Real Name: Matthew Gilden

Identity/Class: Human technology user
   dual identity known to the United States authorities
   U.S. citizen with a criminal record

Occupation: Thief;
    former executive at Shank’s Armored Couriers

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Big Wheel (Jackson Weele), Bloodshed, Boomerang, Constrictor, Crimson Dynamo (unidentified), Crossfire, Cyclone (Pierre Fresson), Eel (Edward Lavell), Equinox, Ghost-Maker, Grim Reaper, Grindhouse, Hobgoblin (unidentified), Kangaroo (Brian Hibbs), King Cobra, Kogar, Lady Octopus, MAULER (Brendan Doyle), Mentallo, Mister Fear, Scorcher, Scorpion (Mac Gargan), Senor Suerte, Shadow Slasher, Shocker, Shockwave, Spider-Slayer Mark 20, Tinkerer, Trapster, Walrus, White Rabbit, Wizard (formerly Bentley Wittman);
    former ally of Lucia von Bardas, Hulk, Maggia, They Who Wield Power

Enemies: Captain America (Steve Rogers), Daredevil, Fantastic Four, Nick Fury LMD, Heroes for Hire (Black Cat, Humbug, Misty Knight, Orka, Paladin, Shang-Chi, Tarantula, Colleen Wing), Hulk, Iron Fist, Daisy Johnson, Maggia, Namor, Porcupine (Roger Gocking), Power Man, Punisher (Frank Castle), Spider-Man (Peter Parker), Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew), Thunderbolt (William Carver), Tyrannus, Vienna

Known Relatives: Unidentified child

Aliases: Jack Smith, Jackson Smith, "Gold Pawn"

Place of Birth: Dallas, Texas

Base of Operations: Various; had bases in a Manhattan Penthouse, a Brooklyn Garage, and a Long Island Warehouse

First Appearance: Power Man I#41 (March, 1977)



Powers/Abilities: Goldbug is obsessed with gold in all of its forms and seeks to obtain as much of it as he can through any means necessary. He may have some health problems associated with the radiation poisoning he received at one point, or from the necessary treatments.
Goldbug uses various weapons (like his Golden Gun) and equipment (like his different Bug-ships). His exo-skeleton increased his strength to enhanced human level, and it had a wafer-thin parachute sewn into the costume. His costume is padded for some degree of protection against injury and is coated with an enzyme that immediately breaks down the hardened gold from his Golden Gun, safeguarding him from accidental suffocation. He also keeps a supply of the acid Aqua-Regia, which is used to dissolve real gold.
His Golden Gun fires gold dust which hardens on contact and immobilizes his victims in a metallic material of great strength. This metal, not truly gold, coats the target in an air-tight cocoon, preventing any movement and sensation. He has also designed a liquid version of his gold dust, packed into small grenades.
His Bug-ships are hovercrafts, equipped with weaponry which has included laser weapons, radar scanners, suction and grappling devices, and a device able to drain physical strength and convert it into electrical power. One of his ships functioned as a submarine, and additionally had cloaking devices and depth charges.

Height: 5' 9"
Weight: 170 lbs.
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Blond, possibly now bald

History: (All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Update#4) - Matthew Gilden apparently possessed enough wealth to live comfortably until he became obsessed with gold. He hired the Tinkerer to create the high-tech costume and hovercraft of the Goldbug.

(Power Man I#41) - As Jack Smith, an employee at Shank's Armored Couriers, came to Luke Cage's office to offer him a job. Luke Cage needed to protect two-million dollars in gold from New York City to Washington D.C. Jack Smith was worried because a master criminal called the Goldbug had threaten to steal the gold from Shank's and that's why he needed to hire Luke Cage. The gold was sent by a van, and Luke Cage was sitting in the back with the gold, while Jack Smith returned to Shank's and his boss Mr. Coyne. Mr. Coyne told Jack that he still worried about the warning from Goldbug. After the little talk with Mr. Coyne, Jack went into his own office, took off his clothes, and put on a costume, revealing himself to be the Goldbug. He also revealed that the Jack Smith identity was a cover-up identity he had spent years in building. He used his wrist-band to call his golden hovercraft and went after the van. Goldbug hit the van with a beam from the hovercraft, and Luke jumped out, saw Thunderbolt--thinking he was behind the attack--and he began fighting him. Meanwhile Goldbug began stealing the gold with his hovercraft. Cage, learning his mistake, jumped up in the hovercraft, tried to defeat Goldbug, but the Goldbug's Golden Gun trapped him in solid gold. Cage was thrown out of the hovercraft, and Goldbug escaped. Later Cage returned to the office only to learn that Jack Smith was there with the police accusing him of stealing the gold.

