborn's return.

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