Doc Samson

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Doc Samson's first appearance in Incredible Hulk # 141
Doc Samson's first appearance in Incredible Hulk # 141



  • character_name:Doc Samson
  • real_name:Dr. Leonard Samson
  • species: Human (empowered)
  • publisher:Marvel Comics
  • debut:Incredible Hulk #141 (July, 1971)
  • creators:Roy Thomas,Herb Trimpe
  • powers:Superhuman strength, speed, stamina, and physical resistance, Genius intelligence


Doc Samson (Dr. Leonard Samson) is a superhero and in the Marvel Comics universe, known as a supporting character in stories featuring The Hulk.

Publication history

Doc Samson first appeared in the Incredible Hulk #141 (Jul 1971) and was created by Roy Thomas and Herb Trimpe. Since then he has also appeared as a supporting character in several different Marvel Comics titles, including She-Hulk, Uncanny X-Men, and Amazing Spider-Man. In 1996 Doc Samson starred in his first self-titled mini-series written by Dan Slott. In 2006, Samson starred in his second mini-series written by Paul Di Filippo and penciled by Fabrizio Fiorentino.

character biography

Leonard Samson was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He became a college professor and psychiatrist. After Robert Bruce Banner was temporarily cured of being the Hulk by siphoning off the gamma radiation that caused his transformations, Samson—who had been working with Banner/Hulk in his job as a psychiatrist—exposed himself to some of the siphoned radiation, causing his hair to become green and granting him superhuman strength proportionate to its length, reminiscent of his biblical namesake. (His power level has since stabilized to the point that it doesn't matter how long his hair is.) Shortly afterward, his flirting with Betty Ross caused a jealous Banner to re-expose himself to radiation, becoming the Hulk once more to battle Samson.Incredible Hulk #141 He learned that his power decreases when he cuts his green hair,Incredible Hulk #143 but then lost his powers due to the bombardment of intense gamma radiation.Incredible Hulk #147 Feeling guilty about his role in his patient's return to being the Hulk, Samson would spend much time working with Banner over the years.

Doc Samson.Art by Daniel Acuña.
Doc Samson.Art by Daniel Acuña.

Samson eventually regained his powers in a gamma ray explosion, and joined the gamma base staff.Incredible Hulk #193 Alongside SHIELD, he battled the Hulk.Incredible Hulk #199 He shrank and projected the Hulk into Glenn Talbot's brain to cure Talbot of amnesia.Incredible Hulk #200 Samson then battled the Rhino.Incredible Hulk #218

Samson was later captured by the Leader.Incredible Hulk #223 He teamed with the Hulk against the Leader's humanoids.Incredible Hulk #225 He attempted a psychoanalysis of the Hulk through his dreams, and diagnosed him with Multiple Personality Disorder.Incredible Hulk #227 Samson next encountered Angel and the Master Mold.Incredible Hulk Annual #7 He encountered Moonstone, and battled the Hulk.Incredible Hulk #228-229 Samson then quit Gamma Base, and became General thunderbolt Ross's psychiatrist.Incredible Hulk #238

Samson later encountered Woodgod and the Changelings.Incredible Hulk #251-253 His former relationship with Dr. Delia Childress was revealed, and he teamed with Spider-Man against the Rhino and AIM.Marvel Team-Up #102 He next defeated Unus in combat.Incredible Hulk Annual #11 With the Thing and other heroes, he was abducted by the Champion to challenge him in combat.Marvel Two-in-One Annual #7

