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  1. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vegeta View Post
    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.
    Design wise, Hobgoblin looks like Etrigan the Demon with an orange vest and hood.

    kirby-demon6.jpg
    Hobgoblin.jpg

    Ditko's Goblin has the more original design however silly it looks to some people.

    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.
    A villain who acts rationally ceases to function as a supervillain. It doesn't make for interesting material and certainly not for a dude who flies around a glider and drops bombs. And at the end of the day, Norman Osborn went 40 years without facing prison, whereas Kingslet went to jail 10 years after his first appearance. So what does rationality done for Kingsley? He ended up losing his company, and a lot of his income and now is a low-level fence. He is far less powerful now than he ever was when he first showed up.

    While the Kingsley reveal seems somewhat anti-climatic to some, it's not really any worse than the Crime Master's reveal,
    Crime Master was a one-and-done 2-Part story and the identity of the Crime Master was a spoof and a red herring about Goblin's identity. Introduce a new mystery on top of an existing one and introduce the idea with that guy being a rando gangster.

    ...or even Norman Osborn, who was also barely established as a character before he unmasked in front of Peter Parker.
    Norman was far more established than Kingsley was. He was an associate of Jameson, then we saw him as Harry Osborn's Dad, and in the last stories that Ditko wrote, Norman himself is characterized as an embezzler, a corrupt businessman, who is also a shady dude who siccs mobs on Spider-Man and can sucker punch him from behind. We got to see Norman in multiple aspects before his reveal. He's rich enough to be friends with Jameson, he's close enough to Peter via being a dad of his classmate's, and of course we see Norman as a ruthless businessman with corrupt practises.

    We didn't get any of that with Kingsley before his reveal.

  2. #17
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    I definitely think one of the main problems with Hobby is he feels more redundant with Norman back and that there's not as much interest in a second major Goblin villain.

    They've tried to update Kingsley a bit for the modern era but post-Big Time it never seemed to stick out much.

  3. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugo Strange View Post
    Unfortunately Hobgoblin worked only with Roger Stern and Tom DeFalco.
    I'm not entirely sure that's true, but this does get to one of his strengths: His first appearances were consistently good, especially when written by Stern (ASM 238-239, ASM 244-245, ASM 249-251) or DeFalco (scripted the final issues of ASM 250-251, ASM 259-261, ASM 275-276.) That's pretty rare for bad guys outside the Silver Age.

  4. #19
    "Emma is STILL right! Vegeta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post



    Norman was far more established than Kingsley was. He was an associate of Jameson, then we saw him as Harry Osborn's Dad, and in the last stories that Ditko wrote, Norman himself is characterized as an embezzler, a corrupt businessman, who is also a shady dude who siccs mobs on Spider-Man and can sucker punch him from behind. We got to see Norman in multiple aspects before his reveal. He's rich enough to be friends with Jameson, he's close enough to Peter via being a dad of his classmate's, and of course we see Norman as a ruthless businessman with corrupt practises.

    We didn't get any of that with Kingsley before his reveal
    Norman Osborn's first appearance was ASM issue 37. The Jameson club member scene, as well as being established as Harry's father and the embezzlement of Stromm all occurred in that exact same issue. (Prior to that he was only seen as the Goblin or as a figure standing in the shadows.) Next issue was "A Guy named Joe." (No Appearance by Norman here) and issue 39 is where he unmasked in front of Peter Parker.
    Kingsley appears in two issues before Hobgoblin even shows up in the books (Spectacular 43 and 48) and continued to make sporadic appearances before Hobgoblin was unmasked.

    Edit: I did error in part, Norman has a few unnamed one panel cameos in the background of issues 23 and 27.
    Last edited by Vegeta; 07-08-2019 at 01:52 PM.
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  5. #20
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    I have a lot of good things to say about Hobgoblin, but yeah he's not the one with the greatest of motivations and that's really an issue of every goblin. That's no excuse for what could use a retcon, but I don't hold it against the character considering none of them really have the best foot forward.
    Though to me what makes him rival if not superior to Norman is that they actually went somewhere with him. There was a kind of clear idea of who and what he was even if his origins don't quite work. Hobgoblin might as well do things for kicks, but he had a clear idea on who he was and had a few clever ideas under his belt. To me anyways it's a character that has endured because people know when and where to use him, and for the most part he's been used well.

    Norman being back does hurt him a little, but whereas writers don't really know what Norman is outside of "villain" Hobgoblin comes off a bit better.
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  6. #21

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    just don't have him go insane like Norman. Give him another hero to heckle for a while. Go to Dallas. Miami. Denver.

  7. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vegeta View Post
    Norman Osborn's first appearance was ASM issue 37.
    If we mean appearance as in background, he has several earlier than that. His first speaking role is in ASM#27 in the Crime-Master 2-Parter. Ditko also offered a major clue that Norman was the Goblin. Done entirely visually. There's panel appearance where Goblin is sans mask but his face is silhouetted. But look at the head and it forms a familiar hairstyle which is obvious if you compare it to Norman as he appears in the same issue.

    Silhouette Composite.jpg

    Next issue was "A Guy named Joe." (No Appearance by Norman here)
    Norman Osborn in fact appears, and very prominently at that in ASM#38.

  8. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    I definitely think one of the main problems with Hobby is he feels more redundant with Norman back and that there's not as much interest in a second major Goblin villain.

    They've tried to update Kingsley a bit for the modern era but post-Big Time it never seemed to stick out much.
    he and Norman are not in competition. Kingsley has his business. his focus remains on that business.
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  9. #24
    I'm at least a C-Lister! exile001's Avatar
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    I also recently re-read his earliest appearances in The Origin of the Hobgoblin TPB, then the Hobgoblin Lives TPB, and I still maintain that this is a great character and these are great stories.

