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Quote1 I'm going to miss Claude. Fantastic manservant. He made a terrible Hobgoblin, but he made the best bouillabaisse. But some sacrifices have to be made. Just not self-sacrifices. Ah well. Time to lay low again. To plan. To scheme. To rise anew. Have your victory today, Osborn. You earned it. To you, my old foe. And to Goblins everywhere. Quote2
Roderick Kingsley[src]


Early Life[]

Roderick Kingsley was a fashion designer operating in New York City. He used questionable and ruthless business practices, Roderick developed a financial empire reaching far beyond the fashion industry. Victim to one of Kingsley's machinations, rival designer Narda Ravanna, under the guise of Belladonna, attacked him but was stopped by Spider-Man.[5][6][7]


Kingsley acquired the Green Goblin's original suit and equipment from a bank robber being chased by Spider-Man named George Hill. Hill had discovered one of the many hideouts Norman Osborn employed, while in the sewers. Kingsley made Hill load a van with the equipment, and transfer it from the hideout to another location, then disposed of him, detonating a bomb hidden inside the van. As the Hobgoblin, Roderick went on a blackmail binge meant to cripple his major competitors.[8] Feeling deficient in lacking the physical power to protect himself, Roderick sought out Norman Osborn's original Green Goblin formula. However, he needed a "guinea pig" before he could test the formula on himself and found one in petty crook Arnold "Lefty" Donovan. Monitoring Donovan's progress in the fight against Spider-Man, a satisfied Kingsley had his test subject terminated.[9]

Modifying the formula to avoid the insanity-inducing side effects, Kingsley found that it gave him strength roughly equal that of Spider-Man's, perhaps surpassing that of the Green Goblin. He battled Spider-Man again and Black Cat.[10]

After a fight with Spider-Man left everyone assuming he had drowned, Roderick decided the direct criminal approach wasn't for him. Brainwashing news reporter Ned Leeds into thinking he was the Hobgoblin.[11][12]

Kingsley orchestrated Leeds into helping Richard Fisk become the Rose, aiding the upstart mobster during the "Gang Wars" that almost destroyed New York City.[13][14][15][16][17][18]

Bored with being a behind-the-scenes mastermind and finding Leeds increasingly uncontrollable, Kingsley outed his puppet's identity, placing the reporter in instant jeopardy. After Leeds was murdered during an overseas newspaper assignment,[19] Roderick's twin brother Daniel was shot by agents of the Rose under the impression he was Roderick.[20] Roderick saved his brother's life. Later, he renounced his American citizenship to become a citizen of Belize instead.[4]

Roderick Kingsley (Earth-616) from Amazing Spider-Man Vol 1 238 0001

At first amused that the Hobgoblin identity was assumed by Jason Macendale, Kingsley became annoyed when Macendale brought about unwanted publicity in pronouncing Leeds as the original. With the public generally believing that only one person had ever worn the disguise, the resulting scrutiny now threatened to uncover the Kingsleys' unsavory business practices. Returning to New York, Roderick murdered Macendale, reclaiming the Hobgoblin identity. However, determined sleuthing by Ned Leeds's widow, Betty Brant, uncovered his trail, discovering the villain's secret pedigree with Spider-Man's help, ultimately leading to Kingsley's defeat and imprisonment.[21]

Upon Norman Osborn's return, Kingsley leaked word of having proof Norman was the original Green Goblin, claiming possession of one of Osborn's own journals. In actuality a ruse manipulating Osborn into removing him from jail, the two clashed shortly thereafter. Although resulting in stalemate, they both benefited from the encounter: Osborn taking over Kingsley's corporation while Kingsley escaped to the Caribbean, retaining secret accounts Norman wasn't aware of.[22]

Villain Franchises[]

Roderick Kingsley (Earth-616) from Amazing Spider-Man Vol 1 691 001

As the Devil-Spider

Resurfacing some time later, Daniel impersonated Roderick, working with the Hand. Going to an old Goblin lair at OsCorp, Daniel discovered Osborn had been working on updating the villainous arsenal: new body armor, a winged jetpack instead of the traditional Goblin Glider and a flaming energy sword. Daniel also discovered Phil Urich trying to retrieve some of the hardware, eager to impress Norah Winters at the Daily Bugle. Urich, a former Green Goblin himself, used his "Lunatic Laugh" to stun Daniel long enough to decapitate him using the energy sword, claiming the mantle of Hobgoblin.[23]

During this time, Roderick continued his activities around Latin America as the Devil-Spider. Finally receiving word about his brother's death and the rise of a new Hobgoblin, Kingsley returned to New York.[2]

