Quote1 I've got reason to believe Monster -- that anything you can do -- I can do better -- Quote2
-- Samson src

Early Life

Leonard Skivorski, Jr. was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was of Jewish descent and regularly attended yeshiva.[7] He was the son of Dr. Leonard Skivorski, Sr. a successful psychiatrist in his own right. His father specialized in treating young women and had affairs with them. His was nicknamed "Samson" by his wife because of his long hair.[8] Leonard at first wanted nothing to do with psychology, but in college like his father he gained a PhD in psychology.[9]

US Army

He came to General "Thunderbolt" Ross with a plan to cure Ross's daughter Betty, who had been transformed into a crystalline form[1] through a blood transfusion with Sandman.[10] Samson had technicians devise a Cathexis Ray projector that would drain off gamma particle energy and psionic energy from Bruce Banner as he transformed into the monstrous Hulk whom General Ross had long hunted. Samson theorized that as a result of this process, Banner would be cured of the physiological instability that continually transformed him into the Hulk. Hoping to save Betty and to be cured himself, Banner willingly participated in the experiment. The cathexis ray succeeded in turning Betty Ross back to normal, employing Banner's psionic energy.[1]

Doc Samson Vol 2 1 Textless

Doc Samson's Gamma Form

However, most of the psionic energy drained from Banner (as well as a considerable amount of his excess gamma radiation) remained within the cathexis ray projector. Motivated by scientific curiosity, and probably by a subconscious desire to gain superhuman powers for himself, Samson irradiated himself with the energies remaining within the projector. The result was that the slim, brown-haired psychiatrist was transformed into a massively-muscled, green-haired superhuman with Gamma-boosted strength. Banner himself seemed permanently cured, but he broke emotionally under the strain of seeing Betty, the woman he loved, being romanced by Samson. Banner then exposed himself to Gamma radiation, thereby undoing the cure. Samson then fought the Hulk, being defeated in his first real superhero combat, but Betty sympathized with the weaker Samson much to the Hulk's chagrin.[1]

Samson later lost his superhuman physique and power when he took a blast of concentrated gamma radiation intended for the Hulk.[11] However, months later Samson regained his gamma-mutated form and superhuman strength when he was bombarded by intensive radiation from an exploding gammatron, an experimental gamma-ray generator.[12] He has remained in this form ever since. "Doc" Samson, as he has been nicknamed, has long sought to capture and permanently cure the Hulk. Samson worked as a teacher at the Evanston campus of the Northwestern University during the recent time that the Hulk was traveling through different dimensions, unable to return to Earth. However, Samson often neglected his academic duties and returned to his pursuit of the Hulk once the monster reappeared on Earth.[13]

Doc Samson was also briefly the Director of Ravencroft Institute, a facility for the criminally insane, following the removal of Doctor Ashley Kafka as head of the facility.[14]

World War Hulk

During the Superhuman Civil War Samson joined the Registered heroes and fought against the Secret Avengers.[15] Shortly afterwards, the Hulk returned to seek revenge on the Illuminati, who exiled him to space. Doc Samson helped evacuate the people of New York. Then he battled the Hulk and the Warbound. He was defeated by the Warbound and imprisoned.[16]

Dark Reign

Hulk Vol 2 18 Textless Portacio

Not Doctor just Samson

Following the Skrull invasion, Doc Samson led a support group meeting with those that had been replaced by Skrulls.[17] Later, on Air Force One, he attempted to disclose the full activities of Norman Osborn within Thunderbolts Mountain to the new United States President. Before Samson was able to play the evidence, Osborn's new Thunderbolts hijacked the plane: the Ghost took the evidence, Eric O'Grady implanted a gamma-emitter on the back of Samson's neck causing him to grow angry and more powerful in a Hulk-like manner, and someone wearing the Green Goblin's costume attacked the airplane.[18] Samson's increased anger caused him to attack the President, but he was phased out of the plane by the Ghost. Osborn reasoned that, in his enhanced state, Doc Samson probably survived the fall, and released a global warrant for his arrest, suggesting that Samson attempted to kill the President.[19]

Red Hulk

A new Red Hulk appeared, and revealed that Bruce was no longer comatose, and was being imprisoned by the US military.[20] However, the Helicarrier crashed near New Jersey.[21] Tony Stark ordered Maria Hill to investigate and search for survivors. Clay Quartermain's corpse was found mangled and ravaged, and the area bathed with gamma radiation. General Ross and Samson's bodies were missing. Leonard's coat was found ripped and shredded in a Hulk-like fashion, exhibiting higher Gamma Radiation values than every other item in the wreckage.[22]

M.O.D.O.K. placed Samson under mind control producing a split personality. This led to a powerless Leonard who was defined as the good one and an evil Samson whose abilities are greater than She-Hulk's. Samson shot Rick Jones and dragged him away after he attempted to reveal who the Red Hulk really was.[23] He then engaged She-Hulk in combat but it was cut short by M.O.D.O.K. who fired a laser, knocking both unconscious and reverting Samson to Leonard. A battle between Red Hulk and Hulk caused an explosion.[24] After the Red Hulk depowered the true Hulk, Samson double crossed Red Hulk to punish him for his disobedience.[25] Afterward, Samson's darker persona took control once again, under M.O.D.O.K.'s surveillance.[8]

