Ned’s powers were one of the many surprises in Spider-Man: No Way Home. However, will he become an MCU sorcerer? MCU Ned Leeds was quickly established as Peter Parker’s best friend and “man in the chair” when he first appeared in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Ned has been an integral part of the success of the Spider-Man: Homecoming trilogy. This, as well as a sort of sidekick to Holland’s Spider-Man.
It was revealed in No Way Home that Ned has magical powers, which could potentially connect him with a future MCU film after Spider-Man: No Way Home, which is currently in development. Even before the introduction of Ned’s MCU powers, the character had already diverged significantly from his comic book counterpart. Though Ned has become one of the MCU’s most lovable supporting characters, the studio has decided to give him a chance to shine as a hero.
Ned’s MCU future has become even more intriguing with each new MCU release, which shows Marvel’s willingness to shake things up to keep the MCU fresh. Furthermore, given that he’s not at all like the comic book character he’s named after, this only serves to demonstrate that there is no established canon for the MCU to impose on him. The conclusion of Spider-Man: No Way Home suggests that Ned may not be Spider-sidekick Man’s in Phase 4, is the MCU setting him up as a sorcerer?
Even before his magical abilities were revealed, the MCU’s Ned Leeds was a far cry from the comic book version. Ned Leeds is a coworker of Peter Parker at the Daily Bugle and a rival for Betty Brant’s affections, whom he later marries. Even though Ned does not possess the Hobgoblin’s usual superhuman strength or healing factor, he still uses the Hobgoblin’s glider and equipment to his advantage.
Until Spider-Man: Homecoming, Ned Leeds had never appeared in a live-action film, even though he was featured in Spider-Man 3. In the Spider-Man comics, he’s long been a supporting character. And since he’s the Green Goblin’s heir apparent, his inclusion in a future Spider-Man film is likely. Hobgoblin and the Green Goblin have many of the same superpowers. Nonetheless, one major difference is Hobgoblin’s use of Halloween-themed weapons and gadgets.
In the Spider-Man comics, Ned Leeds is a reporter who marries Betty Brant. However, in the MCU, he’s a completely different person. Ned is Peter’s best friend in the MCU, a mashup of Harry Osborn and Genke Lee (Miles Morales’ best friend in the comics). As Peter Parker’s well-meaning best friend and confidant in Spider-Man: Homecoming, Ned Leeds is introduced in No Way Home as Ned’s grandmother in a scene where Ned first uses his magical abilities.
There have been numerous mentions of Ned’s parents in the MCU. However, they have yet to be shown on-screen. This leaves Ned’s family history somewhat unclear. Ned mentions that magic runs in his family while talking to Doctor Strange in NWH. And while Strange initially dismisses this, it is later proven to be true. It’s also worth noting that Ned’s grandmother appears unconcerned about the portals he casts in her house. This further suggests that his family isn’t lacking in magical talent.
In the Multiverse of Madness, the sorcerer appears to be in need of all the assistance he can get. Ned and Peter’s relationship was severed at the end of No Way Home. Nonetheless, it is possible that Ned will team up with none other than Doctor Strange. This is so because the latter is impressed with the former’s use of the sling ring in No Way Home. The fact that Ned is now on Strange’s radar means that Leeds has a good chance of appearing in future MCU films.
For the most part, it is a question of imagination as to how and why Ned will appear in Doctor Strange 2. Meanwhile, Strange has lost the Sorcerer Supreme title to Wong. This means he’s now without a sidekick and a hero. NWH established the potential for Strange and Spider-Man characters to cross over. And since Ned’s abilities are so similar to Strange’s, it’s highly likely that the two will continue to interact in future movies. There is no guarantee that Ned will become a sorcerer. However, Marvel Comics is not known for teasing things it does not intend to carry out.
Hobgoblin’s introduction into the MCU may be hindered by Ned’s magical abilities. There are a few hints in NWH that Ned and Peter may one day be at odds. However, this does not necessarily mean that Ned will become Hobgoblin. Because of Ned’s magical abilities, it is theoretically less likely that he will assume the Hobgoblin’s identity.
It’s unlikely that Marvel will turn him into a supervillain because of the character’s sweet and helpful nature and Dr. Strange’s interest in his talent. Strange and Wong are far more likely to take Ned under their wing. This way he can develop a better understanding of how to control his powers.
Since Spider-Man: Homecoming, the character has been depicted as heroic rather than villainous. And this story further distances Ned from his comic book counterpart. Ned Leeds could theoretically become the MCU’s Hobgoblin given the MCU’s multiverse narrative. That’s unlikely to happen, given how far the character has come since NWH developed his personality.