Dr. William "Bill" Foster first made his comic debut in 1966 in The Avengers #32. He did not gain the role of Black Goliath until Luke Cage #24 "Power Man" in 1975. Since day one, however, his role in the Marvel Universe has been of great importance. Dr. Bill Foster is a highly renowned scientist in the Marvel world, but preceding his debut with Ant- Man and the Wasp, he has been unknown in the cinematic universe. His research with Dr. Henry Johnathon "Hank" Pym, and he as an individual, have proven invaluable. While far from perfect, he has done many great things. From how he rose above his background to what he's done with his powers, he has undoubtedly earned a spot among the ranks of heroes who are heralded as role models.
Ant-Man and the Wasp has already received high acclaim, and for good reason. Not only does it have an incredibly crafted and intriguing storyline, but it also introduces someone who could potentially become a prominent part of the MCU quite easily. Bill Foster, as Black Goliath or any of his other aliases, could make an incredible addition to the regular Marvel crew fans of the franchise we all know and love. So, what else is there to know about him? Here are the 20 most important Black Goliath facts that every fan should know!
15 ZERO TO HERO
William “Bill” Foster was born and raised in the Watts ghetto near Los Angeles, California. He had a rough childhood due, if nothing else, to his socioeconomic status in the world he grew up in. However, always resourceful and creative, Bill Foster did not allow those circumstances to dictate the rest of his life.
Despite the circumstances of his youth, Bill Foster used his intelligence and the influence of several good people in his community to rise above his station. He was able to attend California Technical Institute and obtain a PhD in biochemistry. It was there he met and married Claire Temple, but they unfortunately divorced later.
14 MILITARY MAN
Long before he became Black Goliath, and even before he ever worked with Tony Stark or Dr. Hank Pym, Bill Foster was in the United States military. Serving in the special forces during the Korean War, and during other military deployments, Bill Foster served his country admirably and honorably.
It was also there that he made an enemy of the CIA operative Geoffrey Ballard. Ballard would later become the super villain Centurion and would meet with Black Goliath again in battle. It is easy to assume that many of Dr. Bill Foster’s strongest character traits may be a result of his time in the armed forces.
13 CIVIL WAR ALLEGIANCE
Every Marvel fan has a side they agreed with more in the Captain America: Civil War debacle, even if it is just a slight bias toward one side or the other. In the movie, fans only saw a few of the key players in this war, but in the original comics there were so many more involved.
In the 2006-2007 Marvel comic series Civil War, Black Goliath appeared and did play a fairly significant role. His allegiance at this time? He was on the side of Captain America. Dr. Bill Foster stood in strong opposition to the Superhero Registration Act passed by the government.
A chance meeting of superheroes to fight a foe is how many groups and alliances form. In the case of the Champions of Los Angeles, one of the major west coast groups, that foe was the Roman god of death, Pluto. One of the members, for a time, was Black Goliath.
The Champions first appeared in October of 1975, in Champions #1 and have since disbanded, but during their time together, they fought against many formidable enemies. Among these enemies were Ares, Rampage and Vanisher, and not only did Black Goliath hold a spot on the team, he also played a role as their chief scientific advisor.
11 DEFENDER FOR A DAY
The Defenders is a superhero group much like the Avengers and the Champions of Los Angeles. The most recent portrayal of this group has come in the television miniseries of the same name. This portrayal, like the comic versions, includes Daredevil and Luke Cage.
It was after his first encounter with Luke Cage, which will be discussed later, that Dr. Bill Foster joined this group. The version of the Defenders that Black Goliath was a part of, however, did not last long. Often heralded as the “Defenders for a Day,” this group was formed in a haphazard and disorganized manner and disbanded after just one battle.
10 STARK STAFF
Stark Industries is one of the largest companies in the Marvel universe. It is also one of the most prestigious. For a time in his life, Dr. Bill Foster was one of the researchers with Stark Industries. Tony Stark himself admired how thorough and dedicated to research Dr. Foster was.
It was during this time that Dr. Hanky Pym had a malfunction with the Pym Particles and was stuck at 10 feet tall. When this mishap became known, Tony Stark recommended that his colleague Dr. Bill Foster help out with Pym's big problem. It was then that he first became introduced to what would bring about his superhero alter ego.
9 CIRCUS OF CRIME
In Luke Cage, Power Man #24, Black Goliath is introduced for the first time. Originally, Dr. Bill Foster dons this persona in order to attempt to win back the affection of his ex-wife, Claire. Only, there was one problem. Claire was now dating Luke Cage, aka Power Man, and he was not too happy when he found out.
While they started out fighting each other over Claire at the circus, eventually Luke Cage and Dr. Foster join forces. The team that they fight against is actually Black Goliath’s bosses, the Circus of Crime. However, Dr. Foster didn’t know they were evil when he signed up for the circus.
