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  1. #1
    Incredible Member kingaliencracker's Avatar
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    Default Is the Hobgoblin overrated as a villain?

    Let me start this thread by stating that I was a HUGE Hobgoblin fan when I was younger and first got into Spider-Man. I would say that I still am, although this has been lessened due to the fact that Norman Osborn returned during the end of the Clone Saga.

    But I've been rereading the original Hobgoblin arc from Roger Stern's run. I can't help but wonder if perhaps he was overrated to begin with. Now obviously we have the benefit of hindsight knowing the controversy behind the reveal of the Hobgoblin's identity. But even if Stern had stayed on and revealed that Hobgoblin was Roderick Kingsley all along as he intended, I feel like I would have been completely letdown by that, almost as much as I was when it was revealed Ned Leeds was Hobgoblin after he was already dead. I think Tom DeFalco's choice of Richard Fisk would have been the most interesting, especially since Stern used Kingpin during the original Hobgoblin arc and Kingpin was clearly concerned that Hobgoblin could usurp his power. But I guess we'll never know how that would have played out. I'm not even going to talk about the whole "twin brother" angle especially given the fact that Daniel was not Roderick's twin.

    I also have an issue with Hobgoblin's motivations, especially given the fact that Kingsley was already well-off and didn't need to steal or blackmail people to maintain his living. The same could be said about Osborn, but Osborn was crazy. With Hobgoblin, his motivations seemingly were just to wreak havoc and defeat Spider-Man for...fun? This kind of flimsy motivation for a villain may have worked in the early days, but by the 1980's there should have been a little more substance behind the motives.

    There's also the fact that several writers after Stern H-A-T-E-D the Hobgoblin and refused to use him. John Semper, who wrote and produced the Animated Series, greatly disliked the character and hated the fact that he had to introduce him first before the Green Goblin.

    Don't get me wrong. I consider Stern's run with Spider-Man to be quintessential. But I'm definitely questioning how good of a villain the Hobgoblin was and is.

  2. #2
    Spectacular Member Hugo Strange's Avatar
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    Unfortunately Hobgoblin worked only with Roger Stern and Tom DeFalco.

  3. #3
    Tyrant Sun User leokearon's Avatar
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    I prefer Hobgoblin to Green Goblin. Kingsley at least has tried to grow and develop with the whole franchise idea, while Osborn just keeps trying to kill a man half his age,even when he gets more power. KIngsley also has become a bit more interesting since his return, unlike Osborn who became overused and overpowered.
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    Quote Originally Posted by leokearon View Post
    I prefer Hobgoblin to Green Goblin. Kingsley at least has tried to grow and develop with the whole franchise idea, while Osborn just keeps trying to kill a man half his age,even when he gets more power. KIngsley also has become a bit more interesting since his return, unlike Osborn who became overused and overpowered.
    Kingsley is NOT overrated, he easily makes the "Dirty Dozen" Rogues Gallery list. In fact, if you think about it, how many of those bad guys would most people rank over him? 1: Ock ( Otto). 2: Green Goblin ( Norm) . 3: Lizard. 4: Venom. 5: Carnage. 6: Mysterio. The other ones I would put there ( in no particular order) are Kraven ( Sergei), Sandman, Rhino, Electro ( Dillion) and Kingpin.
    Last edited by NC_Yankee; 07-08-2019 at 08:44 AM.

  5. #5
    Tyrant Sun User leokearon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NC_Yankee View Post
    Kingsley is NOT overrated, he easily makes the "Dirty Dozen" Rogues Gallery list. In fact, if you think about it, how many of those bad guys would most people rank over him? 1: Ock ( Otto). 2: Green Goblin ( Norm) . 3: Lizard. 4: Venom. 5: Carnage. 6: Mysterio. The other ones I would put there ( in no particular order) are Kraven ( Sergei), Sandman, Rhino, Electro ( Dillion) and Kingpin.
    He would easily be in my top 5, he may even be just below the "Big 3"
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  6. #6
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingaliencracker View Post
    Let me start this thread by stating that I was a HUGE Hobgoblin fan when I was younger and first got into Spider-Man. I would say that I still am, although this has been lessened due to the fact that Norman Osborn returned during the end of the Clone Saga.
    Got it in one. The Hobgoblin was finished the minute Norman Osborn returned. He lost his original purpose. Roger Stern didn't want to bring Norman back but he didn't like Harry Osborn as the Green Goblin or anyone who came after, so he came up with a new mystery and identity, with the idea that Roderick Kingsley be a permanent replacement for Norman.

