While Marvel’s live-action cinematic universe provides ample entertainment for any casual superhero fan, the comic book company knows its more devoted viewers want as much of the popular franchise as they can get. That’s where What If…? comes in.
Based on a long-running series within Marvel Comics, the television series What If…? explores various alternative versions of the superhero world. Season 1 premiered in 2021 and asked fun and surprising questions such as, “What If…T’Challa Became a Star Lord?” or “What If…Zombies?” The show featured stellar voice acting, including veterans of the medium like Lake Bell (also known as Poison Ivy in DC’s Harley Quinn) and a few notable actors who played the live-action version of the same characters in the MCU. What If…? actually features one of Chadwick Boseman’s final portrayals of T’Challa.
Two years since the first season premiered, we finally have a whole new season of creative alternate realities with our favorite superheroes. And as viewers of Season 1 know, the show has the ability to return to long-forgotten characters we’ve seen in various live-action adaptations, like how Season 1 asked, “What If…Ultron Won?” nearly a decade after Avengers: Age of Ultron premiered in theaters.
Season 2 Episode 2 picks up on a loose thread from Season 1, when the show followed T’Challa as Star Lord. The end of the episode (spoilers!) sees Peter Quill as a janitor back on Earth, who is then approached by his father Ego. We see Peter return in the new season, under the influence of Ego, where he decides to start destroying Earth. As Earth’s mightiest heroes take Quill on, we also see a noteworthy character return: Bill Foster.
In case you need a refresher on who he is, and how he relates to other heroes, here’s what you should know.
Who is Bill Foster?
William Foster in Ant-Man and the Wasp #1.
First introduced in 1966, Foster has taken on the mantle of Giant-Man and Black Goliath over the course of his time in the comics. He worked under Tony Stark first, and then Hank Pym, where he discovered his employer’s “Pym Particles” and acquired the ability to grow in size, thus becoming Giant-Man. Sadly, the character died in the iconic Civil War run in 2006.
In the MCU, Foster is portrayed by Laurence Fishburne in Ant-Man and the Wasp, where he finds himself at odds with Hank Pym, his former colleague, in his efforts to cure Ava Starr, a powerful woman who seeks to use energy from the Quantum Realm to stabilize her condition. Foster eventually decides to go on the run with Ava and subsequently becomes a surrogate father for her.
Bill Foster returns in What If…? Season 2
Still voiced by the talented Laurence Fishburne, Foster also appears in What If…? Season 2. In “What If…Peter Quill Attacked Earth’s Mightiest Heroes?” Foster joins the Avengers in 1988 as they take on Quill. In this version of Foster’s background, he never has a major argument with Hank Pym, which causes the two to become estranged in his original storyline. Instead, Foster continues working on Project G.O.L.I.A.T.H. and even enhances Pym’s suit, allowing him to grow bigger than before. That means the Avengers have a hero not normally seen in their ranks, and it’s a fun sighting of a character we haven’t seen since 2015.
With a total of nine episodes in What If…? Season 2, we’ll have to see what other surprising twists Marvel plans to pull out for this exciting show.
Milan Polk is an Editorial Assistant for Men’s Health who specializes in entertainment and lifestyle reporting, and has worked for New York Magazine’s Vulture and Chicago Tribune.