8 PYM PARTICLES
Superheroes gain their powers in a variety of ways. Some are born from radiation of some form or another. Others are a result of magic or science gone wrong. Still others are simply born that way. Just how did Dr. Bill Foster gain the powers to become Black Goliath? The answer is found in his mentor Dr. Hank Pym and his fellow superhero Scott Lang.
While working with Dr. Pym, Dr. Foster was also given the opportunity to experience the effects of a serum that contains what is known as “Pym Particles.” These little beauties are a synthetic version of elements that occur naturally in an alternate dimension and allow their wielders to transform their size.
7 RADIATION RESULTS
One of the most crucial elements of a Marvel hero is that, with some exceptions, they are first and foremost human beings. This means that heroes we all know and love are subject to the same pains, aliments and persecutions as the rest of the human race. The human aspect is one of the things that makes Marvel characters so relatable.
Things like Hawkeye canonically wearing a hearing aid are very important to Marvel creators and fans. Unfortunately, this means that favorite heroes can also get very sick. Dr. Bill Foster suffers such an ailment as he is diagnosed with cancer after being exposed to large amounts of radiation during a fight as Black Goliath.
6 PROJECT P.E.G.A.S.U.S.
Having so many scientists and researchers that are literal geniuses plays an important role in the connection of Marvel stories. Between Bruce Banner, Tony Stark, and Doctors Pym and Foster — just to name a few — some of the most intelligent minds are also heroes. This provides a significant advantage when trying to study the tesseract.
Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S shares its name with the mythical winged horse, though the acronym actually stands for Potential Energy Group/Alternate Sources/United States. One of the chief researchers in the project was none other than Dr. Bill Foster, who proved to be invaluable to understanding this alien energy.
5 AVENGERS OFFERING
Finding a Marvel fan who isn’t a fan of the Avengers, whether in comic book or movie version, is pretty rare. The Avengers have been heralded as “Earth’s mightiest heroes,” of course, and there sure are a lot of mighty folks on Marvel's earth! It remains an honor and a privilege to be offered a spot on this team, though. Nearly everyone that has been offered that in the Marvel universe has accepted.
One notable exception is Peter Parker at the end of Spider-Man Homecoming, though he is seen fighting alongside them in Infinity War. Another exception is Black Goliath. He was offered a spot as a full-time Avenger. However, he turned it down to continue focusing on his research.
4 AMONG THE FIRSTS
Creating a dark-skinned character, especially an African-American one, that was destined to be a hero from day one in 1966 America was, frankly, a much bigger risk than it would be today. Marvel’s Stan Lee is largely regarded as a pioneer in person of color representation in comics in the face of a nation during a major fight against racism, though of course looking back, the industry could have done a lot more.
That all notwithstanding, Dr. Bill Foster, and his alter-ego of Black Goliath, are one of the very first of these minority characters to get a decent treatment at the time. T’Challa as Black Panther came four months prior. Storm and Luke Cage, meanwhile, both made their first appearances in the early 1970s, with Luke Cage in 1972 and Storm in 1975.
3 HEIGHT LIMITS
Dr. Bill Foster is not the only man who is able to use the Pym Particles to change size. In his company are Dr. Hank Pym himself and Scott Lang. Unlike his counterparts, however, there seem to be some restrictions that he faces in regards to just how tall he can grow.
Dr. Pym is cited to have grown up to 100 feet tall or more. Scott Lang has been seen standing much taller than the wing of an airplane, which stands on average at 60 feet. The tallest Dr. Foster has ever grown, though, is only 25 feet. There may be a limitation which prevents him growing taller, or it may be a personal choice based on his adverse side-effects.
2 OUTSIDE THE BOOKS
As was mentioned earlier, his appearance in Marvel’s new movie, Ant-Man and the Wasp, is Black Goliath’s first real on-screen appearance. He has never once been featured in movies or TV series — as Black Goliath or as Dr. Bill Foster — up to this point.
There is actually only one reference to this character outside of the Marvel comic books, and it is in a video game. Black Goliath makes his first — and, until now, only — appearance outside the books in the LEGO Marvel’s Avengers video game. Fans who have awaited this cinematic appearance are sure to hope this marks the start of an era for the character.
1 WHAT'S IN A NAME?
The famous line from William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet applies very well in the case of Dr. Bill Foster as well. One important Black Goliath fact to keep in mind as the premiere approaches is that he has been known by several different names throughout the comics.
Being known in his personal and professional realms as Dr. Bill Foster is about where the continuity ends. He was first introduced as a hero under the pseudonym Black Goliath, but has had at least two other superhero names as well. Dr. Foster changed his alias to Giant-Man after the suggestion from his friend the Thing. He has also gone by just the name Goliath. His most commonly recognized moniker, however, is Black Goliath.