Exposed to gamma radiation, chemical research worker Samuel Sterns gains more brainpower, green skin, and an expanded skull. Using his newfound intelligence, he creates an international spy ring to steal scientific secrets. He is the megalomaniac known as the Leader and one of the Hulk’s foremost foes.
A New Heading
For every yin, there is a yang. Gamma radiation releases Bruce Banner’s subconscious rage, giving it physical form as the Hulk, an embodiment of strength. So perhaps high school dropout Sam Sterns’ desire to be more like his scientist brother, Dr. Phillip Sterns, causes him to transform into the hyper-intelligent Leader when he, too, experiences gamma radiation exposure. Working as a laborer in a government-owned chemical research facility in the Nevada desert, Sterns ends up in an explosion when a radioactive waste cylinder unexpectedly blows up. Recovering in the hospital, he discovers an insatiable thirst for knowledge, and rapidly reads every book he can get his hands on. Weeks pass and Sam’s skin turns green while his skull expands upwards. Calling himself the Leader, he uses his gamma-spawned intelligence to build secret bases across the world and creates an international spy ring to steal scientific secrets.
Ahead of the Curve
The Leader possesses above-genius level intelligence, granting him enhanced intuition, pattern solving, information storage and retrieval, and logical and philosophical structuring abilities. The Leader is an expert in most scientific fields, particularly genetics and robotics.
After his second mutation, he could control the minds of non-gamma irradiated individuals with whom he came into physical contact. He can also create mental illusions and generate psychokinetic energy bolts. The Leader uses his advanced brain to generate force fields, instill mental blocks in others’ minds, erase others’ memories, and brainwash others into a zombie-like state. Additionally, through his psychic link to Rick Jones, the Leader gains professional level guitar skills.
The Leader uses a variety of synthetic robots known as Humanoids, which he can control mentally, the majority of which are plastic in structure, able to absorb great impacts, deform under stress, and then return to normal. The Leader has also used a variety of gigantic Humanoids, such as the Super-Humanoid, his 500-foot-tall Humanoid, and a giant Humanoid composed of hundreds of individual Humanoids. The Leader has also employed a variety of robots, including duplicates of influential people.
He has utilized advanced technology, including the Murder Module, and his “kinetron” gloves that redirect the force of an enemy’s blows back at them. The Leader often utilizes teleportation devices to escape death and develops his own time machine. He creates Omnivac, a highly intelligent computer, which exists as both a robot in semi-humanoid form as well as the controlling force within his orbiting space station.
While attempting to steal an armored suit designed by Dr. Bruce Banner, the Leader first encountered Banner’s alter ego the Hulk, setting off a series of battles between the two. Although the Leader would propose an alliance of his brainpower and the Hulk’s strength, the Hulk had enough sense to distrust the Leader’s ambitions.
When the Hulk allies himself with the extraterrestrial Warbound, the Leader takes an interest in Hiroim, who draws tectonic power from the Earth itself using the Oldpower. The Leader seeks to claim the Oldpower for himself and Hiroim ultimately perishes in defiance of the Leader. However, the Leader soon learns that the Hulk’s own son Skaar possesses the Oldpower and continues his quest to master it.
Knock Heads Together
Sam looks up to his older brother Phillip, the scientist, and sees him as the smartest man he has ever known, until he becomes The Leader. With his increased intelligence, he feels alone against the world. When his brother becomes the Super Villian known as Madman, his relationship with Phil gets complicated. Believing him to be a threat but unwilling to kill him, the Leader gives up his brother’s location to the Hulk.
For a time, the Leader joins the alliance of masterminds called the Intelligencia in various quests for knowledge, but their team-up is ultimately unsustainable. Eventually the Leader sets off a gamma bomb in Middletown, Arizona, killing 5,000 people just to fashion new gamma-irradiated subjects. The five survivors of the disaster become some of the Leader’s top lieutenants, the Riot Squad, who base themselves in the town of Freehold below the icefields of northern Canada. One of his minions called Soul Man resurrects then-deceased General Thaddeus Ross, turning him into the Leader’s lackey Redeemer (later Red Hulk).
Once, the Leader perishes while fighting the Hulk, but his mind survives the death of his body and he takes possession of his subordinate Omnibus, until the Riot Squad turn on Omnibus and send him to his death.
When the Leader drains the radiation from Rick Jones, he ends up psychically linked to him, and able to experience Rick’s feelings, such as empathy and grief.
