Welcome back to a week of absolute, all out, fantastic Spider-Mania! Yes, that’s right, not only am I currently doing a Spidey story in my Ye Olde School Café column, but also right here in Marvel Snapshot! For the next couple of weeks, I’ll be looking at some of the wall crawler’s deadliest enemies! This week I’ll be spotlighting The Green Goblin, Hobgoblin, and Jack O’Lantern! Yeah, I know it’s not Halloween yet, but it’s still a good theme! All right, enough introductions, let’s get right to it!
The Green Goblin, or Norman Osborn as everyone knows him now, was a billionaire industrialist that had many ideas. None more important than the serum his partner Dr. Stromm was working on. Norman tried to finish the serum on his own, but it turned green and blew up in his face. The serum granted him super strength, intelligence, and other physical attributes, but also drove him insane. He then turned to a life of crime, and was of course opposed by Spider-Man. He eventually found out that his son’s friend Peter Parker was in fact Spider-Man. He then revealed his identity to Peter, and the two had a fight to the finish. In said fight, Norman was knocked into some electrical wires and knocked out. When he woke up, he had no recollection of ever being the Green Goblin. Shortly after, the Goblin did get his memories back, and then resumed his war against Spider-Man that one way or another is still a feud to this day! (The Green Goblin – created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, first appearance – ASM #14-1964.)
The Hobgoblin has been a few different faces through the years. Most notably Ned Leeds, Jason Macendale, and Phil Urich (current). This character was created so they didn’t have to keep using the Green Goblin all the time, basically. Same type of character, but with a lot of different personality traits and reasons for hating Spider-Man.
Ned Leeds was a reporter at the Daily Bugle and worked side by side with Peter several times. The two men were in a competition of sorts for the affections of Betty Brant. Betty eventually chose Ned, and they married. Ned later was abducted by the original Hobgoblin (Roderick Kingsley), and brainwashed into becoming the Hobgoblin. Ned then approached the Kingpin’s son, Richard Fisk (the Rose), and asked him to help overthrow his father. Eventually, the Kingpin was told about this by Leeds himself, and the criminal coupe was over. Leeds then went to Europe with Peter Parker on assignment. It was then that mercenaries in the employ of Jason Macendale murdered Ned Leeds. Spider-Man later found out through Wilson Fisk that Leeds had been the Hobgoblin. Not believing him, Peter then did his own investigation and found out that Leeds was just a pawn of the original Hobgoblin. Jason Macendale was the person who had Leeds killed, and then he assumed the guise of the Hobgoblin. He was later murdered by the original, Kingsley, in a jail cell. (Ned Leeds was created by Lee and Ditko, first appearance – ASM #18-1964.)
Macendale had been a CIA operative before turning to a life of crime. He was kicked out due to his violent nature and lack of morality. He quickly made a friend in the underworld named Roderick Kingsley. The two conspired to manipulate and eventually kill Ned Leeds, but even after assuming the identity of the Hobgoblin, Macendale was defeated by Spider-Man many times. He was known first, though, as Jack O’Lantern. Jason used his CIA training and sophisticated weapons to live a life of crime. He was usually stopped quite easily by Spider-Man. He would later try to bargain with N’Astirh to gain power. He was then bonded to a demon that gave him incredible powers. He fought Spidey, Moon Knight, Doctor Strange, and others to a standstill. He would eventually expel the demon and get thrown in jail. While awaiting his day in court, Kingsley came into his cell and murdered him. (Jason Macendale was created by Tom Defalco and Steve Ditko, first appearance – Machine Man #18-1981.)
Currently, the Hobgoblin is Phil Urich. Phil is the nephew of Ben Urich. Phil one day inadvertently found one of the Green Goblin’s secret hideouts. He used the formula and the weapons there to be a hero instead of a villain, though. He later damaged the equipment in a battle with a Sentinel, and then quit being a superhero. Later on, he started to have feelings for Mickey Musashi. He though they were in love, but Musashi actually fell for Chris Powell (Darkhawk). This drove him insane, and then he went to the Goblin hideout to look for more Goblin devices. The original Hobgoblin was there also, and a fight broke out. Kingsley was about to kill Urich, but he let out a crazy Goblin-esque laugh that temporarily stunned Kingsley. Urich then used a Goblin Sword to decapitate Kingsley. He has since been in the employ of the Kingpin. (Phil Urich was created by Terry Kavanagh and Steven Butler, first appearance – Web of Spider-Man #125.)
Well, there you have it. A look at the three crazy costumed Goblin villains that torture Peter on a weekly basis, or so it seems. Check back next week for more villains, including Kraven the Hunter, Doc Ock, and a surprise third villain! Be here to find out who! Check out my recommended reading list and some great pics below. See you next week.
Spider-Man: The Death of Gwen Stacy – Tpb
Spider-Man: The Son of the Goblin – Tpb
Spider-Man: Return of the Sinisiter Six – Tpb
Spider-Man vs. Silver Sable vol. 1 – Tpb
Spider-Man: Big Time vol. 1 – Tpb
Spider-Man: Matters of Life and Death – HC