Monday, December 20, 2010

Mighty Samson #1

There aren't many comics that I missed when I was young - even if it was just an issue or two, I picked up just about every super-hero-related comic book printed in the '60s.

But somehow I never got an issue of Mighty Samson. It's all a dim memory now, but perhaps I thought the comic was based on the Biblical figure.

If that's what I thought, it turns out I was wrong. Instead, it's an adventure set in the future - 500 years "after the end of the world." Humanity has been reduced to a barbaric state, and monsters roam the wild lands.

We meet Sampson at his birth, where he demonstrates amazing strength, and then the clock jumps forward 19 years to his adventures as a powerful adult (though one with limited intelligence).

The first issue focuses on the backstory and setting the stage for future adventures, and we really don't know much about the title character yet, although he doesn't come off as particularly likeable or heroic - just powerful and impulsive.

The story is a relatively straightforward update of the title's first issue from 1964, which was written by Otto Binder and drawn by Frank Thorne - two great talents. (That first issue is reprinted here.)

The new version is written by Jim Shooter and J.C. Vaughn, with art by Patrick Oliffe. I like the art here, and Oliffe provides strong art and clear storytelling.

I'm sorry now that I missed the original series - it's a good, post-apocalyptic setting with characters that show a lot of promise. Hopefully this will do well and the original stories will get the reprint treatment they've afforded Magnus, Robot Fighter and Doctor Solar.

We can hope!

Grade: B+



Peter Wallace said...

I never got it either back then, and passed on it this time too. But, Chuck, it's Samson, not Sampson! I noticed other folks misspelling it too.

Chuck said...

Yipes! I completely fouled that up! (I blame my editor.) Thanks for the save, Pete - now corrected!