After "researching" Urich by breaking into his apartment, Kingsley learned about Urich and Norah's relationship and planned on using that against him, once again donning the costume of the Hobgoblin. Kingsley attacked Urich and the Kingpin in Shadowland. After a brief battle between the two Hobgoblins, Peter Parker and Max Modell (who were held captive by Kingpin) escaped with the Goblin Key (a key to one of Norman Osborn's Goblin warehouses). Then Kingsley and Urich decided to call a brief truce and go after them.[24]

After accessing the warehouse, Peter utilizes the Goblin tech to make himself a "Spider-Glider" against both the Hobgoblins and manages to escape. Urich insists on going after him but Kingsley declines and stuns Urich with a taser so they could both escape.[25]

After they escape, Kingsley decides to let Urich remain the Hobgoblin, but only if he gives Kingsley a cut of whatever profit he makes. Later, in Paris, Kingsley tells his servant that he is ready to expand his super villain franchise business into Russia, consisting on selling the identities and equipment of retired or deceased minor villains in exchange for part of his client's profits.[25]

The first identity that he stole and sold was that of Mysterio, who had been left behind on Earth-1610. The new Mysterio (who accidentally referred to himself as "Mysterion") faced Superior Spider-Man during his first bank robbery. The new Mysterio fled the enraged Superior Spider-Man as well as the Punisher, leading them both right to Kingsley. Hobby tried to escape but crashed his glider into a building and was webbed up. He forced Spider-Man to go save "Mysterion" from the Punisher and by the time Octavius returned, Kingsley had escaped.[26]

Goblin Nation[]

Kingsley was also keeping tabs on Urich, making sure that he made his payments on time. When Phil said he was a little short on cash, Roderick told him to go rob some banks. Phil had to rob quite a few of them to gain what he owed his boss and all of the activity drew the attention of Spider-Man. This caused Urich to be captured by Spider-Man, then broken out of police custody by Menace and turned over to the Green Goblin. It was found that Kingsley sold the identity of the Crime Master to a new thug, who ended up defeated by Agent Venom and Spider-Man. He also sold the identity and costume of the Grizzly to a new criminal, who called himself the Bruin. The Bruin was fooled into giving Kingsley's cut of a robbery to the Goblin King, who was dressed as the Hobgoblin. Roderick was not happy about this, and raged that so many of his franchises had been captured so soon.[27]

Soon enough, Bruin, Devil-Spider, and Blaze were also out of commission. Kingsley soon called in Steeplejack, Tumbler, and Ringer to make extra cash while Spider-Man (who was under the influence of the Venom symbiote) was busy battling the Avengers. These three were quickly beaten by Menace and the new villain allied with the Goblin King: Monster. Steeplejack was apparently killed by the Goblin Knight (Phil Urich), who sent a message to his former boss via a camera feed on Steeplejack's costume. Kingsley contacted Urich, who gave the message to the Goblin King. Soon the two criminals were agreeing to fight it out.[28]

Both them and their crime armies battled in a full-scale assault until the Goblin King calls a time-out, seeing how pointless and costly it is to wage war on each other when they can combine their armies into one to take down Spider-Man. Goblin King proposes that the two fight to the death, with the winner taking the other's men under his control. However, Kingsley had made his servant Claude his new mind controlled replacement and sent him to battle Osborn instead.[28]

During the battle, both Goblins taunt each other but the Green Goblin loses his guard after the mention of Harry Osborn. The Goblin King recalls that he has endured betrayal and even death and he still managed to stand up, revealing a large scar on his chest, making the Hobgoblin realize that he is indeed battling Norman Osborn. Claude was killed and Goblin King gained the loyalty of Hobgoblin's franchises. Goblin Knight checks Claude's body, discovering the truth. Kingsley, having escaped to Paris, decides to lay low once again, working on his personal empire and raising a toast to the Goblin King's victory.[28]

Roderick Kingsley (Earth-616) from Magneto Vol 3 11

Magneto recruiting The Hobgoblin by force


When the Red Onslaught was unleashed in Genosha and used Sentinels designed specifically to fight heroes to defeat those who tried to oppose him, Magneto recruited numerous villains to confront him. When Magneto arrived to recruit him, Kingsley attacked him and was subjugated and forced to join Magneto's team.[29] After the villains arrived to help the heroes, the Scarlet Witch and Doctor Doom cast a spell to invert the axis of the Red Onslaught's brain and defeat him.[30] However, the inversion spell affected not only the Skull but all those present in Genosha, making the super heroes present evil, and super villains good.[31]