    But I've been rereading the original Hobgoblin arc from Roger Stern's run. I can't help but wonder if perhaps he was overrated to begin with.
    I think that the reason Hobgoblin had the cult he did (and let's be real, he was always a cult character...Venom and Carnage who followed him were far bigger than he ever was at his height) is that he caught the imagination of kids who were too young to be exposed to the original mystery of the Green Goblin. So Stern was recreating that for younger kids but with melodramatic turns and so on.

    The weaknesses with Roderick Kingsley and Hobgoblin is this:

    1) Hobgoblin is better because he is sane and Norman isn't. I always had huge problems because the trope rests on the idea that comic book insanity is in any degree comparable to the real kind. In comic books, insanity is just some gothic thing that writers use. It's got nothing real to it.

    2) Likewise, here's the thing at the end of the day, Kingsley is a rich dude who endangers his life by going on a glider and wearing a halloween mask. That's not rational under any circumstances. For someone who's supposed to be a pragmatic villain, the thing to do would be to sell his stuff to Uncle Sam or mass market the goblin serum as steroids and so on. Again Kingsley needs more explanations as to why he does stupid self-destructive things than Norman does.

    3) Kingsley is a perfume selling corporate magnate and a fashion mogul. Nobody has ever given a satisfying answer how someone without any physics or chemistry background could recreate Norman's serum. This is also a problem with Miles Warren mastering human cloning on an ESU salary but I think everyone's in agreement that the Jackal is a s--ty villain.

    4) Kingsley's theme as a fashion mogul and so on could have made him a great theme villain, someone who illustrates New York's fashion industry, and potentially also tie into MJ's story. But that doesn't happen. The only bit was in Defalco's run where MJ, uses her salary while working for Kingsley to bail Peter out and keep him from being chased out. That was good. Ironic and simple. But that's not developed further.

    Roger Stern's run still has many great stuff without the Hobgoblin story. It's not the be-all and end-all of his run. I think Hobgoblin will work if he's moved into Miles' story and becomes a villain for Miles. A legacy Goblin versus a legacy Spider-Man. Yeah. That works.

  7. #7
    Incredible Member kingaliencracker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugo Strange View Post
    Unfortunately Hobgoblin worked only with Roger Stern and Tom DeFalco.
    Well, he was definitely more effective when you didn't know who he was, and solving the mystery of the character was the majority of the fun. I just don't know if, 36 years later, fans would still have appreciated it.

  8. #8
    Kinky Lil' Canine Snoop Dogg's Avatar
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    who currently possesses urich's flame-sword
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  9. #9
    Tyrant Sun User leokearon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snoop Dogg View Post
    who currently possesses urich's flame-sword
    Unless Osbron took it, maybe either in the hands of the authorities or it's still in Osborn's old hideout
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Got it in one. The Hobgoblin was finished the minute Norman Osborn returned. He lost his original purpose. Roger Stern didn't want to bring Norman back but he didn't like Harry Osborn as the Green Goblin or anyone who came after, so he came up with a new mystery and identity, with the idea that Roderick Kingsley be a permanent replacement for Norman.



    I think that the reason Hobgoblin had the cult he did (and let's be real, he was always a cult character...Venom and Carnage who followed him were far bigger than he ever was at his height) is that he caught the imagination of kids who were too young to be exposed to the original mystery of the Green Goblin. So Stern was recreating that for younger kids but with melodramatic turns and so on.

