Jacob Batalon smiling as Ned Leeds

Ned Channels the Hobgoblin in Unused Spider-Man: No Way Home Concept Art

Spider-Man‘s best friend Ned missed out on having a supervillain moment in Spider-Man: No Way Home, as seen in some newly revealed concept art for the 2021 film.

Marvel Studios artist Phil Saunders, who has been giving fans some glimpses at his work for No Way Home, shared another piece on his Instagram, this time featuring Ned Leeds as portrayed by Jacob Batalon. In the image, Ned has commandeered a Goblin Glider and is soaring high above New York with the Goblin’s signature weapon, a Pumpkin Bomb, in his hand.

Ned Leeds struts his stuff and loves the Mets

True to the character’s love for geeky adventures in the Marvel Cinematic Universe Spider-Man films, Ned is clearly portrayed as absolutely loving his wild ride. In addition to the fun of the unused scene, though, Saunders explains in his post that the image has multiple Easter eggs, starting with Ned’s outfit. “As serendipity would have it, Queens’ own Mets wear orange and blue, the colors of #hobgoblin, so I have Ned wearing the hoodie as another little nod,” Saunders wrote.

For those unfamiliar with the team, the artist also detailed what makes Ned’s hoodie extra-special: “But just to show you how far we take research and character-building at #marvel #visdev, Ned’s wearing the number 50, an homage to Benny Agbayani, the Hawaiian-Filipino Mets left-fielder who would undoubtedly be one of Ned’s heroes, given their shared heritage.”

Spider-Man: No Way Home hinted at Ned’s magical future

The MCU’s Ned Leeds is very loosely based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name, who is a supporting player in the Spider-Man mythos. In the comics, Ned was originally revealed as the secret identity of the villainous Hobgoblin, the de facto heir to the Green Goblin. However, this was later retconned. As it turns out, Ned had been brainwashed into wearing the suit by the real Hobgoblin, Roderick Kingsley.

Meanwhile, Batalon’s version of Ned is largely an original creation of the MCU. As Peter Parker’s best friend, he’s a loyal and intelligent part of Spidey’s team despite having no superpowers of his own. That said, he does share a few things in common with his comic-book counterpart, such as his brief romance with Betty Brant. No Way Home hinted that things might be changing for Ned, who didn’t get to ride on a Goblin Glider but did show some unexpected aptitude for sorcery.