In Spider-Man: Homecoming, Ned sets up his more powerful Goblin.
Even if Spider-Man: No Way Home included some hints that Ned Leeds would become Hobgoblin, this transformation has been in the works since Spider-Man: Homecoming. Sony and Marvel struck a deal that allowed Peter Parker’s MCU debut in Captain America: Civil War, followed by Spider-Man: Homecoming, his first solo film in the MCU.
Spider-Man: Homecoming was directed by Jon Watts and followed Peter Parker as he tried to balance his high school life with his superhero duties while also dealing with a new enemy: Adrian Toomes/Vulture. Ancestor May and her sons Happy Hogan and Michael J. accompanied Peter on his first solo adventure as a member of the MCU. When it comes to his MCU counterpart, Ned is Peter’s best friend rather than a rival. However, it appears that he’s on his way to becoming an enemy of Spider-Man like the source material.
Ned Leeds, a reporter for the Daily Bugle, is kidnapped and brainwashed by the Hobgoblins in the comics. Once again, the Hobgoblin takes advantage of Ned to deceive the underworld into believing that Ned is the real Hobgoblin, resulting in the Foreigner killing him. Since we’re back in the MCU, Ned hasn’t shown any signs of villainy. but he’s been set up to become the Hobgoblin in the not-too-distant future, and it all began with his desire for power in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
In Spider-Man: Homecoming, Ned sees Peter as Spider-Man crawling into his room and across the ceiling, and Peter begs him to keep the secret, which Ned says is the best thing that has ever happened to him. Later, Ned pressed Peter for more information about his superhero transformation, and he even inquired if a spider bite could grant him superpowers, too.
These oblique references to Ned’s desire for special abilities set the stage for his impending Hobgoblin transformation following the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home. His grandmother claims there is magic in the family, and Ned claims to feel tingling in his hands when he uses Doctor Strange’s Sling Ring, so his friends believe him when he says that. The fact that Ned has forgotten about Peter Parker like the remainder of the MCU allows him to go comprehensive. with Hobgoblin.
Ned’s transformation into a powerful Goblin can be an amalgamation of his natural capabilities and his inherent desire to have special powers – with a touch of corrupt practices to make him an actual villain. Ned may have been Peter Parker’s best friend up until Spider-Man: Homecoming, but since then, he has been on a path to becoming the Hobgoblin and a villain.