    The weaknesses with Roderick Kingsley and Hobgoblin is this:

    1) Hobgoblin is better because he is sane and Norman isn't. I always had huge problems because the trope rests on the idea that comic book insanity is in any degree comparable to the real kind. In comic books, insanity is just some gothic thing that writers use. It's got nothing real to it.

    2) Likewise, here's the thing at the end of the day, Kingsley is a rich dude who endangers his life by going on a glider and wearing a halloween mask. That's not rational under any circumstances. For someone who's supposed to be a pragmatic villain, the thing to do would be to sell his stuff to Uncle Sam or mass market the goblin serum as steroids and so on. Again Kingsley needs more explanations as to why he does stupid self-destructive things than Norman does.

    3) Kingsley is a perfume selling corporate magnate and a fashion mogul. Nobody has ever given a satisfying answer how someone without any physics or chemistry background could recreate Norman's serum. This is also a problem with Miles Warren mastering human cloning on an ESU salary but I think everyone's in agreement that the Jackal is a s--ty villain.

    4) Kingsley's theme as a fashion mogul and so on could have made him a great theme villain, someone who illustrates New York's fashion industry, and potentially also tie into MJ's story. But that doesn't happen. The only bit was in Defalco's run where MJ, uses her salary while working for Kingsley to bail Peter out and keep him from being chased out. That was good. Ironic and simple. But that's not developed further.

    Roger Stern's run still has many great stuff without the Hobgoblin story. It's not the be-all and end-all of his run. I think Hobgoblin will work if he's moved into Miles' story and becomes a villain for Miles. A legacy Goblin versus a legacy Spider-Man. Yeah. That works.
    I agree 100% about Jackal being a s----y villain. How bad you ask? I would even take "D-List" baddies like Man Mountain Marko, Scorpion, Kangaroo and Lady Octopus. I have to say, that with the exceptions of. The Stacy Twins, Alpha, Jackpot, Silk and if course, Mephisto there is no character I want further away from Amazing then him.

  11. #11
    Incredible Member kingaliencracker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NC_Yankee View Post
    I agree 100% about Jackal being a s----y villain. How bad you ask? I would even take "D-List" baddies like Man Mountain Marko, Scorpion, Kangaroo and Lady Octopus. I have to say, that with the exceptions of. The Stacy Twins, Alpha, Jackpot, Silk and if course, Mephisto there is no character I want further away from Amazing then him.
    To be fair Conway attempted to correct the whole cloning business by getting the High Evolutionary involved and establishing that Warren wasn't cloning people after all, although I think that just made it worse.

  12. #12
    "Emma is STILL right! Vegeta's Avatar
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    Hobgoblin is underrated in my opinion. Marvel apparently had thought well enough of him in the 90's to use as a guest star appearing on covers to help sell issues. (Moon Knight, Darkhawk, Sleepwalker, Dr. Strange). Apparently, the Macendale "demonic form" was very popular in the offices, at least. As even Demogoblin started making guest appearances outside the Spider books. (Blade, Darkholders)

    Design-wise his costume "fixes" some of the sillier looking aspects of the Green Goblin (The "little boy shorts" effect of Norman's Goblin outfit and the giant goofy ears). I love Norman, but given the art team he can look a little less than imposing at times.

    Other things I like about him is that while he is described as the "sane" goblin, the truth of it is he is more of the savvy Goblin. He knew it was best to "not make it personal" unlike Norman. Spider-Man was a threat to be neutralized but that was it. And when things didn't work out, he faked his death and retired on a tropical island. I enjoy it when villains act rational.

    While Kingsley became addicted to the power and freedom the Goblin personality afforded him, he was also clever enough to use brainwashed flunkies, his brother Daniel and robot doubles as opposed to constantly endangering himself.

    While the Kingsley reveal seems somewhat anti-climatic to some, it's not really any worse than the Crime Master's reveal, or even Norman Osborn, who was also barely established as a character before he unmasked in front of Peter Parker. Kingsley also makes more sense than Ned Leeds, because Ned was just a rival freelance photographer at the Bugle, Kingsley at least has wealth to explain his acquisition of weaponry and villainous lairs.

