Boise’s Place in The Marvel Universe – Part Three
You may not think of Boise as an epicenter for superhero activity, but we've had our fair share. I've told you about Edward Cobert, otherwise known as Gargantua, born in the City of Trees. We've also learned about Melissa Gold, also known as Songbird, who claimed to have Treasure Valley roots.
Another character from the Marvel Universe linked to the Boise area is Samuel Stearns. Born in Boise, Stearns had learning disabilities and rough home life. His parents preferred his smarter brother and, without a support system, dropped out of high school. He eventually found work in a chemical research plant.
As you know, for comic book characters, working in a chemical plant is not advised. It seldom works out positively, and it's almost cliche. That said, everything you expect to go wrong does: a chemical spill leaving Samuel Sterns soaked in gamma radiation, not unlike The Hulk.
Like The Hulk, Stearns' skin turned green, but unlike the Hulk, Stearns didn't gain superhuman strength. He instead gained superhuman intelligence, an extra-large head. He changed his name to better reflect his newly found attributes and call himself the Leader.
The Leader became obsessed with the Hulk and Bruce Banner, chasing him worldwide but never truly defeating him. Through different incarnations in many different versions of the Hulk comic books, the Leader went through several changes, including a very dark devil version. While he may not have had the most accolades of the two other Boise characters, the Leader appeared in more comics.
Interestingly, all three of the Treasure Valley members of the Marvel Universe were villains. I'm not sure what that says about us or how the rest of the country perceives us.