Samson, determined again to cure the Hulk, defeated him in battle.Incredible Hulk #314 He succeeded in separating Bruce Banner and the Hulk physically into two separate individuals. He rescued the Hulk from S.H.I.E.L.D.'s attempt to execute him, although the Hulk then ran amok.Incredible Hulk #315 Samson adopted a new costume, and battled the heroes Iron Man, Wonder Man, Hercules, and Namor the Sub-Mariner for the right to recapture the Hulk.Incredible Hulk #316 He battled the Hulk,Incredible Hulk #317 then destroyed the Hulk robot, and battled the Hulkbusters, resulting in the death of Carolyn Parmenter.Incredible Hulk #318 He battled the Hulk and the Hulkbusters again,Incredible Hulk #319 but the Hulk defeated Samson and the Hulkbusters.Incredible Hulk #320 Samson then attempted to remerge Banner and the Hulk, but an accident resulted in Banner's transformation into the grey Hulk.Incredible Hulk #324 Samson then became mentally dominated by a mutant mind-parasite.Incredible Hulk #330 He assisted X-Factor in capturing the Hulk on behalf of S.H.I.E.L.D.Incredible Hulk #337 Samson also cured Captain Ultra of his fear of fire.Marvel Comics Presents #50

To "cure" his MPD, Samson eventually hypnotized Banner with the Ringmaster's help and successfully began the process of integrating the Banner, grey Hulk, and green Hulk personalities into a new Hulk.Incredible Hulk #377 This ended up beyond his control, however, leading to a somewhat unstable merger which eventually fragmented once more into a third personality, albeit a more benign one than the previous Hulks. Around this time, Samson attended the execution of convicted murderess "Crazy Eight".Incredible Hulk #380

Doc Samson was also a part of Bruce Jones' run on the Hulk, with one of the main characters Jones introduced supposed to be his ex-wife. He spent much of this run sporting an eyepatch, after discovering that a covert organization which is hunting the Hulk has implanted a surveillance device in his eye; he removes the device with a scalpel and donned the eyepatch for protection while his eye healed.

In addition to the Hulk, his most prominent patient, Samson has also spent time in a professional capacity with the second X-Factor, the Molecule Man, She-Hulk, and The Punisher among others.

He is befriended by Doctor Strange's new pupil Jack HolyoakIn the 2006 Doc Samson mini-series, and helped his friends' daughter Tina Punnett rescue her "new-age hippie" parents from dealing with a ghost of musician Cam Larson guarded by Living Totem. Searching for his friend Sam Laroquette, Doc Samson along with Living Totem, Tina and Jack arrives at new age cultist doctor Arick Schnellageister's farm where they all fight Stephen King-inspired nightmarish Weed. The third issue was written by Jay Faerber and it shows Samson helps the new Scorpion come clean after being implied to have killed SHIELD agents. The final two-parter was a storyline involving Nightmare from a different dimension sending the alternate Doc Samson to help him invade the regular 616 Marvel Universe. Those last two issues had Frank Rocketo Espinoza's short Living Totem stories as back up

Civil War/The Initiative

He reappearedShe-Hulk #8, and has also treated Rachel Grey.Uncanny X-Men #469 He discussed with Valerie Cooper, regarding her and the O*N*E* organization taping his session with Rachel, even though he asked her not to. Samson is currently seen as part of Iron Man pro side in Civil War.Amazing Spider-Man vol. 1 #533 He gave each member of the newest incarnation of X-Factor a session after a particularly troubling mission. He is paying particular attention to the team's leader, Jamie Madrox.

Samson is shown working alongside the Pro-Registration alliance. As part of this group, he helps She-Hulk and Spider-Man take down a rampaging robot threatening innocent civilians. Samson remains on his side during the final breakout at the Negative Zone prison. The Pro-Registration people ultimately win when Captain America surrenders.

World War Hulk

Samson plays a role in the events of the World War Hulk crossover event of 2007. Dr. Samson was instrumental in the Illuminati plan of exiling the Hulk as well as de-powering the She-Hulk for Iron Man. Samson was sent by Mr. Fantastic to retrieve She-Hulk after she discovered that her cousin was exiled, and tries to convince her that her cousin deserved his punishment after recalling several moments when the Hulk fought the members of the Illuminati. She-Hulk punches Samson into another state after realizing that Samson was siding with the Illuminati.

Samson is shown to be one of the various heroes that helped during the evacuation of New York.World War Hulk #1 Later he and the Avengers are quickly defeated by the Hulk and his Warbound allies.World War Hulk #2 The Hulk and the Warbound are ultimately undone by the betrayal of one of their own, and the Hulk allows himself to be reverted to Banner and taken into custody.

