Super-villain published by Marvel Comics
. The Leader
first appeared in
Tales to Astonish #62
Samuel Stern worked for the U.S. government, disposing of hazardous
radioactive material. Stern was an average man with no special skills and
no special traits, living a life of quiet desperation. One day, while disposing
of a canister containing material with a high amount of gamma radiation,
Stern was exposed to huge dose of gamma rays, when the canister exploded.
Stern was taken to a government hospital for treatment. Over the next few weeks,
it became apparent that the radiation had triggered a mutation within Stern, causing
his intellect to grow at an astounding rate. He began to read voraciously and
remember everything he read. Soon, his body began to change, with his
cranium growing to accommodate his growing brain and his skin beginning to
Stern escaped the government hospital and began to use his newfound intellect
for evil purposes Calling himself the Leader, Stern came into conflict with
the incredible Hulk. The two have clashed on a number of occasions with the
Leader often times seemingly coming up with the upper hand.
The Leader over the years has employed a number of inventions to aid in his
quest for world domination. He created a type of android made of an advanced
polymer. The Leader created them in bulk, assuring that they could overcome
even the toughest opponent, just by their sheer numbers.
Apart from his advanced intellect, the Leader also possesses other abilites. His
massive brain allows him to attack others with mental blasts and also to
take control of others. After an episode where Stern returned to original
form after the effects of his initial radiation exposure wore off, Stern plotted and
had himself reexposed to a blast of gamma radiation. Stern mutated again, but
this time with a different appearance. He continued to have the ability to
control others, but he now seems limited to those he can touch.
The leader has teamed with other villains over the years in pursuit of his
goals. He has used the Rhino and the Abomination as pawns in different
projects, as well as the former Hulkbusters, Rock and Redeemer.