Bringing Matters to a Head
The Leader’s path first crossed the Hulk’s when he sent a spy to Los Diablos Missile Base, AKA Desert Base, to steal an indestructible armored suit designed by Bruce Banner. The Hulk defeated the Leader’s spy, after which the Leader hired Dmitri Kravinof, AKA Chameleon, to infiltrate Desert Base, but the Chameleon was similarly defeated. The Leader then targeted another of Banner’s inventions, the Absorbatron, capable of absorbing a nuclear explosion’s force. To steal the Absorbatron, the Leader sent his new creation, a synthetic robot that he dubbed “the Humanoid.” After the Hulk deactivated the Humanoid by slamming it into a rock, the Leader sent an entire Humanoid horde, which fought the Hulk to a standstill. While the Leader’s forces fought the Hulk, the United States armed forces lowered the Absorbatron into an underground shelter. After this encounter, the Leader became determined to turn the Hulk into his ally, reasoning that with the Hulk’s strength and his own intelligence, they would be unbeatable.
The Leader’s Humanoid army subsequently captured both the Absorbatron and the Hulk, and returned both to one of the Leader’s hidden lairs. However, the Hulk escaped captivity and destroyed the Absorbatron, forcing the Leader’s retreat, and causing that particular lair to fall into the U.S. military’s hands. Later, when the military cornered the Hulk, the Leader offered to teleport him to safety in return for his allegiance. At the time, Bruce Banner was in control of the Hulk’s body, which had a bullet lodged in his brain, and his next transformation into Bruce Banner would kill him. Grudgingly, the Hulk accepted the Leader’s offer, and transported to one of the Leader’s bases in Italy where the Leader used his machinery to remove the bullet. Collecting on this debt, the Leader used his technology to send the Hulk to the extremely advanced home world of the Watchers to pillage its technology. The Hulk retrieved the Globe of Ultimate Knowledge (a conduit to the Ultimate Machine), but when the Leader donned it and accessed the universe’s accumulated knowledge, but even his advanced mind was overwhelmed and he collapsed, seemingly dead.
One of his Humanoids revived The Leader, and he resurfaced when General “Thunderbolt” Ross’ forces captured the Hulk, offering his assistance in creating a prison that would hold the Hulk indefinitely. The Leader constructed a “plasti-thene” cage that absorbed the Hulk’s blows and imprisoned the Hulk inside. The Leader then summoned his Super-Humanoid and proceeded to take over the entire base, planning to use its missiles to start World War III, and then conquer what was left of civilization. However, Ross’ daughter, Betty (later Red She-Hulk), freed the Hulk who defeated the Super-Humanoid and prevented World War III.
Soon after, the Leader attempted to steal the experimental Tripodal Observation Module military vehicle, nicknamed the “Murder Module” and guarded by Bruce Banner, who once again was in control of the Hulk’s body. The Leader entered the Module and fought with the Banner-controlled Hulk, who was victorious after his savage side began to reemerge. The Leader escaped, swearing to spoil his nemesis’ newfound happiness. Enlisting Alexei Sytsevich, AKA Rhino’s aid, the Leader used a device to restore the Hulk to his savage state during the wedding of Bruce Banner and Betty Ross. In the ensuing battle, the Leader accidentally struck Rhino with a blast of energy, after which the Rhino charged the Leader’s vehicle; the Leader ultimately escaped.
At some point, the Leader constructed as his main base an orbiting space station, as well as its artificial intelligence, both of which were called Omnivac. The Leader continued to be a thorn in the Hulk’s side, sending Joseph Timms, AKA the Glob, after him on one occasion, and later using military technology to cause the Hulk to see illusions of his enemies, hoping to stress the Hulk into having a heart attack. The Leader’s plans were thwarted on both occasions. The Leader later took over Hulkbuster Base, replacing General Ross and Major Glenn Talbot with robot duplicates, and planned to do the same to the U.S. president and vice president when they inspected the base. When the Hulk revealed his ruse, the Leader had all of his Humanoids fuse into one giant robot, which the Leader mentally controlled from his lair. The Hulk and Doc Samson defeated the robot, and the psychic feedback caused an explosion in the Leader’s lab that left him paralyzed; his body was transported to his space station. While paralyzed, the Leader briefly mind-controlled the Rhino to do his bidding, and wagered with former Xanthan leader Kurrgo, pitting Benjamin Grimm, AKA the Thing, and the Hulk in battle against one another, the winner gaining the right to use both “champions” in future machinations. Instead, the Thing and the Hulk discovered the villains’ treachery, and destroyed Kurrgo’s ship.
