Friday, May 16, 2014

Number 1577: Samson, tearin' down the house

Samson is the Old Testament hero, done here in a non-biblical style for Fox Features’ Fantastic Comics #1, 1939. We are only reminded of the Samson of the Bible by his long hair, and that he has a tendency to tear down buildings. This is the first Samson story. without an origin. It just drops him into the modern-day action of a would-be world conqueror plot.

The character was updated by the Eisner-Iger Studio, which provided the ready-made contents for publisher Victor Fox. The page style with large, open panels, and minimal dialogue, also has those annoying captions — which sit at the bottom of the panels and describe to us what we have just seen in the picture — the plague (non-biblical)  of many early Golden Age comics.

The story is credited to “Alec Boon,” a pseudonym for artist Alex Blum.

My favorite panel is on the last page, where Samson, dressed only in furry shorts and sandals, fights off a bunch of guys in futuristic costumes with antennae coming out of their headgear. Samson challenges them with, “Come on you barbarians!”

My scans come from a reprinting of the story in Samson #1 (1940):


Charlie Saint said...

Check out this comic and link

Daniel [] said...

Samson is so strong that he doesn't need much weight to pull an airplane from the sky. (I'm reminded of how the Hulk once changed course in mid air, by brute force alone.)

Your objection to superfluous narrative had me thinking, as I read this story, of how it would seem if all of the narrative and dialogue were removed.

Pappy said...

Daniel, Superman used to lift buildings by holding on to one corner, so what's so tough about Samson pulling down an airplane, or even lifting a tank? Those superguys could defy the laws of physics any time they wanted to.

Henry R. Kujawa said...

Fascinating. No connection to Gold Key's MIGHTY SAMSON (by Frank Thorne), which in turn was apparently a major influence on THUNDARR THE BARBARIAN.

The BOY'S LIFE "Stories From The Bible" series covered the Biblical SAMSON 6 times (so far) between 1955-2011. Here's all of them collected on one page!