Leonard Samson was originally Bruce Banner's psychiatrist. While treating Banner's unique affliction, Samson helped develop and use a device to drain gamma rays from the Hulk after provoking Banner into transforming into the monster, seemingly curing Banner. The machine stored the drained energy which Samson subsequently exposed himself to, causing him to become the large, heavily-muscled and green-haired super-being Doc Samson. Feeling profoundly confident due to his newly acquired strength and physique, Samson began romancing Banner's girlfriend Betty Ross, prompting Banner to re-expose himself to gamma radiation and once again becoming the Hulk. The two fought and Samson soon found he was no match for the Hulk because the Hulk's strength grew as his anger increased while Samson's remained the same.
Doc Samson was created by Roy Thomas and Herb Trimpe and first appeared in The Incredible Hulk #141 (1971).
In recent years Samson has become Banner's friend and confidant, as well as his therapist. Doc Samson also works as a psychiatrist specializing in other superheroes' problems. Samson took part in the Civil War of the Superheroes and was Pro-Registration which put him against the greats like Captain America.
Major Story Arcs
When a troubled Skrull took control of an orbiting satellite and threatened to unleash its hidden nukes upon the earth Nick Fury of SHIELD called upon Doc Samson to talk the alien down. As Samson was discussing the Skrulls problems he was interrupted by a hack in the system by his God Daughter Tina Punnett who also wanted the Doctor's help in searching for his old friends and her parents, Wolf and Flora Punnett. After making sure that the Skrull ends up in the custody of SHIELD operatives Samson meets with Tina to find out where they have gone missing.After learning of Tina’s parent’s connection to a long dead singer and deducting that magic might be involved Samson decided to consult with another Doctor, Steven Strange master of the mystic arts. Upon arrival to the Sanctum Sanctorum Samson and Tina are greeted by Jack Holyoak, Doctor Strange’s temporary apprentice in Wong’s absence. As Holyoak tried to wake Strange from a trance to greet his guests he inadvertently turned his master into a frog in the same manor Loki once did to Thor. After a short disturbance Strange was restored with a kiss from Tina and after having what appeared to be sharp words with Holyoak Doctor Strange offered him to accompany Samson and Tina in his place. After Samson calls in a favor and gets an airlift from a SHIELD transport ship the three arrive at the Joshua Tree National Monument and begin there investigation along with Officer Nighthorse.
As Leonard starts to search for clues Nighthorse tells him the tale of a Shaman called Cold Winter and his rivalry with a man called Whistle Pig who both lived that very place many years ago, there final battle resulting in it’s legacy as a haunted area. Before Samson can learn anymore Holyoak manages to induce the spirit of man the Punnetts have become obsessed with, the singer Cam Larson. After learning that it was the ghost of Cam behind the Punnetts' disappearance with the aid of a friend in the form of a living Totem before Samson can act unleashes the Totem at the group resulting in Samson being injured the group being captured. After regaining consciousness Samson uses his skills as a psychotherapist to get though to Cam who’s only goal is to free himself from the bond that the Punnett’s created holding his spirit to this world and after telling the Punnetts that it is within everyone’s best interest to free Cam they agree however The Totem, which contains the spirit of Whistle Pig is terrified at loosing his only friend and attempts to stop Cam’s ascension but Leonard intervenes at the last moment. Before they depart Holyoak asks if he may stay with Samson who will return home with Whistle Pig to complete his rehabilitation to which he agrees and also offers Tina to come along to.
The Orgone Invasion
Sometime later while training in his gym Samson is called to deal with the Robot-X that has started to go on a rampage after Holyoak accidentally restarted it while it was undergoing de-programming by Tina. With one well placed and powerful punch Leonard is able to cripple the robot before it can do any major damage to his home. Shortly after Leonard was scheduled to talk with an old friend from Gamma Base: Sam Larouqette only to discover that he had left having found his utopia in New Oregon, sensing something is amiss Leonard and the team decide to visit New Oregon. Upon arrival Whistle Pig is uncontrollably drawn towards the main barn and only Samson can restrain him, it is here that they see Sam. As Leonard starts to question Sam’s reasons for leaving Gamma Base, Doctor Schenellagister, the leader of the settlement steps in and offers Samson and his friends to dinner later that evening.
While at the table Schenellagister begins to explain the history of the settlement, much to the disdain of Holyoak whose comments do not go unnoticed as suddenly Samson grabs hold of his young friend and begins to choke him in mid air. As Tina try’s to stop Leonard she calls for Whistle Pig whose mere appearance is able to interfere with the mind control over Samson who had become almost zombie like due to some kind of psychic power. As Tina, Holyoak and Whistle Pig flee to form a plan, Leonard becomes part of Schenellagister’s ‘Oregon Army’ which he has assembled to take over the world. His plans are short lived however as Tina and Holyoak return and after a short battle against Schenellagister and his secret weapon everyone is freed from the Physic hold and Samson apprehend Schenellagister.
A call from S.H.I.E.L.D.
