I've always liked the Hobgoblin.
The first one, I mean, not the one who got turned into a demon and bruised Ghost Rider's fist with his face for a good part of the nineties. Or poor Ned Leeds, who got shot by the Foreigner's goons. No, I like the first one. The one who was a fashion designer in his secret identity (you heard me). Roderick Kingsley.
That's who should be in charge of the Marvel Universe these days, not Norman "I once stabbed myself with my own glider" Osborn.
The Hobgoblin had connections on both sides of the law, in every odd corner of society. A corporate monster and an economic genius, with enough technological know-how to maintain his equipment and improve on it. He out-thought Spider-Man on a variety of occasions, unveiling plans within plans. Two steps ahead and three to the side. Then, when things were getting too hot, he faked his own death.
Too, he was a unique sort of super-villain...he wasn't doing it for the money (name-checked fashion designers have more money than God, after all), or for revenge (he went out of his way to avoid the super-hero community), or even for power, really. He was doing it because it was fun. It was a game to build his empire up and then, when he got bored, engineer its downfall.
Imagine that sort of character in Norman Osborn's current position. With Osborn, there's no question of what's going to happen. The crazy invariably leaks out. It's a lazy storytelling device, and, while effective, it's been done before (with Osborn in particular).
But consider the Hobgoblin. He could engineer an alliance between the big bads without coming across as patently out of his depth as Osborn was, because, frankly, the Hobgoblin would know just how out of depth he was and he would roll with it. Flattery and ingenuity as opposed to bluster and assumptions. It's the difference between the cold-blooded sociopath and the hot-blooded psychopath.
Granted, Norman Osborn makes sense given his recent importance in the Marvel Universe, but why did they have to pick Norman for that role in the first place? Lex Luthor he wasn't, despite the similarities. Then, I'm one of those people who thought the Green Goblin was more effective dead than alive. Just like Gwen Stacy. Or Uncle Ben.
But the Hobgoblin...ah, he could have done some interesting things. Such potential, sadly squandered. What could have been.