    Like Norman before him, the Hobgoblin was also driven to become the leader of New York's criminal underworld, so he had the same motivation of many Spider-Man foes. (Kingpin, Hammerhead, Tombstone, etc.) It was smart of him to ally himself with the Rose as well.
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  13. #13
    Incredible Member Master Planner's Avatar
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    Hobgoblin's cunning and the mystery is what elevated him and Roger Stern gave him a great epilogue in "Goblins at Gate". Still, Slott revitalise him making him supplier and founder for C-List supervillain and copycats and takes a profit. Even in Axis,he had a great mini and it's sad that Marvel didn't capitalise the idea of Kingsley founding superheroes and supervillains simutaneously and taking a profit.

    So, my answer is, Hobgoblin still has potentials, if Marvel is clever enough to exploit Slott's idea about "Hobgoblin as the new Justin Hammer"
    " I am Loki Scar-Lip, Loki Skywalker, Loki Giant's Child, Loki Lie-Smith. I am Loki, who is fire and wit and hate. I am Loki. And I will be under an obligation to no one."

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  14. #14
    Incredible Member kingaliencracker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vegeta View Post
    Hobgoblin is underrated in my opinion. Marvel apparently had thought well enough of him in the 90's to use as a guest star appearing on covers to help sell issues. (Moon Knight, Darkhawk, Sleepwalker, Dr. Strange). Apparently, the Macendale "demonic form" was very popular in the offices, at least. As even Demogoblin started making guest appearances outside the Spider books. (Blade, Darkholders)
    I don't know how popular the Macendale version of the Hobgoblin was considering he was killed off when Kingsley returned and (to my knowledge anyway) hasn't been seen again). I think the Demogoblin business was designed to try and make the character more interesting, not necessary because he was already interesting.

    Design-wise his costume "fixes" some of the sillier looking aspects of the Green Goblin (The "little boy shorts" effect of Norman's Goblin outfit and the giant goofy ears). I love Norman, but given the art team he can look a little less than imposing at times.
    I can agree with this. The Hobgoblin was very well designed by Romita.

    Other things I like about him is that while he is described as the "sane" goblin, the truth of it is he is more of the savvy Goblin. He knew it was best to "not make it personal" unlike Norman. Spider-Man was a threat to be neutralized but that was it. And when things didn't work out, he faked his death and retired on a tropical island. I enjoy it when villains act rational.
    I just think it's a different take on (essentially) the same villain. With Norman it was about revenge and personal vendettas. With Kingsley it was about money and power. I don't know if either one is wrong or right - just different approaches.

    While Kingsley became addicted to the power and freedom the Goblin personality afforded him, he was also clever enough to use brainwashed flunkies, his brother Daniel and robot doubles as opposed to constantly endangering himself.
    I'm still not a fan of the "twin brother" business when it comes to Hobgoblin, which is why I agree with Tom DeFalco in that Richard Fisk was a better choice as a reveal.

    While the Kingsley reveal seems somewhat anti-climatic to some, it's not really any worse than the Crime Master's reveal, or even Norman Osborn, who was also barely established as a character before he unmasked in front of Peter Parker. Kingsley also makes more sense than Ned Leeds, because Ned was just a rival freelance photographer at the Bugle, Kingsley at least has wealth to explain his acquisition of weaponry and villainous lairs.
    I don't know if it was anti-climatic so much as he seemed too obvious of a choice. As stated previously, Leeds, JJ, and Fisk were also good choices but most fans keyed in on Kingsley, which was why Stern through so many red herrings into the story (like JJ suddenly working out or Daniel as Roderick being at the blackmail meeting).

    Like Norman before him, the Hobgoblin was also driven to become the leader of New York's criminal underworld, so he had the same motivation of many Spider-Man foes. (Kingpin, Hammerhead, Tombstone, etc.) It was smart of him to ally himself with the Rose as well.
    I don't think his motivations were really well-defined, at least initially. But I guess at the end of the day, he wanted more power and money, which is pretty standard for most villains.

  15. #15

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    he's rated just fine
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