Black Goliath #1-3
Issue(s): Black Goliath #1, Black Goliath #2, Black Goliath #3
I was a little annoyed about all this self doubt, but we learn that it's because he was lying when he told his ex-wife Claire Temple that he was stuck at giant-size. I guess i'm willing to go through a little melodrama to get rid of the premise that Foster was trapped at that size, and broke.
With that, we find a much better premise for Foster. He's the head of an R&D group at Stark Industries, and he's got three interesting characters working for him: Talia Kruma, Herbert Bell, and the maverick Dale West.
Meanwhile, there's been a series of break-ins at tech laboratories, and Foster deduces that his lab is next, so he resolves to become Black Goliath and wait at the lab to foil the attack.
The leader of the raiders is the Atom-Smasher.
Black Goliath and Atom-Smasher get into a fight...
...and Goliath basically wins when the Atom-Smasher accidentally sets the airplane hanger they are fighting in on fire. Goliath gets picked up by a lady driver, who takes him home, dresses his wounds, makes him some food. He immediately puts the moves on her, and scores! You have to respect that.
The next day he goes back to work at Stark Industries' west coast facility and puts his "whiz kids" on the job of tracking down the Atom Smasher.
They think they're building a device for the police; they don't know that Foster is Black Goliath. Goliath catches up with the Atom Smasher again, but a mysterious stranger has him (Atom Smasher) assassinated for his previous failure. The bald, cigar-smoking guy with the eight jeweled rings will turn out to be Ambrose Connors, an executive from CTE, as shown in a back-up story in Marvel Fanfare #3 (It will also be revealed that the Atom Smasher's brother had him killed, but that obviously wasn't the original intent). See Luis and Michael's comments for a little more about this assassination mystery.
The assassin himself is generally acknowledged to be Warhawk.
Per Michael's comment, this was first put forth in the unofficial Marvel Indexes (the granddaddy of all websites like mine!).
The Index is an unofficial source, but as the Appendix notes:
It takes some digging around to fill in the holes in Warhawk's appearances. The original Marvel Comics Index (good luck finding them!) reveals that the assassin who killed the original Atom Smasher is Warhawk. You won't get that info reading the comics. I didn't. After you find it out and read it again, you realize the assassin was meant to be Warhawk from the beginning, but they never got around to revealing it. He used Warhawk's trademark "Bo' " (which I guess is short for Boss?), and the story was written by Claremont.
The next day Stark Industries is raided by a group of criminals led by a hairy hunchback named the Vulcan.
Not sure if it's a mistake or if Vulcan has mental powers in addition to super strength, but he responds out loud to one of Black Goliath's thought balloons.
After Goliath stops the raid, he gets yelled at by the police, told to "pack your bags and get your butt back to New York with the rest'a the super-freaks....". I thought that was interesting, and a similar scene will occur in this month's (April) issue of Daredevil.
During the fight with Vulcan, a box that Tony Stark sent out west gets jostled, and it starts to glow.
Reasonably well written... The biggest problem with this series is the title/character name. Note that Foster does actually call himself "Black Goliath" (in one of the panels from the first issue when Atom-Smasher shows up) which just seems so unlikely. The costume kinda sucks, too. The high collar, the belly window. If you can get past those things, and the fact that a lot of the threads introduced here never get properly resolved, it's a decent read.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: In issue #1, Hank Pym calls Bill to try to encourage him to get into super-heroics. The phone call takes place while Hank and Janet Pym are in the hospital between Avengers #141-148. Since those issues are all part of a long run, we can either assume that they are happening concurrently or the phone call takes place earlier than the rest of the story. Tony Stark's appearance is context free.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (5): show
Marvel Fanfare #3 eventually reveals that the mysterious person is a Cross Technological Enterprises authority of some kind.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | November 10, 2012 8:37 AM
That was the problem- in Marvel Two in One 85, it was revealed that the Atom Smasher's brother hired the assassin, and in Marvel Fanfare 3, it was revealed that the Cross Technological guy hired the assassin.
Posted by: Michael | November 10, 2012 8:53 AM
I had missed all of this, so i've added some scans and updates to the relevant entries. But where is it revealed that it's Warhawk who is the actual assassin?
Posted by: fnord12 | November 11, 2012 1:46 AM
According to this, it was the original Marvel Comics Index:
Posted by: Michael | November 11, 2012 9:12 AM
Thanks. I didn't realize that Warhawk was minor enough to merit an Appendix entry, not that i'm complaining. Updated this entry a bit more, including a scan from the Index.
Posted by: fnord12 | November 11, 2012 2:05 PM
Vince Colletta may have been a quick replacement for somebody else on #1; when this book was previewed in FOOM, it was admitted that nobody knew who was inking it.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | May 17, 2013 4:14 PM
Black Goliath, a perfect phase 3/phase 4 Marvel Studio candidate
Posted by: rocknrollguitarplayer | June 5, 2016 9:21 PM
Bill Foster: you know your series is in trouble when the lead gets cancer in the first issue.
Posted by: Brian C. Saunders | July 30, 2016 11:42 AM
Well, personally, I always thought his battle with cancer (or generic radiation poisoning depending on the writer) was what set him apart from everyone else. It was very much his defining character bit and a big part of his best stories (Gruenwald/Macchio MTIO). It should've been explored a lot more before DeFalco decided to give him a magical generic virus and then wave the magic wand and cure him. And of course then when he was re-powered later on, he no longer had anything to set him apart from the other giant character. No motivation and no uniqueness.
Posted by: AF | July 30, 2016 2:11 PM
Well, he's unique in staying dead after Civil War. That's something.
Posted by: Brian C. Saunders | July 30, 2016 6:02 PM
Wait and see, Brian- Barry Allen, Sharon Carter, Norman Osborn and Nighthawk were all dead for a decade or longer. Heck, Night Thrasher was killed off in Civil War and he was just brought back a few months ago.
Posted by: Michael | July 30, 2016 6:23 PM
I know the two stories were were published virtually simultaneously, but I always had a pet theory that the "Vulcan" of this issue is actually a mutated Volcanus from Marvel Two-In_One #16 following his plunge into the lava pool.
It's still weird that two bad guys named after the Roman god Vulcan showed up int he exact same month, and weird that Claremont, of all writers, never went back to this guy and fleshed him out in one of his other titles.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | August 1, 2016 3:30 PM
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