Reverted, Doc Samson was killed attempting to help a returned Hulk contain all of the Gamma radiation from the Hulked-Out Heroes.[26]

Doc Samson was among the many deceased resurrected during the Chaos War, along with Glenn Talbot, Hiroim, Jarella, Rebecca Banner, the Abomination, and Brian Banner, who had the ability to transform into a replica of the Devil Hulk at will. They returned to the realm of the dead afterwards, with the exception of Hulk's mom.[27]

Civil War II

At some point in time, Doc Samson returned to the land of the living. He continued working as a psychoanalyst and a super hero. He was later sent to the Triskelion to assess Alpha Flight leader Captain Marvel.[28]

The Immortal Doc Samson

It was revealed that, following his death, he had actually came back to life some time later following the same green door that other Gamma-powered people had followed. He had decided to remain hidden save for approaching Captain Marvel. He had wanted to get back in touch with Bruce, but decided otherwise, especially upon learning that Amadeus Cho had become the Hulk. He immediately regretted that after Bruce's death at the hands of Hawkeye during the second Superhuman Civil War.

Upon learning of Bruce's return, he hunted down his old patient and, upon getting his current incarnation of the Hulk calmed down to be talked to, began to work with this Hulk and learn more about him. During their conversation, he learned that this Hulk was the Devil Hulk he once encountered, though not the lizard creature they had seen before. However, the Devil Hulk wanted to show Samson something else -- the grave of Rick Jones, a hole in it where he was once buried.[29]

Samson and Hulk eventually learn that Rick's body had been taken by the U.S. Hulk Operations. They travel to the Hulk Operations' base in New Mexico, believing that Rick's body to be there. In reality, the Hulk Operations had set up a trap for Hulk. After Samson and Hulk fought off three gamma-irradiated creatures, they were surprised by Hulk Operations agent Bushwacker. Bushwacker used solar emitters to revert Hulk back to Bruce Banner and then shot Samson in the head, seemingly killing him, so he didn't interfere with his mission of killing Banner.[30]

Banner eventually overcame Bushwacker and killed him as well as destroy the entire base with excess gamma radiation.[31] Samson eventually recovered from his head wound and emerged from the ruins of the base. Then Gamma Flight appeared, picked him up, and took him to Alpha Flight's space station for treatment and debriefing. Samson revealed to Gamma Flight about Hulk's plan to wipe out human civilization and discussed how Hulk planned to carry it out.[32]

Samson aided Gamma Flight in tracking down Hulk, but by then, the Hulk had already fled after battling the U.S. Hulk Operations. What was left behind were two wrecked War-Wagons belonging to the Hulk Operations and a husk that used to contain Rick Jones that the Hulk Operation used to turn him into a weapon. Samson and Gamma Flight took the husk back with them to Alpha Flight's space station for study.[33] Wanting the husk back, Gen. Fortean, the head of the Hulk Operations, teleported himself into the space station to get it back. Wearing Redeemer Armor, Fortean incapacitated the members of Gamma Flight but killed Samson and Walter Langkowski when they fought back.[34]

Samson eventually came back to life, but Walter did not. Samson joined Gamma Flight in taking the fight to Hulk Operations. After locating the Hulk Operations' base in Groom Lake in Area 51, Samson and Gamma Flight teleported themselves into the base but were immediately confronted by the Hulk Operations, who had anticipated their arrival. Samson was shocked that Gen. Fortean had merged with the husk he took back. The meeting was interrupted when Hulk, Betty, Rick, and Jackie McGee smashed their way into the base.[35] A fight broke out with Fortean and his forces on one side, and the Hulk, Gamma Flight, and Samson on the other. When Hulk was being weakened by concentrated UV light and was about to be fired upon, Samson jumped in front of Hulk to take the shot, leading to his death.[36]

Samson's soul was transported to the Below-Place where he greeted General Fortean when he arrived there after he and the Hulk killed each other. Samson told Fortean that he warned him that this would happen to him if he continued down he path he was on. Fortean was then killed by Banner while in possession of his Joe Fixit persona. Samson later resurrected himself and with Hulk coming back to life shortly after. With Fortean dead, Hulk decided to take over Shadow Base. Samson chose to stop helping Alpha Flight and stay at Hulk's side to make sure he didn't take things too far.[37]


