Mad Man

    Character » Mad Man appears in 30 issues.

    Philip Sterns, brother of Samuel Sterns AKA The Leader, was a brilliant nuclear physicist who was obsessed with the Hulk, and experimented himself with gamma-radiation to emulate the Hulk’s powers. He is searching for a way to tap into the hidden strengths that all Hulks have.

    Short summary describing this character.

    Mad Man last edited by Superhero926 on 04/23/22 12:40PM View full history


    As Philip Sterns
    As Philip Sterns

    Phillip Sterns was one of Bruce Banner's classmates in college and was amazed at Bruce Banner's intelligence. He decided to emulate Banner, becoming a physicist, etc. Learning that Bruce Banner can change himself into a creature of immense strength, he attempts a procedure to alter his own body. He is successful but in the process, he develops a multi-personalty disorder. The other personality who wants to kill everyone and wants power tries to fight the Hulk. In this first fight he is successful because the incarnation he fought was the Gray Hulk aka the weakest Hulk. Attempting to truly kill the Hulk so he can claim to be the most powerful, Mad Man's "Other" personality concocts a poison that will weaken the Hulk even more, making him lose strength, and mass. This causes Bruce Banner to die, but the Hulk's Incredible healing factor starts to regenerate his body, slowly filtering out the poison.

    However, the Hulk's healing factor isn't working fast enough so as he fights Mad Man he becomes exhausted and begins to lose muscle, strength, and mass. To help stop this from happening, the Hulk goes to the Leader's newest hideout and makes him concoct a compound that will destroy the poison in his body. The Hulk threatens to pummel the Leader if he can't help the Hulk stop Mad Man. Luckily, the Hulk survived, and left the Leader alone to fight Mad Man. Mad Man had captured the Prince of Wales, and threatened to kill him if he couldn't have control of the country. The Hulk saves the prince and beats up Mad Man. To end the battle, Hulk hurtled Mad Man into the Thames River. With being too tired and too weak, the Mad Man drowned. His body was never recovered.


    Mad Man is a Marvel comics character and was created by Peter David and Jeff Purves in 1989 and first appeared in The Incredible Hulk #363. The character is experiencing somewhat of a minor resurgence in the 2012 series of Thunderbolts, writer of that series Daniel Way being a fan of the character "I chose to use Madman because I was looking for someone who could physically stand toe-to-toe with the Red Hulk" as explained in an interview.

    Character Evolution

    Madman has relatively few appearances, and hasn't quite attained the popularity as his much more utilized fictional brother The Leader. Recently the character is being used again after a lengthly absence. Daniel Way using the character in Thunderbolts "Madman doesn't have a whole lot of history or continuity but what's there is interesting. He got kind of weird and ridiculous later on, but essentially he's this really cool Peter David creation. We do know Madman is Phillip Sterns, brother of Samuel Sterns. This story delves into that connection because Madman isn't just a huge stumbling block for Red Hulk and the Thunderbolts, but also for Samuel Sterns, who is now The Red Leader thanks to Ross." and despite Madman's small amount of appearances within comics he does have a number of appearances in various other media.

    Major Story Arcs


    Recently Phillip Sterns has reappeared in the island nation of Kata Jaya, near Madripoor in his Madman persona. Kata Jaya's dictator like leader General Awa has been suppling his nations military with gamma powered weapons. This use of such a dangerous arsenal attracts the attention of General Thunderbolt Ross, who as the Red Hulk gathers a special team of operatives (Elektra, Punisher, Venom and Deadpool) for the mission of stopping General Awa. They seem generally unaware of the extent of Madman's behind the scenes involvement. Philip and the Thunderbolts enter a confrontation but it is Samuel Sterns who puts an end to his brother's raging rampage. Philip grabs Samuel and is about to crush him with his bare hands but Samuel whispers something into Philip's ear. All of a sudden, Philip begins to suffer an abnormal brain hemorrhage. Philip's cranium grows to the point that it explodes thus putting an end to a mad man,

    Powers and Abilities

    Much like his main nemesis Hulk, Sterns has the ability to greatly increase is size and strength, however he can achieve intermediary states between his smaller and largest forms. At his largest Madman, possesses incredible strength, of sufficiency to lift upwards of 100 tons. Likewise he possesses superhuman durability, enhanced. A overall setback, is that Sterns suffers from identity disorders, and his Madman persona can wrestle control away from Sterns. Sterns is incredibly intelligent as well, a genius in nuclear physics as well as robotics.

    Physical Characteristics (as Philip Sterns)

    Height: 5'10"

    Weight: 182 lbs

    Hair: Blond

    Eyes: Blue

    Physical Characteristics (as Madman)

    Height: 8'11"

    Weight: 622 lbs

    Hair: None

    Eyes: Brown

    Other Media

    Video Games

    Hulk (2003)

    Mad Man appeared in the video game, Hulk, as a strong boss. You fight him twice, once in the middle of story, second at the end. He looks like he does in the comics, but he never changes size. He always stays about two feet taller and buffer than you. He is the last boss you fight in the game.


    The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes (2010)

    Madman appears in the Avengers animated cartoon series, episode Hulk Vs. the World. It is a minor cameo appearance. Philip is observed in a prison cell, at the Cube prison, alongside many other gamma and Hulk associated villains.


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