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Mighty Sampson (1964)
Fiction Review by The Gravedigger

Mighty Sampson (1964) It is hundreds of years after nuclear war has devastated civilization and the glowing radiation cloud that encircles the planet has spawned countless mutations, many of them unlikely animal hybrids such as the octosaur, the giant four-armed gorillas with antlers and the flying hyenas. In the N'Yark tribe a boy is born with the strength of ten men and his mother names him Sampson, based on the old tale of the strong man. He grows up to be a protector of his people. But a battle with a huge Liobear (cross between a lion and a bear) leaves him blinded in one eye and wounded. A red-headed young woman named Charmaine finds him and fixes him up with an ancient med-kit. When he recovers enough to walk she takes him to her father, Mindor. He's a scientific type and wears a white lab coat. He's a big nerd and is enthusiastic about learning the secrets of the ancients.

In the first two issues they encounter a woman, Terra of Jerz, who is from a bunker in New Jersey,. She uses the locals to resupply her with atomic batteries to power her home. Her ancestors had taken refuge in a bomb shelter before the war. In the next issue, a chemical plant in Brooklyn is burning, creating a deadly cloud. Sampson and his friends look for an underground bunker where they can hide the N'yark tribe and stumble across a sealed room that contains a 20th century human in suspended animation. Ironically, he's the one responsible for the chemical plant and it's up to him to stop the problem, at the cost of his own life.

In "The Metal Stealers" a group of viking-like raiders are ransacking the metal from the old bridges and other ancient structures. Sampson fights a giant toad. When Mindor finds out that they are taking the Statue of Liberty apart he wants to stop them, because of what that statue represented in the past. Sampson is captured by the neo vikings and fights a weird ice-bear in their arena. In "The Death Geysers" the group find a man named Vaxar washed up on the Huz'n River. Around this time they also encounter a human-like mutant that has horns and the head of a lion. What they don't realize is that Vaxar transforms into this creature every time he's exposed to radioactivity. The sixth issue has the return of Terra of Jerz and she has this flying saucer type aircraft. She wants to recover the fuel cells from some fallen satellites. But it's also brought a strange vacuum monster with it. Sampson also battles a huge spidersaurus, which is a spider with the head of a T-Rex!.

The thing I like best are the painted covers of Sampson fighting all these weird mutants.

This comic definitely inspired the THUNDAR THE BARBARIAN animated series--it's just too similar. Along with TUROK and KONA, this is the coolest sci-fi title from the 60's.

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