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Goldbug (comics)

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Goldbug is the name of two fictional supervillains appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics.

Publication history[edit]

The first Goldbug first appeared in Power Man #41 (March 1977), and was created by Marv Wolfman and Lee Elias.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Matthew Gilden[edit]

Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearancePower Man #41 (March 1977)
Created byMarv Wolfman
Lee Elias
In-story information
Alter egoMatthew Gilden[1]
Team affiliationsThey Who Wield Power
Notable aliasesJack Smith
AbilitiesTalented inventor
Criminal strategist
Gifted intellect
Use of a gold gun, an aqua regia solution, a jet-propelled hovercraft and a submarine
Wears powered armored suit
Via steel mesh armor:
Superhuman strength
Wafer-thin parachute

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Goldbug is a gold-obsessed, technologically powered professional thief. In his first appearance, Goldbug, using the false identity of "Jack Smith", hired Power Man to prevent a shipment of gold from being stolen by the Goldbug. "Smith" then donned the Goldbug costume, stole the gold, and attempted to pin the crime on Cage and Thunderbolt.[2] Cage and Thunderbolt recovered the gold and cleared their names, but Goldbug escaped.[3]

Later, the Goldbug was revealed to be an unwitting pawn of They Who Wield Power, including the Hulk's foe Tyrannus, and set out to capture the Hulk.[4] Goldbug kidnapped the Hulk to power his technology and set out to find the city of El Dorado, the legendary "city of gold." The Hulk broke free and escaped, causing the Bugship to crash.[5] They nevertheless arrived in El Dorado, with the Hulk dragging the unconscious Goldbug to El Dorado.[6] There, Goldbug planned to kill the Hulk, but one of the members of They Who Wield Power revealed himself to be Tyrannus, who killed the other two members of They. Goldbug learned that he was Tyrannus's pawn, and Goldbug and the Hulk both turned on Tyrannus but were captured.[7] Goldbug freed the Hulk from captivity to battle Tyrannus, and they used El Dorado's technology against him. Tyrannus was teleported into space.[8] The Hulk and Goldbug were teleported to New York, where Goldbug was apprehended by the Heroes for Hire: Luke Cage and Iron Fist.[9]

Goldbug was next hired by the Maggia to steal some gold from an Empire State University laboratory. He did so, not realizing that the gold had been exposed to radiation during experiments at the university, and that he had thereby contracted radiation poisoning. He battled Spider-Man, but when Spider-Man revealed the gold's radioactivity, the Maggia turned on Goldbug, who fell into the river and disappeared.[10]

Goldbug next appeared undergoing treatments for his radiation poisoning. He appeared with a submarine version of his ship, seeking out the sunken remains of an office building that had been transformed into solid gold by the Beyonder during Secret Wars II. He was thwarted by Namor the Sub-Mariner, but managed to escape capture.[11]

Goldbug reappeared during the aftermath of the Secret War that had been organized by Nick Fury against Latveria. Goldbug was among the supervillains who had been supplied with enhanced technology and powered armor by Latverian dictator Lucia von Bardas and sent to attack the heroes who had been involved in Fury's Secret War.[12] The villains' technologies were then hijacked by von Bardas, supplying her with power, potentially at the cost of the villains' lives,[13] but the assembled heroes defeated von Bardas and apprehended Goldbug and the others.[14] Goldbug later attended the auction in which the Venom symbiote was sold.[15]

Later, when the Superhuman Registration Act was announced during the Civil War event, Goldbug wanted to leave the country. He contacted Vienna to make him a new fake identity, but he did not know Vienna was secretly working for the new Heroes for Hire, who later apprehended Goldbug and several other super-villains.[16] When Goldbug and the Plunderer were brought to Captain America's Secret Avengers by Diamondback, the Punisher shot both of them dead, saying that they were "thieves and killers".[17][18]

New Goldbug[edit]

A new Goldbug, equipped with the original's Secret War-era armor, appears as one of the villains being extorted by Lady Caterpillar.[19]

As part of the All-New, All-Different Marvel event, the new Goldbug hatches a scheme with White Rabbit and Walrus to tamper with New York City's water supply, but the three are defeated by Spider-Woman, and placed in a new supervillain prison called the Cellar.[20]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Goldbug uses gold as a weapon and as a motif. He is a talented inventor and criminal strategist with a gifted intellect. He uses a variety of paraphernalia created by the Tinkerer, working from designs created or stolen by the Goldbug. He wears steel mesh armor coated with gold foil, which contains an electrically powered exoskeleton that amplifies Goldbug's strength. A wafer-thin parachute is sewn inside the costume. He uses a "Gold-gun" that shoots gold dust that hardens on contact. He also uses an aqua regia solution to dissolve metals. Goldbug uses a jet-propelled hovercraft ("bugship") with gold plating and magna-drive engines, equipped with laser weaponry, radar scanners and suction cups for scooping up gold. He also has a submarine with gold plating, equipped with laser weaponry, titanium grapplers, cloaking devices and depth charges. He later obtained a suit of powered armo from the Latverian dictator Lucia von Bardas.[21]

The second Goldbug inherited Gilden's power armor and gear.


  1. All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Update#4
  2. Luke Cage, Power Man #41
  3. Luke Cage, Power Man #42
  4. Incredible Hulk #238
  5. Incredible Hulk #239
  6. Incredible Hulk #240
  7. Incredible Hulk #241
  8. Incredible Hulk #242
  9. Incredible Hulk #243
  10. Spectacular Spider-Man #62
  11. Solo Avengers #17
  12. Secret War #3-5
  13. Secret War #4
  14. Secret War #5
  15. Marvel Knights Spider-Man #6
  16. Heroes for Hire vol. 2 #1
  17. Civil War #6, Volume 1
  18. Punisher War Journal vol. 2 #2
  19. Dennis Hopeless (w), Javier Rodriguez (p), Alvaro Lopez (i), Javier Rodriguez (col), Travis Lanham (let), Nick Lowe (ed). Spider-Woman v5, #6 (8 April 2015), United States: Marvel Comics
  20. Dennis Hopeless (w), Javier Rodriguez (p), Alvaro Lopez (i), Javier Rodriguez (col), VC's Travis Lanham (let), Nick Lowe (ed). "What to Expect" The Amazing Spider-Man v4, #1 (7 October 2015), United States: Marvel Comics
  21. Secret War #3

External links[edit]

  • Goldbug at the Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe

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