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William Foster (Earth-616)

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Quote1 So, why don't you call it quits, little man, before I really start throwing my weight around? Quote2
-- Goliath src


Dr. William Barrett "Bill" Foster was born in Watts, Los Angeles, California. He met and married her college sweetheart Claire Temple. However over time their relationship soured and the pair separated.[6] He became a Biochemist amd worked in the Plans and Research Division for Tony Stark's Baltimore factory. He was hired to be the lab assistant of Dr. Hank Pym, the first Giant-Man, when Pym was trapped at a height of ten feet. Dr. Foster helped him find a cure to change his size back to normal.[2]

Black Goliath

Dr. Foster moved to the West Coast to take over the research and development section of Stark International in Los Angeles and became the boss of the three brilliant scientists known as the Whiz Kids. Having memorized the formula to "Pym Particles" in his work with Pym, he synthesized it in the hopes of eliminating its harmful side effects. Eventually, when he tested it on himself, he found that it had indeed given him the ability to grow in size like his former employer.[6] Taking the name Black Goliath, he came under the control of the Circus of Crime, but was freed by Luke Cage who had come to rescue Claire Temple, Foster's ex-wife and then Cage's girlfriend.[7] As Black Goliath, he fought criminals such as the Atom Smasher,[8] Warhawk,[9] Vulcan,[9] Stilt-Man[10] (who transported him to the planet Kirgar using his Z-Ray[11]) and the Hijacker. Black Goliath later assisted the Champions of Los Angeles, then joined the group part-time as their technical advisor. After the Champions disbanded, Black Goliath, along with a large group of other heroes, joined the Defenders for only one mission before quitting the group.[12]

Giant-Man II

Dr. Foster later joined the staff of Project Pegasus, the U.S. government's semi-secret energy research facility. While there he revealed his identity of Black Goliath to the Thing, who at the time was working for Project: Pegasus. In the process of answering an emergency alarm, Foster decided to change his name to Giant-Man at Ben's suggestion.[13] After working at Project: Pegasus for a short time Foster revealed that he was dying from radiation poisoning he contracted in his earlier fight with Atom-Smasher, though he had continued his attempts to distinguish himself as a superhero, on one occasion teaming up with Spider-Man to face off against Norton Fester, the Meteor Man.[14] Some time later, while on his death bed, Foster's radiation poisoning was cured by a blood transfusion from Jessica Drew, who called herself Spider-Woman. At the time, Drew possessed an immunity to radiation and other toxins, but when she submitted to the transfusion with Foster, she did so at the expense of losing that immunity factor.[15]

After being cured, thinking his cellular structure had already been too severely decayed from his radiation poisoning to withstand the strain of size-changing safely, Foster gave up the Giant-Man identity for a long time. He finally returned as Giant-Man when he assisted the West Coast Avengers in their battle against the High Evolutionary in the Savage Land during the Evolutionary War. Giant-Man later defeated Ant-Man's old enemy Doctor Nemesis and Goliath (Erik Josten) in their scheme.[16]

Foster soon gave up the identity of Giant-Man, which Hank Pym subsequently reclaimed for himself. Not too long after that, Goliath's ionic powers were disrupted in a battle against the West Coast Avengers. This caused an energy disruption which allowed a race of extra-dimensional creatures, the Kosmosians, to attack Earth. Although the creatures were ultimately repelled, the energy disruption and effects on the Pym Particles affected all who had ever been exposed to them, except Pym himself, causing them to lose control of their growth and/or shrinking powers.[17]

After losing his powers, Dr. Foster joined the staff of the Centers for Disease Control. In this capacity he helped the Avengers deal with a bio-weapon released near Mount Rushmore.[18]

The Last Return

Foster donned the identity of Goliath again along with a new specialized outfit and without the modifying "Black," first to help the Thing deal with a super-villain even as he requested a research grant from the Thing,, then helped Spider-Man track down the Hulk, so that Dr. Robert Bruce Banner, the scientist who uncontrollably transforms into the Hulk, could, possibly, deal with Spider-Man's own cellular degeneration.[19]

