|Far left: Mighty Samson #2 (1965), |
Middle and Far Right: Project Superpowers #4 (2008).
|Cover to Project Superpowers #4|
(2008) by Alex Ross.
|Cover to Mighty Samson #2 (1965),|
no art credits given.
|A beardless Mighty Samson |
attempted a comeback in 2010
lasting 4 issues.
|Mighty Samson as rendered |
on the cover to SuperPowers:
Meet the Bad Guys #3 (2009)
by Alex Ross.
The Project Superpowers character (an amalgam of both Gold Key's and the even older Fox Feature Syndicate version) was the first time he is depicted with a beard. This is an older, more experienced (and completely--not just his left eye--blinded) version of the character who's beard is used to reflect the wizened perspective. As was the case with the majority of Golden Age characters re-introduced to the comic book collector with both SuperPowers' series (as well as one-shots and minis), Mighty Samson was rarely afforded the narrative spotlight but was more often than not used as background fodder. This is not to suggest the characterization was weak, just that here were so many characters vying for time in a book featuring over twenty Golden Age superheroes in any given issue.
As uncommon as unshaven super men are in comic books now, it makes sense that those published during the Golden Age would be even less likely; the negative association attributed to those with beards (as well as the adolescent comic book fans' inability to emulate any whiskered favorite character) would make such a characterization nuance difficult to make profitable. Perhaps someday, as the no-shave aesthetic becomes more mainstream, the comic book world will be ready for the first full bearded superhero!