Comics
Published May 31, 2019

Who Are the Giant Men of 'Giant-Man'?

Get to know the stars of the 'War of the Realms' tie-in series with a look back at their debuts!

Every week we use the powers of Marvel Unlimited to celebrate a major character's first appearance in the hallowed halls of the House of Ideas.

War begets large moments for individuals to contend with. A single decision on the battlefield can change the course of the entire conflagration. And in WAR OF THE REALMS, Lauffey, king of the Frost Giants, made a choice that's still reverberating around the universe when he decided to eat his son, Loki, whole.

And that large moment has called for an equally large response. From some really large dudes.

Now, in GIANT-MAN #2, a quartet of massive Midgardians called upon by Loki's adoptive mother, Queen Freya of Asgard, have infiltrated the most savage corner of New Jotunheim: Florida...

Giant-Man #2

With these heroes doing their best to stop Malekith's War of the Realms on this front, we're looking back at their first appearances to see how far they've come as heroes!

Giant-Man

So far, Hank Pym has not featured in GIANT-MAN, but his name remains emblazoned on the cover! Readers met the renowned scientist and Avengers founder for the first time in 1962 with TALES TO ASTONISH #27. Later that same year, in issue #35, he shrank down for the first time and took on the name Ant-Man! This was the identity he used when he met and teamed up with the Wasp and, later, the Avengers.

However, by the team's second meeting, he'd transition to the moniker of Giant-Man, having expanding his size-changing abilities in TALES TO ASTONISH #49. Thus began a series of identity changes for the scientist who went by Goliath, Yellowjacket, and even Wasp at various times during his costumed career. Interestingly, every single one of Pym's left-behind costumes has been assumed by someone else...including everyone to come on this list!

Tales to Astonish (1959) #49

Tales to Astonish (1959) #49

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Atlas

Though currently known as the Thunderbolt member Atlas, Erik Josten actually began his costumed career back in 1965's AVENGERS #21 as a villain called Power Man! In the wake of Baron Zemo's death, the Enchantress convinced Josten to put himself through the evil mastermind's ionic-ray procedure that created Wonder Man and gained super strength, which he used against the Avengers at the Asgardian witch's behest.

After fighting the super team several times and losing his own name to Luke Cage in POWER MAN #21, Josten made a bad deal with Count Nefaria in AVENGERS #164. With waning powers, he became the Smuggler for a brief time (see PETER PARKER, THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #49), but switched to Goliath with IRON MAN ANNUAL #7 in 1984 after Dr. Karl Malus gave him a dose of illegally gained Pym Particles. As Goliath, he took part in the "Under Siege" story that nearly destroyed the Earth's Mightiest Heroes in AVENGERS #270-277.

Josten made the transition to hero beginning with 1997's INCREDIBLE HULK #449, otherwise known as the debut of the Thunderbolts—a team lead by the new Baron Zemo that saw villains posing as heroes after the apparent deaths of most of the Avengers fighting Onslaught. Since then, he's used his growing powers for good, though staying on the side of the angels hasn't always been the easiest choice! 

Incredible Hulk (1962) #449

Incredible Hulk (1962) #449

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Ant-Man

Another criminal-turned-hero, Scott Lang made his debut in AVENGERS #181 as an employee of Tony Stark who had been hired to upgrade the security at Avengers Mansion. Later that same year, in MARVEL PREMIERE #47, he became the new Ant-Man by stealing Hank Pym's old gear in an effort to save his daughter Cassie. Pym approved of the move and gave Lang the nod to become the new Ant-Man.

Lang played a solo hero for the most part, though he had been an Avengers reserve member when Josten and the other Masters of Evil attacked the mansion during "Under Siege." He helped save the day during that mission.

After working with the Fantastic Four for a while, he officially joined the Avengers during the third volume. He then died trying to help his teammate Jack of Hearts in issue #500. In the wake of his death, his daughter Cassie revealed her own growing powers and became Stature of the Young Avengers. A hero in her own right, she helped bring her dad back to life during AVENGERS: THE CHILDREN'S CRUSADE, and he's been trying to do his best as a hero and a father ever since.

Marvel Premiere (1972) #47

Marvel Premiere (1972) #47

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Goliath

In CIVIL WAR #4, the world was shocked to see the death of Bill Foster, otherwise known as Goliath. The growing hero who had worked with Hank Pym for years fell to the robot clone of Thor later dubbed Ragnarok. Tom, Bill's nephew, was introduced in BLACK PANTHER #23 as a prodigy intent on cracking the Pym Particle, an idea that T'Challa supported.

During WORLD WAR HULK in INCREDIBLE HULK #107-109 and WORLD WAR HULK #4, he publicly supported the Hulk against Tony Stark and Reed Richards, two of the men who not only built Ragnarok, but also shot the Jade Giant into space. In WORLD WAR HULK: AFTERSMASH #1, he figured out how to grow big and wanted to take his vengeance on Iron Man. However, in the wake of Hulk's invasion, Tom decided to help rebuild New York City which carried over into WORLD WAR HULK AFTERSMASH: DAMAGE CONTROL.

Foster later joined up with Wonder Man's group, intent on proving that the Avengers were actually bad for the world as seen in the NEW AVENGERS and AVENGERS annuals from 2012, a mission Erik Josten also participated in. Tom was then imprisoned in the Cellar, but earned his freedom after the events of CIVIL WAR II: CHOOSING SIDES #2, which saw him eschew the personal possibilities of a jailbreak and put a stop to it with his unique powers.

World War Hulk: Aftersmash (2007) #1

World War Hulk: Aftersmash (2007) #1

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Giant-Man

Like many of his predecessors, current Giant-Man Raz Malhotra made his first appearance as a civilian first in 2015's ANT-MAN ANNUAL #1. Working for a company called Techbuster, he was tricked into showing up at evil scientist Egghead's headquarters. The villain intended to use Malhotra's knowledge of artificial intelligence to reboot thee A.I-Vengers. When Raz refuseed, Egghead used a mind control device on him that worked until Hank Pym and Scott Lang showed up to stop the baddie. Later, after Hank seemingly died he willed a lab of his to Scott who took one of the Giant-Man suits therein and gave it to Raz.

Malhotra began his costumed hero career in ASTONISHING ANT-MAN and THE ULTIMATES at around the same time. He trained with Scott Lang in the former and helped the latter outfit their ship for traveling beyond reality. During CIVIL WAR II, Raz helped Blue Marvel use one of Ulysses' visions to tether Infinaut to reality. Then, in SECRET EMPIRE and SECRET EMPIRE: BRAVE NEW WORLD he worked with the Underground against the false Captain America who put Hydra in charge of the United States. All of this led to his boyfriend leaving him, but Raz continues to adjust to his new life as a hero!

Ant-Man Annual (2015) #1

Ant-Man Annual (2015) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Read GIANT-MAN #2 at your local comic shop now! Then pick up GIANT-MAN #3 on June 12!

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