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- "Dr. Samuel Sterns?"
"I think perhaps once I was...but shall now become much more."
- ―Natasha Romanoff and Samuel Sterns
Samuel Sterns is a cellular biologist and Grayburn College professor who was finding a cure for Bruce Banner. When he was affected by Banner's blood on his head's open wound, his mind suffered a rapid mutation, greatly increasing his mental abilities.
Helping Bruce Banner
Sterns was initially a scientific ally to an on-the-run Bruce Banner and they communicated with each other as Mr. Blue and Mr. Green, respectively, while collaborating to find a cure for Banner's condition.
- "Why are you always hitting people?! Now what could I have possibly done to deserve such aggression?"
- ―Sterns to Emil Blonsky
Upon meeting in the flesh, Dr. Samuel Sterns was shown to be an eccentric man who was infatuated with the potential power of Gamma Radiation. After witnessing Banner transform into the Hulk as a test and successfully reverting him back with their finalized suppressant, it was revealed that he had been experimenting with Banner's blood samples on animal test subjects without his knowledge.
He was physically threatened by Emil Blonsky who desired to be further mutated. Sterns eagerly complied. Once Blonsky mutated, he became insane and proceeded to injure Sterns and demolish his lab. Sterns was accidentally infected with Banner's blood via an open wound on his forehead and his head started expanding as he smiled with joy.
Captured by S.H.I.E.L.D.
- "I see my future unfolding. It is an illustrious future defined by power and influence. A future that begins this very instant."
- ―Samuel Sterns to Natasha Romanoff
Sterns' mutation went wild, and his brain power incremented exponentially. He was found by Natasha Romanoff, who had a brief dialogue with him, during which Sterns identified Black Widow's birth place from a hint of accent in her voice. Sterns then attempted to bribe her, promising he would help her come back to Stalingrad, but Widow shot him the leg and arrested him.
- Master Scientist: Samuel Sterns helped Bruce Banner when he sought a cure for his transformation into Hulk. He was able to develop a method that could potentially reverse the transformation, by duplicating and testing the limited blood samples that Banner sent him. He was also able to duplicate the transformation process with Emil Blonsky, transforming him into Abomination when Banner's blood was mixed with the Super Soldier Serum that Blonsky already had, a situation that Sterns had already anticipated. After Sterns' mutation, his intellect increased, but he was immediately imprisoned.
Video Game Only
- In the comics, Sterns was not a scientist, but instead was a menial laborer with only average intelligence. He was exposed to gamma radiation while he was transporting hazardous materials. Also, he became the Leader before Banner became the Hulk.
- During the course of the film, a drop of Bruce Banner's blood falls into a scar on Sterns' forehead, making his head enlarge, an obvious nod to him becoming the Leader.
- Sterns uses the online name Mr. Blue to communicate with Banner. In the comics, Mr. Blue was an alias used by Betty Ross to keep in contact with a fugitive Banner.