Real Name: Sammy Snodgrass
Identity/Class: Normal human (1950s Era)
Occupation: Professional gambler (? see comments)
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: The gang at Lefty's saloon (names unrevealed)
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: "Luckiest man in the world" (as called by Lefty)
Base of Operations: Lefty's saloon, somewhere in an unidentified American city
First Appearance: Uncanny Tales I#1/4 (June, 1952)
Powers/Abilities: Sammy was a sly and clever man who was extraordinarily lucky and claimed that he never lost a bet (his personal was motto: "I'll bet anybody, anything, anytime!"). He also seemed to be able to see beyond the "fourth wall" (see comments).
(Uncanny Tales I#1/4 (fb) - BTS) - The past of Sammy Snodgrass is unknown, but he gained quite a favorable reputation among his peers for his good luck.
(Uncanny Tales I#1/4) - One slow day in "Hades," "Satan" assumed mortal form and went to earth in search of new "tenants" for his infernal realm. He stopped in at Lefty's saloon, just to kill time and have a few drinks, when in walked an ordinary looking man who was enthusiastically greeted by the bar crowd. His curiosity aroused, "Satan" asked the bartender who the man was, and was told that he was Sammy Snodgrass, who never turned down a bet, and never lost. Impressed by Sammy's renown, "Satan" offered to buy him a drink, but Sammy declined the invitation ("Get lost, bub! I don't drink with strangers!"); the prince of darkness began to fume--he had never been spoken to in that manner before--but he kept his temper under control.
"Satan" made another attempt to talk to Sammy, but was once again rebuffed, so he smashed a table apart in anger and was determined to make Snodgrass one of his subjects in his hellish kingdom. The bartender--more than a bit peeved at having his furniture wrecked--ordered "Satan" to leave his bar, and some of Sammy's barroom buddies were happy to oblige; the men grabbed the prince of evil, gave him the "bum's rush" out the door, and threw him onto the sidewalk. Enraged by this affront, "Satan" stood up and was about to unleash his wrath upon the patrons of Lefty's, but decided instead to beat Snodgrass at his own game, so he sent Sammy a special delivery letter, challenging him to a bet, with promises of great wealth if he won--the demonic despot knew full well that the foolish mortal wouldn't be able to resist!
Sammy and "Satan" met on Tuesday night in an old cemetery, where the devil shed his mortal guise to reveal his true form. "Satan" told Sammy that he had the power to grant him any wish he desired, but stipulated that any mortal who entered into this pact with him would lose his soul to him when he died. And then "Satan" bet Sammy that he would refuse to let him grant him his wish. Sammy knew he was trapped, because he would lose either way--he could hardly keep his reputation of never turning down a bet if he declined the challenge--so he accepted the offer and agreed to let "Satan" grant him the wish. The prince of darkness jumped for joy--as soon as the wish was bestowed, he could claim the soul of Snodgrass! But then Sammy told him his wish was a simple one: He wished that "Satan" would never claim his soul. "Satan" found himself in a quandary--how could he claim Sammy's soul if his wish was never to have him claim it?! Sammy only told the devil that he'd leave it up to him to figure out, then said his good-bye and walked off. "Satan" descended back to his kingdom below with a roar that shook the very depths of the universe, because he realized he'd been outsmarted. As he sat on his throne in the land of eternal fire, trying to think of a solution to the conundrum, "Satan" realized he'd be spending a long, long time pondering that unanswerable question...
Comments: Created by Stan Lee (writer) and Paul Reinman (art).
This entire story was told from "Satan's" perspective, and Sammy Snodgrass was basically a secondary character (so there wasn't much insight into his character).
Sammy never mentioned any permanent line of work, so I'm guessing he was just one of those guys who makes his living with the winnings from assorted poker games, crap games, horse races, etc.
In regards to Sammy being able to see past the "fourth wall": In the story panel where he fooled "Satan," Sammy looked out at the readers and winked.
Since Sammy found that loophole out of his deal with the devil, maybe an unintended consequence was that he would never die. Maybe "Satan" now found himself contractually-bound to preserve Sammy's life until he found a solution to the perplexing puzzle created by the wish, and he had to work behind-the-scenes to protect Sammy from any potential fatalities that might come his way--so, in effect, perhaps "Satan" would have to act as Sammy's "guardian angel" (Now there's irony!).
Sammy kind of reminds me of an American version of DC's John Constantine (the character from their "Hellblazer" series); in particular, this story reminded me of the excellent "Dangerous Habits" storyline running in Hellblazer #s 41-46 (wherein the chain-smoking Constantine learned he had terminal lung cancer, but eventually made his own deal with the devil and tricked him into curing him--Constantine even had the nerve to give him "the finger" afterward).
I guess "Satan" could have really been any one of the numerous demonic entities who've used that name at one time or another--Mephisto, Nyarlathotep, Satan, Satannish, etc. (...although I'll bet none of these guys would ever admit to being duped by a mortal so easily).
And a BIG Thank You to The Horrors of It All for the scans!
Profile by John Kaminski.
Sammy Snodgrass name has no known connections to:
"Satan" has no known connections to:
The apparent Prince of Darkness (...or, considering how easily he got fooled, maybe "Prince of DIMNESS" would be a more fitting title), he was the ruler of "Hades". He had the power to grant mortals their fondest wishes, all for the cost of their souls. He took mortal form and went to earth, where he met the acquaintance of Sammy Snodgrass, but eventually found himself trapped in a logic loop when the clever Snodgrass outwitted him.
--Uncanny Tales I#1/4
Uncanny Tales I#1/4, p5, pan2 (main image)
Other Appearances: None
Last updated: 03/21/10
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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