Frederick Foswell

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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 appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics.

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 worked as a reporter 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.

Foswell begins leading a double life as the Big Man, head of New York's crime and the boss of the notorious Enforcers. Frail and diminutive in stature, Foswell conceals his identity by wearing a mask, oversized coat, and giant platform boots whenever he appears as the Big Man. Although he has a considerable run of success as a crime boss, a confrontation with Spider-Man ends with his Enforcers being apprehended, and shortly afterwards the police deduce his identity and arrest him.[1]

After Foswell serves his sentence, his Daily Bugle boss J. Jonah Jameson rehires him, an act of trust which immediately earns Foswell's gratitude.[2] When another masked crime lord called the Crime Master arises, working in collusion with the Green Goblin, Foswell again begins wearing a mask - an eyepatched face that he uses as the alter ego Patch. Acting as a stool-pigeon, he tips off the police to planned crimes while getting scoops.[3]

Hoping to learn how his co-worker Peter Parker (Spider-Man's alter ego) always gets great photos of Spider-Man, Foswell follows him, and witnesses a (faked) conversation between Parker and Spider-Man indicating they've been conspiring to ensure that Parker is always present when Spider-Man goes into action. Parker and Foswell occasionally work together, with Peter tipping off Foswell as Spider-Man before a major bust and then taking pictures to go with Foswell's stories.

Following a crime war, the Kingpin takes over New York's underworld. Foswell, his ego smarting at seeing another man in his place, tries to reinstate himself as the Big Man, but the Kingpin outwits him, instead forcibly enlisting him as a lieutenant.[4] When Kingpin kidnaps Jameson because of his editorials on the new crime wave, Spider-Man tries to rescue him, but is beaten by Kingpin.[5] Kingpin tries to drown both Jameson and Spider-Man, but Spider-Man uses his webbing to create an air bubble that keeps them both alive. The attempted murder of Jameson turns Foswell against Kingpin, who, sensing this, tries to kill him. However, Spider-Man enters and stops him. While Kingpin and Spider-Man battle, Foswell runs into the basement of the Kingpin's building to try to help Jameson. When he finds Jameson, Foswell protects him from the thugs trying to kill him, and takes a bullet meant for him. The Kingpin escapes, and Foswell dies from the bullet wound. Jameson memorializes him as a hero in the Daily Bugle.[6]

Frederick Foswell was revealed to have a daughter named Janice who took up the mantle of Big Man.[7]

During the Dead No More: The Clone Conspiracy storyline, Frederick Foswell's Big Man alias is cloned by Miles Warren and his company New U Technologies.[8]

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.[9] 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.[10]

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.[11]

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 drug counterfeiting project. 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 reporter at the Daily Bugle. 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.


  • While not appearing in the film, 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.[12] 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.[13]


  1. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #10 (March 1964)
  2. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #23 (April 1965)
  3. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #26-27 (July–August 1965)
  4. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #50 (July 1967)
  5. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #51 (August 1967)
  6. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #52 (September 1967)
  7. ^ Marvel-Team-Up #39
  8. ^ Clone Conspiracy #2
  9. ^ Ultimate Spider-Man #9
  10. ^ Ultimate Spider-Man #10
  11. ^ Ultimate Comics: Fallout #1
  12. ^ Cushing, Kate (July 18, 2013). "What is Next for the NYPD?". Tumblr. Retrieved October 22, 2013. 
  13. ^

External links[edit]