    There was a complexity to him that most villains lack, probably due to the reader actually getting to see his thoughts and motivations through Stern's ASM issues. The first few stories are almost using Hobgoblin's internal thoughts to (re)introduce Spider-man, his abilities and power-level to a new generation and audience. For a change, we also get to see the character grow as both a villain and as a threat throughout his first run.

    I loved that he started by stating he is perfectly sane and Norman was the mad one, but with the more power he gains, the more it becomes a mantra and ultimately a crazed rant in the final battle with Spider-man. It was a very compelling character progression, especially when read in one shot. It left me wanting more of Stern's vision for the character. I'm sure, if given the chance and another 50 issues or so, Stern would have given us a far more satisfying conclusion that the one we ultimately ended up with.

    Everything got a bit messy after Stern, DeFalco did his best, but the Hobgoblin had lost his edge by the time he was abruptly killed off and replaced by Jack O'Lantern (a move that never made any sense to me).

    Norman's return shouldn't have made Hobgoblin redundant but returning both so close together, Norman's complete character change to be a mixture of the two characters (and some Lex Luthor, too), and Norman's complete owning of Kingsley in Gobin at the Gates really hurt him. It didn't help that the Ultimate Spider-man skipped Kingsley, and used Harry's Hobgoblin as Green Goblin lite.

    Slott did a good job giving Hobby a new mission and established him as a different type of threat, but he never quite got the win over Spider-man that he needed. Hopefully, Spencer will put him to good use.

    Ultimately, I think that if anything The Hobgoblin has become underrated over the last several decades, due to the terrible (but strangely lovable) lameness of Macendale version, the return of Norman Osborn and simple lack of use.
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  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post



    A villain who acts rationally ceases to function as a supervillain. It doesn't make for interesting material and certainly not for a dude who flies around a glider and drops bombs.
    Kingsley proves otherwise.



    And at the end of the day, Norman Osborn went 40 years without facing prison, whereas Kingslet went to jail 10 years after his first appearance.
    Norman also had Peter keeping his identity and later Harry keeping his Green Goblin persona a secret.


    So what does rationality done for Kingsley? He ended up losing his company, and a lot of his income and now is a low-level fence. He is far less powerful now than he ever was when he first showed up.
    As is Norman.

  11. #26
    Spectacular Member KROENEN's Avatar
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    I kind of dug him more when he started making deals with demons during Inferno and his face changed. I thought McFarlane made him a very terrifying villain during his run as well, really some of my earliest exposure to Spider-man comics, so maybe that stuck with me.

  12. #27
    Incredible Member Master Planner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KROENEN View Post
    I kind of dug him more when he started making deals with demons during Inferno and his face changed. I thought McFarlane made him a very terrifying villain during his run as well, really some of my earliest exposure to Spider-man comics, so maybe that stuck with me.
    Macendale's Hobgoblin had a charm. While the original one was a great foe and super-criminal, Macendale as Hobgoblin sucked,but that put a certain charm to the character. Also, demonic Hobgoblin had some interesting stories.
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  13. #28
    Spectacular Member JTait's Avatar
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    He has a cool design, and was good fun as an alternative to the Green Goblin for quite a long time. His early few appearances were really well written, and even the Jason Macendale version of the character has some merit. Goblins at the Gate was a perfect send off, but unfortunately since then he has really lost his way and is really redundant now that there are so many different goblin characters running around.

  14. #29
    Spectacular Member JTait's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Master Planner View Post
    Macendale's Hobgoblin had a charm. While the original one was a great foe and super-criminal, Macendale as Hobgoblin sucked,but that put a certain charm to the character. Also, demonic Hobgoblin had some interesting stories.
    I totally agree with both of these statements. Although neither take on the character was an unqualified success, they were at least trying to do something different and resulted in some fun stories.

  15. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by exile001 View Post
    I also recently re-read his earliest appearances in The Origin of the Hobgoblin TPB, then the Hobgoblin Lives TPB, and I still maintain that this is a great character and these are great stories.

    There was a complexity to him that most villains lack, probably due to the reader actually getting to see his thoughts and motivations through Stern's ASM issues. The first few stories are almost using Hobgoblin's internal thoughts to (re)introduce Spider-man, his abilities and power-level to a new generation and audience. For a change, we also get to see the character grow as both a villain and as a threat throughout his first run.

    I loved that he started by stating he is perfectly sane and Norman was the mad one, but with the more power he gains, the more it becomes a mantra and ultimately a crazed rant in the final battle with Spider-man. It was a very compelling character progression, especially when read in one shot. It left me wanting more of Stern's vision for the character. I'm sure, if given the chance and another 50 issues or so, Stern would have given us a far more satisfying conclusion that the one we ultimately ended up with.

    Everything got a bit messy after Stern, DeFalco did his best, but the Hobgoblin had lost his edge by the time he was abruptly killed off and replaced by Jack O'Lantern (a move that never made any sense to me).

    Norman's return shouldn't have made Hobgoblin redundant but returning both so close together, Norman's complete character change to be a mixture of the two characters (and some Lex Luthor, too), and Norman's complete owning of Kingsley in Gobin at the Gates really hurt him. It didn't help that the Ultimate Spider-man skipped Kingsley, and used Harry's Hobgoblin as Green Goblin lite.

    Slott did a good job giving Hobby a new mission and established him as a different type of threat, but he never quite got the win over Spider-man that he needed. Hopefully, Spencer will put him to good use.

    Ultimately, I think that if anything The Hobgoblin has become underrated over the last several decades, due to the terrible (but strangely lovable) lameness of Macendale version, the return of Norman Osborn and simple lack of use.
    Fair point that he's penalized for other stuff. I wonder if it would be helpful to have a story largely from his POV, showing his strategies and rationale.

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