Frederick Foswell
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceThe Amazing Spider-Man #10 (March 1964)
Created byStan Lee and Steve Ditko
In-story information
Alter egoFrederick Foswell
Team affiliationsDaily Bugle
Notable aliasesPatch
Big Man
AbilitiesHe 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.[1]

Publication history

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.[2]

The character subsequently appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1 (1964), The Amazing Spider-Man #23-27 (April–Aug. 1965), #29-34 (Oct. 1965-March 1966), #37 (June 1966), The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #3 (1966), The Amazing Spider-Man #42-47 (Nov. 1966-April 1967), #49-52 (June–Sept. 1967). The Big Man also made appearances in Marvel Team-Up #40 (Dec. 1975) and Marvels #2 (Feb. 1994). The character died in The Amazing Spider-Man #52 (Sept. 1967).[3]

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

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 (Feb. 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.[4]

After Foswell serves his sentence, his Daily Bugle boss J. Jonah Jameson rehires him, an act of trust which immediately earns Foswell's gratitude.[5] 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.[6]

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.[7] When Kingpin kidnaps Jameson because of his editorials on the new crime wave, Spider-Man tries to rescue him, but is beaten by Kingpin.[8] 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.[9] Jameson memorializes him as a hero in the Daily Bugle.[10]

Frederick Foswell was revealed to have a daughter named Janice. Adopting the Big Man mantle, Janice teams up with a new Crime Master, the Sandman, and the Enforcers to seek revenge on Spider-Man, battling him, the Human Torch and the Sons of the Tiger. However, when Janice and Crime Master get into an argument about who is in charge, Janice is shot by her erstwhile partner, who is subsequently revealed to be Nick Lewis Jr., the son of the original Crime Master and - ironically - her fiancé.[11] Many years later, his younger prodigy - Frederick Jr. - would also attempt to avenge his father and sister's death on Spider-Man, only to be defeated by him and Jameson, who felt remorse for his own role in leading Frederick Jr. to his revenge road.[12]

During the Dead No More: The Clone Conspiracy storyline, Frederick Foswell's Big Man alias is cloned by Miles Warren's company New U Technologies.[13]

Other versions

Ultimate Marvel

The Ultimate Marvel version of Frederick Foswell goes by the alias of Mr. Big, and was the leader of the Enforcers street gang. He eventually stepped up to challenge the Kingpin, Wilson Fisk, but was murdered at Fisk’s hands after the gargantuan crime lord crushed Foswell's head with his bare hands.

During the Ultimate Fallout storyline that covered the "Death of Spider-Man", another version of Foswell is credited with writing an article on Peter Parker's death at the hands of the Green Goblin. This was most likely an oversight by the creators.

In other media



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.[14] In a later article, Foswell revealed that 'The Big Man' is in a gang war with the Russian mob, which Aleksei Sytsevich 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 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 killer's identity are unknown. Despite its marketing, Frederick Foswell never appeared in the film physically.[15]


  1. ^ DeFalco, Tom; Sanderson, Peter; Brevoort, Tom; Teitelbaum, Michael; Wallace, Daniel; Darling, Andrew; Forbeck, Matt; Cowsill, Alan; Bray, Adam (2019). The Marvel Encyclopedia. DK Publishing. p. 49. ISBN 978-1-4654-7890-0.
  2. ^ Gross, Edward (2002). Spider-Man Confidential: From Comic Icon to Hollywood Hero. ISBN 0786887222.
  3. ^ Cowsill, Alan; Manning, Matthew K. (2012). Spider-Man Chronicle: Celebrating 50 Years of Web-Slinging. DK Publishing. p. 41. ISBN 978-0756692360.
  4. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #10 (March 1964)
  5. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #23 (April 1965)
  6. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #26-27 (July–Aug. 1965)
  7. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #50 (July 1967)
  8. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #51 (Aug. 1967)
  9. ^ Brevoort, Tom; DeFalco, Tom; Manning, Matthew K.; Sanderson, Peter; Wiacek, Win (2017). Marvel Year By Year: A Visual History. DK Publishing. p. 124. ISBN 978-1465455505.
  10. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #52 (Sept. 1967)
  11. ^ Marvel-Team-Up #39-40
  12. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man vol. 5 #13 (2019)
  13. ^ Clone Conspiracy #2
  14. ^ Cushing, Kate (July 18, 2013). "What is Next for the NYPD?". Tumblr. Retrieved October 22, 2013.
  15. ^