Power Man #24-25
Issue(s): Power Man #24, Power Man #25
Luke Cage and D.W. Griffith track down Luke's girlfriend Claire Temple, who recently left him a letter breaking up with him and then left the city. They find her in a circus in Southern California. It turns out that she is Bill Foster's ex-wife, and he's been messing with Pym particles and got himself stuck at 15 feet. Too proud to ask Stark or Pym for help, he's joined the circus to raise money to continue his research. Claire is afraid that, due to Foster's connection with the Avengers, he'd learn that Luke is an escaped convict, so she didn't bring him along. She's also not sure if their relationship is really over.
Luke and Foster (who is not called Black Goliath anywhere except in the title) get into a fight.
Luke generally has the upper hand the whole time...
...but the fight is cut short when - did you guess? - the Ringmaster shows up.
A few interesting things about the Circus members. First, it now includes Livewire. His move from Psycho-Man's henchman to Circus of Crime member was probably his best career move, ever, at least in terms of having the right skills for the job.
Second, the Clown is trying to re-brand himself as the stoic Funny Man. Certainly "silent but deadly" is a funny catch-phrase.
Third, Luke Cage saves the life of one of the Gambino brothers in issue #24, so he acts to help the heroes in issue #25...
...but only once, and then he's back working with the CoC again. Really strange honor system, there.
Livewire has a more legitimate change of heart, not that it makes much difference.
When it's all over, Claire realizes that she's still in love with Luke, so she leaves Bill behind.
Meanwhile, a reporter comes around asking questions about Luke Cage to Dr. Burstein. Burstein sends him away, but wonders why the reporter reminds him of Phil Fox, "the corrupt reporter who almost exposed Luke Cage's secret past".
Maybe it's just me, but it seems like there was a trend with black super-heroes costumes to expose as much skin as possible. To make it very clear that they were black, i guess? In addition to Goliath's bizarre exposed belly, you've got the Falcon's huge v-neck, and that period where the Black Panther's mask didn't fully cover his face.
From the editorial box on the Letters Page: "The costume design for the new Goliath was the work of a promising young Canadian artist named John Byrne, whose drawings have graced FOOM Magazine and many other fanzines, and who has recently penciled a story for The Haunt of Horror - an artist to watch."
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (6): show
The John Byrne HoH story showed up in a Giant-Size Dracula, I think.
The Clown seems to have a new green wig on, if it's the same Clown.
Tony Isabella stated more than 30 years later that "Black Goliath" was a horrible name and just plain "Goliath" should have worked.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 20, 2011 8:52 PM
I think the exposed-skin costumes may be more of a 70's thing. Isn't Iron Fist showing about as much chest as Cage? (Admittedly, his shirt gets ripped less, but that's a function of Cage being more Hulk-like). Man-Wolf also has plenty of, er, fur on display. But it's true that Black Goliath's costume is weird even by the standards of the time.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | May 2, 2013 2:17 AM
Maybe I'm misremembering Man-Wolf as having a hugely open-necked costume. He doesn't in those Marvel Premiere issues Fnord has just covered.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | May 2, 2013 2:23 AM
yeah, i thought the deep v-neck was more of a 70s thing than a black hero thing, too. Nobody ever calls out iron fist for his chest display. Just most of these black heroes happened to debut in the 70s. You don't see it with many black heroes from the 80s.
Posted by: Kveto from Prague | May 2, 2013 1:36 PM
Wundarr's costume is another example of why i'm wrong. I still think some of the motivation behind the costume designs (certainly the Black Panther's half-mask period) was to ensure that readers recognized that these characters were black; a not-unworthy goal even if the design choices were very strange.
In any event, whatever the motivation, at least it did end in the 70s. No one wanted to see a belly window on War Machine.
Posted by: fnord12 | May 2, 2013 1:54 PM
To add to the generally ramshackle nature of these issues, Bill Foster is frequently misidentified as Bill "Temple."
Posted by: Matthew Bradley | August 26, 2014 11:48 PM
Good lord! I would ask if the Ringmaster runs the only circus in the MU, but I know there'll be the Avengers issue where it turns out the Taskmaster is running the circus. Maybe Marvel heroes should just go the zoo.
Posted by: Erik Beck | March 8, 2015 9:39 AM
Ugh. Luigi Gambonno calls Luke Cage "Senor Power Man" and then in the next panel is (correctly) identified as an Italian. Wouldn't "signore Power Man" be the correct Italian term? Or does he switch to Spanish for the hell of it?
Posted by: Quebbster | December 4, 2015 10:42 AM
My squinting blood shot eyes believe your reference to first Bill Foster above was a typo and should be changed from Avengers #52 to #32.. I hope Black Goliath brings a can of Whoop Ass out on Luke Cage and Tony Stark to give us a New Giant Guy storyline for Iron Ma
Posted by: RocknRollguitarplayer | July 25, 2016 2:13 AM
Posted by: fnord12 | July 25, 2016 8:39 AM
Other examples of costumes for males caucasians that show off their chests around this time are Prince Namor's new black costume and the God-awful S&M outfit Killraven first appeared in.
Posted by: Andrew | December 4, 2016 4:30 PM
Indeed, the Italian for mister is "singore", with the "e" dropped before a name or a surname. Also, there's no "senorita", but "signorina".
Posted by: JTI88 | December 9, 2016 2:15 PM
Comments are now closed.
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