I don't know if the readers demanded it but they got it anyway. In the 1970s, Marvel and DC put out a lot of titles, trying to see what would sell. Many weren't around for long like Man-Bat (two issues) and a few lasted out of the decade like The Warlord, The Defenders and Star Wars. One such attempt was BLACK GOLIATH, who already had a history attached to him. William (Bill) Foster first appeared in The Avengers #32 as a biochemist sent by Tony Stark to assist Henry Pym, the first Goliath when he was trapped at ten feet tall. He was one of Marvel's first African-American supporting cast though he wasn't around for long.

He returned years later in Power Man #24-25 (Ap-Ju'75), contacting his ex-wife, Claire Temple, telling her that while experimenting with Pym's growth serum, he was trapped at fifteen-feet high. He was "hiding" at a travelling circus when Claire arrived with her new boy-friend Luke Cage! Sweet Christmas! The two battled as Marvel heroes are wont to do until they joined forces because the circus was really the Circus of Crime (because every Marvel hero HAS to fight the Circus of Crime at least once in their careers)! Afterwards, Black Goliath has a confession to make: he's NOT trapped at giant-size! It was a ploy to get Claire back and leaves abashed.

Despite the less-than-ideal motivation, the next year saw Black Goliath #1 (F'76) on the stands, a feat Henry Pym never did in any of his identities. Written by Tony Isabella and drawn by George Tuska and Vince Coletta, it opens with Foster walking around Los Angeles, his hometown, where his reminiscences are interrupted by three street thugs who get a BIG surprise! Later he receives an encouraging phone call from Henry and Jan Pym (sadly their only appearance in the series) which causes him to relive his origin and rethink his future.

The next day, he arrives at the LA branch of Stark Industries which he runs and supervises the "Whiz Kids": the overweight Herbert Bell, the acerbic Dale West and the sultry Talia Kruma who are working on a force field vest with mixed results. The also have to worry about a string of lab robberies with radium as the loot.

That night, a gang of criminals break into Stark LA's warehouse led by ATOM-SMASHER who possesses incredible energy powers. They are confronted by Black Goliath who makes short work of the gang but is immobilized by Atom-Smasher's blasts, about to be vaporized!

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  • I know that many have criticized Vince Colletta's inking but he works well with George Tuska.
  • A nice touch is having Bill Foster think through the process of should he become a super-hero but he already has the costume, the name, the origin and the book!
  • It was different to base him in Los Angeles but it kept him away from the mainstream Marvel Universe, especially the Avengers.
  • Apparently he improved Pym's serum as he gave him greater strength as a giant!
  • As for Stark LA, would any of us work at a place where the mandatory dress code is skin-tight outfits?!?
  • And Dale West is a sexual harassment suit waiting to happen!
  • Their personal force field idea was revisited in Squadron Supreme. (Somewhere Brainiac is laughing!)
  • One thing that did bother me was the coloring. The lines for Black Goliath's sleeves were visible but colored as his skin in several places.
  • The "Bigger-Target" complaint was addressed by stating that the sight of a giant was so unnerving that crooks can't shoot straight!
  • Unfortunately they never did a Yellowjacket/Wasp/Ant-Man II/Black Goliath story!

Black Goliath had an unnecessary name and an impractical costume (bare stomach? super high collar?) but he was a great combination of brains and brawn who could have been a major character in the Marvel Universe. He had the connections and an unique position as a new hero with gravitas. For all his height, he lacked longevity.

Any of you remember Black Goliath fondly?

NEXT: It's Just a Flesh Wound or Hero Hook-Up!

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But what do we really know about Richtofen's personal life? Maybe he kicked dogs.

Patton was no angel either.

That George C. Scott movie didn't make him look too good.

Ron M. said:

But what do we really know about Richtofen's personal life? Maybe he kicked dogs.

No, he offered them a holiday toast.

But only after shooting them down how many times? Ten? Twenty? Thirty? Forty? Fifty or more?

Officially eighty if you want to get technical about it.

Ron M. said:

But only after shooting them down how many times? Ten? Twenty? Thirty? Forty? Fifty or more?

But how many of those were Snoopy?

...Yo , what if a previous incarnation of Snoop (Doggy) Dogg were on the Allied side ~ Or , say , the Austro-Hungarian Empire side ??? Maybe Austria wouldn't be a land-locked country !!!!!!!!!

Ron M. said:

But how many of those were Snoopy?

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