Friday Night Fights: Smokin' Joe - Round 11: Black Goliath Power!
There was a lot to hate about Marvel's CIVIL WAR event a few years back. Speedball's character was all but destroyed, Iron Man was written as a complete douchebag, other heroes were written completely out of character. And don't even get me STARTED on Sally Floyd! But the worst thing about CIVIL WAR in my eyes?
THEY KILLED BLACK GOLIATH!!!!
THEY KILLED BLACK GOLIATH WITH A FREAKING THOR CLONE CREATED BY REED RICHARDS AND TONY STARK!!!! AND THEY BURIED HIM AT GIANT SIZE!!! IN CHAINS!!!
Yes, I know Bill Foster was technically just "Goliath" when he was killed. Yes, I know he hadn't used the name "Black Goliath" since 1979. And yes, I even know that name was part of an unfortunate 70's trend of incorporating "Black" into the codenames of black superheroes. Despite all that. Bill Foster will always be Black Goliath to me.
Why? Not for any racist reason, but rather because of the very comic I am using for my Friday Night Fights: Smokin' Joe round tonight. Tonight's gigantic go-round comes from Black Goliath#5, in a story called "Survival!", written by Chris Claremont and beautifully illustrated by Keith Pollard.
I read the third and fourth issues of Black Goliath as a kid back in 1976. With art by George Tuska, Vince Colletta, Rich Buckler, and Don Heck, they were solid but unspectacular. But then came Issue#5, which, thanks in no small part to some fantastic art by Pollard, completely blew me away.
Synopsis: At the end of the prior issue, the Stilt-Man had zapped Black Goliath, his ladyfriend Celia, and her nephew Keith with his untested Z-Ray, apparently disintegrating them completely. However, in Issue#5 we learn that they were not destroyed, but rather transported to the alien planet Kirgar, whose harsh conditions they barely survive. Here, they are befriended by an alien being named Derath, who leads them to one of Kirgar's remaining strongholds, where they find alien technology capable of sending them back home to Earth.
Unfortunately, said stronghold also has a giant robot guardian named Mortag, who promptly kills Derath
and tries to do the same to the three Earthlings. Luckily for them, they have a giant guardian of their own.
|(Click to enlarge)|
The issue concludes with Black Goliath, Celia, and Keith mourning their dead alien friend and using the alien machinery to get home. And then.....
....the book got cancelled. (Sigh!)
The soundtrack for tonight's battle of the giants comes from Young The Giant. (Natch!)
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