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Betty Brant Leeds
Real Name: Betty Brant Leeds
Occupation: Secretary
Identity: Publicly known
Legal Status: Citizen of the United States with no criminal record
Other Aliases: None
Place of Birth: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Marital Status: Widowed
Known Relatives: Bennett Brant (brother, deceased), Edward "Nod" Leeds (husband, deceased)
Group Affiliation: None
Base of Operations: New York City
First Appearance: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #4

History: Little is known about Betty Brant before she dropped out of high school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to become a secretary for J. Jonah Jameson, publisher of the Daily Bugle. There she met freelance photographer Peter Parker, who was secretly the costumed crimefighter Spider-Man.

Peter first realized he was attracted to Betty after hearing her defend Spider-Man in an argument with Jameson. Peter and Betty first grew close during a talk they had at the Bugle offices after they had been attacked by the criminal Vulture. But it was after Betty impressed Peter with her kindness by visiting his ill Aunt May in the hospital that Petty and Betty truly began falling in love with each other.

Betty originally took the secretarial position to help her brother, attorney Bennett Brant, pay back the massive gambling debts he had incurred from his client, the criminal Blackie Glaxton. With the help of the superhuman criminal Doctor Octopus, Glaxton kidnapped the Brant siblings as insurance against anyone preventing him from leaving the country.

Glaxton double-crossed Bennett by refusing to free him of his debts. A fight broke out between them as Spider-Man entered the fray and attempted to rescue the Brants. Spider-Man battled Doctor Octopus in the midst of heated gunfire, during which a stray bullet killed Bennett. Blaming Spider-Man for her brother's death, Betty told him that she never wanted to see him again, unaware that he and Peter Parker were the same person.

Soon afterward, Betty realized that Spider-Man had only been trying to help her and Bennett, but she still did not want to see him again since he would remind her of her brother's death. Peter Parker continued his romance with Betty, although he now believed he could never tell her he was Spider-Man.

Betty feared without justification that Peter actually cared more for his classmate Liz Allan than he did for her. This misunderstanding led to strains in her relationship with Peter. Eventually, Betty began dating Daily Bugle reporter Edward "Ned" Leeds. Leeds soon proposed to Betty, but she still loved Peter. However, Peter decided that being Spider-Man made him an unsuitable husband for Betty, and intentionally tried to alienate her. Although she still felt drawn to Peter, Betty finally decided to accept Leeds' proposal. However, Betty and Peter remain close friends to this day.

After an engagement that lasted years, Ned and Betty were finally married, although the ceremony was interrupted by the costumed criminal Mirage, whom Spider-Man then captured.

Jonah Jameson sent Betty and Ned to Paris on an all expense paid “working honeymoon.” But it seemed the marriage was doomed from the start. Once in France Betty began to notice a subtle change in Ned's behavior as he became totally consumed by his work. While Ned was on one assignment or another as an American with no friends and unable to speak French, Betty began to feel even lonelier than before she was married. As Ned was covering an insurrection in Cyprus, Betty separated from Ned and flew back to New York. There she sought the consoling arms of her one good friend Peter Parker who had just been jilted by Mary Jane Watson.

Once Ned discovered Betty's disappearance, he returned to New York and found his wife in Peter’s company. He told Peter to take his hands of his wife and then punched him in the jaw. Later, Ned tried to force Peter to never see Betty again. Peter bitterly announced that he never wanted to see either of them again, telling Betty that he was only interested in her to make Mary Jane jealous. He hoped that this lie would help bring the couple back together, but in stead Betty slapped Peter and broke down in tears. Ned castigated Peter for being unnecessarily cruel and then left With Betty. Taking a leave of absence from their work at the Daily Bugle to work things out, Ned and Betty began to completely rethink their marriage.

During this period, however, the strain of Ned's job and marriage began to take their toll on his mind. Betty was still having night-mares about Spider-Man and Ned blamed his failed marriage on the wall-crawlers influence. Vowing to rid the world of Spider-Man, an informant led Ned to an old hideout of the original Green Goblin. Killing his informant, Ned decided to use the Goblin's equipment to become the costumed criminal known as the Hobgoblin.

As the Hobgoblin, Ned increasingly estranged from his wife Betty, who had no idea that her husband led a secret criminal life. After almost being gunned down by the Sin-Eater, Betty this time turned to her longtime friend Flash Thompson for solace. Ned, suspecting they were having an affair, captured Thompson and framed him for being the Hobgoblin.

Escaping from police custody, Thompson eventually found refuge with Betty after her husband moved out of the apartment. The Hobgoblin attacked Thompson at Betty’s apartment where he unmasked and she saw his true face. This revelation pushed her already fragile mind over the edge. Shortly thereafter, Ned left for Berlin on assignment where he was assassinated. Ironically, his last thought was to tell the absent Betty that he was sorry.

When news of Ned's dealt death reached Betty, she experienced a complete mental breakdown. Suffering from withdrawal and denial she carried on life as though Ned was alive and had never been a super-villain. She also hallucinated that her dead mother was still alive.

In such a frail state of mind, Betty was easy pickings for a young recruiter working for a faction known as the Cult of Love. The promises of love and spiritual healing he offered her were to good to pass. After losing everything in the world she had ever loved, Betty relinquished all her possessions to a man known only as Teacher, the one man she believed would help her.

Teacher was a consummate con-artist who led the Cult of Love. His specialty was convincing people he could perform miracles. His most effective scam was displaying “healing powers” very graphic ways.

Due largely in part to Flash Thompson's characteristically bold behavior, he and Spider-Man literally brought the Cult of Love operation down around Teacher's ears, who perished in a conflagration within his New Jersey house “house of worship.” Betty Brant was successfully deprogrammed, but all her worldly belongings either perished in the fire or were sold by the Cult. With no place to live, Betty took up residence with Thompson.

During the evening of city wide chaos referred to as the "Inferno," Flash Thompson's domicile was attacked by two demons, one posing as Spider-Man the other as Betty's dead husband. Ironically it was during this confrontation that Betty to come to grips with reality. While she fought for her life against the demon that resembled Ned, she witnessed the spirit of her real husband prompting her to stand up and start fighting her own battles. Whether this apparition was the true spirit of Ned Leeds or just a figment of Betty's imagination is still unclear.

With renewed vigor and inspiration, Betty took the initiative and led Thompson out of the apartment, narrowly escaping the blast of a makeshift bomb she manufactured with Thompson old broken outdoor gas heater.

Betty is learning to enjoy her new life, and she works as a part-time secretary for Kate Cushing city editor of the Daily Bugle. She also began to take steps to become an investigative reporter. One of her first assignments was tracking down the Foreigner, the man she believed murdered her husband, and battling the Foreigner's high-powered assassins to a standstill.

Betty remains on the Daily Bugle staff as an investigative reporter.

Height: 5 ft. 7 in.
Weight: 125 lbs.
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Brown

Strength Level: Betty Brant Leeds possesses the normal human strength of a woman her age height, and build who engages in moderate regular exercise.

Known Superhuman Powers: None

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