Exiles #21 Hemogoblin

As far as I’m concerned, Ned Leeds IS the original Hobgoblin.  Spider-Man vs. Wolverine is STILL probably the best one shot comic I ever read.  It’s so good, that the revelation of the Hobgoblin’s true identity is almost a throw away scene.  The obvious difference between Spider-Man’s and Wolverine’s outlooks and the way they were displayed and the fact that the only person Spider-Man ever really killed died in this book was just groundbreaking for me.

That being said, I recently read Hobgoblin Lives where the creator of the Hobgoblin finally wrote who he considered to be the real Hobgoblin and I read a book that was the first 18 issues of Amazing Spider-Man.  In both those books, Betty Brant stood out for me.

I’ve been toying with Hemogoblin as a name and as a derivative of the Hobgoblin for a while.  This was another of those confluences of ideas.  So, here it goes.  Morbius just got thrown into the mix because he was a good vampire in Spider-Man.

Hemogoblin

Betty Brant Leeds

Fighting:     EX

Agility:      RM

Strength:     IN

Endurance: AM

Reason:       EX

Intuition:     EX

Psyche:       EX

Health:        140

Karma:       60

Resources:   EX (20)

Popularity: 0

Powers:

 Pseudo-Vampirism: She is required to make a Psyche FEAT once per day or be forced to feed on human blood. Unless she takes steps to avoid it, her victims become pseudo-vampires.

 Gliding: Hemogoblin can fly at up to poor air speed (60 mph.)

 Claws: In melee, Hemogoblin can employ her claws to do Excellent Edged Attack damage.

 Fangs: Hemogoblin’s bite is powerful enough to do Excellent Edged Attack damage.

 Regeneration: As a pseudo-vampire, Hemogoblin has the Amazing ability to rapidly heal physical damage.

 Pseudo-Vampire Antidote: A dose of this serum has the ability to prevent a victim from becoming a pseudo-vampire. Unfortunately, because of the interaction with the Goblin Serum in her system, it doesn’t work on Hemogoblin.

 Equipment:

 Body Armor: Hemogoblin wears a suit of armor which provides him with Excellent protection against physical attacks and Remarkable protection against energy attacks.

 Glove Blasters: Both of the Hemogoblin’s gloves contain devices which can discharge pulses of high frequency electricity. The range of these weapons is 2 areas and they do Remarkable damage.

 Random Fire Mechanism: In order to overcome the advantage which Spider-Man’s Spider Sense gives him in dodging attacks, the Hemogoblin has installed a device in his armor which causes his arm to jerk about randomly while he is firing his glove blasters. In combat, this induces a -1CS on attacks, but makes it almost impossible for Foes to predict exactly where the next shot will be aimed, forcing them to take a -1CS to any attempts they make to dodge.

 Pumpkin Bombs: These explosives to Excellent damage to everything within 20 feet.

 Smoke Grenades: These devices release a cloud of Typical obscuring smoke.

 Knock-out Gas Grenades: Releases a gas of Incredible intensity which causes unconsciousness.

Incendiary: Detonation unleashes a volatile substance which produces flames of Incredible intensity.

 Spider-Sense Negator: This Unearly intensity chemical negates Spider-Man’s Spider-Sense for at least 24 (and possibly as long as 36) hours. At the referee’s option, it may or may not affect other characters with similar abilities.

 Throwing Bats: These bat-shaped throwing blades inflict Good edged weapon damage.

 Goblin Glider: The Hemogoblin employs a turbo-fan powered flying sled which has the following characteristics:

Control: IN (40)          Speed: TY (6) Body: IN (40) Protection: None

 Talents: The Hemogoblin has the Journalism, Criminal, Repair and Tinkering skills

 Contacts: As Brant Leeds, she has free access to the staff of the Daily Bugle.

Background: Betty Brant was a classmate of Peter Parker at Midtown high. She dropped out in her senior year to get a job in order to earn money to help pay off the gambling debts of her brother. She was the secretary for the Daily Bugle’s publisher, J. Jonah Jameson when Peter Parker became a freelance photographer for the paper. A budding romance with Peter was cut short when her brother was killed in a fight in which Spider-Man was a participant. From that point on, she dreaded the idea of Peter exposing himself just to take photographs. Realizing that if Betty couldn’t even accept the dangers associated with photojournalism, she would never consider a life with Spider-Man, Peter cooled his relationship with her. The relationship was ended completely when a rival for Betty’s attentions entered the picture, reporter Ned Leeds.

