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Roderick Kingsley (Earth-616)

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Quote1 Hmm. Leave you in for five more minutes... ...then on to phase two of the Winkler Process. Memories of combat training. Then we'll work on the voice. Have to get the voice right. 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
-- Hobgoblin 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.[2][3][4]

Hobgoblin

As the Hobgoblin, Roderick went on a blackmail binge meaning to cripple his major competitors.[5][6] 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.[7][8]

Modifying the formula in hopes of avoiding 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.[9]

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.[10][11][12][13][14]

Roderick is recruited into Mephisto's Legion Accursed.[15]

Kingsley orchestrated Leeds into helping Richard Fisk become the Rose, aiding the upstart mobster during the "Gang Wars" that almost destroyed New York City.[16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26][27]

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,[28] Roderick's twin brother Daniel was shot by agents of the Rose under the impression he was Roderick.[29] Roderick saved his brother's life. Later, he renounced his American citizenship to become a citizen of Belize instead.[30]

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

At first amused that the Hobgoblin identity was assumed by another (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.[31]

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.[32]

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

As the Devil-Spider

Villain Franchises

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.[33]

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.[34]

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.[35]

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.[36]

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 villians in exchange for part of his client's profits.[36]

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.[37]

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.[38]

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.[39]

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.[39]

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.[39]

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

Magneto recruited The Hobgoblin by force

AXIS

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, Kinglsey attacked him and was subjugated and forced to join Magneto's team.[40][41]

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.[42] 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. [43]

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. [44]After Urich, who had become the new Goblin King and lead the remnants of the Goblin Nation and had been killing various of , took various kids hostage, Kingsley personally attended 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 will 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.[45]

When the celebration of a Hobgoblin Day was being held with a parade in Kingsley's honor, Missle 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 Missle Mate's blow. As soon as Kinglsey confronted Missle 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.[46][47] When a reinversion spell was cast, Hobgoblin became evil once again.[48]

Following his return to evil, Kingsley reassumed control over his former franchises one of which apparently included the Roger Gocking 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 him with a pumping bomb.Spider-Woman Vol 6 #13.

Powers

  • Much like the Green Goblin, the Goblin Formula gave Roderick superhuman powers.[citation needed]
    • Superhuman Strength: Roderick became super-strong. He was strong enough to at least match Spider-Man's strength. He can lift approximately 8 tons.[citation needed]
    • Superhuman Speed: Roderick can run and operate at superhuman speeds.[citation needed]
    • 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.[citation needed]
    • Superhuman Durability: Roderick's body tissues, skeletal and musculature structure were enhanced by the Goblin Formula, making it more 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.[citation needed]
    • 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. Roderick's regenerative ability will be considered greater than Osborn's, thus giving him an immunity to all sorts of radiation, toxins, and diseases.[citation needed]
    • Superhuman Agility: Hobgoblin's agility, balance, and bodily coordination are enhanced to levels beyond the natural physical limits of the finest human athlete.[citation needed]
    • Superhuman Reflexes: His reflexes are similarly enhanced and are superior to those of the finest human athlete.[citation needed]




Equipment

Transportation

Weapons

  • Roderick Kingsley appears in the tie-in comic for the PC game The Amazing Spider-Man & Captain America in Dr. Doom's Revenge!.[49]
  • 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.
  • Roderick Kingsley was originally going to be the secret identity of the villain the Rose.[50]

Discover and Discuss

Footnotes

  1. Superior Spider-Man #23
  2. Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #43
  3. Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #48
  4. Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #57
  5. Amazing Spider-Man #238
  6. Amazing Spider-Man #239
  7. Amazing Spider-Man #244
  8. Amazing Spider-Man #245
  9. Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #85
  10. Amazing Spider-Man #249
  11. Amazing Spider-Man #250
  12. Amazing Spider-Man #251
  13. Amazing Spider-Man #257
  14. Amazing Spider-Man #258
  15. Secret Wars II #7
  16. Amazing Spider-Man #259
  17. Amazing Spider-Man #260
  18. Amazing Spider-Man #261
  19. Amazing Spider-Man #271
  20. Amazing Spider-Man #275
  21. Amazing Spider-Man #276
  22. Amazing Spider-Man #278
  23. Amazing Spider-Man #280
  24. Amazing Spider-Man #281
  25. Amazing Spider-Man #283
  26. Amazing Spider-Man #284
  27. Amazing Spider-Man #285
  28. Spider-Man Versus Wolverine #1
  29. Web of Spider-Man #29
  30. Spider-Man Unlimited #14
  31. Spider-Man: Hobgoblin Lives #1-3
  32. The Spectacular Spider-Man #259-261
  33. Amazing Spider-Man #648-649
  34. Amazing Spider-Man #691
  35. Amazing Spider-Man #695-696
  36. 36.0 36.1 Amazing Spider-Man #697
  37. Avenging Spider-Man #22
  38. Superior Spider-Man #25
  39. 39.0 39.1 39.2 Superior Spider-Man #26
  40. Magneto Vol 3 #11
  41. Magneto Vol 3 #12
  42. Avengers & X-Men: AXIS #2
  43. Avengers & X-Men: AXIS #3
  44. AXIS: Hobgoblin #1
  45. AXIS: Hobgoblin #2
  46. AXIS: Hobgoblin #3
  47. Avengers & X-Men: AXIS #6
  48. Avengers & X-Men: AXIS #9
  49. Dr Doom's Revenge #1
  50. Tom Brevoort - Tumblr
  51. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #5
  52. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #5



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