The Leader eventually regained mobility by deliberately reverting to the form of Sterns, whose amnesiac form then followed subconscious orders to infiltrate Gamma Base (the reformed Hulkbuster Base), where he exposed himself to radiation to transform back into the Leader. The Leader used his vast mental powers to take over Gamma Base, brainwashing most of the soldiers into near mindless loyal servants, and capturing General Ross, Clay Quartermain, and Doc Samson. The Leader intended to use Gamma Base’s technology to take control of all information and communication networks in the world, but the Hulk’s strength overcame the Leader’s technology yet again. The Leader next duped Dr. Rikki Keegan, a former classmate of Banner’s, into aiding him, allegedly to cure Banner of being the Hulk. From Banner’s blood, Keegan isolated the “gamma gene,” the apparent factor that allowed superhuman mutation in the face of massive gamma ray exposure. The Leader instead contaminated Manhattan’s water supply with this gamma gene, causing a “green flu” that mutated those it didn’t kill. Afflicted by this green flu, Keegan was mutated into a Leader-like being more powerful than her creator. To prevent her from telekinetically ruining his plans, the Leader administered an antidote to her, which was then used by the Avengers to cure the rest of the victims. Though seemingly perishing under rushing water, the Leader was recovered and revived by his Humanoids.
In two other villainous plots, the Leader attempted to take over a missile base in Texas, and later tried to steal a power generator designed to harness gamma radiation, but was thwarted by Spider-Man and the Hulk both times. The Leader then schemed to travel to Earth’s primordial past to alter mankind’s evolution so all humanity would become gamma people, subservient to him. He also hired the mercenary Heather O’Gara, AKA Jackdaw (later known as Blackbird) to assist him in gathering the necessary time-traveling technology. After determining the Hulk, now possessing Banner’s mind again and lacking his previous savagery and strength potential, was no longer a threat, the Leader departed for the past, leaving Omnivac to send any who would oppose him into various points in Earth’s past. While the Avengers fell victim to this, both the Hulk and Jennifer Walters, AKA She-Hulk, immune to this trap due to their gamma-powers (a safeguard the Leader had provided to protect himself), forced Omnivac to send them to recover the Avengers. The Avengers and the Hulk eventually confronted the Leader, knocking him into a prehistoric volcano. Though believed dead, he survived thanks to a hidden teleportation device. Jackdaw, meanwhile, who had been brutally “disciplined” by Omnivac for previously failing the Leader, dismantled Omnivac to foil his preventing the heroes’ return. The Leader next learned of the ancient and powerful Kimara trapped in Canada’s frozen north and tried to harness his power, but the country’s premier Super Hero team, Alpha Flight, defeated him.
Eventually, the Leader’s mutation destabilized, and he reverted to his human form. Seeking to regain his heightened intellect, he drained the gamma radiation from the recently Hulk-like Rick Jones. Sterns became the Leader again, with a new appearance, and a psychic link to Rick Jones. The Leader subsequently captured former Hulkbusters John LaRoquette and Craig Saunders, brainwashed them, and outfitted them with high-tech armors, turning them into his servants, Rock and Redeemer. Via these two, the Leader stole a gamma bomb from a U.S. military base and detonated it in Middletown, Arizona, killing 5,000 people. The radiation mutated the five survivors, giving them superhuman abilities. The Leader gathered the survivors, deceived them into believing that he had saved them from Middletown (later referred to as Gammatown)’s destruction and turned them into his loyal followers, the Riot Squad, intending for them to be the first of his new race of gamma people.
The Leader then created a town called Freehold, isolated beneath the icefields of northern Canada, and recruited people from across the world who were sick or dying from radiation to join his new community. Freehold’s citizens were unaware of the Leader’s evil ways and considered him their savior. The Leader claimed Freehold would form the basis of a new society after pollution and war wiped out the rest of humanity. In actuality, the Leader used some of the radiation victims for experiments, as when he created the cyborgs known as the Headshop. When the Leader’s brother, Phil Sterns, gained superhuman power as the psychopathic villain Madman, the Leader saw him as a potential threat, but was unwilling to kill his own brother. Instead, the Leader informed the Hulk of Madman’s location, leading his arch-foe to do his dirty work for him.