(Power Man I#42) - After coping with the accusations, Luke threatened Jack Smith to reveal the truth to the police--that Jack hired Cage to protect the gold--and that he knew that it was Goldbug that stole the gold. Jack started with the words "I–I uhhhhh..." but stopped getting further in the discussion, and left with the cops. Later Thunderbolt called Cage and told him that he knew Goldbug and his men were in a garage, and the two of them attacked the place. After the criminals were defeated, Goldbug escaped in an escape capsule, and he rushed to his secret hideout, where his hovercraft and his gold were. Thunderbolt and Cage were there to take good care of him when he arrived, and a fight began. Goldbug started the hovercraft and tried to escape but both of his opponents managed to get on the craft as well, and a fight began. Cage knocked Goldbug down, only to hear Thunderbolt say that the control panel in the hovercraft was jammed. While concentrating on fixing the control panel, Goldbug escaped by jumping out of the hovercraft wearing a parachute.


(Incredible Hulk II#238) - In the Tinkerer's repair shop a mysterious customer arrived, asking if his new Bug-ship was finished. In the mysterious customer's bag, there was solid gold for payment, the Tinkerer was satisfied, and the mysterious customer took off his hat, coat and glasses, with the words "What else do you expect to be paid by The Goldbug". After the meeting with the Tinkerer, Goldbug flew away in his new Bug-ship and revealed his mission, sent by "They": He needed to find the Hulk.

(Incredible Hulk II#239) - At Mt. Rushmore, the Hulk sought some peace, but two military men came to try to take him. Hulk defeated their weapons, and was about to smash the surrendering soldiers, when a golden Bug-ship arrived. Goldbug fired a missile against the soldiers, turning them into solid gold, and beamed the Hulk onboard. While onboard the ship, the Hulk was captured by the Goldbug, who managed to escape from the military. Goldbug convinced the Hulk he could help fight the military by squeezing two handles, which trapped him in an energy draining device. With his Bug-ship now powered by the strength of the Hulk, Goldbug planned to find and conquer the legendary city of el Dorado.
While Goldbug was on his way to South America, three mysterious people watched the Bug-ship on its way. Revealing that They had used Goldbug as a pawn, They took control of the Bug-ship and freed the Hulk, who began smashing the ship in order to get to Goldbug. The ship crashed somewhere in South America, and Hulk was about to smash the unconscious Goldbug when he was stopped by a mysterious stranger.

(Incredible Hulk II#240) - Still unconscious, Goldbug was taken by Hulk to the mysterious stranger's hometown, the legendary golden city "El Dorado".

(Incredible Hulk II#241) - Goldbug woke up in a bed, and had no idea where he was. A young lady came in, telling him that he was in the golden city of "El Dorado". Refusing to believe his own ears, he told her that he had searched all his life for the city, and looked outside the window. At first happy that he finally succeeded in finding the legendary city, he then realized that an entire city of pure gold would ruin the value of gold, and would make the world's gold common and absolutely worthless. Blaming the Hulk for bringing him there, he was now out for revenge. When arriving in the Temple of the Flame, he learned that he and Hulk had both been used as pawns by "They Who Wield Power". He watched as "Old Des" sacrificed his partners Prince Rey and the Keeper of the Flame, and drank an elixir, turning him back to his true self--Tyrannus. After having learned the truth, Goldbug tried to defeat Tyrannus, but was captured with a titanium net. Not accepting defeat, he threw one of his devices at the Hulk; when the device broke, it turned the Hulk into solid gold. The plan was to get the Hulk to panic so he would be so angry that he could break free from his captor. The plan was successful, and Hulk was now ready to go up against Tyrannus.

