Doctor Leonard Samson, better known as âDoc Samson,â? strides down the corridor and into the classroom, massive muscles rippling beneath his skin-tight red costume. He sports a long mane of hair, just like his biblical namesake (except the real Samsonâs hair wasnât green, presumably).
Today, Doc Samson, taking a welcome break from his crime fighting, is visiting the children at his old Hebrew school to tell them all about Chanukah. Itâs a very special occasion, so Doc Samsonâs wearing a navy kippa along with his skin-tight red costume. The teacher, an aging bubbe named Mrs. Klein, proudly introduces our colorful hero: âI was his teacher here at the yeshiva when he was a very little boy.â?
Rabbi Simcha Weinstein, author of Up, Up and Oy Vey!: How Jewish History, Culture and Values Shaped the Comic Book Superhero explains how superheroes can make the story of Chanukah come alive and sets the stage for a radio show you may want to listen for:
I just contributed to a Public Radio International special called âChanukah: A Time for Superheroes,â? set to air during the holiday season. Writers Michael (Kavalier and Clay) Chabon, Neil (Sandman) Gaiman, Stan (Spider-Man) Lee and The New Yorkerâs Jeffrey Goldberg explore the legends of ancient and modern Israel that have shaped todayâs Jewish psyche. The show also features an audio voyage to Joe (Sgt. Rock) Kubertâs cartooning school in New Jersey, where Irwin (the Green Lantern) Hasen teaches, and visits with Joker creator Jerry Robinson. These genre celebrities recount the story of Chanukah through their own experiences. And sure enough, many of them cite biblical archetypes as the inspiration for their comic book creations.