Marvel Two-In-One No. 24 Does Anyone Remember the Hijacker?
What a treat. We get Goliath in the first story. Or, as he was known back then, Black Goliath. We will be referring to him as Goliath though, which was the name Bill Foster was using up until the end. What end you ask? His end, his death in Civil War. What was that Busiek line from Astro City about the Silver Agent'? Oh yes, to paraphrase, 'poor, doomed, Bill Foster'. The fact that we know that Goliath is no longer up and about gives this story a real poignancy.
Okay, let's check up on Ben.
For the second time in the pages of Marvel Two-In-One Tony Stark has invited Ben to be part of a Stark Enterprises experiment. The first was during the adventure with the Power Stone. The common factor across these invites is that it's always when Stark Enterprises needs someone who's tough enough not to die while the experiment is ongoing. During the Power Stone incident it was an experimental aircraft that might crash - and did. This time it is to test equipment meant for the exploration of the planet Venus. What that means is that the equipment has to withstand 150 times the gravity of Earth. What that also means is that the Thing has to withstand similar pressures, and he does, quite easily I might add.
Bill Foster heads this experiment with boss Tony Stark "looking over his shoulder".
This explains Tony's numb shock at Bill's accidental death many years from now. Bill was Tony's colleague, maybe even a friend. But those dark days are tomorrow's troubles, there are more immediate concerns - like somebody breaking into the lab and gassing nearly everybody unconscious.
The Hijacker? That name has got no legs. Or another way to put it: With that kind of name, you'll go nowhere in the Marvel Universe. Unfortunately, neither will the Thing as he is forced to helplessly watch the Hijacker. Ben can't simply go out of the experiment area for fear of releasing harmful Venusian gasses.
I did say that 'nearly everybody' was gassed up. Bill Foster has been affected but he isn't conked out like the other scientists. I attribute that to the modified Pym particles already in his system - the 'giant man' chemicals must give him enough resilience to do this.
Oh, thank God. Watch out Hijacker. The Thing is loose!
Well almost loose. There's an uber-thick wall still on the way. But what's a wall to the Thing?
The Thing lifts everybody out of harms way then runs off to waylay the Hijacker. Little does Ben know that he has left behind a fellow metahuman. Bill Foster is quick to change to his outfit and follow Grimm as the awesome Goliath!
During these days, Bill could grow ot a maximum of fifteen feet. He would be able to grow much bigger (100 feet?) during later years.
The inevitable question must come up. What is the Hijacker up to? He's here to steal Stark tech, that's what he's up to.
When the Thing finally catches up to him, the Hijacker activates a missile system and Ben takes a full-on hit of three missiles to the chest!
Benjy manages to walk away. It is clarified that the missiles have empty warheads but still this is an impressive display of just how tough the Thing is.
Another automaton is activated and Goliath is having a tough time with it. The Thing comes in to help.
His superior size notwithstanding, Goliath only has the proportionate strength of a man - at his current size Bill would be three times stronger than a regular human (add whatever advantage can be derived from leveraging a larger frame). Assuming the average human can lift 200 lbs, and making a rough estimate of 2,000 lbs. per ton, the Thing's 90-ton strength gives him the strength of 900 men!
The Hijacker's final attempt to defeat these two heroes involves a heavily reinforced tank. It is proof to even the Thing's strength.
Ben is taken down by the Tank's magnetic capability we have this wonderful panel of Goliath stepping in to protect the Thing.
Ben gets back into the fight and successfully dismantles the tank from below. And the Hijacker is revealed.
It is a neat little adventure and it's great to see Goliath once again.