(Incredible Hulk II#242) - Goldbug escaped from the titanium net and removed the control device that Tyrannus had managed to place on the head of Hulk.

(Incredible Hulk II#243) - After having destroyed Tyrannus machine, Hulk and Goldbug fell down from a great height, but the Hulk saved Goldbug before crashing to the ground. On the ground, Hulk tore the machine open, releasing Tyrannus (who had become one with the flames of the machine) into space. After the defeat of Tyrannus, Hulk remembered that it was indeed Goldbug who brought him to El Dorado and decided to make him pay. But before the Hulk could do anything, a globe manifests itself, capturing the Hulk and Goldbug. Goldbug, scared that he might die, cried to the Hulk that they needed to do anything possible to escape. But before they could escape, they disappeared from the globe, and the next moment they were down in the sewer system of New York City. The globe had teleported the two of them home. After realizing that he was home, Goldbug tried to run away from the Hulk. He succeeded, only to get up two blocks from his penthouse. Thinking he was home free, Goldbug bumped into a person, turning around he discovered his old enemy Luke Cage and Cage's partner Iron Fist. Goldbug tried to get out of trouble by saying "I just saved the world, me and the Hulk". Cage and Iron Fist, of course, did not believe him, and took him to the police station.

(Spectacular Spider-Man II#62) - At an office on the east side of Manhattan, a meeting was taking place. Goldbug suggested a partnership to the Maggia. The Maggia bosses agreed to take Goldbug in if he could manage to steal some gold from Empire State University. Later Goldbug arrived in his Bug-ship and used his ship's lasers to cut through the roof of the building where the gold was held. Goldbug managed to get away with the gold but not before turning two guards and Debra Whitman into solid gold. Unbeknownst to Goldbug, two scientists had used the gold for radioactive experiments. One of the scientists, Peter Parker (secretly Spider-Man) managed to throw a spider-tracer on Goldbug's ship before he escaped. Later Goldbug met with the Maggia, who were very surprised that he had managed to escape with the gold. But before their gold expert Macchio could test if the gold was genuine, a voice shouted "Do that–and you'll never live to regret it!"; the voice belonged to Spider-Man, who was shot at by the Maggia men. Goldbug tried to shoot Spider-Man with his Golden Gun, but hit one of the Maggia people instead. Spider-Man managed to capture Godlbug, and took off his gloves, revealing that his arms were full of burning blisters and running sores. The Maggia people, now very angry at Goldbug for also poisoning them, shot at Spider-Man and Goldbug. Spider-Man managed to jump away, but Goldbug fell in the water, and with a costume of solid gold, dropped to the bottom, apparently drowning.

(Solo Avengers#17/2) - Some time later Goldbug returned, this time in a Bug-submarine. He revealed that he needed lots of money to pay for the treatment he needed from the poisonous gold he touched. He had been told that a solid gold building was placed in the water [long story...the building from Web of Spider-Man#6 and Amazing Spider-Man#268, turned to gold by the Beyonder]. Goldbug tried to steal the gold, but was stopped by Namor the Sub-Mariner. Goldbug managed to escape using an explosion and his Bug-submarine's electronic cloaking devices.

(Secret War#1 (fb) - BTS) - Goldbug was pictured as one of the Tinkerer's clients in the Project: CIRCUIT file Nick Fury showed the US president and his military staff.

(Secret War#5 (fb) - BTS) - Goldbug was given an armor by the Tinkerer, bankrolled by Latverian Prime Minister Lucia von Bardas.

(Secret War#3) - Goldbug was among a group of super-villains--including Boomerang, Constrictor, Crimson Dynamo, Crossfire, Eel, Grim Reaper, Hobgoblin, King Cobra, Lady Octopus, Mentallo, Mister Fear, Scorcher, Scorpion, a Spider-Slayer, Trapster, Wizard--who ambushed Nick Fury, Captain America, Daredevil, and Spider-Man--all of whom had been involved in Nick Fury's secret war on Latveria.

