Frederick Foswell

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This article is about Marvel comics characters called Big Man. For other uses, see Big man (disambiguation).
Frederick Foswell
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance The Amazing Spider-Man #10 (Mar 1964)
Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko
In-story information
Alter ego Frederick Foswell
Team affiliations Daily Bugle
Notable aliases Patch; Big Man
Abilities He was adept at disguise and an excellent marksman with handguns.

Frederick Foswell, also known as the Big Man and Patch, is a fictional character in the Marvel Universe.

Publication history[edit]

Frederick Foswell first appeared, as the Big Man, in The Amazing Spider-Man #10 (March 1964), and was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.

The character subsequently appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1 (1964), Amazing Spider-Man #23-27 (April–August 1965), #29-34 (October 1965-March 1966), #37 (June 1966), Amazing Spider-Man Annual #3 (1966), Amazing Spider-Man #42-47 (November 1966-April 1967), #49-52 (June–September 1967). The Big Man also made appearances in Marvel Team-Up #40 (December 1975) and Marvels #2 (February 1994).

The Big Man received an entry in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition #16, and in The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Spider-Man #1 (2005).

Fictional character biography[edit]

Frederick Foswell was born in Queens, New York. He was one of Spider-Man's first opponents. He worked at the Daily Bugle for evidently quite a number of years, though the sliding timescale puts some of the hints of this into question: in the Night Raven story in Marvel Super-Heroes (UK)#394 (February 1983), Foswell is referred to as a friend of Scoop Daly and as having attended Scoop Daly's funeral. A man named Fredrick was shown working for the Bugle in Sgt. Fury#110.

A reporter for the Daily Bugle, Foswell led a double life behind a mask as the Big Man, head of New York's crime and the boss of the notorious Enforcers. Although he did not possess any actual superpowers, he was a slippery opponent. However, following a confrontation with Spider-Man, his identity was exposed and the police brought him in (although Spider-Man had initially assumed that the Big Man was J. Jonah Jameson due to Foswell using padding to make himself appear larger as the Big Man).

After Foswell was released from prison, Jameson rehired him, an act of trust which immediately earned Foswell's gratitude. When another masked crime lord called the Crime-Master arose, working in collusion with the Green Goblin, Spider-Man suspected Foswell, but it turned out to be someone else. However, Foswell had indeed been wearing a mask - a patch-eyed face that he used as the alter ego Patch. Acting as a stool-pigeon, he tipped off the police to planned crimes while getting scoops.

At one point, Foswell actually discovered Spider-Man's secret identity, but Spider-Man was warned by his spider-sense and managed to trick Foswell into believing that he wasn't Peter Parker, faking a conversation between his two identities and then rapidly creating a 'dummy' by filling his costume with webbing and sending it swinging away while Foswell was watching. Parker and Foswell occasionally worked together, with Peter tipping off Foswell as Spider-Man before a major bust and then taking pictures to go with Foswell's stories.

When Spider-Man gave up the costume in Amazing Spider-Man #50, the Kingpin entered and took over New York's underworld. Foswell, believing that he could take over from Kingpin, returned to crime, but Kingpin outwitted him, instead forcibly enlisting him as a lieutenant. When Kingpin kidnapped Jameson because of his editorials on the new crime wave, Spider-Man returned and tried to rescue him, but was beaten by Kingpin. Kingpin tried to kill both Jameson and Spider-Man by drowning them, but Spider-Man used his webbing to create an air bubble that kept them both alive.

The attempted murder of Jameson turned Foswell against Kingpin, who, sensing this, tried to kill him. However, Spider-Man entered and stopped him just in time. While Kingpin and Spider-Man battled, Foswell ran into the basement of the Kingpin's building to try to help Jameson. When he found Jameson, Foswell protected him from the thugs trying to kill him, and took a bullet meant for Jameson. Kingpin escaped, and Foswell died a hero, having repaid his debt to Jameson. For this, Jameson memorialized him as a hero in the Daily Bugle.

Janice Foswell[edit]

Janice Foswell
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance The Marvel Team-Up #39 (Nov 1975)
Created by Bill Mantlo and Sal Buscema
In-story information
Alter ego Janice Foswell
Team affiliations Enforcers
Abilities She was adept at disguise and an excellent marksman with handguns.

