Samuel Sterns in Marvels What If...?

Marvel’s latest phase four project What If….? is set to premiere soon. The series will answer some of the craziest questions regarding multiverses and the existence of different timelines. There will be many alternate realities that are going to be explored, and it is certain that each one will be a different take on some of the famous storylines in both the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the Marvel Comics. To sum it up, “What If...?” will focus on untold stories in which the characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe experience different fates and storylines than they normally faced. It will be released on Disney+hotstar and will be available for streaming August 11th onwards.

Samuel Sterns in what if

As mentioned before, the series will explore the endless possibilities of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's newly established multiverse. The show will dive deep into altered versions of iconic MCU moments and pay tribute to the films and television shows that have come before it. It can therefore also go into the previous Marvel projects that were a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). One such possibility would be introducing one of the Hulk’s major villains in Samuel Sterns aka The Leader in the comics.

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Samuel Sterns/ The leader in Comics

Samuel Sterns is one of the Hulk’s most deadly villains in the comics, making his first appearance in first appeared in Tales to Astonish #62. He was an American worker with a slow wit working in a chemical plant, until an accident working with radioactive material bombarded him with gamma radiation, causing his skin to turn green and making his head grow. The radiation also increased his intelligence to that of a genius-level along with his ego and ambition to match. This led him into conflict with the Hulk becoming his self-proclaimed arch-enemy.

Appearance in MCU

Although Sterns has made his appearance in the MCU, it is not accurate to the comics. In the MCU, Sterns makes his first and only appearance in The Incredible Hulk as Mr. Blue, a college professor working with Bruce Banner to find a cure for his transformations into the Hulk. He is confronted by Emil Blonsky and is responsible for his mutation into the Abomination. Abomination then wrecks Sterns' lab and leaves him behind. However, some of Banner's blood infects a cut on the professor's head, causing his brain to grow.

Ever since then, Sterns has never appeared in an MCU film or television show but has made a one-off appearance in a 2012 tie-in comic entitled The Avengers Prelude: Fury's Big Week. The comic showcases Nick Fury's life during the week of the events of Iron Man 2, The Incredible Hulk and Thor and also reveals Sterns' fate in the MCU. 

Possible Appearance in What If….?

Samuel Sterns in what if

In an interview with Total Film, What If...? head writer A. C. Bradley revealed that Season 1 will include an episode set "in this obscure point of detail that only hardcore fans know called Fury’s Big Week." It is clear from Bradley’s statement that the comic is accurate to the Marvel comics, and it is entirely possible that What If….? can pick off from the events of The Incredible Hulk and show Stern's transformation into The Leader.

This article is contributed by Pranav.

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