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Top Five Goliaths

Top Five Month draws to a close with a look at the top five comic book Goliaths!

Enjoy! And I hope you enjoyed Top Five Month (check here to see an archive of all the top five lists featured so far)!!

5. Goliath (Tom Foster)

If Reggie Hudlin stops writing comic books any time soon, then Tom Foster, cousin (or is it nephew?) of Bill Foster will probably be his best creation.

Tom was created as sort of a response to the piss-poor way that Bill Foster’s death was handled. Reed Richards, Tony Stark and Hank Pym built a cybernetic clone of Thor, the clone KILLED Bill Foster, and basically, all we get is a “Oh man, I’m so sorry.”

It was absurd, and Tom was created, at least in part, to make up for that lackluster treatment of Bill.

Dwayne McDuffie took the character over and used him to great effect as a member of Damage Control.

4. Goliath (Hawkeye)

You have to give it up for that cover, eh?

That said, Hawkeye is better without the growing, although it does sorta make it silly that he’d ever choose to go BACK to just shooting arrows if he could be Goliath.

That idea was actually addressed during Galactic Storm, when Hawkeye is left off of the main teams in place of USAgent, because USAgent is more powerful than he is, Clint takes the Goliath serum again.

3. Goliath (Erik Josten)

I liked Eric as Goliath for two reasons:

1. The name wasn’t really being used, and a villain was a nice twist on the idea


2. It was hilarious that he, as Power Man, had his name “stolen” by Luke Cage, so now he was going to “steal” a hero’s name!


2. Goliath (Hank Pym)

The original Goliath!

1. Goliath (killer whale)

This talking whale was a mighty hard guy for Kamandi to face off against!

Okay, okay, here’s the real deal…

1. Goliath (Bill Foster)

While it normally would be cheesy to have a hero who took the name of another hero, it wasn’t like Goliath was even Hank Pym’s first name – it was his THIRD!! And his SECOND with the same power-set!

And as opposed to Hawkeye, Bill did not have anything but Goliath going for him, superhero-wise.

And as opposed to Eric Josten, he was a good guy.

And as opposed to the talking killer whale, he was a human.

So Bill Foster is a posthumous #1!

That’s the list! Agree? Disagree? Let me know!



What’s with the five Kamandi covers??

IIRC Hawkeye gave up the serum because it was very damaging to his body. Especially when he gave it another try in West Coast Avenger, every time he changed sizes too quickly he fell unconscious.

I would like to be explained though, how an athlete like Clint Barton couldn’t hold the serum as well as a scientist like Henry Pym.

That was a weird one! Thanks for the heads up, Tim!

Black Goliath rocks. Bring him back. Marvel needs more grounded-type heroes without personality disorders.

Thank YOU, Brian! I really enjoyed the last Damage Control mini-series… particularly the name play on the new Goliath… and his development actually really worked for me… He went from angry kid, blinded with rage for what happened to his uncle (or is it second cousin? I got lost on that too) wanting to continue what he thought was Balck Goliath’s fight against the registration and Iron Man, until his sudden moment of clarity in the midst of all the human tragedy caused by Hulk’s fight, when he realises what it REALLY means to be a superhero… He really found his calling with Damage Control…
Boy would I love to see an ongoing series…

There is only one Goliath – The much underrated and badly-used Hank Pym.
The rest are baggage.

Random Stranger

August 1, 2008 at 5:38 am

“I would like to be explained though, how an athlete like Clint Barton couldn’t hold the serum as well as a scientist like Henry Pym.”

Well the answer is Pym couldn’t. It gave him health problems for years and is cited as one of the things that helped contribute to his mental breakdown (hence the fact that “Wife Slapping” is listed as a side effect in the commercials).

I have to go Hank first. Nothing against Bill Foster, but you lose a TON of credibility when you are referred to as Black Goliath as long as he was.

I would even put Hawkeye ahead of him.

There was also a period in WCA when he couldn’t change size at all. Well, he COULD, but the strain was too much for his body. Instead, he took yet another identity of Dr. Pym (iirc) where he wore a lab coat. He could emit Pym Particles through his hands to shrink gadgets – like a quinjet-like vehicle – and put them in his pockets where they could be taken out and grown when needed.

Yes, someone got paid to write that. Criminal, isn’t it.

I was really expecting you to dig up an old Davey and Goliath comic for #1. Kamandi is close, though.

Why can’t Clint be Hawkeye AND Goliath at the same time? WHy does he have to choose? I think it would be cool to have a hero the size of Goliath walking around with a giant-size bow and arrow shooting down buildings and jets and what-not.

Was Goliath the exact same power set at Giant Man actually? I was under the impression that as Goliath Hank Pym could grow much larger than he could as Giant Man, which is why he used a different name.