When the terrorist organization Hydra threatened Freehold, the Leader sought aid from the Pantheon, a group of heroes then allied with the Hulk. The Leader led his followers in an attack on the Pantheon’s Mount headquarters. A massive battle between the Hulk and his allies, and the Leader’s followers ensued, but was ceased when the Leader and the Pantheon’s leader, Agamemnon, came to an agreement in which the Leader would receive aid from the Pantheon, much to the Hulk’s rage. The Leader’s conflict with Hydra also coincided with another event: The Leader, still sharing a psychic link with Rick Jones, experienced the grief Jones felt over the recent death of his girlfriend, Marlo Chandler. The Leader approached Jones and offered to restore her life, using the power of his follower, the Soul Man. The Leader intended to use Rick Jones as a pawn against the Hulk and also planned to analyze the Soul Man’s powers in hopes of discovering a way to become immortal. When Hydra launched its attack on Freehold, the Hulk also arrived to settle old scores, and attacked the Leader, interrupting the process of bringing Marlo Chandler back to life. The Leader and his forces were defeated, and the Hulk used the Leader as a shield to stop Redeemer’s bullets before throwing him into a massive explosion.
The Leader survived in non-corporeal form and mentally controlled Omnibus, one of Freehold’s gamma mutates, using him to create a terrorist organization, the Alliance, with which he intended to destabilize the world and plunge it into war, only to be thwarted by the Hulk once again. The people of Freehold refused to believe Omnibus’ claims that the Leader had controlled him and exiled him to die in the snowy wastes. The non-corporeal Leader existed in the Below-Place, a space between life and death, where he would often end up between his deaths and resurrections, and he would return from death through a Green Door. When Banner was dying of ALS, the Hulk received a mental summons from the Leader, who had re-formed his body using cells from dead animals and local flora. The Leader informed his old enemy that he was about to transcend the mortal plane, and after giving the Hulk the cure for Banner’s illness, he asked his former nemesis to witness his ascension. However, something appeared to go wrong at the critical juncture, and the Leader’s new body exploded. Back in the Below-Place and running from a formless, dark swirling entity in the sky, the One Below All, the Leader realized he had made a crucial error and he begged the ether for Banner’s help only to receive none. Realizing he was on his own, he focused his attention on the Green Door so as to control it.
Despite the damage, the Leader survived yet again, but his body deteriorated, eventually leaving him nothing but an enormous floating head in a tank at one of his hidden bases in California. The Leader developed a plan to use the Hulk’s DNA to grow a superhumanly strong body for his own mind to inhabit. To this end, the Leader organized Home Base, also known as the “Secret Conspiracy,” to obtain a sample of the Hulk’s blood. The Leader’s true identity was kept secret, even from his own agents, who saw him only as a pair of lips on a view screen. As director of Home Base, the Leader framed the Hulk for the death of young Ricky Myers, and dispatched several agents, including Sandra Verdugo, Jink Slater, and Pratt in pursuit of his foe. After these agents failed, the Leader freed Emil Blonsky, AKA the Abomination, and sent him against the Hulk, using the Abomination’s wife, Nadia Blonsky, to win Banner’s trust. However, Nadia ultimately betrayed Home Base and warned Banner. After the Abomination was defeated, the Leader dispatched the Krill, part reptile, part android weapons, designed to obtain samples of the Hulk’s blood. One Krill captured a sample of Hulk’s blood, but the Hulk followed the Krill back to Home Base’s headquarters and destroyed it. The Leader subsequently detonated the headquarters to prevent his enemies from discovering evidence of his identity.
The Leader then abandoned his plan to grow a new body from the Hulk’s DNA, opting instead to try to erase the Hulk’s mind, and take over his foe’s body directly. The Leader took advantage of Banner’s wearied mind, and briefly usurped control of his enemy’s body, leading the Hulk to his location, and initiating the process through which he would permanently take control of the Hulk’s form. However, his plan was foiled by Betty Ross, Nadia Blonsky, Doc Samson, and Tony Stark, AKA Iron Man, who destroyed the Leader’s tank, and aborted his takeover of the Hulk’s body, though at the cost of Nadia’s life.
Following this defeat, the Leader regained his old body through unrevealed means and withdrew to a hidden New Mexico desert lair. However, he was discovered by Clay Quartermain and a new group of Hulkbusters, who apprehended him after a short battle. The Leader was then brought to trial for his crimes, where attorney Mallory Book defended him. Book convinced the jury that the Leader was, as a victim of gamma radiation, not in control of his own faculties and could not be held accountable for his crimes, earning him a not guilty verdict.
