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Doc Samson #4: Review

Apr 1996
?, ?

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The Final Analysis

Review & Comments

4 stars

Doc Samson #4 Review by (September 14, 2022)

Review: The climactic issue begins with a bizarrely pointless visit to the publishers of a men’s magazine to set a trap for Patchwork which ends up being totally unnecessary when Doc figures out who the villain really is, seems to exist only so the reader can imagine Geiger naked. Said trap wouldn’t have worked anyway, since an issue featuring Geiger’s photos would take months to hit the newsstands and the murder case was more urgent than that. On an interesting note, an Instagram account (or an OnlyFans) would have worked but we’re only in 1996 here. The remaining three-quarters of the story gets back to the matter at hand, Doc Samson decides he is a superhero after all (look! He has his own miniseries!) and saves the villain’s life. It makes a nice wrap-up to the rather interesting tale, marred only by the usual 1990s art excesses (and the nudie magazine subplot).

Comments:Playpen” magazine is a thinly-disguised parody of PLAYBOY. Geiger/Dee Dee Dearborn returns in AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE #8 and remains there for a while. The Samson and Delilah references, along with the lock of hair refer to a well-known Biblical account found in Judges 16 of the Old Testament. Pencils by Roberto Flores, Andrew Wildman, and Joe Bennett. Dan Slott and Evan Skolnick are the credited writers.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Doc Samson #4 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Geiger carries Detective Trina Sharp (who really doesn’t like it) through the city, following Doc Samson’s gamma signature; at the subway scene of the most recent Patchwork murder, they learn that Samson was just there, leaving the corner of a magazine cover for Sharp. They then follow him to the hospital where Jen “She-Hulk” Walters is recuperating from her encounter with Patchwork (issue #2) and thence to a newsstand where they find Samson buying men’s magazines. From there, Samson leads them to the publishing office of the magazine; the torn cover shows Patchwork is a reader of such magazines and if they published a photo of a green-haired woman, they can set a trap for the killer. Geiger knows who this “model” is going to be and objects so Samson ties to talk her into it. Lorna “Polaris” Dane, one of Doc Samson’s patients, comes looking for him as he has been putting off her session for days. Samson sits down with her to hear about her romantic troubles with Havok—and then something she says triggers a memory and he knows who Patchwork is. He tells Sharp and the cops that Kyle Barker, the young man whom Doc saved from killing himself (issue #1), is Patchwork, as Kyle said something on the phone that Samson had only said to the killer. It turns out that Kyle Barker does photo work for the police and is in the building at that time. They race downstairs and confront him but he changes into Patchwork and fights them off but the sight of Geiger causes him to freak out and crash through the walls. As Geiger and Samson hold the building up, the monster gets away. Doc asks Geiger to go home for her safety and apologizes for asking her to pose nude for a men’s magazine; she asks him to call her by her nickname, “Delilah.” Samson is startled but advises Sharp to post Barker’s photo everywhere to force him out….

At the hospital, sleazy reporter Rudy Pinkerton is trying to interview the recuperating Jen Walters; he makes her so mad she transforms into She-Hulk and clobbers him. Doc Samson arrives and explains it was his idea of aggression therapy and was successful in her recovery. And he then informs Pinkerton that he missed the news of the discovery of Patchwork’s identity….

A visit to the psychiatric hospital where Kyle had been held reveals he had a collection of photos of gamma radiation—like the kind found at the particle accelerator at the University…

…where Dee Dee is now, learning that Patchwork has been unmasked as Kyle Barker who used to take pictures of the accelerator. So Geiger, Samson, She-Hulk, Polaris, and Detective Sharp all converge on the accelerator and discover Patchwork preparing to kill himself with a lethal dose of radiation. Polaris wraps herself and Samson in a protective energy bubble as the radiation is let loose but Doc, deciding he is a superhero after all, pushes his way out and turns off the reactor, saving the villain’s life.…

The next day, Doc Samson, dressed in an oversized suit of red armor, speaks with the press, explaining why he will be testifying in Patchwork’s defense at his trial—because it was the gamma radiation that turned him into the living embodiment of his darkest desires. Doc again postpones Lorna’s sessions, gives a lock of his hair to “Delilah” to stabilize any further gamma incidents, and presents Detective Sharp with a bill….

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Brad Vancata
Tom Ziuko
Ken Lashley (Cover Penciler)
John Nyberg (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Jack Morelli.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Doc Samson
Doc Samson

(Leonard Samson)

(Lorna Dane)

(Jennifer Walters)

Plus: Geiger (Dee Dee Dearborn).

> Doc Samson: Book info and issue index

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