“Because You DEMANDED It—- In His Own MIND-BENDING Mag At Last!”

They just don’t write cover blurbs like they used to.

And just how would this debut issue of Black Goliath bend ones’ mind?

Don’t know about you, but the great big hole to show off his six-pack bends my mind… WHY??? What were they thinking?? Don’t you think you might want to cover your vital organs a little bit better?!!?

This isn’t who’s the best character PERIOD, of course Hawkeye and Hank Pym would be higher, in that case.

This is just “who was the best Goliath.”

Don’t know about you, but the great big hole to show off his six-pack bends my mind… WHY??? What were they thinking?? Don’t you think you might want to cover your vital organs a little bit better?!!?

It is an incredibly ugly costume, but in all fairness thin spandex doesn’t protect the vitals that much anyway. What I love is that not only are his abs expose but the bottom part of his chest, probably exposing his nipples. Now THAT is creepy.

I’d probably put Tom Foster ahead of Clint as Goliath. Tom seems like a good kid, and I hope he gets more attention. And while Clint is one of my favorite characters, his time as Goliath seemed awkward and unmemorable (or only memorable for being so awkward). It didn’t fit the character at all.

That’s a lamp post he’s bending. Not my mind. It’s hard to believe at that late date they would still call a character “Black” Goliath. Someday I’d like to see a character called “White” something. White Hawkeye!

I don’t think the list lost any credibility with the whale as #1. I’m just gonna count it as a tie for #1 in my mind.

The whale is still pretty cool! Look at the gorgeous artwork!! The water flowing off the back… The speed the lines imply is great! Talk about leaping off the page!


Please can we have anotehr four months of this??

Five Months of Top Fives??


“Well the answer is Pym couldn’t. It gave him health problems for years and is cited as one of the things that helped contribute to his mental breakdown (hence the fact that “Wife Slapping” is listed as a side effect in the commercials).”

I never said that Pym could handle the serum, I just said that at least, he could change sizes without fainting or feeling sick. To be precise, even though Hawkeye seemed to have no real problems with the serum before the kree-skrull war (when he gave it up for the first time), when he used it in the WCA the physical strain was too much for him. I remember the story arc with Ultron and Alkhema, then the Doctor Demonicus story with War MAchine and Darkhawk, up to his battle with Goliath (Josten) where the point seemed to be that he couldn’t face Goliath on his own.

Pym used the serum for years, up to the point he somehow internalized it, and never fainted while changing sizes as much as Barton did. He used to have problems with it (being stuck at ten feet, unable to ever change again until it was decided that he could, making care not to grow or shrink past a limit, etc) but seemed to physically handle it better.

actually Filrouge theres a couple reasons Hawkeye passed out in those stories. He did 2 things Pym never did he got bigger too fast..ie he’d shoot from 50 to 100 feet in one go…Pym told him not to do that. He also went too big to fight Josten. Theres only a certain height humans can grow before there bodies cant take it anymore ( according to comic science) . Josten could get much bigger cause his body was already superhuman. When Hawkeye tried to match him he strained his body way too much

RE: T’s question “Was Goliath the exact same power set at Giant Man actually?”

Close, but not the same. As Giant Man, pym could grow and shrink at will and still had that stupid cybernetic gear under the mask that let him talk to ants. That’s what the antennae on his head were for. As Goliath, he was stuck at 10″ tall.

So yea… as Goliath, he was a scientist that messed with his own body and screwed himself up. Brilliant! There are just sooooooo many reasons to have fired Pym from the team early on.

You know.

I was buying the whole ‘Killer Whale’ thing…

I loved the Dr. Pym period.. Applied use of powers rather than blatant use. That’s just good stuff!

Re; Avengers63…

10″ or 10’…

We’re talking Spinal Tap Stonehenge issues here… ;-)

"O" the Humanatee!

August 1, 2008 at 8:57 am

Filrouge –

Hank has the HGH1 allele of the growth hormone gene, whereas Clint has the HGH2 allele.* Hence their different responses to the serum. You’re welcome.

* All biology guaranteed completely made up.

Thanks a lot “O” the Humanatee!, that is the kind of explanation I can believe in.

My thought about Clint having a much more drastic reaction than Hank was that Pym had been using the formula to SHRINK and then return to normal size for quite a while before he went the giant route with it, and his body/metabolism/cell structure/whatever had thereby had time to make significant adjustments to it.

