Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #43
Issue(s): Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #43
Among them is a criminal called Belladonna. She tries to kill Kingsley with a poison gas, but Spider-Man stops her.
It seems Kingsley was meant to be gay (but see Thanos6's comment), but i guess in 1980 they weren't going to come right out and say it. Instead there are stereotypical clues, like his profession and the open shirt/neckerchief combo, and the fact that Belladonna refers to him as a "flaming simp".
Other than the above, he's treated as a perfectly normal character. He's cranky at Spider-Man, but that's nothing new for poor Spidey.
And he's understandably upset when Belladonna ruins his fashion show.
Maybe that "h" in "Ghod" is meant to give him a "gay accent", or maybe it's a typo. There's at least one other typo in this book, unrelated to Kingsley (although the scene does give some background on him).
So i'm not quite sure if this counts as a proud moment in comics history or not.
We don't learn the details about Belladonna this issue. She escapes after Spidey breaks up her second attempt on Kingsley.
This is also Roger Stern's first issue of Spectacular Spider-Man, which will sort of be a warm-up for his classic run on Amazing. Depiction of Kingsley aside, it's good, with much stronger writing than we've been seeing on this title. The art by Mike Zeck is a little weak, but not terrible.
Quality Rating: B-
Chronological Placement Considerations: The MCP places this between Amazing Spider-Man #205-206.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showBelladonna, Debra Whitman, Hobgoblin (Roderick Kingsley), Sandy Jones, Spider-Man, Steve Hopkins
"Ghod" wasn't a typo. It was a reference to an over-emphasis while exclaiming "God!", also applied to early 1980s Valley Girls and snotty people in general.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | September 10, 2011 8:38 PM
The man in the "ghod" panel is actually Daniel Kingsley, Roderick's brother, but this couldn't be known at the time. Daniel Kingsley would be officially "introduced" much later. By certain clues - like accents or key words - Roger Stern was letting the readers know that Roderick had a double so he could appear as the Hobgoblin.
I wonder how much in advance Roger Stern knew he'd be creating the Hobgoblin, and if so whether that person in the "ghod" panel was actually meant to be Daniel or Roderick. Regardless, we now "know" the character is Daniel.
I didn't come up with this, MadGoblin did - http://www.spideykicksbutt.com/SquanderedLegacy/SquanderedLegacyPart4.html
It makes perfect sense though.
Posted by: Chris | May 20, 2012 1:23 PM
Kingsley's portrayal did generate criticism in some fanzines that year of Marvel homophobia, usually also citing the YMCA attempted rape in "Hulk" magazine and the "Merkins" character in those 1975 Moon Knight Marvel Spotlight issues. John Byrne also said some things about gays that year that weren't taken too well, causing Jim Shooter to respond in a September 1980 interview for The Comics Journal: "John Byrne can have whatever foolish prejudices he chooses, as long as he doesn't express them in my comics."
Posted by: Mark Drummond | September 2, 2012 7:09 PM
Per Stern, Kingsley was based off Rex Reed and Jim Backus, and was supposed to be effeminate but not gay. When everyone thought he was gay, Stern gave him a supermodel gf in his next appearance to show that he was straight, but everyone just said she was a beard. Camp, yes, but straight.
Posted by: Thanos6 | September 19, 2012 10:22 PM
The idea that the Hobgoblin is basically an evil Thurston Howell III is just hilarious. I wonder how Jim Backus would have played an evil supervillain?
Posted by: Chris | October 28, 2012 4:40 PM
Daniel Kingsley also pronounced God as Ghod in Spider-Man: Hobgoblin Lives. (I forget which issue.) So it seems that the above images are of Daniel, not Roderick. As far as I know, Rod never used that pronunciation.
Posted by: Dave S | November 12, 2012 1:32 AM
I love Spidey Kicks Butt. Even knowing ahead of time that Kingsley(s) were supposed to be effeminate I read these a few years ago and went 'yeaaah that's not just effeminate that's flaming gay stereotype.' Well, I love Stern's writing but no one is perfect.
I liked Belladonna a lot too.
Posted by: David Banes | January 27, 2014 8:20 PM
For me, Roger Stern's run on Spectacular was the first time the B Spider-title consistently exceeded the A title in quality.
Posted by: TCP | October 10, 2014 9:15 AM
At the time, I didn't love it when Hobgoblin was revealed to be Ned Leeds. But because I was gone from comics when Kingsley was revealed to really be the Hobgoblin, I didn't learn about this until recently. Just read the Origin of Hobgoblin trade. I think Leeds was a much better choice. Stern is a great comic writer but I just don't buy into this at all.
Posted by: Erik Beck | April 20, 2015 12:50 PM
In my opinion, Leeds was a much worse choice given the clues Stern left behind. I don't buy that he would murder his informant mere hours after discovering the Goblin equipment. Nor do I buy that he would use and dispose of Lefty Donovan so mercilessly. Not to mention where did he get the money to rent that house on Long Island in ASM #244-245?
Posted by: irh13 | May 2, 2015 12:37 PM
The Belladonna story was great, and I love Roderick Kingsley as a character because comics can always, ALWAYS use more corporate scumbags. And a corporate scumbag in the fashion industry is original. That's the way I like him, a moneyed sleaze with enough audacity to prosper in an unethical, even criminal manner, but not corageous enough to face balls-to-the-wall underworld mastermind. And Belladonna fits the role perfectly; she is a singular character in look, motivation, and modus operandi (as the best Spider-foes would be), in a comic universe in desperate need of female supervillians that are neither pumped-up, crazy vixens in tights and/or revealing outfits, nor monstrous sideshows. Belladonna is a crime boss, and Kingsley is her foil. An unmasked, plain-clothed scoundrel who can't really get his comeuppance--not through Spider-Man, anyhow--because he never really engaged on public crime sprees or property damaged rampages, as must do the arrestable majority of super-villians. He deserves jail as much as Belladonna--and his misdeeds nearly make her sympathetic (to a point)--but his fate is entirely different.
