William Barrett “Bill” Foster (Black Goliath)

The first trailer for Ant-Man and the Wasp is out, and it looks pretty cool (said by someone who didn’t enjoy much the first one). Of course, we have a couple of new faces around, and we’ll take a look at them right away. In the trailer you can spot Laurence Fishburne, as the actor is set to portray Bill Foster, an old friend and lab assistant of Hank Pym. It’s still unknown why he does return in Pym’s life, or whether if and how he’ll show traces of his superhero persona from the comics. Originally, in fact, Foster is Pym’s lab assistant, but also the heroic Black Goliath. Let’s see together.

William Barrett Foster, or simply Bill, was born in Los Angeles, California, and he grew up along with his sister in the Watts ghetto. Bill’s life could have been like the one of many other African-American boys from the ghetto, being a school drop-out first and a gang member later, but he had something most didn’t have: a genius-level intellect, that made him noticed by many people, both teachers and neighbors, who helped him stay away from the worst part of street life. Thanks to his remarkable results in school, and to the help of many people supporting him, Bill managed to leave Watts, and he enrolled to the California Institute of Technology. Here, his talent could be put to good use, and he obtained a Ph.D. in biochemistry. He was also quite popular, and he had a beautiful girlfriend, Claire Temple, who eventually became his wife. The relationship, however, didn’t last long, and the two eventually parted, although they stayed on good terms with each other. A skilled biochemist, Bill Foster found work in Tony Stark‘s Plans and Research Division, in Baltimore, where he became the lab assistant of Hank Pym, better known as the superhero Giant-Man. This wasn’t such a big secret in Pym’s lab, especially considering that one of Bill’s first tasks was to find a cure for his boss, who had remained stuck to a height of ten feet. After brilliantly solving that incident, he stayed with Pym as his lab assistant, and helped him in a variety of ways… including investigating upon his and his wife Janet‘s apparent murder, that luckily proved to be a false alarm. It didn’t pass much time, however, before Foster wanted something more than just being a lab assistant, and something more he had when Stark promoted him head of the Research and Development section of Stark International, in Los Angeles.

Bill Foster was back to his own turf, but with style, and he was now the boss of other three brilliant scientists, called the Whiz Kids (Herbert Bell, Talia Kruma and Dale West). There was just one thing he still missed: Claire, the woman he still loved. Back in Baltimore, Foster had memorized the formula of Pym Particles, and in L.A. he was able to replicate it, correcting Pym’s mistakes and eliminating its armful effects: he first tested it on himself, and he successfully became a giant like Giant-Man. This proved the perfect occasion to contact Claire again: she had become a nurse, and Bill wrote to her pretending that he, just as Pym before him, was stuck at gigantic proportions. He also told her that he was now working as a freak in a circus, to earn money to continue his research, and he was asking for her help. The plan worked, and Claire wanted to see him: to backup his story, Bill actually went to a circus and was hired as the Black Goliath, then gave Claire appointment there… unbeknownst to him, the one he had chosen was actually the Circus of Crime. If this wasn’t enough, Claire had actually been followed by her new boyfriend, Luke Cage, who wasn’t exactly happy in having her seeing her ex-husband again. As he appeared, the two men started fighting over Claire, until the Ringmaster had the bright idea to capture Claire to use her as leverage to force the two superhumans to work for him. The plan backfired, as Foster and Cage set their differences aside and worked together to bring down the Circus of Crime and free Claire. At the end of the battle, the woman chose to stay with Luke, rather than try and reconcile with Bill: in shame, the scientist came back to Los Angeles. Considering the circumstances that had brought him to create the Black Goliath persona, he was even unsure if he had to use it to fight crime, until Hank Pym himself spurred him to do so. Maybe even something born out of deceit could be used to do some good…

Bill Foster is a brilliant yet arrogant man, a pretty unconventional hero who uses his talents also for debatable ends like stealing from his mentor or deceiving his ex-wife. As Black Goliath, he’s able to grow to gigantic proportions, with his strength and durability increasing proportionally. Just as he had to study and mature as a scientist, so Black Goliath has to do as a hero, and it’s quite sure his future as both will be brilliant.