Following the Hulk and his Warbound’s assault on New York, the Leader brought the Hulk’s Warbound allies to the New Mexico desert in a quest to gain tremendous power. Using technology developed by child genius Amadeus Cho (later Brawn), the Leader created an enormous gamma radiation dome by siphoning power from one of the Warbound, Hiroim. The dome continually drew power from Hiroim, and the Leader channeled that power into himself, briefly gaining Hiroim’s immense tectonic power. As Hiroim perished, however, his power was passed to S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Katherine Waynesboro, who, with Hiroim’s Warbound allies, defeated the Leader and foiled his plans.
The Leader would soon return to plans of revenge against all those who wronged him, especially the Hulk. His sporadic allies in the Intelligencia were eager to help, and utilizing a plot thought out by the murderous M.O.D.O.K., they were well on their way to achieving victory to take down all of the Hulks. The Leader was the first to hear of a creation of a Red Hulk to be the Intelligencia's greatest asset in the coming war, but a bitter betrayal, and the death of General Ross put them at odds with both Hulks. Even though the Leader founded the Intelligencia, he is content to let M.O.D.O.K. share the spotlight so long as their ultimate goal is achieved. Pitting his formidable mind against that of his greatest foe's alter ego, the Leader was impressed at how clever Banner was to appear to counter every move the Intelligencia made. In the end, it was the Leader who would have the last laugh as he laid the perfect trap, and Banner was captured and incapacitated along with the other great minds of the world, including Red She-Hulk, A-Bomb, and Amadeus Cho, who could have put an end to his evil schemes but were instead transformed into Cosmic-Gamma mutates. Though Red Hulk ultimately defeated the Leader by draining his body of radiation, reducing him to Sam Sterns once again.
Though Red Hulk, being that he was actually General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross and in charge of a new iteration of the Thunderbolts, repowered Sterns, only to use him as a secret weapon against a new threat: the dictator General Awa of the island nation of Kata Jaya. Ross’ team included Wade Wilson, AKA Deadpool, who took the confused Sterns to the island only for him to be shot on sight by Frank Castle, AKA the Punisher. Ross revived him with gamma energy and now as the Red Leader, he sought to take revenge upon his captors. He did so by tricking them with an LMD. Sterns was eventually caught several months later by his former teammates and the Avengers. The team travelled to Hell where they made a deal with Hell-Lord Mephisto, so they could get rid of deadly madwoman Mercy, and in exchange they’d help him reclaim his throne which had been taken over by mutant Guido Carosella, AKA Strong Guy. When the deal was done, and Mercy was in Hell, she unleashed a Heavenly Host upon Hell. Mephisto threatened them with suffering, but Red Leader reminded him of their contract and that it was followed to the letter, outsmarting the Master of Malice.
When the Red Leader escaped Hell, he began studying the occult and merged his intellect with an A.I. named Gammon—Banner’s creation. Gammon, having no need for a personality, accepted the Leader’s, and as such he reverted himself back to the Leader, green and all.
The Leader returned to his old ways, plotting with the New Intelligencia to control a new powerhouse that emerged, Kei Kawade, AKA Kid Kaiju, and his ability to summon and create gigantic monsters. Their goal: worldwide domination, of course. The Leader helped convince intergalactic monster hunter, Lady Hellbender, to help them in their goal. Despite help from his monsters and creature-expert Elsa Bloodstone, Hellbender captured Kawade and they teleported to the New Intelligencia’s base where his monsters were shrunken down to a manageable size and contained. Though Kawade defeated the New Intelligencia before they harnessed his power, and S.H.I.E.L.D. arrested the team of Super Villains .
The Leader soon escaped his imprisonment and realized that She-Hulk, based on her sudden physical changes, had perished from her fight with the mad Titan Thanos, and surmised that she, too, had hidden memories of the Below-Place. He tested his theory by manipulating the She-Hulk deranged fan Professor Robyn Meiser Malt and giving her Hulk-like powers. His nefarious plot led to a fight between the professor and She-Hulk that ended in the Leader’s arrest for his part in it.