(Secret War#4) - The above battle continued, even after the Fantastic Four arrived to assist the heroes. Eventually some armored chick (von Bardas) showed up and caused all of the villains' armors' energies to join together in a chain reaction that would've caused a massive explosion.

(Secret War#5) - The chain reaction was broken up by S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Daisy Johnson when she killed Lucia von Bardas by blowing her up from the inside. Goldbug and all the other villains survived and were taken to hospitals (and after their recovery into the next prison capable to hold them).

(Marvel Knights Spider-Man#6) - Goldbug attended the auction in which the Venom symbiote was sold.

(Marvel Knights Spider-Man#12 - BTS?) - He may also have been present at the auction of the Scorpion suit.

(Heroes for Hire II#1 (fb) - BTS) - At some point Goldbug fathered a child and had to pay child support.

(Heroes for Hire II#1) - Goldbug attended a meeting with Vienna, who offered him and a few other costumed criminals new identities outside of the United States. Heroes for Hire attacked them, but Vienna expected them and the villains gained the upper hand on them with the aid of a few robots. Things changed when Paladin, Orka and Shang-Chi arrived and the villains were soon defeated. Afterwards it was revealed that Vienna worked together with the Heroes for Hire and that the operation was a test for HfH members Humbug and Tarantula.

(Civil War: Battle Damage Report#1) - After his defeat he escaped with his remote-controlled hovercraft before he could be arrested.

(Civil War#6/Punisher War Journal II#2) - Diamondback brought Goldbug and the Plunderer (actually impostor David Kivlin) to Captain America's HQ where they offered Cap's side their help because they were afraid of Stark's plans and Stark had super-villains on his side too. Seconds later they were both shot dead by the Punisher.

BTS - Gilden somehow survived or somebody else put on the armor Lucia von Bardas had provided to Gilden.

(Spider-Woman V#6 (fb) - BTS) - Goldbug was blackmailed by an unknown party to commit crimes in exchange for the safety of his loved ones. He was unaware the person behind the blackmail was a community built for families of costumed supervillains, including his loved ones.

(Spider-Woman V#6) - Goldbug joined forces with Big Wheel, Cyclone, Kangaroo, MAULER and Senor Suerte to beat up Porcupine for risking their operation to buy back their families from unknown blackmailers by getting Jessica Drew involved. They were unaware it was actually Jessica Drew inside the costume posing as Porcupine to get to the blackmailers.


(Amazing Spider-Man IV#1/4 - BTS) - White Rabbit, Walrus and Goldbug banded together to concoct an outlandish scheme involving the drinking water. They were found out by the authorities who tracked them down and sent in Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew) to deal with what they called "some ridiculous thing".

(Amazing Spider-Man IV#1/4) - White Rabbit, Walrus and Goldbug were spending the day at her apartment when Spider-Woman suddenly kicked in their front door. Spider-Woman beat the criminals up with her groceries, all the while continuing to talk to Carol Danvers on her phone. After defeating them, she waited for the cops to arrive.

(Amazing Spider-Man IV#1/6) - On their way to the newly rebuilt Ryker's, their transport had also picked up two goblins and Ox, another old Spider-Man foe. After White Rabbit and the others were stripped of their attire and weaponry, they were placed in their holding cells. The superhuman criminals however were placed in special containment units that allowed the Regent to siphon off their powers.

Comments: Created by Marv Wolfmann, Lee Elias and Tom Palmer .

...and no, the third Bugship is not taking a leak (or a dump): it's a spider-tracer thrown from below.

Thanks to Ronald Byrd for pointing out that Goldbug is apparently a father.

Goldbug received an entries in the OHotMU Master Edition, Secret War Files and Civil War: Battle Damage Report#1.

