DR. BERTHOLD STERNBERG
Real Name: Dr. Berthold Sternberg
Identity/Class: Human mutate (World War II to 1950s) (see comments)
Occupation: Doctor, extortionist
Group Membership: None
Enemies: Nick Fury, Steel Harris
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Paris, France
First Appearance: Marvel Spotlight I#31 (December, 1976)
Powers/Abilities: A genius in the field of medical science, Professor Sternberg created a procedure by which an individual's aging process could be drastically slowed and his lifespan could thereby be extended (perhaps indefinitely). The procedure was twofold, beginning with an unspecified surgery, followed by annual boosters of a chemical serum known as the Infinity Formula; failure to get an annual booster would result in the individual suffering from the effects of rapid aging (see comments).
History: (Marvel Spotlight I#31 (fb) - BTS) - The past of Berthold Sternberg is unknown, but at some point he developed a process to extend the human lifespan.
(Marvel Spotlight I#31 (fb)) - During World War II, Sgt. Nick Fury stumbled into a French mine field while trying to elude a Nazi patrol. Mortally wounded by an exploding land mine, Fury was found by a band of French partisans who took him to Sternberg for treatment. Sternberg operated on Fury and saved his life, but he also saw Fury as the perfect guinea pig to test his procedure on and injected him with the Infinity Formula.
A week afterwards, Sternberg's home was destroyed during an American bombing raid -- Fury escaped and headed back to his outfit, figuring the doctor had died.
Six months after the war, Sternberg sent a package and letter to Fury, who was then working for the O.S.S. The package contained a small inoculator, which Fury set aside, planning to have its contents checked out later. But when Fury woke up the next morning, he found that he had aged 60 years overnight. Grabbing the inoculator, the aged Fury injected himself with the booster and was back to normal an hour later. Shortly thereafter, the extortion began when Fury learned that he needed an annual booster supplied by Sternberg. Sternberg stayed well out of Fury's reach, sending a special Swiss Bank agent to transact all pick-ups and deliveries -- Fury went along with it because all Sternberg wanted each year was money, and Fury wanted to live.
(Marvel Spotlight I#31 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, Sternberg also got American gangster Steel Harris as a "client," personally involving him with his Infinity Formula extortion plot.
(Marvel Spotlight I#31) - In Paris, Sternberg was captured by Harris and his thugs. Having tired of Sternberg's extortion over the years, Harris shot the doctor and dumped his body into the Paris sewer system, then took possession of Sternberg's notebook with the formula.
Comments: Created by Jim Starlin and Howard Chaykin.
Not a whole lot of information is available on Sternberg (who's only appeared in a total of 5 panels since he was introduced over 30 years ago), so forgive me if details in this profile seem rather sketchy.
The Infinity Formula later wound up in the custody of SHIELD.
I list Sternberg (whose first name was revealed in Nick Fury II#30) as a human mutate because it seems logical to me that he'd also use his life-extending process on himself... after all, he had (at least) two individuals who'd be paying him for dosages of the Infinity Formula for a long time... (I wonder if Sternberg had any more "customers" besides Fury and Harris).
In Marvel Spotlight I#31, only the Infinity Formula itself was mentioned; but in Nick Fury II#31, Fury revealed that the Infinity Formula was only part of the process, and that an operation had been performed on him first -- he also stated that if the formula was used on someone by itself, it would kill them quite painfully. In that same issue, Fury also said that a SHIELD doctor had informed him that he had been ingesting the formula for so long, his body was processing it naturally and theoretically he didn't need it to prolong his life anymore -- I guess only time will tell...
Profile by John Kaminski
Berthold Sternberg has no known connection to:
Marvel Spotlight I#31, p3, pan5 (head shot)
Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD II#30, p18, pan3 (another head shot)
Marvel Spotlight I#31 (December, 1976) - Jim Starlin (writer), Howard Chayking (artist), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD II#30 (December, 1991) - D.G. Chichester & Scott Lobdell (writers), Ernie Stiner (pencils), Don Hudson (inks), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
Last updated: 10/28/06
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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