Doc Samson Vol 2 3 Textless

Doc Samson with the Scorpion

  • Gamma Radiation Enhancements: Doc Samson possesses great superhuman strength, endurance, and resistance to injury. The gamma radiation that transformed Doc Samson fortified his cellular structure, added roughly two hundred pounds of enhanced muscle, bone, and connecting tissue to his body, and turned his hair green (The source of Samson's added mass is unknown, but probably extra-dimensional). Nick Fury's intel classified him as power level 8.[38]
    • Superhuman Strength: While not exposed to a dosage of gamma radiation as great as the Hulk, the Abomination, or even the She-Hulk, Samson was granted great superhuman strength. As a result of his gamma ray exposure, he possessed sufficient superhuman strength to lift about 70 tons. Samson's strength doesn't fluctuate with surges of adrenaline during periods of heightened emotional states, such as the Hulk does while angry, and as a result he is far less powerful. His strength was dependent upon the length of his hair: the longer it was, the stronger he was. His great strength also extends into the powerful muscles of his legs, allowing him to leap great heights and distances, though far less than the Hulk or Abomination. Samson has been known to leap approximately 580 feet straight up into the air, and to a maximum reported distance of 910 feet. His strength no longer depends on the length of his hair, but it may still be affected by it.
    • Superhuman Stamina: As in the case of the Hulk, She-Hulk and Abomination, the gamma ray exposure has dramatically increased the efficiency of Samson's musculature, though not as greatly. As a result, his musculature produces considerably less fatigue toxins during physical activity than the musculature of a normal human. Samson can physically exert himself at peak capacity for about 24 hours before the build up of fatigue toxins in his blood begins to impair him.
    • Superhuman Durability: Samson's gamma ray enhanced physique is much harder and more resistant to physical injury than a normal human. Samson's skin is able to resist penetration wounds from high caliber bullets or blades composed of most conventional materials. Samson is also physically durable enough to withstand multiple blows from the Hulk, while in an enraged emotional state, and sustain little to no injury. His bones and muscles are strong and resilient enough to be able to survive a fall at terminal velocity reached after free-falling 4,000 feet in a feet-first attitude at 145 miles per hour against sidewalk concrete, provided he lands upright. Even if he doesn't land upright, Samson wouldn't sustain serious physical injury.
    • Retained Consciousness: Samson still contains his memories and cognitive abilities. Samson's superhuman physique isn't the physical manifestation of an alternate personality brought about by exposure to high levels of gamma radiation, whereas the Hulk is an alternate personality of Bruce Banner. This is also a factor as to why Samson doesn't revert to a non-superhuman form.
    • Self-Resurrection: Samson has recently obtained the ability to self-resurrect himself after dying by passing through the Green Door.[29][32][34] According to Gen. Fortean, the time it takes for Samson to resurrect himself shortens after every death.[35]
  • Telepathic defenses: Doc Samson has learned to recognise when his mind is being probed by telepathy, as well as having learned techniques to forcefully shock someone out of his mind by bringing his Gamma induced feelings of rage to the forefront of his thoughts, thus overwhelming the telepath and forcing them to retreat from his mind.[39]


Doc Samson is a skilled psychiatrist, said to be one of the most renowned on Earth.[40] He is also an M.D. as well as a PhD.[41] He has used a nutrient bath to separate Banner and the Hulk[42] and placed a rem-integrator in the Hulk's head to put him to sleep.[40] While he's had no formal training, his powers make him a formidable hand-to-hand combatant. He typically uses street fighting techniques that allow him to make full use of his strength.

Strength level

  • Doc Samson is partly based on the biblical hero Samson, sharing a name and having the same relation between their strength and their hair's length.

Discover and Discuss


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Incredible Hulk #141
  2. Defenders Vol 2 #5
  3. Doc Samson Vol 2 #1
  4. Doc Samson Vol 2 #2
  5. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol 4 #4Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Hulk 2004
  6. Civil War: Battle Damage Report
  7. Incredible Hulk #373
  8. 8.0 8.1 Hulk Vol 2 #18
  9. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Hulk 2004 and official corrections
  10. Incredible Hulk #139
  11. Incredible Hulk #147
  12. Incredible Hulk #193
  13. Incredible Hulk #314
  14. The Spectacular Spider-Man #246
  15. Civil War #3
  16. World War Hulk #1
  17. Avengers: The Initiative #20
  18. Thunderbolts #128-129
  19. Thunderbolts #129
  20. Hulk Vol 2 #1
  21. Hulk Vol 2 #2
  22. Hulk Vol 2 #4
  23. Hulk Vol 2 #6
  24. Incredible Hulk #600
  25. Hulk Vol 2 #16
  26. Incredible Hulk #610
  27. Incredible Hulks #619-620
  28. Civil War II #0
  29. 29.0 29.1 Immortal Hulk #15
  30. Immortal Hulk #16
  31. Immortal Hulk #17
  32. 32.0 32.1 Immortal Hulk #18
  33. Immortal Hulk #20
  34. 34.0 34.1 Immortal Hulk #21
  35. 35.0 35.1 Immortal Hulk #22
  36. Immortal Hulk #23
  37. Immortal Hulk #24
  38. Secret War: From the Files of Nick Fury #1
  39. Thunderbolts #119
  40. 40.0 40.1 Incredible Hulk #227
  41. Hulk Vol. 1: Red Hulk HC/TP
  42. Incredible Hulk #315
  43. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #3
  44. Fall of the Hulks: Gamma #1
  45. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #3
  46. Fall of the Hulks: Gamma #1

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