If Ned Becomes Hobgoblin, Will We Ever Get Harry Osborn?

If Ned Becomes Hobgoblin, Will We Ever Get Harry Osborn?

If Ned Becomes Hobgoblin, Will We Ever Get Harry Osborn?

Peter Parker’s best friend has always been Harry Osborn. Well, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, that role goes to Ned Leeds. As a comic book fan, this move has made me curious. I always applaud writers doing something different, but Ned’s best friend role to Peter makes me wonder something. Before I go into that, I’d like to talk about something that “Flash Thompson” posted on his Instagram recently.

For those who weren’t aware, Sony does have a fake Flash Thompson account. They’ve used this to post upcoming information before, but this time, they’ve really got some heads turning. Sony posted an image of both Ned and Betty Brant on what seemed to be a poll on who is worse. It was between “boring Betty” or “boring Ned”, but eyebrow-raiser was the image of Ned. There’s an orange triangle reminiscent of the villain Hobgoblin’s hood drawn right above Ned’s head. What does this mean, exactly? Well, it heavily implies that Peter’s best friend could very well be turning bad.

Okay, so first of all, perhaps we’re reading too much into this. Then again, we’re all comic fans and that’s just what we tend to do. We see something that gets our inner fanboys working and we make up theories. I mean, since we’re talking about Spider-Man, who else thinks the former Avengers Tower will become the Baxter Building? Are we reading too much into that one? For that theory, I’m going to go ahead and say no.

But for the case of Ned Leeds, this post from not-Flash really has me wondering some things. The most interesting thing about it reminds me of Peter and Ned’s relationship from the comics. Every comic fan and whoever’s watched the Sam Raimi movies knows that Peter Parker’s best friend is Harry Osborn. That’s how it was in the comics and we fans expected that to happen in the MCU.

Well, that’s obviously not the case for the MCU. As of now, there’s no sign that Harry Osborn exist in the MCU. That’s okay for Peter, because he’s got Ned to nerd out with and be his sort-of sidekick. Their friendship is always fun to see in the movies, but it certainly doesn’t reflect their relationship in the comics. The comic version of Ned is not a good friend of Peter Parker’s. In fact, they began as rivals competing over the affections of Betty Brant. Peter, being swamped by his life of Spider-Man, gave up on trying to start something with Betty. This gave Ned the chance to move in and he managed to make Betty his wife.

Spider-Man: Far From Home took some cues from that relationship when they made Ned and Betty a couple. Sadly, their relationship didn’t last, but they were way happier than their comic counterparts. Peter and Ned’s relationship never got better and Ned’s story sadly met a tragic end when he was killed by a villain called the Foreigner.

So what does all of this have to do with the Hobgoblin? Well, because Ned actually did take up the mantle of the Hobgoblin, only he didn’t do it willingly. Ned was actually captured by the Hobgoblin and brainwashed into being his scapegoat in case he was caught. The Hobgoblin manipulated him for his war against the Kingpin and even destroyed his marriage to Betty. Peter and Betty tried to free Ned from the Hobgoblin’s control but in the end, they failed. It was a sad end for the character (his clone died too) and he’ll likely stay dead.

Now given Ned’s turn as the Hobgoblin, the post from not-Flash’s Instagram certainly speaks volumes. Personally, I don’t think we’re reading too much into it. Just look at what we’re in for with the next Spider-Man movie. Yeah, it’s not really confirmed yet, but it might as well be. We’re getting the previous Spider-Man actors and at least two actors who portrayed villains from each franchise. When it comes to Spider-Man, he’s used to tackling many villains at once. Yes, this has very much backfired before, but it looks like the MCU is taking a different approach for it.

If Tom Holland’s Spider-Man will fight more villains, having him fight his best friend will certainly be a great personal battle for him. Jacob Batalon, the actor who plays Ned, has even posted photos on his social media showing his dramatic weight loss. Could this be for his personal health or was he required to lose the weight so he could look more like the Hobgoblin? That’s another thing we could be reading too much into, but we shouldn’t also rule out the possibility that he’s preparing to look like a supervillain.

Now let’s say Ned does become the Hobgoblin. Not only would Peter have another villain gunning for him, but he’ll lose his best friend. We’ve seen how this played out before, but it was with Harry Osborn. Harry became the new Green Goblin and tried to avenge his father. His story, like Ned, ended in death and Peter lost his best friend.

I have a feeling Ned will suffer that fate in the MCU. If that’s the case, what exactly is the purpose of having Harry Osborn in the MCU? He could possibly be the replacement for Ned as Peter’s best friend, but seeing him become the Green Goblin sounds redundant. We’ve seen it happen with the last two live-action Harry Osborn’s and to break it down quickly, they were both very disappointing. I would like to see the evil Harry Osborn done right, but I also believe that it’s more of a been there, done that scenario.

I’m not saying that Harry Osborn can’t be included, but if the MCU wants to do something different, they could set it up where Harry and Peter haven’t met yet. It already looks like that’s the case and that could set up an interesting storyline for both characters. Peter Parker can only have one best friend and if Harry comes around, that means Ned becoming the Hobgoblin could lead to his death. Part of Peter’s development is having him overcome tragedy. He’s already lost his mentor and he’s learning to be a more mature hero. Losing his best friend could devastate him even more, but that will only make him come back even stronger. That’s always been Spider-Man’s way.

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