Black Goliath – Bigger than The Brown Hornet

At Comics 101, Prof. Scott Tipton provides a fine history of one of Marvel’s lesser-known superheroes, Black Goliath.

Black Goliath
Black Goliath

It seems that towards the end of Black Goliath’s comic-book appearances, even the artists realized that giving him the name of the infamous Philistine Giant wasn’t all that empowering to African-American youth. So in his later appearances, Black Goliath became Giant-Man (and lost the midriff exposure and high collar in the process).

In the original 1960s comic, Black Goliath was 10-feet tall (the same height as Goliath in the Masoretic text of 1 Samuel 17). But 10-feet tall later got exaggerated into a, more exciting, 15-feet tall. In percentage terms, this is about the same exaggeration of Goliath’s height between the Greek/Dead Sea Scroll versions of Goliath’s height in 1 Samuel 17 (almost 7-feet tall) and the Masoretic text (almost 10-feet tall).

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