After the wars

Samson has been appointed by the Initiative to serve as therapist for Penance.Thunderbolts #117

In the debut issue of the new Hulk title, Samson appears in Russia, alongside Iron Man, General Ross, and She-Hulk (whose attitude towards Samson is still antagonistic), investigating the murder of the Abomination at the hands of a Hulk-like creature. After an altercation over jurisdiction with the Russian Winter Guard (a fight which Samson uncharacteristically starts), Samson and Ross return to the United States to consult with Banner, who is imprisoned in a high-security facility.

Powers and abilities

Doc Samson possesses superhuman physical abilities as a result of exposure to high levels of gamma radiation. Initially, Doc Samson's strength was said to be equal to that of the Savage Hulk's when not enraged.

Unlike the Hulk, Samson's strength does not increase as he becomes enraged. Like the Biblical Samson, his strength is dependent upon the length of his hair. Incredible Hulk vol. 2, #143 Samson's leg muscles are highly developed and extremely powerful. He is capable of leaping great distances both vertically and horizontally.

Samson's body has been fortified, granted vastly greater muscular size and development due to his exposure to radiation. The tissues of Samson's body are considerably harder than those of an ordinary human, giving him superhuman durability. Samson can withstand falls from great heights, extremes of temperature, and high-caliber bullets without sustaining injury. Due to his highly advanced musculature, Samson possesses superhuman stamina in all physical activities. He was once able to battle a mindless incarnation of the Hulk for more than six hours. Incredible Hulk vol. 2, #317

Like others who have gamma induced powers, Doc Samson is immune to terrestrial diseases.

Samson is said to be one of the most renowned psychiatrists on Earth. Incredible Hulk vol. 2, #227 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.

He is also an accomplished fighter, enabling him to recurrently hold his own against the savage or mindless incarnations of the Hulk or, on one occasion, briefly against Iron Man, Wonder Man, Sub-Mariner, and Hercules together, though those heroes had been previously weakened after battling the mindless Hulk. Incredible Hulk vol. 2, #316 He sometimes uses psychology as a tool to get through a more powerful opponent's guard, such as an Infinity Gem-empowered Titania.She-Hulk vol.3, #12


Unlike the Hulk, Doc Samson does not suffer from dissociative identity disorder ,and so retains his genius intellect. He has conducted research on gamma beings like himself and has come to the conclusion that gamma mutation is largely determined by the subject's deepest sense of self. Hence, his form is based on a subconscious desire for superhuman power like the Biblical Samson. Incredible Hulk vol. 2, #393

While attacking the Thunderbolts, the telepath Mirage noted that Doc Samson, who was present in Thunderbolts Mountain, had some fascinating thoughts. In his mind she saw that, while his mental reactions to Norman Osborn and Moonstone were Hulk-like, he was still able to control himself from physically acting on those impulses.

Other versions

Earth X

In Earth X, it is stated that Doc Samson was killed when the Skull used his powers of persuasion to force Samson to rip himself inside out. It is stated that Samson got halfway through before he died, and the Skull "thought it was funny".

Mutant X

In the Mutant X earth, Doc Samson had gained green skin and an expanded physique, much like the Hulk. He still manages to keep his calm and rational mind. He forms a new super-team, called the Defenders, after the Avengers are neutralized. Stingray and Yellowjacket join him. Samson is one of the many victims of the conflict between that earth's Beyonder and the Goblyn Queen.


In Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #16 Doc Samson appears as a clam called Doc Clamson.

In other media



  • He will appear in the 2008 Incredible Hulk film, and be played by Ty Burrell.Template:Cite news He does not have any superpowers, but he will portrayed closer to his earlier appearances before his incident. He will also have a friendship with Bruce Banner.

Video games

  • Samson appeared in the video game The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction voiced by Daniel Riordan. Unlike in the comics, he doesn't fight the Hulk. 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 Thunderbolt 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.

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