Janice Foswell is daughter of the original Big Man and sought to follow in her father's footsteps to gain control of the New York underworld. She was soon joined by a new Crime Master and Sandman. She and her Enforcers were defeated by Spider-Man, the Human Torch and the Sons of the Tiger. Over a dispute about eliminating Spider-Man and the Sons, Janice was killed by the Crime Master who turned out to be her fiancé and son of the original Crime-Master, Nick Lewis Jr. (both had separately pursued vengeance against Spider-Man without knowledge of each other's identity).

Other versions[edit]

Ultimate Marvel[edit]

The alternate, Ultimate Marvel version of Fredrick Foswell introduced as Mr. Big, a mobster and the head of Wilson Fisk's Enforcers. [1] Foswell was scheming to overthrow Fisk, using Spider-Man as his secret weapon. The plan backfired and when Fisk learned that Foswell was the one responsible for Spidey's assault on his office, he crushed the mobster's head with his bare hands. [2]

Another Frederick Foswell also exists in the Ultimate universe. His name is seen on a byline in the Daily Bugle in a published story on the death of Spider-Man and revealing his identity as Peter Parker.[3]


In the MC2 universe, Henry Pym Jr. inherits his father's size changing powers and takes the 'Big Man' name. He is briefly a member of the Revengers, before going straight and joining a government-sponsored team.[4]

In other media[edit]


  • Frederick Foswell appears in the 1967 TV series episode "King Pinned". Peter Parker learns that Foswell - one of the Daily Bugle's top-rated reports - is actually an employee of the Kingpin. Foswell informs Kingpin that J. Jonah Jameson is aware of their involvement in the pharmaceutical racket. He confirms that a bomb is set to explode when the presses start rolling tonight. Peter realizes that Aunt May is a victim of this scam and decides to help expose it.
  • Frederick Foswell is a minor character in The Spectacular Spider-Man, voiced by James Arnold Taylor. During several scenes at the Daily Bugle, J. Jonah Jameson mentions Foswell. This series version even appears briefly in the episode "Market Forces" with blonde hair, a mustache, and a green business suit. The episode "The Invisible Hand" shows Foswell working as a Bugle employee. Twelve years ago, he won a Pulitzer for writing an expose on Silvermane's criminal activities of and put him behind bars. At the office, he is asked about the Big Man by Peter Parker. The only other related name Parker learned was "Lincoln" and Foswell cites rumors that "L. Thompson Lincoln" was the Big Man, though Foswell admits that his investigation has led him to believe that Lincoln is not the Big Man. Foswell's Patch persona appears in the episode "Reinforcement". Spider-Man asks him about the Master Planner. He later uses his Patch alias again in the episode "Accomplices" to obtain information about an auction between the factions of Big Man, Doctor Octopus, Silvermane and Roderick Kingsley. He bugs Donald Menken (the auctioneer), and combined with Peter's photos of the event, they convince J. Jonah Jameson to run a story about the gang war. Foswell is later undercover as Patch in the episode "Gangland" during the Valentine's Day Summit, and writes an article exposing Tombstone as the Big Man.


  • A Viral Marketing for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 shows a Daily Bugle article mentioning the growing rumors of a ‘Big Man’ who is trying to consolidate organized crime in Manhattan. The article is written by Foswell, himself.[5] In a later article, Foswell revealed that 'The Big Man' is in a gang war with the Russian mob, which The Rhino (portrayed in the film by Paul Giamatti) is notably a part of. In yet another article, this time posted by Ned Leeds, Foswell's identity is reported to now be exposed and that Foswell has been arrested for his crimes as 'The Big Man.' Foswell was featured in one final article, again written by Ned Leeds. According to the article, Foswell was murdered at Rykers island penitentiary and his body was found in a storage closet. The article goes on to mention that the specifics on how he was murdered and the identity of the killer are unknown.[6]

Video games[edit]


  1. ^ Ultimate Spider-Man #9
  2. ^ Ultimate Spider-Man #10
  3. ^ Ultimate Comics: Fallout #1
  4. ^ A-Next #12
  5. ^ Cushing, Kate (July 18, 2013). "What is Next for the NYPD?". Tumblr. Retrieved October 22, 2013. 
  6. ^

External links[edit]