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December 9, 2010

Exclusive with Jim Shooter on the return of Mighty Samson!

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Written by: Drew
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Today here on we have an exclusive for you with the legendary Jim Shooter on the upcoming return of Mighty Samson to comics, coming out next week on stands from Dark Horse!

COMICATTACK: I’m really excited about Mighty Samson getting a revival finally, however, unlike Turok or Magnus (which you’re doing an amazing job on by the way), Mighty Samson was never given a revival before. Tell us what made you and Dark Horse decide to chose Mighty Samson to be revived from all the Gold Key characters?

JIM SHOOTER: Thanks for the kind words. I didn’t do a revival of Mighty Samson back in the ancient VALIANT days, but I wanted to and I would have, if I had stayed there. When Mike Richardson and I first started discussing the Dell/Gold Key characters, Samson was high on both our lists. We both loved the book when we were kids, we both think the concept is great and we both think it has tremendous, unfulfilled potential. I had some good ideas, I think, for how to develop it, Mike, as always made some good suggestions…and away we go.

CA: What do you love the most about Samson while writing his stories?

JS: When I write, it generally involves a lot of play-acting—pretty much what we all did when we were little kids, pretending to be soldiers or cowboys or super-heroes. These days I don’t tie the towel around my neck and fly around the back yard, but the mental process is more-or-less the same—I step into the situation, I take on the role and I play until I have a story. Samson is fun to play. Being Samson, being that strong, in a danger-filled time with the world at a watershed—it could begin to rise again from the ashes of the Apocalypse, or could fall deeper into horror and darkness, and it all depends on you—it’s a rush. Everything intensifies and magnifies. It’s a heroic, epic time, and Samson is the greatest force on Earth.

CA: From the artwork we’ve seen, it looks like we’re in store for a darker version of Mighty Samson than the man from the original Gold Key origins. Are you going for a grittier post-apocalyptic Samson, or are you still going to embody the reboot with a slight sense of fun in homage to Otto Binder’s take on the original?

JS: In the 1960’s, comics stories were presented pretty glibly, in sort of a shorthand. A spider bites you and you can stick to walls, pretty much anyone could have a whatever-mobile, a secret cave, a kid sidekick, and somehow your boxing glove arrows fit in that tiny quiver—and, to be fair, here, in 130 or so issues, two Native Americans couldn’t find their way out of a valley. And it was okay. Those were different, in some ways simpler times. Mighty Samson, as presented in 60’s shorthand seems light and funny by today’s reckoning, but think about it. It’s about people reduced to primitiveness in a world filled with horrors trying to scratch their way back from the Apocalypse. I didn’t change it at all, really—I’m just expressing it in 21st Century style. Readers now are more sophisticated and more demanding. Make a mistake, and because of guys like you and the Internet, even those who missed it will soon know all about it. The way I see it, Mighty Samson is both darker and lighter Darker because the gritty and grim things are expressed, not implied. Lighter because if the people are more real, if you can really relate, you laugh with them not at them when funny things happen—and they do, just like they do here with us, pre-Apocalypse. At least, that’s my plan.

CA: The original Mighty Samson stories are packed, aside from great action, with a great variety of characters. Aside from the title character, will we be seeing any other characters from the original, like Sharmine, Mindor, Queen Terra, etc.

JS: All of the above are back, and many more besides. I think they’re great, fascinating personalities. Plus, there are many new additions—the Lore-Speakers, Warlord Sunder, Dreadnought, Zarsk the Treacherous, the Scholars of Prinzten—to name a few.

CA: You’ve said all the Gold Key revivals are set in the same universe, just different time periods. So like when DC’s Kamandi found Superman’s costume, can we expect any cross-over here? Like artifacts left behind from Turok, Magnus stuck in ice, that sort of fun thing?

JS: Mighty Samson lives in the 27th Century. Some artifacts have survived since our time and even from more ancient times. It’s entirely possible that something associated with Doctor Solar could turn up. Okay, I admit it, we’ve got plans. Diabolical plans. The first hints are in issue#2. The guy who’s assisting me on Mighty Samson, J.C. Vaughn and I have developed some things that make me want to fly around the back yard. “Fun things,” indeed.


So there you have it, readers, sounds like Mighty Samson next week will be sure to please and there are a lot of cool things going around with these Gold Key revivals. Check out the titles in this amazing revival line as well as the classic reprints of Mighty Samson that Dark Horse is doing a beautiful job with as well. Special thanks to Mr. Shooter and Dark Horse Comics for taking the time to do this with us!

Drew McCabe



  1. Deron

    Not to sure about this stuff. Valiant had it’s day and it tanked. I’d love to see Byrne bring back the Next Men. Maybe some rich nut could buy the Malibu Comics from marvel and bring it back. 🙂

  2. Billy

    Great interview Drew. Shooter is the man!

  3. […] readers what they would want in a book like this (and from the sounds of our conversation with Shooter on Mighty Samson, they have much, much more where this first issue came […]

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