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Psychiatrist Dr. Leonard Samson came to General T.E. "Thunderbolt" Ross with a plan to cure Ross's daughter Betty, who had been transformed into a crystalline form through a blood transfusion with the Sandman. 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.
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 desire to gain superhuman powers for himself, Samson irradiated himself with the energies remaining within the projector. The result was that the slight, brown-haired psychiatrist was transformed into a massively muscled, green-haired superhuman with gamma-boosted strength. Banner himself seemed permanently cured, but he emotionally broke under the strain of seeing Betty, the woman he loved, being romanced by Samson, and exposed himself to gamma radiation, thereby undoing the cure.
Samson later lost his superhuman physique and power when he took a blast of concentrated gamma radiation intended for the Hulk. 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. 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 university teacher during the recent time that the Hulk was traveling through different dimension, unable to return to Earth. But Samson returned to his pursuit of the Hulk once the monster reappeared on Earth.
Doc Samson possesses greet 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 extradimensional.) While not exposed to as great a dosage of gamma radiation as Bruce Banner (the Hulk) or Emil Blonsky (the Abomination), Samson nevertheless gained superhuman strength from the transformation. Samson's legs possess sufficient strength to enable him to leap approximately 580 feet straight up into the air, and to a maximum reported distance of 910 feet. His gamma ray enhanced body is resistant to penetration wounds of any sort up to a high caliper bullet. His bones and muscles are strong and resilient enough to be able to survive a fall at terminal velocity (reached after freefalling 4,000 feet in a feet-first attitude: 145 miles per hour) against sidewalk concrete, provided he lands upright. Unlike the Hulk, Doc Samson neither loses his memories nor his cognitive abilities while in his gamma ray-mutated state, nor does he periodically revert to non-superhuman form.
As is apparent by comparing the mutated forms of such gamma radiation subjects as the Hulk, the Abomination, Doc Samson, and the Leader, different frequencies of gamma radiation affect different human beings in different ways. The effect that intensive gamma radiation has on most people is cellular deterioration and eventual death, but there are others whose genetic constitution enables them to mutate so as to gain superhuman powers. The type and extent of mutation is determined by tour factors: the frequency and amount of the gamma rays, the subject's latent mutant potential, and the subject's psychological make-up. The subject's potential for mutation is dictated by certain mysterious "intersticial" segments of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), the molecules which carry a living organism's genetic code. Under the action of mutagenic influences, such as gamma rays, the segments can trigger many body wide restructuring events. As for the subject's psychological make-up, it has been theorized that the gamma radiation somehow acts to mold the subject's mutated form according to repressed desires within his subconscious. Hence, Doc Samson's mutated form is the physical embodiment of his own long-buried desire to become a super heroic figure. Hence, these tour factors contributed to the extremely non-human appearance of the Abomination, the neanderthalic appearance of the Hulk, and the relatively normal appearance of Doc Samson, whose only aberration is his hair color. Why gamma radiation tends to produce mutate forms of a greenish hue is not yet known.