Profile by the Beetle

Goldbug has had other entries, in the OHotMU Master Edition and All-New OHotMU Update#4, but the Goldbug is definitely obscure enough for this website, and the entry is complete, thorough, and exactly what I'm looking for. Any other takers?

His real name was revealed in All-New OHotMU Update#4.

Thanks to Loki for providing the main image from the Gamer's Guide to the Marvel Universe 1992 Character Update.

Clarifications: Goldbug has no known connection to:

images: (without ads)
Gamer's Guide to the Marvel Universe 1992 Character Update, p99 (main)
Incredible Hulk II#241, p4, pan2 (head shot)
Power Man I#41, p9, pan1 (Goldbug, first costume)
Power Man I#41, p9, pan5 (Bugship 1)
Incredible Hulk II#238, p15, pan1 (Goldbug again)
Incredible Hulk II#239, p12, pan3 (Bugship 2)
Spectacular Spider-Man II#62, p12, pan2 (Bugship 3)
Solo Avengers#17/2, p7, pan3 (Bug-submarine)
Secret War#4, mini-profile (Secret War armor)

Power Man I#41-42 (March-April, 1977) - Marv Wolfman (writer/editor), Lee Elias (pencils), Alex Niño (inks)
Incredible Hulk II#238 (August, 1979) - Roger Stern (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Jack Abel (inks), Al Milgrom (editor)
Incredible Hulk II#239 (September, 1979) - Roger Stern (plot), Sal Buscema (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Mike Esposito (inks), Al Milgrom (editor)
Incredible Hulk II#240 (October, 1979) - Roger Stern (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks), Al Milgrom (editor)
Incredible Hulk II#241-242 (November-December, 1980) - Roger Stern (writer), Sal Buscema (artist), Al Milgrom (editor)
Incredible Hulk II#243 (January, 1980) - Roger Stern, Steven Grant & Roy Thomas (writers), Sal Buscema (artist), Al Milgrom (editor)
Spectacular Spider-Man II#62 (January, 1982) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Ed Hannigan (pencils), Jim Mooney (inks), Tom DeFalco (editor)
Solo Avengers#17/2 (April, 1989) - Dan Fingeroth (writer), Dave Cockrum (pencils), Kim DeMulder (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Secret War#1 (April, 2004) - Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Gabrielle Dell'Otto (artist), Andy Schmidt (editor)
Secret War#3 (October, 2004) - Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Gabrielle Dell'Otto (artist), Andy Schmidt (editor)
Marvel Knights Spider-Man#6 (November, 2004) - Mark Millar (writer), Terry Dodson (pencils), Rachel Dodson (inks), Axel Alonso (editor)
Marvel Knights Spider-Man#12 (May, 2005) - Mark Millar (writer), Terry Dodson (pencils), Rachel Dodson (inks), Axel Alonso (editor)
Secret War#4 (May, 2005) - Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Gabrielle Dell'Otto (artist), Andy Schmidt (editor)
Secret War#5 (December, 2005) - Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Gabrielle Dell'Otto (artist), Andy Schmidt (editor)
Heroes for Hire II#1 (October, 2006) - Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti (writers), Billy Tucci (pencils), Tom Palmer (inks), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Punisher War Journal II#2 (December, 2006) - Matt Fraction (writer), Ariel Olivetti (artist), Axel Alonso (editor)
Civil War#6 (December, 2006) - Mark Millar (writer), Steve McNiven (pencils), Dexter Vines (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Civil War: Battle Damage Report#1 (2007)
Spider-Woman V#6 (June, 2015) - Dennis Hopeless (writer), Javier Rodriguez (pencils), Alvaro Lopez (inks), Nick Lowe (editor)
Amazing Spider-Man IV#1/4 (December, 2015) - Dennis Hopeless (writer), Javier Rodriguez (pencils, inks), Nick Lowe, Devin Lewis (editors)
Amazing Spider-Man IV#1/6 (December, 2015) - Dan Slott, Christos N. Gage (writers), Paco Diaz (pencils, inks), Nick Lowe, Devin Lewis (editors)

First Posted: 10/14/2001
Last updated: 01/09/2022

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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