Bill Foster the scientist, just premiered in the new Ant-Man and Wasp movie to great fanfare, played by Laurence Fishburne. In the comics, Foster eventually goes on to become Giant-Man. Fishburne did a great job and was fun to watch interact with Hank Pym played by crotchety Mike Douglas. Now that Ant-Man has shown giant-sized superheroes are fun, and play well on the big screen; it is only a matter of time before Fishburne suits up as Giant-Man. The interesting part of using Laurence Fishburne is that he could play a lead role if given to him, as he is an experienced actor with gravitas. The first appearance of Bill Foster was in Avengers #32 and the character has renamed his alter ego many times over the years: from Black Goliath to Giant-Man, and even just plain old Goliath. When we get Giant-Man on the scene will he provide gargantuan returns?
Bill Foster has had several different incarnations as a giant-sized superhero. In the 1960’s, he first appeared as Bill Foster the scientist. Then in the 1970’s, when it was a break out decade for minority superheroes; he transformed into the Black Goliath. Finally in the 1980’s, back to sanity and simply the superhero name Goliath. This was probably the best of all his aliases. Giant power is here to stay, but can it offer good speculative returns and which first appearance should you buy?
The Avengers #32 (September 1966)
The first appearance of Bill Foster was created by Stan Lee (script) and Don Heck (art) in Avengers #32. The fair market value of a grade (9.8) comes in at a stunning $1250 (GoCollect). Most of these comics in mid-grade have returned positive +47.6% and +52.1% ROI. Not bad for the first appearance of Bill Foster the scientist, not to mention the first Sons of the Serpent. Considering this is a solid Silver Age book it is not surprising that this is one of the more profitable incarnations.
Luke Cage, Power Man #24 (April 1975)
Minority superheroes were all the rage in the 1970’s with names like Black Goliath, Black Lightning, and Black Panther. Black Goliath’s first appearance was in Luke Cage, Power Man #24 created by Gil Kane, George Tuska (art), and Tony Isabella (script). This book has a fair market value of $270 in grade (9.6). This is not bad for a $.25 cent comic from the 1970’s. The real power of Black Goliath is his escalating returns. For Instance, in a grade (9.6) he returned a positive +42.7% ROI. That is not even the apex of returns for Black Goliath. He transformed grade (9.4) into a positive +50.8% return. Then he reached into the clouds and extracted another positive ROI with +54.5% in near mint grade (9.0) (GoCollect). These knock out returns are truly biblical in scope and demand serious consideration as speculations or even as long-term investments in the Black Goliath franchise.
The first appearance of Giant-Man was created by Mark Gruenwald, Ralph Macchio (script) and Keith Pollard, John Byrne on art, in Marvel Two-in-One #55 (1979). It was the end of the 1970’s and focus on ethic superheroes toned down quite a bit. This comic is a hidden gem that you can still find on the cheap at your local comic store bins, even today. Think of this book as an early Easter egg that could hatch big dollars sometime in the future. Bill Foster’s is going to be used as a superhero; then it is game on and these books will sprout up like the Joly Green Giant. The fair market value for a mint copy of Marvel Two-in-One #55 is $54. Take a risk, and speculate by canceling cable for one month and you can own this prime piece of Giant real estate.
The Thing always deserved his own book. Ben Grim was everyone’s favorite FF brick back in the day. A much-beloved superhero who needed his own book eventually. As it happens this is also the first appearance of Bill Foster as Goliath. This is a two for one, first self-titled series of The Thing and the first appearance of Goliath. The Thing #1 was created by John Byrne and Ron Wilson. Byrne was a huge deal back in the 1980’s and early 1990’s. You can pick up a (9.8) for FMV $130 and the lower grade stuff is still around $10 for fine grades, a great entry point for a low-cost speculation. This book has had some pretty solid returns in the (7.0) to (7.5) range and is really just a long-term buy and hold.
In review, the best of these is probably the headliner Luke Cage, Power Man #24 looking at returns only. But I cannot see them using Black Goliath as his name. I think it will just simply be Goliath or even Giant-Man. If that is the case take your pick: either a better return with Black Goliath or greater likelihood of solid name recognition with plain old Goliath. Maybe the best thing to do is “buy ’em all!”