7. The Hobgoblin Is Revealed To Be A Dead Guy
How could a story that started off with such promise end so, so badly? In 1983, Roger Stern and John Romita Jr., introduced the world to the Hobgoblin, a successor to one of Spider-Mans greatest villains, the Green Goblin. The villain was an instant success, with comic book fans clamouring to guess his secret identity.
Editorial politics ultimately derailed the Hobgoblin saga, and led to one of the most convoluted reveals in comic book history. Stern and Romita Jr. had left Amazing Spider-Man years earlier, and Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz were planning on revealing Richard Fisk, son of the Kingpin, Wilson Fisk, as the Hobgoblin, with Daily Bugle reporter Ned Leeds being used as a red herring. But Spider-book editor Jim Owsley (now known as Christopher Priest) clashed creatively with DeFalco/Frenz and fired them from Amazing Spider-Man.
Owsley, thinking Leeds was going to be revealed as the Hobgoblin, killed the character off in the Spider-Man vs. Wolverine one-shot. Owsley was soon relieved of his editorial authority, leaving the job of revealing the Hobgoblin to up-and-coming writer Peter David.
In Amazing Spider-Man #289, readers were finally promised a resolution to this long-running mystery. The Hobgoblin was unmasked as… Ned Leeds. Fans were confused and irate. How could a dead guy be the mighty Hobgoblin? A new Hobgoblin was immediately introduced the second-rate villain Jason Macendale, aka Jack OLantern.
Ten years later, Stern set the record straight with the Hobgoblin Lives miniseries, revealing wealthy business mogul Roderick Kingsley as the villain all along (Ned Leeds had just been brainwashed into thinking he was the Hobgoblin). Meanwhile, no studio is crazy enough to adapt the Hobgoblin’s original reveal to the big screen.