Real Name: Arnold Samuel Donovan

Identity/Class: Enhanced human

Occupation: Small-time thug

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Worked for Roderick Kingsley, the original Hobgoblin; led Kingsley's thugs in the field

Enemies: Spider-Man and Roderick Kingsley (who killed him).

Known Relatives: None.

Aliases: "Lefty", Hobgoblin

Base of Operations: A remote summer house, hideout of Hobgoblin (Kingsley)

First Appearance: Amazing Spider-Man I#244 (as Donovan); Amazing Spider-Man I#245 (as Hobgoblin)

Powers: His strength was derived of the Goblin-formula, and was equal to the original Green Goblin's class 10 strength. His other physical abilities were also increased.

He sported some fancy items, like the vertical-thrust goblin glider and a robot-driver able to recognize Spidey (yeah, yeah, I know, it's dumb). As for weapons, he used Jack O'Lantern bombs, razor-edged bat-wings, and gloves capable of conducting pulses of electricity.

History: Arnold "Lefty" Donovan was a petty criminal. He thought he had found his big break, when the original Hobgoblin approached him to enlist him on his payroll. Hobby had taken a beating from Spidey, and he decided he needed what Osborn (the original Green Goblin) had to stand toe-to-toe with Spidey on a fight. While recovering, he thought that normal robbers should attract less attention than the Goblin, and he didn't want to risk meeting Spidey again.

(Amazing Spider-Man I#244) - Donovan acted as the middle man, hiring thugs and commanding the assaults on Osborn facilities. During one of these, in a warehouse near the docks, Spidey crashed in and took down the small army of criminals. In a truck, Donovan threw some bats and a pumpkin, to slow down our web-slinger. The pumpkin started a fire, and Peter threw a tracer to the truck, and saved the thugs. He then followed the truck, but Donovan had left in a van that was on the back of the truck. The truck was being driven by a robot, who crashed against a light-post when he saw Spidey. The wall-crawler returned to the docks, where he learned Donovan's name. Later, Donovan arrived at a remote summer house. He revealed to Kingsley that the whole outcome went as planned: the thugs were caught, Spidey was left behind, and the material was found. Kingsley, bandaged around his stomach, said that the stolen goods will give him the strength of the original Green Goblin.

(Amazing Spider-Man I#245) - Kingsley told Donovan to mix the Goblin-Formula, certainly aware of the complications that could come from there. The formula blew in Donovan's face, leaving him disfigured. Kingsley dragged him to the front yard, and blew up the house. The fireman found an uncounscious man, and sent him to the hospital. 3 weeks later, Donovan awoke in the hospital. He escaped and stole a doctor's car to go to the Summer house. The hypnotic suggestion in his mind was taking effect. He went to a secret basement, hidden under the ashes of the burned house, and found the Hobgoblin paraphernalia. He began bombing the city, to attract Spider-Man. In the meantime, Spider-Man had just found that Donovan was being questioned by the police at the time he was tangling with the Hobgoblin in their first encounter, so he couldn't be the Hobgoblin. When he heard about Donovan's rampage, he went to him. They fought, Spidey was surprised at the Goblin's strength, as a result of the formula. He knocked him down and removed his mask. Even with the scars, he recognized Donovan's face. Becoming lucid with the crash, Donovan realized that he wasn't the Hobgoblin, and told Spidey that his boss said the formula would make him invincible. When Spidey asked the name of his boss, the glider went beserk and crashed against the side of a building, killing "Lefty".

In his hideout, Kingsley observed the news reports. Donovan obeyed the hypnotic suggestions until he crashed, but fortunately for him, he was in control of the situation. Now his computers could duplicate the Goblin formula with safety, and remove the inherent insanity factor. The whole incident occured just as he wanted it: no witnesses alive, the police thinking him dead, and Spider-Man with no clues to follow.

Comments: Created by Roger Stern, John Romita, Jr., and Klaus Janson.

Until Spider-Man unmasked him in the end, the identity of the person under the Hobgoblin's mask in Amazing Spider-Man#245 was withheld from the readers, so as to make them believe it was the genuine Hobgoblin.

Donovan was left-handed (hence, "Lefty").


His biggest problems were: he was never too smart; he was being manipulated by the real Hobgoblin; and his glider had a remote control, in the hands of the real Hobgoblin. When the real deal decided that Donovan was no longer needed, Donovan ceased to be.

In Amazing Spider-Man#245, Detective Sgt. Lou Snider's police files said Lefty's name was Arnold. However, in Hobgoblin Lives#1, a TV report called him Samuel "Lefty" Donovan. After Official Handbook writer Mike Fichera communicated with Roger Stern, Lefty's full name was clarified as Arnold Samuel Donovan, as published in Hobgoblin (Kingsley)'s profile in OHOTMU A-Z Hardcover#5 (2008).

by Henrique Ferreira, courtesy of Spider-Fan

Clarifications:"Lefty" Donovan should not be confused with:

images: (without ads)
Amazing Spider-Man I#245, p13, pan4 (main image)

p4, pan3-4 (explosion)
p20, pan5-6 (unmasked)

Amazing Spider-Man I#244-245 (September-October, 1983) - Roger Stern (writer), John Romita Jr. (pencils), Klaus Janson (#244) & Dave Simons (#245) (inks), Tom DeFalco (editor)

First Posted: 04/30/2002
Last updated: 09/19/2021

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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