Following his inversion, Kingsley returned to New York and found himself happier with his inversion, although still motivated by greed rather than altruism. He reactivated his franchises, this time leasing the personas and costumes of deceased or retired superheroes to ordinary people, but remained a wanted criminal. He also franchised his Hobgoblin persona to various people to perform heroic deeds as Hobgoblin, and published a comic about them for promotion. He set a three phase program, including a book and various articles with his brand and underground speeches named after Ned Leeds for people to make their own franchises in exchange for a share of their profits. During this time, an amnesic Lily Hollister, who was part of the Goblin Nation, took his program and Kingsley made her a "Queen Cat" identity.[32] After Urich, who had become the new Goblin King and lead the remnants of the Goblin Nation and had been taking kids hostage, Kingsley personally intended to rescue them as Hobgoblin. As they battled, one of his franchises, Missile Mate, saved the children. Urich demanded sixty percent of his profits for not revealing that it wasn't him whom Osborn killed but he told him to see him in his office if he wanted to talk business before fleeing. After Urich arrived, he eventually attacked him but Kingsley revealed Queen Cat to him. Phil told her that Kingsley would use her like the villains he abandoned as he battled the "Hob-Heroes" and escaped, leaving the message "Find me Lily". But he insisted Urich was playing mind games.[33]

When the celebration of a Hobgoblin Day was being held with a parade in Kingsley's honor, Missile Mate betrayed Hobgoblin and attempted to murder him in the name of the Goblin King. Roderick had already expected the betrayal, and had been using a hologram decoy which took Missile Mate's blow. As soon as Kingsley confronted Missile Mate, the Goblin King appeared with his Goblin Nation and attacked the celebration. Hobgoblin bested Urich in combat, and left him to the authorities.

After excusing himself from the authorities, Hobgoblin was approached by Steve Rogers, to become part of a team of Avengers with the objective to stop the inverted X-Men from detonating a gene bomb which would've killed everyone on the Earth who wasn't a mutant.[34][35] When a reinversion spell was cast, Hobgoblin became evil once again.[36]

Following his return to evil, Kingsley re-assumed control over his former franchises where he gathered Beetle, Blizzard, Bruin, Hitman, Ringer, Unicorn, Cutthroat, Diamondback, Mockingbird, and Viper, and apparently the original Porcupine. Feeling betrayed by the fact that Gocking had gone straight and was now working with Spider-Women, Hobgoblin had his men beat and strip the former villain before apparently killing Porcupine with a pumpkin bomb.[37]

Kingsley tracked down Spider-Woman after she began an all out attack on his franchises in retaliation. He was able to surprise her and Gocking (who secretly had survived the explosion and was in hiding) in a moment of intimacy, catching them completely off guard. Kingsley proceeded to kidnap Porcupine in a plan to lure Spider-Woman into a trap set by his minions. Once Jessica had sprung the trap, an all out melee ensued in which the heroes momentarily gained the upper hand by knocking Hobgoblin off his glider. Recovering himself, however, Kingsley prepared to finish off the "outclassed and outmaneuvered" heroes with his flaming sword, when he was surprised by a concussion blast from the unexpected arrival of Captain Marvel, who then proceeded to make quick work of his franchises. As his body was not among the unconscious at the end of the fight however, it can be assumed that Kingsley once again abandoned his minions to make good his own escape.[38]

Sinister Six Reborn[]

When Aaron Davis returned as the Iron Spider and formed the new Sinister Six, with Hobgoblin, Bombshell, Electro, Sandman, and Spot, they tried to take a S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier[39] and sell it. Kingsley attempted to go his own way, and made a deal with one of the Helicarrier's guards to sell out the rest of the team after being caught doing recon.[40] The Sinister Six carried out the heist during a small window of time the Helicarrier was unguarded; however, the Red Hulk returned, since he had been tipped off, but was accidentally stopped by Spider-Man. Then, Sandman knocked out Kingsley for selling out the rest of the team. Kingsley was then thrown out of the Helicarrier while still unconscious.[41]


Kingsley resurfaced months later following the destruction and restoration of the Ravencroft Institute. Norman Osborn had become a consultant at the facility, and appointed Kingsley as one of the heads of staff despite the history between the two, along with some of Osborn's previous associates, namely Taskmaster, Scorpion, and Moonstone.[42]


Power Grid[50]
:Category:Power Grid/Fighting Skills/Normal:Category:Power Grid/Energy Projection/Single Type: Short Range:Category:Power Grid/Durability/Enhanced:Category:Power Grid/Speed/Superhuman:Category:Power Grid/Strength/Superhuman (800 lbs-25 ton):Category:Power Grid/Intelligence/Gifted


Much like the Green Goblin, the Goblin Formula gave Roderick superhuman powers.[10]