After the codenamed operative Scorpion goes rogue aboard a SHIELD Helicarrier agent Derek Khanara calls in Doc Samson to question her. There initial meeting goes frostily and Scorpion refuses to give little away until the name of the man she is accused of shooting comes up. As the name of Nagayoshi caused such a reaction Leonard and Khanara are convinced he is something to do with her recent attack. Setting up Scorpion to reveal her true intentions they see to it that she is set loose aboard the Helicarrier and it soon becomes clear what her intentions really were. As a fight ensues in the hanger bay one of the real culprit’s attempts to make an escape in a flying car Samson leaps after him, tearing the roof off the car and flying it back to the ship to be rounded up with the rest of the men Khanara and Scorpion round up, proving her innocence.
The Two Samsons
On a parallel earth another Doc Samson was performing an experiment with Bruce Banner to rid him of his Hulk persona within the ‘Collective unconscious of all Mankind’ only for the procedure to go wrong resulting in Banner becoming the Hulk and tearing his way into another mental plain, the realm of the creature known as Nightmare. Nightmare summons the creature called Energumen to take control of that Doc Samson in order to conquer the world ‘next door’. Meanwhile on Earth 616 Doc Samson, Tina, Jack Holyoak and Whistle Pig are attending the Consumer Electronics Show in . Unbeknown to the team the other Doc Samson has been awaiting them, setting traps he manages to remove Tina, Jack and Whistle Pig without the real Doc Samson realizing it. After disguising himself and getting his doppelganger alone, the other Samson manages to trick him into using the same machine as he used with Banner sending them bother into the unconscious world between worlds.
As the two Samsons fight it out, Tina, Holyoak and Whistle Pig now free, find Leonard hooked up to the machine and surrounded by Nightmare’s creatures which have already started to bleed though into there reality. After a strange vision convinces the other Samson to fight Nightmares control giving the real Doc Samson time to knock Nightmare back into his own realm, shortly after Tina and Holyoak disconnect Leonard from the machine just as the other Samson passes away.
World War Hulk
She-Hulk cuts her ties with Samson after learning he had a part in the Hulk's exile with the Illuminati consisting of Dr. Strange, Iron Man, Namor, Black Bolt, Mr. Fantastic, and Prof. Xavier. Samson is among the many heroes to fall to the Hulk during his rampage to seize New York City. After the fight between Sentry and Hulk it is revealed that Samson has been working closely with the government and able to make reports to the new President of the United States.
It is revealed that Samson and Gen. Ross are on the same team that led to the creation of the Red Hulk. He is set to keep his identity a secret and knocked out Rick Jones, now known as A-Bomb, who apparently knows Red Hulk's secret. Samson ends up betraying Red Hulk and allies himself with the new Red She-Hulk. It is revealed there was a drawback to siphoning the Hulk's psionic gamma energy all those years ago. Like the Hulk, Samson has been dealing with various personalities: Leonard the Psychiatrist, Good Samson, and Bad Samson. It doesn't help that MODOK has apparently brainwashed Samson as well. Bad Samson holds a therapy session with Leonard to show that he was apparently after Bruce's life wanting his power as the Hulk and love of Betty. There is also a repressed rage about not getting attention like Mr. Fantastic and Tony Stark who are both world renown geniuses while Samson is still just mediocre. Bad Samson ends the session by killing Leonard with Good Samson appearing powerless to do anything about it.
Bad Samson believed that Leonard was the reason he kept failing in all he strove to accomplished like beating the Hulk. After he learns the Intelligencia has hulked-out the heroes and made Red She-hulk fight despite his warnings, he rebels against them and attacks Leader but is beaten by MODOK. After Betty is stabbed he saves her life by making her mad, turning her back into Red She-Hulk. When Bruce Banner's gamma machine was about to overload Samson decided to help by, along with Bruce, absorbing the deadly radiation it was emitting . This proved to much for Samson and he was burned to a crisp. Before he died, he told Bruce he was always proud of him and Betty is too.
During the events of the Chaos War, Rick Jones' wife Marlo was being sought out by a resurrected Abomination and the demon ZOM because of her one-time connection to the entity Death. Death had left a trace of herself in Marlo and the Abomination and ZOM were sent to collect her and use her power to claim the lives of all those who were asleep and/or dead. The Hulk family hurried her away and attempted to shelter her in a bunker powered by Skaar's Old Power. Before Marlo would enter the bunker, she tapped into the remnants of Death within her and resurrected Hiroim the Oldstrong, Glenn Talbot, Hulk's late wife, Jarella, and Doc Samson to help them with the upcoming battle. Samson was integral in keeping Abomination at bay, along with the help of the Hulks and the resurrected heroes. As Hercules eventually sacrificed his All-Father powers to heal the universe, some once-dead heroes remained alive, including members of Alpha Flight and some Avengers. The fate of Samson is unknown.
After the events in Venom: The Savage Six, Red Hulk was haunted by a Dark Samson poltergeist that fed on his Gamma radiation. The Dark Samson was destroyed the Dr. Strange and Morbius with his Legion of Monsters tried to capture him. He was ripped apart by the oposing forces of Gamma radiation and their device.
