Occupation Would-be world conqueror; former laborer
Place of Birth
Superhuman intelligence, telepathy, psychokinesis
Working as a laborer in a government-owned chemical research facility in the Nevada desert, Samuel Sterns was caught in an explosion when a cylinder of radioactive waste he was moving unexpectedly blew up. Recovering in the hospital, he discovered he had an insatiable thirst for knowledge and rapidly read through every book he could lay his hands on.
Weeks later, Sam underwent a physical transformation as well: his skin turned green and his skull expanded upwards. Calling himself the "Leader," he organized a spy ring to steal scientific secrets, only to find the Hulk an impediment to his plans. Desiring to study the Hulk, he first sent the Chameleon and then synthetic "humanoids" to capture the Hulk. This began what would become a long-standing feud between the Leader and the Hulk. (Click on the highlighted names above to learn more about the characters.)
Time and again, the Leader would use others to battle his foe. Some of those he has employed over time have been the Rhino, the Glob, Jackdaw, and Arsenal. He even worked with General Thunderbolt Ross on one occasion. (Click on the characters' names above to learn more about them.)
One time he forced the Hulk to raid the Watcher’s home in the Blue Area of the Moon for the advanced technology within. The Hulk successfully retrieved the Ultimate Machine (a.k.a. the Globe of Ultimate Knowledge), but when the Leader accessed the millions of years’ worth of information within the Machine, even his advanced mind was overwhelmed and he collapsed to the ground, seemingly dead. (To learn more about the Watcher, click on his name above.)
However, he was alive. Unfortunately, later in a lab accident, the Leader was left paralyzed for a prolonged period. During this time he initially used a mind-controlled Rhino to do his bidding. After some time, Leader finally regained the use of his limbs by deliberately reverting back to the form of Samuel Sterns, whose amnesiac form then followed subconscious orders to infiltrate Gamma Base where he exposed himself to radiation to transform back into the Leader. This usurping of the Base, like the previous time, was brought to an end by the combined forces of the Hulk and Doc Samson. (To learn more about Doc Samson, just click on his name above.)
Many of the Leader’s schemes have involved plots to transform others into gamma-mutates under his control. One time, on the pretext of seeking a cure for the Hulk, he duped Dr. Rikki Keegan (a school friend of Banner’s) into obtaining blood samples from his foe. He used these to contaminate Manhattan’s water supply, causing a “Green Flu” which would mutate those it did not kill. However, Keegan mutated into a Leader-like being more powerful than her creator, and in order to prevent her from telekinetically wrecking all his equipment, the Leader was forced to administer the antidote, which was then used to cure the rest of the victims.
Later, the Leader traveled back in time to Earth’s primeval past to alter mankind’s evolution so that all humanity would become gamma people. However, this plan brought him into conflict with the Avengers as well as his old adversary, and he apparently plunged to his death into a prehistoric volcano. However, thanks to a hidden teleportation device, he survived. (Click on the highlighted name to learn more about the Avengers.)
Eventually the Leader’s mutation destabilized, and he reverted back to his human form. Seeking to regain his heightened intellect, he drained gamma radiation from Rick Jones (who at that point was suffering from Hulk-like transformations). Stern became the Leader once again, but now with a psychic link to Jones. Using new operatives Half-Life, Rock, and Redeemer, the Leader lured the gray Hulk to Middletown, Arizona, where he detonated a gamma bomb while the Hulk was holding it above his head. Believing the Hulk to be dead, the Leader gathered together the handful of Middletown survivors and formed them into the Riot Squad. Sometime later, after discovering the Hulk had survived, the Leader assisted him in battling Sterns’ brother, now the superhuman known as Madman. (To learn about the characters above, just click on their highlighted names. Note: Beware of the background of the picture of Rick Jones' bio page--woman in a revealing dress.)
Some time later, he apparently controlled Omnibus and created a terrorist organization called “The Alliance.” With The Alliance, Leader sought to destabilize the world and plunge it into war, only to have the Hulk thwart him once again. (To learn about Omnibus, click on the highlighted name above.)
After some time, Leader made himself a home in Gammaworld where he encountered Hulk's former allies, the Warbound. Wanting the Oldpower of Hiroim, the Leader used the townspeople to create a new monster called Horde to battle them. Ultimately, Hiroim sacrificed himself to stop the Leader, and the Oldpower was kept out of his grasp. (Click on the highlighted names above to learn about the characters, team, and/or power.)
Even though the Leader founded the Intelligencia, he is content in letting M.O.D.O.K. call the shots so long as their ultimate goal is achieved.
To learn more about the Leader, click on the following link, http://marvel.com/universe/Leader_%28Samuel_Sterns%29.
I read that Tim Blake Nelson, who plays Samuel Sterns in The Incredible Hulk movie, said that he has signed up for two more Hulk movies, and to play as Leader. However, there is no evidence yet that they are going to be actually making those movies.