Ned Leeds

Edward "Ned" LeedsNed Leeds

Investigative reporter for the Daily Bugle, Ned Leeds follows his stories to their end, even if it means the end of his life as he knows it.


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While Daily Bugle reporter Ned Leeds competes with Peter Parker, AKA Spider-Man, for the love of fellow reporter Betty Brant, he ultimately wins her over with his low-key lifestyle. But when his investigative instincts land him in hot water with the criminal Roderick Kingsley, AKA Hobgoblin, his life turns upside down.


Reliable Reporter

Reliable Daily Bugle reporter Edward “Ned” Leeds follows assignments all the way to Europe and uses disguises to uncover the truth behind any hot tip or story. 

He’s also Peter Parker’s rival to Betty Brant’s affections. Ned comforts Betty when her brother Bennett is murdered and her relationship with Peter ends. The pair grow close and start dating as Betty prefers Ned’s calmer lifestyle to Peter’s risk-taking. Eventually, a smitten Ned proposes marriage.


Making Headlines

Ned is a capable investigative reporter while working for the Daily Bugle. His journalistic skill leads him to crack the Hobgoblin case, discovering the villain’s hideout.

When he’s brainwashed and stands-in as the Hobgoblin, he becomes familiar with his gear and weaponry, such as incendiary grenades in the form of miniature jack o’lanterns and a glider, and makes headlines as a professional criminal. 

Though he seemingly dies and subsequently returns as a clone created by Dr. Miles Warren, AKA Jackal. While his clone is in the world for a time, Ned goes undercover, becoming a master of disguise. He carries out investigations and anonymously helps Betty solve crimes.

Ned is a capable hand-to-hand combatant whether as the Hobgoblin or not.


Featured Villains

Under the influence of Hobgoblin, and forced to act as the criminal’s alter-ego, Ned becomes increasingly angry, violent, and unstable. This double-life leads to the destruction of Ned’s closest relationships.

The villain Jason Macendale, AKA Jack O’Lantern targets Ned. Later, the Foreigner’s agents apparently slay Ned.


Exclusive Ties

For a time, Ned’s love interest Betty is romantically linked to both Peter and Ned while she tries to sort out her feelings. Betty ultimately chooses Ned, attracted to his less chaotic lifestyle versus Peter’s as Spider-Man. Ned and Betty marry and despite the competition between Ned and Peter, Ned asks Peter to be his best man at his wedding. Unfortunately, Ned’s marriage suffers due to being brainwashed by the Hobgoblin and his close ties have no idea what’s happening to him.


On the Record

After Ned returned from a Daily Bugle assignment in Europe, he met up with Betty at work. Shortly thereafter, Mac Gargan, AKA Scorpion, attacked publisher J. Jonah Jameson at the Daily Bugle. Ned protected Betty while Spider-Man intervened and attacked the villain. The nearby Betty was completely shaken, and Ned rushed to her side. Afterward, he took her to the hospital and then cared for her at her home. He also proposed marriage to her, but Betty needed time to think, since she still harbored feelings for Peter whom she previously dated.

She said yes to Ned and they embarked on a long engagement. After his promotion to City Editor, Ned married Betty and chose Peter as his best man. On their special day, the costumed criminal Mirage tried to rob the wedding guests until he was subdued by Spider-Man. 

Jameson then sent the couple to Paris on a “working honeymoon” to establish Ned as a European foreign correspondent; however, with Ned constantly off on assignment, Betty grew lonely and bitter. She ended up separating from Ned and returned to New York, seeking comfort with Peter. Angry, Ned returned to fight for Betty while Peter pretended he wasn’t really interested in her and declared he never wanted to see either of them again. Stung, Betty and Ned went away together to rebuild their marriage.

Subsequently, Ned, a reporter at heart, threw himself into work as a Bugle reporter—a situation made much worse when Ned followed criminal Hobgoblin back to his hideout. Kingsley captured Ned and brainwashed him with the Winkler device to become his stand-in. 