  • Superhuman Strength: Roderick became super-strong. He can lift approximately 10 tons,[43] his muscle equaling that of Spider-Man.[44] Norman Osborn was clearly surprised by the level of strength the Hobgoblin carries, leading him to conclude that they were evenly matched.[45] In fact, Roderick is slightly stronger than Norman.[46]
  • Superhuman Speed: Roderick can run and operate at superhuman speeds.[43]
  • Superhuman Stamina: Roderick's body produces less fatigue toxins, allowing him to work at peak capacity for several hours before fatigue begins to wear him down.[43]
  • Superhuman Durability: Roderick's body tissues, skeletal and musculature structure were enhanced by the Goblin Formula, making it much stronger than any human beings. He is durable enough to survive punctured and gunshot wounds, blunt force traumas, powerful impacts (e.g., falls from great heights) and being struck by another super-humanly strong opponent.[43]
  • Regenerative Healing Factor: It is still possible for Roderick to sustain injury. If he does, his body's increased metabolism will allow him to heal damaged tissue much faster and more extensively than a normal human is capable of. While not as efficient as other superhumans', he can heal from injuries from a matter of days that would prove lethal to an ordinary human.[43]
  • Superhuman Agility: Hobgoblin's agility, balance, and bodily coordination are enhanced to levels beyond the natural physical limits of the finest human athlete.
  • Superhuman Reflexes: His reflexes are similarly enhanced and are superior to those of the finest human athlete.[43]





A Demonic Glider similar to that of the Green Goblin.[47]


  • For many years, the original Hobgoblin was believed to have been Ned Leeds, who died in East Germany. The story which identified Ned as the Hobgoblin was written after the departure of the character's creator, Roger Stern. After more than a decade, Stern finally had the chance to reveal the truth. The Hobgoblin was none other than Roderick Kingsley, one of the hot suspects for the role at the time of the original stories.
  • His appearance in the Devil-Spider costume seems to be based on that of Tarantula.
  • Kingsley is one of the few people who has consistently outsmarted both Norman Osborn and Kingpin.


  • When Tom DeFalco was writing Amazing Spider-Man, he introduced a crime figure known as the Rose, who lacked a secret identity but not as a deliberate mystery. After readers were engaged by the mystery of the identity of the Hobgoblin, DeFalco decided that he needed to make the Rose a known character. He had settled on Roderick Kingsley, but the Rose’s identity didn’t get revealed until DeFalco had left Amazing Spider-Man, so the plans changed.[48]

See Also

Links and References


  1. Spider-Man: Hobgoblin Lives #3
  2. 2.0 2.1 Amazing Spider-Man #691
  3. Superior Spider-Man #23
  4. 4.0 4.1 Spider-Man Unlimited #14
  5. Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #43
  6. Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #48
  7. Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #57
  8. Amazing Spider-Man #238239
  9. Amazing Spider-Man #244245
  10. 10.0 10.1 Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #85
  11. Amazing Spider-Man #249251
  12. Amazing Spider-Man #257258
  13. Amazing Spider-Man #259261
  14. Amazing Spider-Man #271
  15. Amazing Spider-Man #275276
  16. Amazing Spider-Man #278
  17. Amazing Spider-Man #280281
  18. Amazing Spider-Man #283285
  19. Spider-Man Versus Wolverine #1
  20. Web of Spider-Man #29
  21. Spider-Man: Hobgoblin Lives #13
  22. Spectacular Spider-Man #259261
  23. Amazing Spider-Man #648649
  24. Amazing Spider-Man #695696
  25. 25.0 25.1 Amazing Spider-Man #697
  26. Avenging Spider-Man #22
  27. Superior Spider-Man #25
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 Superior Spider-Man #26
  29. Magneto (Vol. 3) #1112
  30. Avengers & X-Men: AXIS #2
  31. Avengers & X-Men: AXIS #3
  32. AXIS: Hobgoblin #1
  33. AXIS: Hobgoblin #2
  34. AXIS: Hobgoblin #3
  35. Avengers & X-Men: AXIS #6
  36. Avengers & X-Men: AXIS #9
  37. Spider-Woman (Vol. 6) #13
  38. Spider-Woman (Vol. 6) #1416
  39. Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #234
  40. Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #237
  41. Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #239
  42. Ravencroft #1
  43. 43.0 43.1 43.2 43.3 43.4 43.5 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z #5
  44. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Spider-Man 2004 #1
  45. Spectacular Spider-Man #261
  46. Dark Reign: The Goblin Legacy #1
  47. 47.0 47.1 Amazing Spider-Man #238
  48. Brevoort, Tom (27 April 2015) New Brevoort Formspring — "Well, the real reason is a lot more ... Tumblr. Retrieved on 16 May 2021.
  49. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z #5
  50. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z Vol 1 5