Friday, August 24, 2007

1970's Flashback: Black Goliath

Dr. Bill Foster was introduced by writer Roy Thomas & artist Don Heck in the pages of Avengers #32 (Sept. 1966) as a minor supporting character. Foster was originally a contemporary of founding Avenger Henry Pym, who had gone by the heroic names of Ant-Man, Giant-Man, Goliath [when Bill Foster appeared] and later still, Yellowjacket. Each of Pym's identities took advantage of the size-changing abilities of his discovery - Pym particles to engage in super heroics.

In April 1975, writer Tony Isabella & artist George Tuska re-introduced Foster in a new role in Luke Cage, Power Man #24. Adopting his old friends Pym particles, Foster became the blaxploitation-inspired hero called Black Goliath (in homage to Hank Pym's earlier role). Foster's exposure to Pym particles gave him the ability to grow to a gigantic size while gaining mass and superhuman strength in proportion to his height. As Black Goliath he was able to routinely grow to 15 feet in height, and could lift approximately ten tons.

His solo, five issue series ran briefly in 1976, before being cancelled. Bill Foster made sporadic appearances over the years, and like Hank Pym, his own superhero name changed from time-to-time. He was variously known as Giant-Man and until recently, simply Goliath. Bill Foster was one of the heroes who sided with Captain America during this years hit crossover mini-series Civil War. Sadly, Goliath met his end at the hands of the enraged Thor-Clone that Henry Pym had misguidedly created to battle alongside Iron Man's forces, in that top-seller from Marvel Comics, becoming one of the most visible casualties in the book.

A new character, Fosters nephew, has been shown and indications are that a new Goliath may be forthcoming. Long live Black Goliath!

No comments: