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Edward Leeds (Earth-616)

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The Daily Bugle

Amazing Spider-Man Vol 1 156

Ned Leeds and Betty Brant's wedding day on the cover of Amazing Spider-Man #156

Ned Leeds was a field reporter for the Daily Bugle, where he met Betty Brant. Ned comforted her after her brother Bennett had been killed by Blackie Gaxton.

Betty had previously had a relationship with Daily Bugle photographer Peter Parker but his inability to hold dates and the rough time that she was going through brought the relationship to an end.[1] Betty then fell into the arms of Leeds.[2] Even though he was away on an assignment in Europe for awhile (with Betty rekindling some of her emotions for Peter during this time), the two remained in contact and started dating again after his return.[3] Eventually the two became engaged,[4] and during this time, he was being promoted to City Editor of the Daily Bugle.

The Jackal and Marriage

The Jackal created clones of Spider-Man and Gwen Stacy and Ned was held hostage while the two Spider-Men fought each other.[5]

Soon afterwards Ned and Betty got married, with Ned choosing Peter Parker as his best man, however on their wedding day, the marriage ceremony was interrupted by the criminal Mirage who was promptly defeated by Spider-Man.[6] Their marriage had its good and bad moments and was a fairy tale at first.

Hobgoblin

J. Jonah Jameson assigned Ned the investigation into the new villain known as the Hobgoblin.[7] One night, Ned followed the mysterious Hobgoblin after a confrontation with Spider-Man,[8] only to be caught and brainwashed by "Hobby" into doing criminal acts. The Winkler brainwashing process intermittently convinced Ned he actually was the Hobgoblin, leading him to act in Roderick Kingsley's place on several occasions. Kingsley used Leeds' connections to orchestrate an alliance with Richard Fisk, under the name of the Rose. The Rose, believing Leeds was the Hobgoblin and his friend, came to New York and set up a criminal operation with Hobgoblin as his partner, eventually coming to deft the Kingpin, his father.[9]

Death

The brainwashing sessions made Ned's home life unstable, making him violent and paranoid about his work and his wife.[10] When the Gang War for Kingpin's territory got too intense, Kingsley decided to retire the Hobgoblin identity and cut his losses. He leaked details of Ned's "true identity" as the Hobgoblin, leading to Leeds being murdered at the hands of the Foreigner's men while on assignment in Germany. This allowed Kingsley to slip away, confident that his enemies believed the Hobgoblin to be dead.[11]

Edward Leeds and Peter Parker (Earth-616) from Spider-Man Versus Wolverine Vol 1 1 0001

Ned Leeds' corpse

Despite his best efforts to fight off his assailants, Leeds lacked the real Hobgoblin's enhanced strength.[12] After his right shoulder had been grazed, his left arm was broken from behind by one assassin before being garroted to death. The last thought he had was an apology to Betty, an apology he would never get to offer. The assassins later left Leeds' corpse bound to a chair and gagged for Peter Parker to find.[13]

Legacy

Despite having affair with Flash Thompson at the time, Betty was traumatized by her husband's death. Her mental condition was damaged; a problem which she couldn't resolve without friends' help.[14] Because Jack O'Lantern (who hired the Foreigner for the hit on Leeds) took over the Hobgoblin identity immediately after Ned's death, Ned Leeds' role as the Hobgoblin was not made public knowledge. Spider-Man and Betty Brant only learned the truth after the fact when the Kingpin and Foreigner, respectively, slipped them the information.[15][16]

When Macendale was finally caught as the Hobgoblin,[17] he announced at a press conference that he wasn't the original Hobgoblin (to throw reasonable doubt on his crimes) and openly fingered Ned Leeds as the original. This set off a series of events which led Roderick Kingsley back into the Hobgoblin's identity, Macendale's death, and Ned Leeds publicly cleared of being the Hobgoblin after Kingsley was finally caught.[7]

Abilities

Ned was a veteran reporter.



Equipment

Goblin Armor

Transportation

Goblin Glider

Weapons

Gauntlet mounted electro-blaster, various explosive and gas grenades.

  • Ned Leeds was never actually the original Hobgoblin. He was merely a pawn of the real Hobgoblin, Roderick Kingsley.
  • In the movie Spider-Man, Joseph Robertson says that Eddie couldn't take clear pictures of Spider-Man. This could be a reference either to Leeds or to Eddie Brock.

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