Goldbug (comics)

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Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Power Man #41 (March 1977)
Created by Marv Wolfman and Lee Elias
In-story information
Alter ego Matthew Gilden[1]
Team affiliations They Who Wield Power
Notable aliases Jack Smith
Abilities Wields gold gun

Goldbug is a supervillain in Marvel Comics.

Fictional character biography[edit]

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 by Latverian dictator Lucia von Bardas and sent to attack the heroes who had been involved in Fury's Secret War.[volume & issue needed] The villains' technologies were then hijacked by von Bardos, supplying her with power, potentially at the cost of the villains' lives, but the assembled heroes defeated von Bardos and apprehended Goldbug and the others.[volume & issue needed]

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.[volume & issue needed] 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".[12]

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 armor from the Latverian dictator Lucia von Bardas.[volume & issue needed]


  • Punisher War Journal vol. 2 #2
  • Heroes for Hire vol. 2 #1
  • Incredible Hulk vol. 2 #238-243
  • Marvel Knights Spider-Man #6, 12
  • Power Man #41-42
  • Secret War #3-5
  • Solo Avengers #17
  • Spectacular Spider-Man vol. 2 #62
  • Civil War #6


  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. ^ Civil War #6, Volume 1

External links[edit]

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