Powers and Abilities
Doc Samson possesses superhuman physical abilities as a result of a controlled, laboratory exposure to high levels of gamma radiation. His exposure is considerably less than that of the Hulk or the Abomination. The gamma radiation mutated Samson's physique by adding considerable muscle and bone mass to his body, granting him high levels of superhuman strength. The initial gamma ray exposure also turned his hair a bright shade of green. Doc Samson's strength has been described as equal to the strength of a "calm" Hulk. As such his strength was sufficiently high enough to enable him to lift approximately 70 tons. His strength level remained consistently at that level for many years until the point where he manifested a split personality; a new persona in which his strength was significantly higher. Calling himself simply "Samson" while acting in this new persona, his strength appears to be great enough to allow him to lift weights in the 90 to 100 ton range. Initially, his strength was dependent on the length of his hair and the longer it was, the more powerful he became, although his mutation has since stabilized, making his hair length irrelevant. Samson's strength is equal to that of the Gray Hulk, AKA Joe Fixit, while the latter is in a calm emotional state. Unlike the Hulk, however, Samson's strength doesn't increase due to adrenaline surges while angry. As a result, Samson is ultimately far less powerful than the Hulk. Samson is able to leap great distances vertically and horizontally, though not nearly as far as the Hulk or Abomination.
Aside from granting him more muscle mass, Samson's bodily tissues are fortified and are considerably harder than those of an ordinary human, granting him a high level of resistance to physical injury. Samson can withstand falls from great heights, extremes of temperature, high-caliber bullets, and tremendous impact forces like being repeatedly struck by the Hulk without sustaining injury. Due to his highly advanced musculature, his muscles produce considerably less fatigue toxins during physical activity than the musculature of a normal human, granting him superhuman stamina. He has demonstrated sufficient stamina to battle a mindless incarnation of the Hulk for more than six hours.
Doc Samson is an incredibly talented (and apparently naturally gifted) unarmed combatant.Samson is said to be one of the most renowned psychiatrists on Earth. He is often called on to counsel various superhumans, such as the members of X-Factor. He has a M.D. in psychiatry, and is a skilled theoretical technician and inventor of various medical devices. His extensive study of the mind also permits him a significant degree of resistance to telepathy and telepathic attacks.
Weight: 380 lbs.
Doctor Leonard Samson of Earth X received the Pulitzer peace prize for his work with the Hulk. He was killed by the Skull when they first met. The Skull made Samson pull himself inside out. Samson got about halfway before he died.
Doc Samson appears in the 2008 Incredible Hulk film, and is played by Ty Burrell. He does not have any superpowers, but he is portrayed closer to his earlier appearances before his incident. He is in a short relationship with Betty Ross. He calls the military regarding Bruce's location at Culver University, but criticized General Ross' reasons for hunting Banner/Hulk, especially after witnessing the Hulk protecting Betty from the crossfire of General Ross' attacks (he says, "I used to wonder why she never talked about you...Now I know."). A large number of his scenes, including the scene where he talks to Bruce as seen in the film's trailer, were cut from the film. In the opening credits, the name Leonard Samson appeared on the quick clip of a list of Bruce's accomplices. In deleted scenes, he is hospitable to Banner and he, Betty, and Banner have a nice time talking. In another scene he reveals to Banner that he has been jealous of him and Betty all along, then the deleted scene from the trailer occurs. In the final scene where Betty is at Liberty Island, Samson calls Betty where he seems to be depressed. He admits to really sending the armada when she asks. He wants Betty to return, but she says not yet, but she will return. When she is about to hang up, he asks her to not hang up, but she does it anyway.
The Incredible Hulk
Doc Samson appeared in The Incredible Hulk, the animated television series broadcast on UPN in 1996– 97, voiced by Shadoe Stevens. Samson was shown both fighting the Hulk and trying to find a way to cure Banner of the Hulk.
The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes
Doc Samson appears in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes episode "Hulk Versus the World" voiced by Cam Clarke. He is shown visiting Bruce Banner at the Cube taking a blood sample from him. He tells Bruce that he hasn't given up on trying to find a cure for the Hulk. Doc Samson later adds the vial containing Bruce's blood with the vials of the other inmates. In "The Breakout" Pt. 1, Doc Samson becomes exposed to Gamma Radiation following a breakout at the Cube. This gave him the strength to free Bruce Banner before being knocked out by Zzzax. Hulk manages to get him out of the Cube. In "The Breakout" Pt. 2, Hulk gives the unconscious Doc Samson to a waitress at the time when Graviton was fighting Thor. In the episode "Gamma World," Samson goes with the rest of the Avengers to defeat the Leader at the Cube. By this time, he has very visibly responded to the gamma exposure.
The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction
Samson appeared in the video game The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction voiced by Daniel Riordan. In the game, Samson and Banner had planned to use the Hulk as their weapon to get past Emil Blonsky's Division forces and military units under the command of General Ross, while gathering parts for a machine that Banner needed. In the fourth boss battle, Samson was forced to betray Banner as the Devil Hulk personality in Banner's subconscious began to influence his actions and endanger innocent lives. After Banner's escape from Blonsky's base, Samson makes an apology to Banner for betraying him, and they continue to build the machine for Banner to face Devil Hulk.