As the Hobgoblin, Ned became an ally of Richard Fisk whom he convinced to assume the identity of The Rose in a plot to take down his father, Wilson Fisk, AKA the Kingpin. Repeated brainwashing and drug exposure made Ned erratic and violent, causing a riff between Ned and Betty. Betty sought solace in the arms of Flash Thompson, Ned became distracted, enraged with jealousy. Kingsley noticed Flash’s televised insults about the Hobgoblin and proceeded to drug and disguise him as the Hobgoblin, which led to Flash’s arrest. Framing Flash allowed Kingsley to operate covertly. 

Under Kingsley’s direction, Leeds participated in a brutal gang war during a power vacuum in the absence of the Kingpin, during which Leeds became increasingly erratic and difficult to control after repeated use of the Winkler process. Kingsley was forced to relax his restraint on Leeds, allowing Ned to trade information with the returned Kingpin on the Rose’s identity for the sake of an overseas espionage story which intrigued him. When Flash broke out of jail and in seeking refuge with Betty, Ned-as-Hobgoblin attacked Flash. During the struggle, Betty saw Ned unmasked.

Seeing Ned as a liability, Kingsley leaked word to the criminal elite that Ned was the Hobgoblin, allowing Kingsley’s criminal rival Macendale to hire the Foreigner to assassinate Ned while he was on assignment in Germany. The Foreigner’s agents murdered Ned, leaving Betty and many others believing for some time that Ned had been the true Hobgoblin. Meanwhile, the Foreigner gave Macendale Ned’s gear to become the new Hobgoblin, who was later slain by Kingsley. Eventually, Betty’s investigative reporting led her to expose Kingsley as the true Hobgoblin, finally clearing Ned’s name.

When the Jackal brought Spider-Man’s allies back to life through cloning, Ned was one of them. Calling Betty, Clone-Ned reached her voicemail and left her an ominous message with the phrase, “Blood Creek”, which referenced a case he worked on before he died and specifically a statue at City Hall that contained a bomb planted by the Maggia. Meanwhile, the clones began to decay but Spider-Man saved some of them, including Clone-Ned but he kept his survival under wraps. While Betty investigated Clone-Ned’s message, Clone-Ned went undercover as a vagabond to keep a watchful eye on the statue. When Renaldo of the Undermob attempted to set off the bomb, Clone-Ned prevented him from doing so but they fought. Betty arrived at the park and tackled Renaldo, saving the day. Clone-Ned left while Betty wrote a story about the ordeal and credited Ned in the byline. The statue was replaced with a plaque honoring her late husband.

Meanwhile, the real Ned had survived his apparent demise. While investigating a global conspiracy, he fed information anonymously to Betty. But he eventually revealed himself to her. Their reunion led to Betty getting pregnant and while she was away following a lead on a story in Europe, the Clone-Ned was jumped and saved by May Parker, Peter’s aunt. While they were having a meal together afterward, the Super Villain Aleksei Sytsevich, AKA Rhino, rampaged through the restaurant. Spider-Man found Clone-Ned in the rubble and recognized him. Clone-Ned died but not before he asked Spider-Man to protect Betty. 

Ned then resurfaced at Betty’s apartment and when Betty arrived with Peter, Ned explained that when he had been in Germany, he found a copy of the Norman Osborn, AKA Green Goblin’s goblin formula. While he ingested it, it didn’t activate until after Ned was killed by the Foreigner’s agents. When Ned awoke resurrected, he met a mysterious person who became his benefactor and helped him in a plot of revenge, and that’s how he came to work with Betty. Ned then helped Spidey against the Clairvoyant and ran into the Foreigner who was the one that forced him into hiding for all those years, taking his life from him. He fought him in hand-to-hand combat until Spidey pulled him off.

Ned started freelancing again, and told Betty he was chasing a big story. When Ned came to believe Osborn was attempting to kidnap his newborn son, Winston, he donned the Hobgoblin costume once more. It led to a fight with Spider-Man and Kingsely’s Hobgoblin, with the two Hobgoblin’s against the Web-Head. But it turned out that Kingsely was, again, messing with Ned’s head. The fight nearly ended in Spidey’s death, but the newly minted Gold Goblin—a reformed Osborn—intervened in the battle. The fight ended in Ned’s capture, but Kingsley escaped.






Brown, later blond

Universe, Other Aliases, Identity, Known Relatives, Powers
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