It’s not good to be Peter Parker’s best friend in the Marvel Universe. Ask Harry Osborn. In any case, this is what Ned has just learned in “Spider-Man: No Way Home”. But did you know that in the comics, the character played by Jacob Batalon is also doomed to become a supervillain?
Spider-Man: No Way Home – Peter Parker’s best friend Ned Leeds
Since Spider-Man: Homecoming, actor Jacob Batalon plays Ned Leeds, Peter Parker’s best friend. The new weaver saga has decided to move away from the traditional relationship between Peter Parker and Harry Osborn and focus on this new character. Ned quickly wowed fans, and then returned in the last two Avengers and in the other two films Spiderman. Currently, Jacob Batalon is once again in character for the sake of Spider-Man: No Way Home.
The opportunity for him to meet the other two Spider-Man, played by Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield. Still very sympathetically, Ned asks the other two heroes in the film if they have a best friend. Peter Parker version Tobey Maguire answers him when his best friend tried to kill him and then died in his arms. The character obviously refers to the fate of Harry Osborn (James Franco) in Spider-man 3. A fate shared by that of Dane DeHaan in The Amazing Spider-Man: Hero’s Fate.
But this punchline, treated as a comic spring, is fraught with meaning, especially among comic book readers. Indeed, in the pages of Marvel Comics, Ned is also doomed to move to the dark side of the Force. Definitely, it’s not good to be Peter’s best friend!
Who really is Ned, aka the Super Jester?
After the Green Goblin and the Junior Green Goblin, Marvel Comics brought readers a new spin on Norman Osborn’s alter ego with The Super Goblin. The very first appearance of the Super Jester (or Hobgoblin in original version) dates back to 1983. At the time, this is the criminal Roderick Kingsley who hides under the mask of this descendant of the Green Goblin. While he possesses much the same abilities as his predecessors, the Super Goblin is also an enemy of Spider-Man. Roderick Kingsley takes on this alter ego when he finds the secret cellar of Norman Osborn, then deceased, and steals equipment.
Many characters have taken on the identity of this supervillain over time. But from 1984 to 1987, the Super Jester is actually a close friend of Peter Parker. Indeed, readers learn that Ned Leeds, one of Peter Parker’s best friends is hiding under the costume of the supervillain.
Ned Leeds was created in 1964 by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. At the time, the character was a fellow reporter for Peter Parker’s at the Daily Bugle. Married to Betty Brant, the character then evolves towards darker horizons. Ned becomes aggressive, divorces Betty, and is captured, in secret, by Roderick Kingsley. The latter lobotomizes him, and give him the Super Jester costume before disappearing. Ned then becomes the new bearer of the Super Jester costume before find death in 1987 at the hands of Jason Macendale, the fourth Super Jester in the Marvel universe.
Could Ned become the Super Jester in the MCU?
We recently learned that Tom Holland will be returning as Peter Parker for at least three other films Spiderman. In three feature films, Ned Leeds also has time to evolve and gain in importance. If we follow the logic of the Spider-Man universe, which is still a character who has legendary bad luck since all his best friends end up dead or on the wrong side of the line, Ned might be no exception.
The character has a good chance of having a future close to that of previous incarnations of Harry Osborn, and thus of becoming an iconic supervillain of the Spider-Man universe. It is in any case a theory that makes sense, which fans have been waiting for Homecoming, and which has even more impact after the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home. Now that Ned has forgotten that his best mate is Spidey, anything is possible!
As a reminder, Jon Watts’ film is currently in theaters and is a hit at the box office with already more than $ 751 million in revenue in one week of operation.