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Ned Leeds

Ned Leeds
Ned Leeds as Hobgoblin, from The Amazing Spider-Man #289 (June 1987)
Art by Alan Kupperberg
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance The Amazing Spider-Man #18 (Nov 1964)
Created by Stan Lee
Steve Ditko
In-story information
Full name Edward "Ned" Leeds
Team affiliations Daily Bugle
Supporting character of Spider-Man
Notable aliases Hobgoblin
Abilities Expert journalist
Master deductive reasoner and investigator
Peak physical condition
As Hobgoblin:
Use of glider and weapons

Ned Leeds is a comic book character in the Marvel Comics universe, part of the supporting cast of Spider-Man. He was a reporter at the Daily Bugle, where Peter Parker also works.

Publication history

Ned Leeds was first introduced in 1964 in The Amazing Spider-Man #18, by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.

Leeds is killed off in the 1986 one-shot Spider-Man vs. Wolverine, written by then Spider-Man editor Jim Owsley. Tom DeFalco, Ron Frenz, and Peter David (of the creative teams on the ongoing Spider-Man books) found this objectionable, saying that Owsley gave them no warning that he was going to kill Leeds, then a regular cast member in the Spider-Man books. Frenz remarked, "Owsley let Tom [DeFalco] and I continue with our plans without telling us in advance that he was going to kill Ned. We had no heads up until Spider-Man vs. Wolverine came out that Ned Leeds was killed in that story. I can’t speak to why he did it, but I can speak to the way he did it. He kept it a big secret until we felt screwed."[1]

Fictional character biography

See also: Hobgoblin

Edward "Ned" Leeds was a reporter for the Daily Bugle. He and Peter Parker compete for the affections of Bugle secretary Betty Brant, but Parker drops out of the running when he realizes that Brant won't be able to accept his double identity as Spider-Man.[2] Leeds and Brant are married shortly after. However, the couple's marriage is often strained.[volume & issue needed]

When Spider-Man battles the Hobgoblin, Ned follows him to the villain's hideout. When the Hobgoblin realizes Ned is present, he captures and brainwashes him, deciding it would be better to have a scapegoat in case he is unmasked.[volume & issue needed]

Ned Leeds, wanting to find out about the Kingpin, approaches his son Richard Fisk. Discovering that Richard hates his father, Leeds helps him create a secret identity as the crime boss the Rose. Kingsley, wanting to become the new crime leader, wants Ned to remove the Kingpin from the scene.[volume & issue needed]

Ned's regular brainwashings by Kingsley cause his marriage and professional relationships to fall apart. Increasingly mentally unstable, Ned drives Betty to seek solace in Flash Thompson.[volume & issue needed] Flash makes statements about the Hobgoblin, and Kingsley stages events so Flash is revealed as the enigmatic villain. Meanwhile, Ned and Richard Fisk reach a disagreement and Ned decides to turn in Richard Fisk's identity as the Rose to The Kingpin, and Kingsley decides in turn that Ned is no longer needed as the Hobgoblin. After Flash is cleared of being the Hobgoblin, Kingsley lets the New York underworld empire know that Ned is actually the Hobgoblin and that he would soon be traveling to Berlin.[volume & issue needed]

Ned and Peter Parker go on an assignment in Berlin, and Leeds is murdered by the Foreigner at the request of Jason Macendale, who replaces him as the Hobgoblin.[3] The Kingpin presents to Spider-Man photos of Ned in the Hobgoblin costume, which he had obtained via the Foreigner.[4]

Powers and abilities

Ned was a normal man who engaged in regular exercise, which increased to more intensive levels after assuming the role of the Hobgoblin. When brainwashed, he wore the Hobgoblin's uniform and used his glider and equipment. Hobgoblin equipment includes Jack O'Lantern bombs, razor bats, and electrical shock gloves. Since Ned Leeds did not take the Goblin Formula as Kingsley did, he had no healing factor or superhuman strength.

Ned had a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism, and was a master of deductive reasoning and investigation.

Other versions

Ultimate Marvel

Ned first appearance was in Ultimate Spider-Man #121. He is a reporter for the Daily Bugle just like his mainstream version, but here he is a drunk and he and Betty Brant cannot stand each other.[5]

Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane

Ned Leeds also appeared briefly in the comic book drama Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane issues #6 and #7. In this continuity, Ned was a senior who dated Mary Jane when she was a junior and she soon began to think he was "the one". Although, ironically, after she confessed this, Ned broke up with her in favor of his old girlfriend Betty Brant.[volume & issue needed]

In other media

Animated series

  • Ned Leeds appeared in several episodes of Spider-Man: The Animated Series voiced by Bob Bergen. Used mainly as a Daily Bugle reporter, the series did not go into Leeds' background from the comics due to the fact the Hobgoblin's identity had already been revealed prior to his introduction, and Betty Brant did not appear in the series.
  • Ned Leeds appears in The Spectacular Spider-Man voiced by Andrew Kishino. He was renamed Ned Lee and is Korean-American in this continuity, but still has a similar portrayal to his comic counterpart. A crackerjack young reporter, he is convinced that he can crack the mystery of who Spider-Man really is, and that the Green Goblin is connected. Jameson thinks he's wasting his time and nearly hands the assignment to Frederick Foswell, but Robbie Robertson tells him to "run with it." When Venom outs Spider-Man's true identity, Ned interviews people that Peter Parker and Spider-Man both know, like Aunt May, the Connors family, Norman Osborn, Quentin Beck, Flash Thompson, and Eddie Brock. He eventually concludes that Peter cannot be Spider-Man, since he wore his costume unmasked on Halloween night, a risky move the real Spider-Man would not make, and continues with his investigation. He is also shown to have an attraction to his co-worker, Betty Brant, whom he asks on a date while interviewing her about Peter.


  • A Viral Marketing for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 shows a Daily Bugle article written by Leeds about Curt Connors being not guilty. In a news article by Ned Leeds, Frederick Foswell's identity is reported to now be exposed and that Foswell has been arrested for his crimes as "The Big Man."[6]

Theme park

  • Ned Leeds as the Hobgoblin can be seen in the Islands of Adventure ride The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man. He appears as a member of Doctor Octopus' Sinister Syndicate. A wanted poster for him may be seen during the waiting period of the ride, which identifies him by his full name, Edward Leeds. At one point in the ride, he attacks guests with a pumpkin bomb that almost hits them, but stops thanks to the intervention of Spider-Man, who attacks Hobgoblin and stops him from further hurting guests. During the climax, he and Scream grab onto Spider-Man, who was webbing onto guests, and sends them through the city, before he is defeated when the ride vehicle crashes into his glider. He is last seen webbed up with the rest of the Syndicate.

Video games

  • In Spider-Man: Web of Shadows, one of the questions Wolverine will ask the player to see if Spider-Man is controlled by the symbiote is "Whose killer did we track in Berlin?". The correct answer is Ned Leeds, with Spider-Man expressing frustration and grief at Wolverine bringing up such a painful memory.


  1. ^ Greenberg, Glenn (August 2009). "When Hobby Met Spidey". Back Issue! (TwoMorrows Publishing) (35): 18. 
  2. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #37-39
  3. ^ Spider-Man versus Wolverine (February 1987)
  4. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #289
  5. ^ Ultimate Spider-Man #121
  6. ^ Leeds, Ned (October 23, 2013). "Cold-Blooded Killer?". Tumblr. Retrieved October 27, 2013. 

External links