Escaping from the clandestine government organization Shadow Base, the Leader set out to kill the Hulk. The Leader first targeted the Hulk-Wolverine hybrid Clayton Cortez, AKA Weapon H, infecting him with a gamma-altering virus to lure Banner out. Meanwhile, Dario Agger sought revenge against Clay for his role in cutting off his access to unlimited power in Weirdworld, and simultaneously lured Weapon H’s creator, the mad scientist Dr. Alba, onto James Howlett/Logan, AKA Wolverine’s trail. The Leader and Dr. Alba met and after a brief conflict, they agreed to work together. Clay, meanwhile, made peace with the Hulk and Wolverine, and realized the manipulation in play. The Leader and Dr. Alba transformed the Hulk and Wolverine into hybrids like Weapon H using nanobots, but had to deactivate them to protect themselves. Then, their efforts to control the nanobots inside Weapon H were in vain since Clay had learned to control them. The Leader had repaired his teleportation device just in time, and the diabolical pair escaped.
The Leader then learned of a future where the One Below All replaced the Hulk and transformed into a cosmic entity. Interested in ensuring that future came to path, the Leader traveled to the Below-Place of his own accord, using the sum of his scientific and occult knowledge. There, the Leader found Dr. Brian Banner, who had perished and absorbed his mind, taking his knowledge and his body. As Brian, the Leader used his new form to get close to Bruce Banner, and started assimilating gamma-mutates, such as Rick Jones’ hollow form. In doing so, he helped lock up the Devil Hulk personality, with the help of alien Xemnu. He also caused chaos by sending gamma-energy through the Hulk’s body by touching him as Jones. The resulting explosion killed many, despite Leader/Jones attempt to shield the blast. Gamma Flight arrived to contain the Hulk. Further destruction followed and Gamma Flight’s Eugene Judd, AKA Puck, disabled the Hulk, to which the Leader/Jones took control of Hulk’s Green Scar personality.
Though, the Leader didn’t stop there. He plotted to slay Doc Samson by using test subject Del Frye, and succeeding, Samson ended up in the Below-Place. He changed Samson’s Green Door to red but Samson ran and ultimately escaped, resurrecting into Walter Langkowski, AKA Sasquatch’s body and became the amalgam Doc Sasquatch on Gamma Flight’s ship. Meanwhile, The Leader continued to manipulate Banner by imprisoning Hulk’s other personalities but his plans fell apart when Samson struck the Leader in the head and the Devil Hulk was ultimately released. To confuse Banner’s personalities, the Leader transformed back into Brian, allowing Savage Hulk to restrain the Devil Hulk. The Leader took the Devil Hulk and Banner through the Green Door, leading them to the Below-Place where he connected them to viny appendages so that he could harness the Hulk’s gamma-power and transfer it to the One Below All. Though, things did not go to the Leader’s plan and One Below All possessed the Leader.
The merge caused the Leader to increase in size, and this new gigantic form constructed a strange, twisted fortress around its body. This new Leader then caught Savage Hulk in its tendrils and used him to fight Hulk’s other personality, Joe Fixit, as their ally Jackie McGee dealt with her past—the trio having recently arrived thanks to the Fantastic Four’s help. Once McGee found peace, she unleashed energy from her eyes that harmed the possessed Leader just enough for Savage Hulk to separate himself, though he was emotionally affected by the experience. The Leader’s naked human form of Sam Sterns escaped, but barely and he couldn’t hold himself together, blaming himself for what he had brought about. Hulk and Joe demanded that the One Below All tell them why Hulk suffered so much and it revealed its true form as the One Above All, its light counterpart. The One Above All explained that it created the Hulk to be a counter balance and asked him what he would become. The light-filled entity also suggested that Sterns and Banner shared distant relatives, Robert Sterns and Bernice Banner. Reflecting, Savage Hulk saw Sterns as a Hulk like him and forgave him, but Joe couldn’t extend such mercy and would wait until Sterns proved himself. Benjamin Grim, AKA The Thing, and Doc Samson arrived through the FF’s Forever Gate, and calling it Hell, proceeded to invite the Hulks, McGee, and Sterns to return to Earth. What walked through was a whole Bruce Banner, his personalities fused, McGee, and Sterns, who sobbed and vomited. Sterns retained none of his memories from the Below-Place, and cuffed for his crimes, he became docile. Reed Richards, AKA Mister Fantastic, gave him a suit and when the group noticed that Banner was gone, McGee asked Sterns if he had seen Banner leave, and he said no, reveling in the fact that he didn’t know something for once.