Concerning Hank’s normal sized heroic identity, “Dr. Pym, Scientific Adventurer” was, as stated, shrinking and enlarging many various objects. But as his formula was explicitly stated to be biologically oriented, how was this possible? One other thing about the WCA’s regular run: It was my understanding–and there might well have been somebody I was unaware of–that everybody who had ever used Pym’s formula on a more or less regular basis (up to that time) except the Wasp (who was chairing the east coast group) was in the first issue of that comic, and I presumed it was no coincidence but the set-up for an upcoming plotline. Didn’t happen, of course, at least not under that run of that creative team on that title. They–or somebody else–might have used the idea later, but if so, it just happens that I didn’t hear about it.

Thanks for clarification guys, but are you sure Pym Goliath is only 10′ tall? He seems to be way taller? Is that an artist mistake?

They used to cram him into the jets, so I don’t think he was supposed to be more than 10 to 11 feet tall. It is a rather goofy “power,” though. Just pretend that… I don’t know, the Avengers on that cover are all slouching.

Then again, I thought Dr Pym was a neat idea, although probably more for a kids toy line than anything else.

As Giant Man, Pym was only 10-12′ tall. When he first returned as Goliath he was 25′ (so the perspective on #28 isn’t too bad) but later wound up stuck at 10′ for a while (hence the cramming into jets).

BTW Hank could totally take that killer whale!

The Indestructible Man

August 1, 2008 at 2:15 pm

Since SLG has been putting out GARGOYLES comics, I’d have to go for their Goliath, personally — you don’t see Bill Foster sounding like Keith David!

If Reggie Hudlin stops writing comic books any time soon, then Tom Foster, cousin (or is it nephew?) of Bill Foster will probably be his best creation.

Co-creation. Greg Pak pitched the idea of Tom Foster to his editor for use in World War Hulk, and learned that Hudlin had thought of something similar. So Tom got a cameo introduction in the pages of Black Panther (without being named), and then started showing up in the Hulk’s book.

Didn’t the “real” Goliath (the guy David fought) ever apper in a comic?

I’d like to see a Top Five Hank Pym Superhero Identities.

My suggestion would be:

5: Yellowjacket (Rita was a much better YJ, IMHO)
4. Goliath
3. Giant-Man (beats out Goliath in that he wasn’t stuck at a specific height)
2. Ant Man
1. Dr. Pym (A scientist actually uses his mind to defeat problems rather than using the backstory to explain his super-science superpower that bashes enemies. Instead, he makes plans and contingencies and uses a passive power to equip himself for eventualities he has already thought through. He even has a unique power, which none of his other personas could claim. I think that it was a gimick we don’t see often enough.)

To comment on the actual topic, I agree with the list order and reasons. :-)


I believe Mr. Cronin actually did this one.

Was Bill “Goliath” Foster ever on any super teams?

I’d love a Goliath the Killer Whale series.

The mention of the “real” Goliath brought to mind a story from Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen, where Jimmy goes back in time and becomes David. Goliath sets a trap for him by pretending to be his friend, saving him from crap, until the real David shows up and wants to know why the hell a guy pretending to be him is hanging out with the enemy. Goliath then tries to kill Jimmy and David and I believe gets his biblical comeuppance for it.

I also want to say he was one of the jerks Immortus summoned to fight the Avengers, but looking it up would require having to read that thing again. I seem to recall Hawkeye beating him by shooting an arrow into his temple, though.

The first Immortus story had him summoning what was supposed to be the Biblical Goliath to fight the Avengers. It was later retconned into a Dire Wraith, then into a Space Phantom.

AFAIK Bill Foster was never properly a member of a superteam. But he had a fair share of spotlight in the Champions. Although he did claim to be no match for Stiltman (!) and ended up fighting the Stranger’s constructs while the Champions were up against Kamo Tharn and the Nullifier Bomb,

They just don’t write comics as they did in the 1970s anymore…

I’m honestly surprised they’re planning an Ant-Man film rather than just folding his story into the Avengers movie, and the same with Thor. I mean, they haven’t seemed to be able to handle Pym’s character well in the comics forever. The whole domestic abuse thing would have been an interesting element if we didn’t have those pre-Bendis runs where literally every other issue had someone say something vaguely related to wife-beating and everyone winces and then someone give a long speech about how Ant-Man hit the Wasp, which is of course exactly what happens every day after an incident of domestic abuse.

No wonder they wanted to Skrull him quick.

But look at us – Bill Foster post quickly becomes Hank Pym thread. NO PROGRESS!!

People seem to forget that as Goliath, Josten also had his ionic powers restored, so he had the powers of Pym and Wonder Man.

By the way, Clint’s Goliath costume was much worse than Bill’s.

Now that you mention it, Clint’s costume is pretty darn awful!!!

At least Bill had a decent six-pack to boast of… Clint’s looks more like he’s strapping his man-boobs in… And he has no abdominal musculature whatsoever!

I think Josten should be number one. Best costume, and glowing eyes to boot, and if there’s anything more terrifying than supervillains, it’s ginormous supervillains.

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