Friday, November 18, 2005

Doc Samson Vs. Samson

[NB: this silliness originally posted March '05]

Just in time to miss St. Patrick's Day (Erin Go Bragh!), we have a match-up with a green-haired feller. Course, this guy ain't Irish (evidence suggests he's Jewish). It's Dr. Leonard Samson, a.k.a. Doc Samson. What a goddam brilliant nom de superhero! A brawny man with a ponytail and often (when drawn by John Byrne) sporting one of the most ludicrous costumes this side of Kraven the Hunter, but still a guy not to be messed with. Today he faces a man who may be the first super-hero ever. A mere mortal with specific godlike power, an orgin, a common and specific weakness, and a femme fatale arch-nemesis, he was put onto parchment around 1000 BC. All he lacked was a secret identity. It's the Doc's namesake, that Israelite Bloodthirsty Brawler of the Bible, son of Manoah, the original Samson.

I'm probably the only person in the world to ever admit this, but I'm a Doc Samson fan. He's been written badly, and used poorly, but I think the idea is a great one: a man of words and intellect, trapped in a way in an imposing, super-powered body, that almost mandates that he resolve conflict with his fists, however reluctantly, rather than with reason. (I like the equally reluctant super-hero Black Goliath for the same reasons.) In the right hands, he makes a superb foil for the Hulk for all Banner's many fragmented psyches. He may use his power as a last resort, but he's got plenty of it and the smarts to use it well.

Samson, on the other hand --- and I know he was a vessel for God's power, and, truly, I'm not questioning my Lord here --- was about as smart as a dead catfish. Look at Judges 16. Delilah tries to weasel the secret of his strength out of Samson, and each time he lies, she betrays him. You'd think he'd have sussed her out by the fourth time she does this; she doesn't exactly have his best interest at heart, right? No, the lunkhead eventually tells her the truth. So he gets captured, blinded and mocked. Did he think she was kidding when the Philistines rushed in the other three times? Way to think with the little head, Samson.

So, based on that evidence, I'd say the Jade Giant --- well, the jade-haired big guy, anyway ---would find a way to hand Samson his ass in due course. 'Course, there's no accounting for where or when the Spirit of the Lord might show up, but I'd say that applies in everything else, as well. So all things being equal...

The Champ, and what an ass he looks, too, eh? Posted by Hello

Next: "Martian vision"

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