- "Funny how annoying a little prick can be."
- ―Senator Stern to Tony Stark
Stern was a United States Senator from Pennsylvania and member of HYDRA. Using his position, Stern attempted to convince the American people that Tony Stark was actually a threat to their safety and he should hand over his Iron Man Suits in the wake of the attack of Whiplash. Stern even tried backing Justin Hammer to replace Stark's work, but this soon failed. He continued his work with HYDRA, building a relationship with Jasper Sitwell who was working from within S.H.I.E.L.D., but when HYDRA was exposed by Captain America, Stern was soon arrested by the FBI who had discovered his work with the terrorist organisation.
Senate Armed Forces Committee
- "I think we're done with the point that he's making. I don't think there's any reason..."
"The point is you're welcome, I guess."
"Because I'm your nuclear deterrent. It's working. We're safe. America is secure. You want my property? You can't have it. But I did you a big favor. I have successfully privatized world peace."
- ―Senator Stern and Tony Stark
Six months after Tony Stark became the superhero Iron Man, Senator Stern had a meeting with Stark's friend Colonel James Rhodes of the U.S. Air Force. They discussed Stark's unpredictable behavior. Stern then introduced Rhodes to General Thaddeus Ross with hopes of sending a message that the U.S. doesn't need Iron Man, with the plan to replace him with the Aerodynamic Marvel.
Some time later, Tony Stark was summoned to attend a Senate Armed Forces Committee in Washington, D.C. in order to force him to give his technology to the United States government. Stern demanded that Stark give the Iron Man technology to the U.S. government since it was deemed dangerous to the public and would be converted for military use. Stark refused, claiming that foreign nations and business competitors were years away from successfully recreating his achievements, and that the armor was in fact his own property and that it was not as dangerous as the shown footage proved to be. Instead, it was Justin Hammer who was attempting the same objective which Stark revealed on footage. Although Stern tried his best to forge through evidence and get the courts on his side, Stark outwitted him and won the case, causing indignant backlash from a defeated Stern.
Dealings with Justin Hammer
Senator Stern was on television soon after Stark and Ivan Vanko fought in Monaco relaying how Stark was wrong about Arc Reactor technology being five to ten years away. Potts and Stark watched his interview as they rode a plane home. Stern later played golf with Justin Hammer, who had promised him an army of Hammer Drones from Hammer Industries, but while they were playing Hammer called Ivan Vanko and learned that the Drones would be delayed.
After the battle at Stark Expo, Stern was forced to present Stark and James Rhodes with their medals for bravery after they destroyed Hammer's drones and Ivan Vanko's suit much to his dismay to which Stark took pleasure to.
- "Hail HYDRA."
- ―Senator Stern to Jasper Sitwell
In 2014, Stern had a meeting with fellow HYDRA member Jasper Sitwell. As the meeting came to a close, Stern and Sitwell discussed Stern's plan to be with a twenty-three year old who desired to be a reporter and how she was messing up his back. Then Stern whispered 'Hail Hydra' into Sitwell's ear. Stern was later arrested by the FBI after HYDRA's infiltration into S.H.I.E.L.D. was made public.
Behind the Scenes
- According to Jon Favreau, Senator Stern was named after Howard Stern, who also was a big fan of Garry Shandling.