Monday, October 11, 2010

Nothing Like the Mighty Samson

The first post-apocalyptic series in comics was DC’s Atomic Knights (which I’ve discussed previously), which was released in a collection earlier this year. The second series showcasing post-nuclear holocaust heroics was Gold Key’s The Mighty Samson debuting a year after the fall of the Atomic Knights. Dark Horse has started releasing the series in archive editions, and its full of plenty of post-apocalyptic weirdness for gaming inspiration.

The Mighty Samson was the creation of Otto (Captain Marvel) Binder and Frank (Ghita of Alizarr) Thorne. Samson lived in a devastated, fallen world, but The Road this was not. In fact, the amount of undecayed detritus of civilization laying around puts this firmly in the “junkyard future” camp of the likes of Thundarr the Barbarian.

Samson is mutant, born with superhuman strength and resilience. Even in his youth, he’s a hero to his primitive tribe in the land of N’Yark, where the jungle overgrows the ruin of Manhattan. Samson teams up with a wannabe scientist and his daughter who are trying to rediscover the technology of the ancients. He battles a lot of portmanteau monsters like the liobear, and this guy:

Besides monsters, Samson contends with the evil of man. And of women, too--particularly the technology-seeking, choker-wearing, Terra of Jerz, whose’s always trying to invade N’Yark and woo Samson to her side.

The Might Samson stories are certainly of their era, which means they're not as action-packed as modern comics, nor are the characters terribly deep. Still, there’s a lot of crazy invention in these tales making them worth looking into for anybody playing Gamma World or any other science fantasy, post-apocalyptic game.


Jim Shelley said...

I've never heard of this series, but damn if it doesn't look like something I would love!

Btw - your mention of Thundarr the Barbarian reminds me - did you realize they finally released a collected edition of the series on DVD recently?

Jay said...

I wondered about these, thanks for providing some background. I'd blogged a while back about the archives coming out, but I'd not heard of it previous to stumbling across it on the Dark Horse website.

It looks like they're giving ol' Sammy a reboot!

Brutorz Bill said...

Like that Mutant Monkey!! : )

Trey said...

@Jim - Yeah, manufacture on demand does it again!

@Jay - I saw that reboot when I was looking for art for the post. That will be...interesting, I guess.

@Bill -Six arms and antlers--he's the total package!

dicecipher said...

I remember reading miscellaneous issues of this comic at my grandma's house when I was a little kid.

Not only is Dark Horse re-booting him but they are publishing issues of the series in hardcover.