Long before Thor started swinging Mjolnir in the pages of Marvel Comics, another mythological demi-god strode the four-color pages of the Golden Age, dispensing justice.
Samson smashed his way (literally) thru the cover of Fantastic Comics #1 in 1939, keeping the cover slot to heimself for the book's entire run!
Most of the early covers (like the one shown here) were illustrated by classically-trained Lou Fine, one of comics' best draftsmen, perfectly-suited to drawing a mythological hero!
At first, Samson was just a super-strong guy who wore shorts and sandals and beat up baddies.
But, when he received his own comic book a year later, readers were clued into his origin.
In Samson #1, we learned he was a direct descendant of the Biblical hero, possessed of his ancestor's powers (Super strength, speed and invulnerability)...and his weakness!
Yes, if his hair was cut, he'd lose his strength! (You'd be surprised how many criminals carried around a convenient pair of scissors!) Fortunately, his hair grew at an accelerated rate, so that his periods of incapacitation tended to be days, if not hours! (Hey, it was the 1940s. Outlandish explanations for these things were the norm.)
When he gained his own book, he also picked up a sidekick; David, an orphan he rescued from a crashed plane. David had no superpowers and served as a sounding board for the hero and occasional hostage for Samson to rescue.
Samson kept going for several years until the publisher cancelled Fantastic Comics and tossed Samson out of his own comic, retitling it Captain Aero, and featuring a patriotic, Blackhawk-type, aviator!
There was a brief three-issue revival in the early 1950s, then Samson vanished!
But, you can't keep a good hero down!
Not one, but TWO publishers have recently revived him!
First, Alex Ross made him a lead character in Project SuperPowers, a new series that features Golden Age characters transplanted to the present day.
(In fact, the current issue cover-features him!)
Then Erik Larsen brought him back in The Next Issue Project, which revives long-dead comics series and continues their numbering (and their storylines) from their last published issue in the 1940s! (In the case of Fantastic Comics, which ended with #23 in 1942, Larson published Fantastic Comics #24, starring Samson, in 2008, 66 years later!)
To add to that, we at Atomic Kommie Comics™ proudly return comics' first demi-god to his rightful place in the pantheon of the Lost Heroes of the Golden Age of Comics™ with five different covers including his first and final appearances, on t-shirts, mousepads, mugs, and many other goodies!
PLUS: we've just added a Classic Samson 2010 12-Month Calendar featuring a dazzling dozen of his best Golden Age covers!
So, why not do a Christmas "gift package" of, say the hardcover Project SuperPowers collected edition and a Samson shirt, mug, or 12-month calendar?
Show your loved one that you respect their hobby, and want to give them something unique to enable them to enjoy it!
Isn't that what Christmas is about? ;-)