There’s a hidden hero who makes his big debut in the Marvel movie Ant-Man and the Wasp. And while the film takes place far away from the Avengers, in the comics, this titanic superhero was right in the middle of their civil war.
Minor spoilers for Ant-Man and the Wasp ahead.
In Ant-Man and the Wasp, Laurence Fishburne plays Bill Foster, an old co-colleague and rival of Michael Douglas’ Hank Pym who teaches physics to “glaze-eyed” undergrads. But as Foster tells Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), Foster and Pym worked together on Project G.O.L.I.A.T.H., where Foster was experimented on and grew to be 21-feet tall. Scott brags about breaking Foster’s record by reaching a height of 65-feet during the epic fight in Captain America: Civil War.
But the name “G.O.L.I.A.T.H.” is the juicy bit. In the comics, Bill Foster, created by Stan Lee and Don Heck in The Avengers #32, was a biochemist and an assistant to Dr. Pym who became the superhero “Black Goliath” in an issue of Luke Cage: Power Man. Foster later became the second Giant-Man (inheriting the mantle from Dr. Pym) and then just Goliath, in The Thing #1 in 2006.
Shortly after becoming Goliath, Marvel began its epic Civil War miniseries saga from Mark Millar.
As the superhero community was divided over Superhuman Registration — similar to the wedge that split the team in the MCU’s loose film adaptation of the story arc — Foster/Goliath sided with Captain America. But in Civil War #4, Goliath was killed by a clone of Thor that Reed Richards and Tony Stark had engineered. The murder encouraged many superheroes on Tony’s side to defect to Cap’s side, including Spider-Man.
Sadly, Goliath has slept six feet under since Civil War, though his nephew Tom took over as the new Goliath and joins the clean-up crew Damage Control.
Also, unlike the film, Goliath had no connection to Ghost — originally an Iron Man villain, and a dude — but Ant-Man and the Wasp freely reinterprets their relationship into something deeper (and truly great, even if it made the normally heroic Goliath have a brief villainous turn. It was for a good reason, you see).
Fishburne, unfortunately, does not transform into Black Goliath in Ant-Man and the Wasp. And, it’s unlikely he will, which is kind of a shame, because right now the good guys can use all the help they can get to fight Thanos. But, who knows if Bill even survived Thanos’ universe-wide genocide.
Ant-Man and the Wasp is now in theaters.