Monster of the Day #871

Man, Marvel and DC may have cornered the superhero thing in the ’60s, but Gold Key was really cornering the monster market. I think they weren’t subscribers to the Comics Code, and therefore could do a lot more monster oriented stuff (maybe).

This is the first issue of The Mighty Samson, a book I was never aware of. The cover, aside from being beautiful (I again call for a book featuring the wonderful painted covers this company put out), really establishes everything you need to know about the book’s premise.

I don’t think the convenience stores by me stocked a lot of Gold Key, past the Boris Karloff title. Either that or I gravitated to the Marvel stuff, although it seems unlikely that Young Ken would have so thoroughly ignored all the dinosaurs and giant insects and whatnot.

Pretty neat, nonetheless.

  • Flangepart

    Ah, yes!
    In ol’ Nyrk. The post apoc scene by Gold Key. neat.

  • Gamera977

    Weird and wonderful find there Ken. I first saw Samson in the fur toga and the loin and thought at first it was a comic about the Old Testament hero! Then I noticed the background and the four-armed chimpanzee! I know nothing about this but a comic about a Jewish bodybuilder traveling a post doomsday world kicking ass would be pretty awesome. Never mind the two beasts in front of you Samson- look out for Delilah behind you!

  • bgbear_rnh

    I know there is a lot going on here but, all I can respond to at the moment is that I often forget that mailboxes used to be red and blue.

  • Reed

    Two things stand out to me about this cover:
    1 – There appears to be a large green snake sticking out of spider monkey’s ass. No wonder he’s angry!
    2 – Sampson is using GYMKATA!

  • bgbear_rnh

    A really nice relatively clean looking post apocalyptic scene I might add.

  • Flangepart

    And taxi’s were blue and yellow. Plus I envision the ghost of Ralph Cramden yelling “To da moon, Alice!”

  • bgbear_rnh

    I wonder if he will run into “Hercules in New York”?

  • Ericb

    The world had been brought to its knees by the …


  • Rock Baker

    Samson seems to have brought along the one item Turok was missing: a female sidekick! The only thing that kept Turok from being the greatest comic of all time was that Andar was a young man rather than a young lady. (But then, even given the conspicuous lack of any pulchritudinous characters, Turok was still the single greatest comic of all time!)

  • sandra

    That looks more like a cactus than a snake to me. No wonder the chimp is mad !

  • Petoht

    I was just thinking it was really conveniant that those gymnast rings were right there for him to use.

  • Luke Blanchard

    Dark Horse has published several Gold Key MIGHTY SAMSON collections in recent years.

    Marvel went through a monster phase starting in the late 50s before switching to superheroes. At the height of this phase the covers of the relevant titles usually featured large images of a monster drawn by Jack Kirby, and blurbs that supplied them with lurid names. See the covers of AMAZING ADVENTURES (1961 series), the covers of TALES OF SUSPENSE (1959 series) and TALES TO ASTONISH (1959 series) before the lead slots in those titles were taken over by superheroes, and STRANGE TALES (1951 series) from about #70-#100 and JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY (1952 series) from about #52-#82.

    A few further covers in this vein also appeared on issues of WORLD OF FANTASY (1956 series) towards the end, on the short-lived STRANGE WORLDS (1958 series), and on AMAZING ADULT FANTASY (1961 series), which last was devoted to work by Steve Ditko and had covers by him.

    Hangovers from this monster phase were present in Marvel’s early 60s superhero comics. If one counts the Skrulls there were monsters in the first four issues of FANTASTIC FOUR, and a giant monster was centrally featured on the cover of #1. The Hulk met the alien Toad Men in THE INCREDIBLE HULK #2. Thor’s first story in JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #83 pitted him against the Stone Men of Saturn. Even Spider-Man met invading aliens in the Tinkerer story in THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #2. The cover of JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #97, featuring Thor and the Lava-Man, recycled the layout and monster concept from the cover of TALES OF SUSPENSE #7.

    A number of the monsters from the monster era were later used in Marvel Universe stories. Fin Fang Foom from STRANGE TALES #89 has been used in each decade since, and has just appeared again. The Hulk from JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #62 and #66 came back as Xemnu the Titan. The Colossus from TALES OF SUSPENSE #14 and #20 even briefly appeared in his own series, “It! The Living Colossus!”, in ASTONISHING TALES (1970 series) ##21-24.

  • Luke Blanchard

    I couldn’t work in mention of it, as it predates the period I was describing, but I’m particularly fond of the cover of Marvel’s WORLD OF MYSTERY #1, drawn by Bill Everett. If you check this one out follow it up with a look at DC’s THE ADVENTURES OF REX THE WONDER DOG #29.

  • Luke Blanchard

    It’s not really typical of the series, but also check out the cover of RAWHIDE KID (1960 series) #22.

  • Eric Hinkle

    I also remember this one Hulk Annual that had old Greenskin battle it out with several of the classic Marvel monsters like Groot, Taboo, and Xemnu the Titan.

  • Luke Blanchard

    The Mighty Samson stories from the issue can currently be read online in a preview of MIGHTY SAMSON ARCHIVES VOLUME 1 at Google Books.