This is how he works best: as a corporate asshole and foil to underworld masterminds. Which is one of the many, MANY reasons why he's catastrophically unsuited to be the Hobgoblin. We kind of lose a great character that way and make Hobgob a superflous addition to a cast that needs new villians, and not reinvented ones. (It's like Rose becoming Blood Rose, or Jackal the crackpot geneticist becoming Jackal the wisecracking genocidal freak, only much, much worse)
Plus, Spider-Man would've noticed if this guy he acknowledged as being to frail and scrawny to be a top notch criminal suddenly became Goblin-formula strong. Even if one were Daniel and the other were Roderick: he would, as would the entire world, realized there were two Roderick Kingsley with entirely different builds. Finally, the whole twin brother recourse is disappointing. It's something of a copout that allows the writer to handwave inconsistencies between the goblin persona and his alter-ego by saying, "oh, no, THAT was his identical twin brother, at THAT particular unexplainable moment." It's kinda like "a wizard did it".
Ned Leeds COULD have worked if it hadn't been a convoluted result of an absurd, disgusting game of one-upmanship between Christopher Priest, Peter David, Tom DeFalco (in a way) and Lord knows who else. If it had been set up just right and writted well it could've Ned, and quite convingly. In fact, if it had been set up just right it could've been Donald Menken, Lt. Kris Keating, Richard Fisk, Jonas Harrow, and even Lance Bannon. Perhaps even Blake Tower.>sigh
Posted by: The Transparent Fox | August 11, 2015 4:35 PM
The whole Roderick/Daniel thing has kind of a big plot hole: why would Roderick have Daniel be disguised as Roderick before assuming the Hobgoblin role? It seems a little too convenient that this was all in place before Georgie found the Green Goblin stuff in Amazing 238...
But that's assuming that Roger Stern planned this far ahead, where I think I read somewhere he decided to make Roderick the Hobgoblin as he was in the process of writing Amazing 238; I'm not sure when he came up with the twin brother idea.
Posted by: mikrolik | August 11, 2016 10:35 AM
An idea could be that Roderick had Daniel posing as him due to the threat of Belladonna and other enemies that he made. However, that would be pretty cruel,but then Roderick is ruthless and has always felt superior to his weak-willed brother.
Posted by: Andrew Burke | August 11, 2016 10:43 AM
I can think of all sorts of reasons why you'd want a double in your place sometimes completely unrelated to being a supervillain. "Daniel, please cover for me at the fashion show because I'm going over to this hot model's place for sex because her husband will be out at that exact same time." "Please show up to this boring meeting at the club for me. I'm expected, but I have better things to do." "Daniel, show up for me at the negotiations with this cosmetics firm. If they meet with us, there won't be anyone at their office, and I'm going to rifle through their office papers. I can't trust anyone else to do it."
We know that he is probably involved in illegal activities pre-Hobgoblin. I'm not sure how he can ruin a dozen (!) small European firms by putting out his own line, unless there was something nefarious involved (or at least highly unethical contract negotiations). And there had to be a reason for the low life criminal to want to go to Kingsley in the first place upon discovering one of the Green Goblin's hideouts.
Posted by: Chris | August 11, 2016 3:14 PM
I think the second Belladonna story said that when she and her sister refused to sell their cosmetics company, Kingsley hired a model to claim she had been disfigured by their products, which drove them out of business.
Posted by: Thanos6 | August 11, 2016 6:22 PM
Andrew Burke and Chris: I guess you could be right, although boy must Daniel have a miserable life.
Posted by: mikrolik | August 12, 2016 1:12 PM
Yeah, I'd say so. His brother likely walked all over him since they were kids. He certainly didn't love Daniel at all since he put him in danger so many times.
Posted by: Andrew Burke | August 12, 2016 3:14 PM
Do we know when is the first actual appearance of Daniel as Daniel? I think we can fit in a lot of retroactive appearances of Daniel as Roderick. But when does Daniel appear? Daniel is mentioned as a character appearing on this site, but many of those seem to be Daniel as Roderick. Does he actually appear as an individual before Hobgoblin Lives?
Yes, Roderick had to treat Daniel like dirt from early on to completely break him like that. MadGoblin speculates Roderick had a parent who went insane which explains his phobia about Osborn going insane. It is possible Roderick had to step into the role of parent and raise Daniel which made him extremely dominant.
I will admit the Daniel reveal was very much a WTF moment. I love Stern's work and especially the run on ASM with the Hobgoblin, but the mystery could have been set up better.
Posted by: Chris | August 12, 2016 3:40 PM
According to the Spidey Kicks Butt website, try looking for the ones that say "Ghod" as that's the word Daniel uses in his sentences.
Posted by: D09 | August 12, 2016 3:47 PM
Daniel as his own separate individual, clearly identified as such, didn't appear until Hobgoblin Lives.
Posted by: Thanos6 | August 12, 2016 6:46 PM
It occurs to me that Stern will use the same "mistaken sibling identity" gimmick for Belladonna in issues #47-48; he's using one mystery villain who let's a sibling take the rap to set up an entirely different mystery villain who uses a sibling as an alibi.
Of course, the fashion world in the MU is full of this kind of thing. That's why Stan Lee was always mentioning Christian Dior; he just never got the chance to introduce his evil twin Heretic Dior, the Deadly Designer!
Posted by: Omar Karindu | August 13, 2016 8:20 AM
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