Civil War

During the superhuman Civil War, Foster was a member of Captain America's anti-registration Secret Avengers, adopting the alias of Rockwell Dodsworth.[5] He subsequently appeared briefly amongst the cavalcade of other African-American super-heroes attending the wedding of the Black Panther and Storm.[20]

Civil War Vol 1 4 page 10 Thor (Clone) (Earth-616)


Foster was killed by a clone of Thor during a fight between the Secret Avengers and Iron Man's pro-registration forces. Since it proved not to be possible to reduce his body to normal size, he was buried as a giant, with Tony Stark (Iron Man) paying for the thirty-eight burial plots required to accommodate him. His death affected the balance of forces in the war, leading several previously pro-Registration or neutral figures to change sides, most notably the Invisible Woman, the Human Torch, the Black Panther, Storm, and Spider-Man as well as many others questioning Iron Man's cause.[21]

Bill Foster was last seen in Pluto's realm, refusing to accept death's embrace while holding out possible hope for a resurrection.[22]

Heir apparent

Bill Foster's nephew Thomas, while a student at M.I.T., informed the Black Panther that he intended to follow in his uncle's footsteps by cracking the Pym Particle formula and becoming a hero. The Black Panther promised to help him achieve his goal.[23]

Tom Foster later joined Wonder Man's Revengers, in order to shut down the Avengers that he felt responsible for his uncle's death, and to avenge this one.[24]


Size Alteration. Due to his infusion with Pym Particles, Goliath can increase his size, to a safe limit of 25 feet in height. Persons infused with the particles who are able to increase their sizes do so by means of accruement of mass from an unknown, presumably extra-dimensional, source and expand their own molecular structures at the same time; as they are expand their molecular structures, they add this mass to them.

  • Super-Human Strength Based On Increased Size. Since the accruements of mass in their expanded molecular structures augment their bone and muscle tissue, persons infused with Pym Particles who are able to increase their sizes acquire strength levels that are sufficient to support their additional weights. Goliath presumably gained super-human strength by this means, in proportion with his increased height.


Strength level

Aside from his increased strength level in his expanded form, William Foster possessed the normal human strength of an Earth human of his age, height, and build who engaged in moderate regular exercise.


After-Effects Of Size Changes. The process of changing sizes, for persons infused with Pym particles who can increase their sizes, is a fatiguing process, rendering such persons more vulnerable to harm after successive changes. When William Foster was bombarded with deadly radiation in his initial combat against the Atom Smasher, the bombardment immediately produced harmful side effects, making his size changes painful and occasionally causing him to black out.

  • His death was predicted by Deadpool who described Goliath as "Deserving of death and worse."[26]
  • His last words were "Get ready for the shortest comeback in history, Thor!"[27]
  • His origin blurb from the first page of his self-titled book read: "BILL FOSTER - Dr. William Barrett Foster, DSc, PhD - a child of the GHETTO who has pulled himself up out of the Los Angeles slums to become director of one of the nation's most prestigious research labs. A man whose research has given him the power to instantaneously grow to a height of FIFTEEN FEET, with the strength of a TRUE GIANT. A man who has become... a HERO."[6]

Discover and Discuss


  1. Thing Vol 2 #1
  2. 2.0 2.1 Avengers #32
  3. Power Man #24
  4. Marvel Two-In-One #55
  5. 5.0 5.1 Civil War #2
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Black Goliath #1
  7. Power Man #24-25
  8. Black Goliath #1-2
  9. 9.0 9.1 Black Goliath #3
  10. Black Goliath #4
  11. Black Goliath #5
  12. Defenders #62
  13. Marvel Two-In-One #54
  14. Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #41
  15. Marvel Two-In-One #85
  16. Marvel Comics Presents #113-118
  17. Avengers #382
  18. Avengers Vol 3 #66
  19. Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #2
  20. Black Panther Vol 4 #18
  21. Civil War #4-5
  22. Incredible Hercules #129
  23. Black Panther Vol 3 #23
  24. New Avengers Annual Vol 2 #1
  25. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #4
  26. Cable & Deadpool #30
  27. Civil War #4
  28. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #4
  29. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z hardcover Vol. 4

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