Betty eventually married Ned and had a somewhat stormy relationship with her husband until his death. Unknown to her, Ned was the costumed villain known as the Hobgoblin, and he was killed as a result of his criminal activities.

After some difficult times getting over Ned’s death, she followed in his footsteps and became an investigative reporter. Though her boss, Kate Cushing tried to give her softball assignments, she wanted a bigger challenge.

She also wanted to honor her former husband so, on her own, she picked up one of his unfinished assignments, namely investigating the Hobgoblin. Betty started by reviewing her husband’s notes and found a list of hidden locations. She only had to explore the first to realize that it was a list of equipment stashes for the Hobgoblin but the first several she found had all been cleaned out.

Finally, she found one that had not been raided. Much to her surprise, in addition to the weapons and equipment of the Hobgoblin, she discovered research notes and a diary written in the unmistakable hand of her husband.

Shocked, Betty at first did not believe what she’d discovered but the deeper her investigation went, the more undeniable the evidence became. Now uncertain about her marriage, Betty withdrew from the world for a time. After weeks of soul searching and questioning she decided to honor the husband she knew and try to redeem him rather than the stranger who was a criminal she didn’t know.

Betty padded one of her husband’s costumes to hide her very different figure and, equipping herself as the Hobgoblin, went out searching for the imposter who had taken over her husband’s former criminal identity and was continuing his life of crime.

Betty was able to track down Jason Phillip Macendale, the man who had taken over the mantle of the Hobgoblin, but was almost killed when she confronted trained killer. Only the intervention of Spider-Man saved her and she managed to retreat.

Seeking a way to get an edge over the other man, she found a supply of Oz, the serum that gave both the Green Goblin and the original Hobgoblin their super strength. Fortunately, she had the formula that Ned refined that did not have the side effect of driving the user insane.

Betty started martial arts training, but did not have the patience to wait to become truly proficient. She continued her quest to stop the Hobgoblin imposter, her obsession growing so great that her personal and professional lives suffered.

Peter Parker noticed and dropped in on her unexpectedly to check up on her. He caught her returning home in her Hobgoblin gear and was about to confront her as Spider-Man when he realized who she really was.

Parker tried to talk Betty out of what she was doing, but she refused to listen and, instead, he was forced to watch her as Spider-Man. This lead to a number of clashes between the two of them, but Spider-Man soon had other problems to deal with. A number of unusual attacks on the ESU campus lead Spider-Man to investigate.

So obsessed with the Hobgoblin that she could not believe that Spider-Man would spend time on anything else, Betty assumed that he had a lead and tracked him down. But, that only made her a target. Morbius, the Living Vampire was stalking the buildings of ESU and, in one of his frenzies, attacked Betty in her Hobgoblin guise. Though it was a close fought battle, Betty was still no match for Morbius and he overpowered and bit her.

Spider-Man arrived on the scene soon after and chased Morbius away. The damage was done, however and when Betty awoke the next day, she was already suffering the first effects of pseudo-vampirism.

The other Hobgoblin was forgotten for a time as Betty came to grips with her new life and she and Spider-Man focused on tracking down Morbius. It took a few weeks but they managed to find him soon after a feeding when he was reasonable and wracked with guilt. Morbius had developed an antidote for his affliction though it did not work on him. He was happy to provide it to Betty as a sort of penance for attacking her, but, much to everyone’s chagrin, the Pseudo-Vampirism affliction had interacted with the Oz Serum in her system and the cure did not work.

Betty further withdrew from her everyday life and revised her alter-ego, changing her name to the Hemogoblin. The interaction between the Oz Serum and Pseudo-vampirism caused a change in her personality, as well, making her wilder and more eager to take risks.

In the course of their investigation of Morbius, Spider-Man’s true identity as Peter Parker was revealed. Now that she also had a secret identity and was able to defend herself, she and Parker began to renew their failed romance.   She was also drawn to Morbius, however and her romantic life became a complex web involving both men.

Still, Betty was focused on her original goal and managed to hunt down the Hobgoblin imposter. The imposter had joined with a new Sinister Six and what followed was an all out battle between he and his allies and Hemogoblin, Spider-Man, and Morbius. In the course of the battle, Betty managed to kill the Hobgoblin but Morbius was also killed in the process.

Betty found herself without purpose now that her quest for revenge was over and full of sorrow after losing another man she loved. When the Exiles came to recruit her, she was happy for the chance to start her life over.

And as usual…you can buy my novels and games at blackguardpress

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *