Janet Stein was an expert on gravitational-wave astronomy, and a member of PRIDE. She was the wife of Victor Stein and the mother of Chase Stein. Due to the abuse she suffered from her husband, Stein started a relationship with fellow PRIDE member Robert Minoru, but kept this relationship a secret to preserve her family. Stein eventually discovered Victor's own secret that he was dying from a brain cancer. Therefore, she decided to end her affair with Minoru to try and help her husband. However, due to Victor falling back into his violent demeanor, Stein was forced to shoot him to protect their son Chase. This caused Stein to be almost forced to sacrifice herself by Jonah to revive Victor. Stein later joined the PRIDE plot meant to kill Jonah as they had figured out that Jonah had fooled them.
Stein was determined to make amends for her mistakes, insisting that the well-being of PRIDE's children was paramount. She also discovered that Victor was being kept in a Healing Algorithm and convinced Jonah to let her interact with her husband within the simulation. Stein briefly interacted with the Runaways when called by Gert Yorkes to sign her out of the hospital, and informed them that Jonah was planning a new sacrifice. With Victor's help, Stein was able to decrypt the Abstract given to her by Geoffrey Wilder, and Stein used this knowledge to design an Anti-Gravity Device which proved to be crucial in stopping Jonah's spaceship during the Battle at the PRIDE Construction Site. Afterwards, worried about the weapons PRIDE was developing against the Runaways, Stein convinced Victor that they should persuade Chase to come home peacefully, which eventually worked out. However, Stein's wishes to have a reunited family were endangered as she was later captured by Jonah, who had survived his previous confrontation against PRIDE and the Runaways and possessed the body of her husband.
Stein was uploaded into the Healing Algorithm by Jonah along with her son and Karolina Dean so it could be decided by his family which to sacrifice to regenerate their human hosts. Stein, once she found out that the life she was living in the Algorithm was a fake, eventually came into contact with Chase and Karolina, who had also figured out that it was not real. However, Stein herself was forced to stay inside the simulation if it meant that Chase and Karolina got to leave and escape Jonah. After a tearful goodbye with her son, Stein’s physical body died due to being disconnected from the system, but her mind survived and became one with the Algorithm. Now able to infiltrate into various computer systems, Stein notably alerted Nico that several of her teammates needed to be rescued, and was instrumental in weakening Morgan le Fay during the Battle at the Hostel by disrupting the phone network service the Corvus phones relied on.
Meeting Victor Stein
- "Imagine being given extra time to consider, or reconsider what you're doing, the choices that you make. We could head off wars, avoid accidents. I could not wear pink taffeta to my senior prom."
- ―Janet Stein[src]
Stein went to Culver University and met Victor Stein in class, the two discussed the idea of time travel as Victor expressed it as time of beauty. Stein became smitten with Victor, with whom she had a tumultuous relationship, with both of them creating the Disruptor, an advanced hacking tool that ended up being confiscated by the FBI.
Birth of Chase
Stein and Victor later moved to Los Angeles, and Stein gave birth to Chase Stein in 2001 and watched her husband be given Chase for the first time. Victor briefly spoke with the nurse and returned to Stein. Victor, who was lost of words, stated "he's" before Stein finished with everything. Agreeing, Victor told Stein that he understood what everyone meant when a child is the only thing that matters.
Stein and Victor joined the organization PRIDE, tooking part to rituals meant to revive Jonah. She expressed horror when she realized that she had contributed to the death of PRIDE's first victim, Brooks Watten.
Like the other members of PRIDE, Stein attended the funeral held for Gene and Alice Hernandez, who had seemingly been killed in an accident. Stein shared a toast with Catherine Wilder, and told her that at least the Hernandezes' daughter Molly would never have to worry about the money, although Wilder thought that money could sometimes make things worse.
As years passed, Stein's husband, Victor Stein, became abusive as he was focused on his work and was fueled by his ego. Stein and her son Chase suffered from the abuse, as the latter would come to resent him as he got older. Stein would lean to Robert Minoru, a fellow member of PRIDE for comfort, leading to the two to have an affair.
Sacrifice of Destiny Gonzalez
Stein went to her son Chase's bedroom to tell him that they were expecting him from breakfast. She later remained silent as her husband Victor chastised Chase for his poor grade at school. Stein later joined Chase in his room and tried to convince him that his father had improved his behavior, although Chase remained deaf to this and still insulted his father. As Chase left, Stein received a call from her lover Robert Minoru and told him that she was looking forward to meeting him at the PRIDE meeting scheduled in the evening.
Stein then went to Victor's lab, where he was trying to fix the Dematerialization Box and suggested that he could try to call for some help, which angered Victor, although he apologized immediately after, claiming that he was under a lot of pression. Stein then remained in the lab with the mouse Victor had failed to dematerialize.. They then left to the Wilder Mansion for the PRIDE meeting.
During the meeting, Stein was approached by Minoru, who noticed that she had changed her hair, something Robert had failed to see. Along with the other members of PRIDE, Stein reviewed the file of Destiny Gonzalez, who they were about to sacrifice. She then went to the sacrifice room and took part in the ritual which led to Gonzalez being put in the Dematerialization Box. However, as the ritual ended, they noticed a flash of lightning in the room. Stein remained in the sacrifice chamber while Geoffrey and Catherine Wilder left to investigate.
When the Wilders returned, Stein hypothesized that the energy coming from the Dematerialization Box could have caused a power cut in the mansion, explaining the flash that they had seen. Stein then went to meet the children of PRIDE members in the mansion's hall, notably discussing with Molly Hernandez. As everyone left, Stein told Chase that Victor was expecting them in the car and that they had to go as well.
The day following the sacrifice of Destiny Gonzalez, Stein found her husband Victor sleeping in his lab. She told him that they were expected for a charity lunch outside and voiced her concerns about Victor, but Victor abruptly rebuffed her, demanding her unconditional support for all he did for their family. They then left for the lunch they had been invited to.
Later, Stein left her husband and went to join her lover Robert Minoru in an apartment. After they had sex, Stein asked Minoru who the apartment belonged to and Minoru revealed that he had bought the place and that he was ready to start over his new life with her. Stein asked for more time to think about it, as she was uncomfortable at the idea of giving up on her husband and fearing that her son Chase could be hurt.
As it was revealed that Gonzalez had actually survived the sacrifice and that Victor had actually murdered her afterwards, Stein joined an emergency PRIDE meeting at the Wilder Mansion. When Geoffrey Wilder asked Victor why he had not told them about the malfunctions of the Dematerialization Box, Stein replied that she had told him not to as she was convinced that Victor would fix it, although Victor insisted that the Box would not be a problem in the future.
Stein later took part in the sacrifice of Andre Compton, who had been brought by Wilder at the Church of Gibborim Executive Office in replacement for Gonzalez. While helping Minoru to carry the Dematerialization Box, Stein put her hand on his, which surprised Minoru and was noticed by Victor. During the sacrifice, Stein exchanged concerned looks with her husband out of fear that the sacrifice could fail again. Nevertheless, the sacrifice functioned and Jonah was revived.
The Truth Revealed
Stein met with her lover Robert Minoru in his car, and explained that her husband's Victor had been nicer to their son Chase lately. However, Minoru told her that Victor could soon return to more violent behavior and urged Stein to tell Victor that she was planning on leaving her. Fearing Victor's reaction, Stein was given a gun by Minoru. Unbeknownst to them, however, Victor was spying on their conversation all along.
In the evening, Stein went to the PRIDE gala held at Wizard Headquarters. Much like the other members of PRIDE, Stein enjoyed the party until Victor, when given the opportunity to deliver a speech, publicly revealed the affair between Stein and Minoru, much to the audience's shock. As Victor fainted immediately after, Stein accompanied him in a quiet room with Chase.
However, as Victor regained consciousness and assured that he was fine, Chase told him that he could not be fine since he was suffering from a brain tumor, something Stein did not know and was utterly shocked to learn. Stein insisted on helping her husband, but Victor told her to leave, which was seconded by Chase. Stein was later joined in the parking lot, who seemed much better thanks to Jonah's Serum and had seemingly forgiven her. As Chase arrived and asked them if everything was right, Victor hugged them both, much to Stein's surprise.
Ending the Affair
In the next day, Stein found her husband Victor and her son Chase apparently bonding in the Stein Mansion's garage. As Victor left to take a shower, Stein was told by Chase that Victor planned on attending the Atlas Academy open house, much to her surprise. Stein and Chase then discussed the effects of Jonah's Serum and how it had changed Victor's personality. Since Chase wondered whether it would make it harder for Stein to leave Victor, Stein explained how hard it had been to live with Victor but that she was ready to start over with him if the improvement of his character kept going.
Stein and Victor then went to the open house, enjoying the meals served in the Atlas Academy. Stein was approached by Leslie Dean, who wanted to make sure that Stein would settle things down regarding her marriage, although Stein was reluctant to discuss the matter with Dean. Still, Stein told Dean that she would end her relationship with Robert Minoru. Seeing Victor and Minoru apparently having a tense conversation, Stein joined them and told Victor that they had to see Chase's teachers.
Stein later had a talk with Minoru, who still thought that they could live their relationship in the open. Although Minoru tried to convince her that Victor would soon fall back into his abusive behavior, Stein refused to listen to him, seeing a second chance to live her life with the man she had married and told Minoru that their relationship was over.
However, back at the Stein Mansion, Robert Minoru's predictions soon came to pass and Stein found her husband Victor violently attacking her son Chase with the Fistigons. Fearing for Chase's life, Stein shot Victor with the gun Minoru had given her earlier. Facing such a disaster with Victor being heavily wounded, Stein sent an emergency message to the other members of PRIDE, urging them to come to the Stein Mansion to help her deal with the situation.
Stein was firstly visited by Tina and Robert Minoru, who quickly learned about the situation. They were followed by Geoffrey and Catherine Wilder. Together, the members of PRIDE agreed that Stein should take Chase out of the garage while they would deal with the matter. Stein and Chase thus went to the kitchen and shared a drink to recover from their emotions. As Chase expressed his idea that the brain tumor was actually responsible for Victor's recent outburst, Stein gently answered that it might be.
Stein later left Chase and returned into the garage where Dale and Stacey Yorkes had arrived. Together, the members of PRIDE tried to save Victor, who fell into a coma, and Dale explained to Stein that it might be a good sign. Leslie Dean arrived immediately after and called her husband Frank so that he could heal Victor with his Healing Gloves. During the process, Stein held Victor's hand and felt it clutching around hers. Although Stein initially believed that Victor could be revived, she soon figured out that something was wrong as Victor's grip began to hurt her. Eventually, Victor was found clinically dead.
Jonah later arrived at the Stein Mansion as well and detailed his plan of using the Dematerialization Boxes to revive Victor. However, he also demanded that Stein sacrifice herself for the plan to work. Stein violently refused, blaming Jonah's Serum and arguing that the whole situation was Jonah's fault. Still, she got no support from the other members of PRIDE, with Tina even told Stein that she was useless to PRIDE. This caused Stein to empty her bag of frustration, blaming the other members of PRIDE for having let her deal with the abusive Victor alone.
The argument continued as Stein suggested putting Dale into the Box since she deemed it clumsy and useless, although Dale mentioned the Synnergy Serum as a significant accomplishment and told that Stein was the reason they had to sacrifice someone. Despite Robert suggesting to sacrifice Frank, who had left the room, Jonah ordered Jonah to pick quickly, threatening to kill PRIDE and their children if Victor actually died for good. This caused panic in the ranks of PRIDE, to the point of having Dale picking up the gun previously used by Stein and aiming it at his colleagues.
Once the situation was defused by Geoffrey, Jonah once again ordered Stein to give her life, explaining that he would sacrifice Chase instead if she did not comply. Therefore, and despite Minoru trying to advise her against it, Stein prepared to get into the Dematerialization Box. Before dying, however, she requested to see her son one last time and say goodbye. Jonah initially refused, and as they debated over the matter, Stein and the others discovered that Robert had taken advantage of everyone else's distraction to get into the Box himself. Ultimately, the sacrifice was rendered impossible because of Tina destroying a Box with the Staff of One in order to save her husband, and Victor's body was taken away by Jonah.
Confrontation with the Runaways
Stein gave an interview to the press, pretending that her husband Victor Stein had to retire from business to deal with his disease and that he would no longer make public appearances. Returning home, Stein watched her own interview with her son Chase and was disturbed by the tone of her voice. When asked by Chase where Victor was and what Jonah was related to the whole event, Stein told him not to ask questions for his own safety, much to Chase's surprise and made him promise that he would be careful.
Stein then went into the Stein Mansion's garage to clean up the blood left by Victor's wounds. She was joined by Chase, who was on his way to a school dance. Stein asked him whether he would be on a date with Karolina Dean, having previously noticed her son's attraction towards her, but Chase replied that he would only go with his friends and expressed his newfound interest for Gert Yorkes before leaving.
In the evening, Stein, like all the members of PRIDE, was summoned to the Church of Gibborim Executive Office by Jonah, who revealed that the Runaways knew everything about PRIDE's illegal activities. As a result, Jonah demanded to know whether they knew where their children were, prompting Stein to quickly return to the Stein Mansion. Upon arriving, Stein noticed that Chase had taken the Fistigons, meaning that the school dance was a pretext and that Chase had joined the other Runaways to thwart PRIDE's projects.
Stein joined the other members of PRIDE and they went to confront the Runaways at the PRIDE Construction Site. As the teenagers blamed them for their crimes, Stein and the other parents assured them that they loved them and that they only wanted to ensure their children's welfare. However, the Runaways refused to listen to them. Things quickly escalated into a fight and Stein was as surprised as the rest of PRIDE when discovering the Runaways' powers, notably Dean's light emitting abilities and Molly Hernandez's superhuman strength. When Jonah arrived and joined the fight, Stein screamed for Chase to run away, which he did with his friends, leaving only Dean behind who was captured by Jonah.
In the next morning, Stein went to the Minoru Mansion and met with the other members of PRIDE, except Leslie Dean. They discussed the events of the night and Stein, having learned that Jonah was the biological father of Karolina Dean, asked whether Molly Hernandez, due to her superhuman strength, could also be related to Jonah, although Stacey Yorkes immediately rejected the idea. Since the Runaways had seemingly understood PRIDE's plan, Stein warned the others that their own actions had put their children in harm's way, which they could not tolerate.
PRIDE then discussed about their options. Dale and Stacey Yorkes decided to return to investigate the PRIDE Construction Site. Stein asked how they should deal with their children's disappearance, to which Geoffrey and Catherine Wilder suggested finding Karolina to have some answers regarding their children's whereabouts.
Stein later attended another PRIDE meeting in the Yorkes Residence, this time with Leslie attending as well. Leslie, who had discovered that Jonah had lied to her as well, told PRIDE that they had to fight back against Jonah. Stein feared that Jonah could retaliate on Victor Stein as he still had him with him, but Leslie assured her that Jonah needed Victor alive, although she would understand that Stein would pull off the meeting. However, Stein insisted on staying and joined the PRIDE plot to kill Jonah.
War against Jonah
- "Is this meeting over? I need to go. What? I'm allowed to have plans."
- ―Janet Stein[src]
Stein went with the rest of PRIDE to the District 27 West Side Station as they had been informed by Flore that the Runaways had been found, although Stein was upset that Chase Stein had been considered a wanted fugitive. However, it soon turned out that the teenagers arrested by the LAPD were not the Runaways. Stein thus joined in PRIDE's efforts to locate their children by themselves, which would be conducted from the PRIDE Headquarters. Their first point in the agenda was dealing with Graciela Aguirre, who threatened to reveal evidence against PRIDE.
Aguirre ended up killed by Tina Minoru after she attacked Dale and Stacey Yorkes. Along with the rest of PRIDE, Stein was able to watch the tape recorded by Gene and Alice Hernandez and reclaimed from Aguirre, which revealed that PRIDE's actions on the PRIDE Construction Site could have caused massive earthquakes. Stein also expressed shock when Dale and Stacey revealed that there were living beings in the hole of the dig site. Stein insisted that despite PRIDE's plan to murder Jonah, the safety of the Runaways remained paramount. She was reluctant to let Minoru take the reins of PRIDE, but agreed nonetheless.
Stein took part to another early PRIDE meeting held after an earthquake occurred, although it appeared that it was not related to PRIDE's activities. She then asked to leave as she secretly went to the Church of Gibborim Executive Office to deliver plans of the Dematerialization Box to Jonah. Stein thus got to see her husband Victor being kept in a Healing Algorithm tank. Stein offered to work on building a new Box instead of Victor, but her request was politely declined by Jonah, who explained that he was communicating with Victor.
Decryption of the Abstract
Later, deciding that PRIDE needed to know more about Jonah, Stein contacted Geoffrey Wilder and asked him to lend her the Abstract. Although Wilder insisted that Stein would be unable to read it without Jonah's assistance, Stein stated that she would find a way and was given the book. Stein then took the Abstract to the Stein Mansion and began working on it, hoping to discover some secrets about Jonah and his nature. Stein struggled to decipher the Abstract, but she was coincidentally called by Jonah, who had difficulties convincing Victor Stein to work for him. Stein agreed to try and persuade Victor, but obtained from Jonah the opportunity to speak with Victor alone.
Therefore, Stein returned to the Church of Gibborim Executive Office and was granted access to the Healing Algorithm, entering the simulated environment in which Victor was kept. Upon being reunited with Victor, Stein was told that he had changed and was willing to start over with her, although Victor was surprised to learn that Stein was the one who had shot him. Stein promised Victor that she would help Victor leave the Algorithm, but also came with her own request: asking for his insights regarding the decryption of the Abstract.
Having discussed the matter with Victor, Stein returned to the Stein Mansion, and entered several different equations as a deciphering key until she found the right one: the wave equation. This enabled Stein to finally decrypt the Abstract and access the knowledge contained within. However, Stein temporarily interrupted her work on the Abstract to join another PRIDE meeting, in which they discussed Geoffrey's and Catherine Wilder's recent attempt to find their son Alex.
Stein attended to the interrogation of Jules and Mike on a Bike, who were suspected of having seen the Runaways at a PRIDE soup kitchen. She then remained in the PRIDE Headquarters when a small earthquake occurred, followed by an alert indicating that the teenagers had been spotted in Atlas Academy. Stein and the rest of PRIDE went to the school, but they were unsuccessful in finding their children. Stein later discussed the theft of a computer from the school with the other members of PRIDE, asking Eiffel, who had taken a selfie with Chase Stein, whether he was all right. She approved when Robert Minoru decided to face Jonah on his own, stating that the fact that everyone used to underestimate him could be played to his advantage.
Stein then returned to her lab in the Stein Mansion and kept deciphering the Abstract. This led her to the discovery that Jonah's spaceship relied on an anti-gravity device, which could have cataclysmic consequences on the whole California should it be activated. Therefore, Stein returned into the Healing Algorithm to ask Victor some advice on how to destroy it, and thanked him by programming the processed cheese he had been looking for in the simulation to make his food as he wanted it.
Stein was called by Gert Yorkes, who had pretended to be her daughter while in the hospital to get her anti-anxiety meds and preferred to have Stein sign her out instead of her own parents. As she went to the hospital, this gave Stein an opportunity to talk with her son Chase, who had come to pick Gert up, although he was clearly upset to be confronted by his mother without warning. Stein offered to turn herself to the police if it would help Chase to come home, but Chase angrily left. Before he and Gert left, Stein was able to warn them that Jonah was looking for another person to sacrifice.
Having returned to the Stein Mansion, Stein was visited by Dale and Stacey Yorkes, who were impressed to see that she had decrypted the Abstract. She explained that she had designed a way to stop Jonah's ship, and also revealed to the Yorkeses that she had seen Gert. This caused Stacey to angrily leave for not having told her that she had met with her daughter and to call Stein useless. As the final part of her plan, Stein then went to the Church of Gibborim Executive Office and released Victor Stein from the Healing Algorithm while Jonah was occupied elsewhere.
Stein and Victor returned to the PRIDE Headquarters to meet with the rest of PRIDE, where they were soon joined by Jonah, who Stein immediately called a liar for having kept Victor in the Healing Algorithm long after he was healed. Stein then listened as Jonah reiterated his demand that PRIDE should be present at the launch of his spaceship, which he assured would not cause any earthquake. She was also surprised to learn that the Runaways had saved Geoffrey Wilder from Jonah and kept him with them.
Back at the Stein Mansion, Stein was shown a message sent by a future Chase through Victor Stein's Time Machine, which Victor took as evidence that they would survive the launch. However, despite Victor's wish to start over with his family, Stein was reluctant to believe that it was possible and voiced her worries about what would happen with Jonah. However, she was reassured by Victor, who praised Stein's design of the Anti-Gravity Device and was confident that it would work. The couple then left to go to the PRIDE Construction Site.
Stein and Victor arrived on the dig site in the same time as the other members of PRIDE after being warned that Jonah had also arrived by Leslie Dean. They were told that the Runaways were already there as well, in the bottom of the pit, and although Jonah showed no interest in getting them out before proceeding with the launch, the teenagers were able to leave the hole on their own, enabling PRIDE to be somehow reunited with their children.
The situation then escalated when Karolina Dean refused to accompany Jonah on his journey back to his planet, forcing Stein and Victor to activate the Anti-Gravity Device. This, combined with the Anti-Gibborim Serum developed by the Yorkeses, eventually caused the ship's entire destruction. Along with the rest of PRIDE, Stein was therefore attacked by an enraged Jonah who threatened to kill them all, but they were saved when Nico Minoru stabbed him from behind with the Staff of One, apparently killing him. With the battle being over, Stein approached Chase to see whether he was all right, but eventually fell asleep because of a spell cast by Minoru.
Search for the Runaways
In the day following the Battle at the PRIDE Construction Site, Stein joined a PRIDE meeting held to celebrate the defeat of Jonah, during which they decided to disband the organization and search for the Runaways separately. However, PRIDE could not end that easily, as Flores warned them that the Runaways were investigating the Assassination of Darius Davis, which had been perpetrated by Catherine Wilder. Stein discussed their options with the rest of PRIDE, and was upset when the only viable option, suggested by Victor Stein, was to craft weapons designed against the Runaways to force them to come home. Still, she decided to help Victor and Robert Minoru in their work, to ensure that the weapons would not be too dangerous towards the teenagers.
Stein later reviewed the Subsonic Wave Generator designed by Victor to be used against Nico Minoru and voiced her worries about the effects of the device. She was then surprised by how gentle Victor sounded, especially after she accidentally broke something in the lab and was only told to relax. Stein and Victor then shared a kiss which ended in passionate sex right in the middle of the lab. Stein, however, was unaware that Victor was actually being possessed by the Magistrate.
An hour later, Stein was called in the lab by Victor, who had returned to his senses, and did not understand how Victor could not remember what they had done. She suggested that his memory losses were due to Victor's long stay in the Healing Algorithm and advised him to seek medical attention. Stein then had to deal with the arrival of Tina Minoru, actually controlled by the Magistrate's Daughter. Stein grew incredibly tense due to the Daughter's promiscuous behavior, pretending to teach Stein how to use the subsonic wave generator. Highly uncomfortable, Stein angrily decided to leave the lab.
Despite her concerns, Stein showed the newly developed weapons to the rest of PRIDE. She then went to pick up Victor at a hospital, where Victor told him that both his brain tumor and his gunshot wound seemed to have simply vanished. Stein reiterated her belief that there was a less violent ways to bring the Runaways back home and that Victor could figure it out with his intellect, which in turn convinced Victor to try a new idea using landline and voice recognition software to try and contact Chase Stein and peacefully convince him to return. This plan actually worked, and both Stein welcomed back with an intense hug after he left the Hostel and his group of friends.
In the next day, Stein cooked breakfast for Chase, and asked him whether he would be willing to reveal where the other Runaways were hiding, but he refused, stating that he could not afford to betray his friends more than he had already did. They were then joined by Victor, who offered Chase to do some work at the PRIDE Headquarters while waiting to return to Atlas Academy, and the initiative was supported by Stein, who managed to have Chase overcome his initial reluctance to be involved in PRIDE by stating that Jonah's nefarious influence on the organization was over.
Stein and Victor then went to another PRIDE meeting to discuss recent events. As Stacey Yorkes, who was actually controlled by the Magistrate's Wife at that time, suggested to immediately put the newly developed weapons to use on Chase to force him to reveal the Runaways' whereabouts, Stein disapproved the idea, considering it far too violent. She then remained in PRIDE's command center with the other PRIDE members until Chase was brought along by Victor.
Then, Stein joined in PRIDE's efforts to convince Chase to join them and try to persuade the Runaways to follow his path, promising that they would give the Runaways full control of the organization should they decide to come home. Although Chase was reluctant due to his doubts that the Runaways would listen to him, Stein and the others insisted that he had to succeed if wanted them to be kept out of harm's way, else PRIDE would be forced to use their weapons on the teenagers.
Unlike the other members of PRIDE, Stein did not take part in the Chase of the Runaways after Chase Stein failed to convince the Runaways to return home. Instead, she and Chase remained at the Stein Mansion and discussed the consequences of PRIDE's act of war, as Chase knew that PRIDE was eager to use the Synnergy Serum on the Runaways to make them forget the victims of the Rite of Blood. Stein insisted that should this happen, Chase would have to keep the ritualistic murders a secret from his former friends.
Stein and Chase then talked about Victor Stein, and upon learning that Victor's skin was peeling much like Jonah's had, Stein feared that being injected with Gibborim DNA was somehow turning Victor in some kind of an extraterrestrial being. Therefore, when Victor returned with an unconscious Karolina Dean, Stein and Chase confronted him and tried to use an Inhibitor Pod on him. However, Victor turned out to be controlled by the Magistrate and had made himself impervious to the device's effect. Stein and Chase were then incapacitated by the Magistrate, who placed them in Healing Algorithm tanks, waiting to be consumed by the Gibborim.
In the Healing Algorithm, Stein was made to live a simulation in which she was a successful scientist with a loving Victor as a husband by her side. However, Stein eventually figured out that something was not right, and understood that she was in the Algorithm. Stein even managed to locate the exit door, but found out that it was locked. Upon repeatedly banging on the door, she was accidentally able to cause a tear between her simulation and the one Chase was trapped in as well. The tear then shut down and Stein was brought back to the point zero of her own simulation.
Later, Stein was approached by Alex Wilder, who had managed to infiltrate the algorithm. Relieved that someone had managed to find her, Stein figured out that keeping her as well as Chase and Dean in the algorithm was too much for the system to bear, causing many glitches. Stein instructed Wilder to find the Abstract to decode it and find the key that would unlock the Algorithm. She was later able to reconnect with Chase, who she warned that they would die if the simulations collapsed while they were still trapped in it. Stein and Chase then figured out that they could manipulate the simulation to some extent, making some elements disappear.
Stein thus used this technique to escape from her simulation and join Chase in his recreation of the Hostel. Together, they were able to reach out to Dean, who they convinced to abandon her simulation as well so she could be with them. The three then located the exit door, but it was still locked as Wilder had not opened it yet. Moreover, due to the Magistrate manipulating the simulation from the outside, Chase began to lack oxygen, prompting Stein to instruct Dean to use her powers to successfully restore oxygen in Chase's tube. However, the process turned out to be dangerous for Dean, who was nearly absorbed in the algorithm's system.
Therefore, Stein decided to try to access the commands through Dean, and she felt Wilder's attempts to open the door. Once the door was unlocked, Stein had to remain connected to the systems, enabling Dean to escape. Stein then understood that she had to sacrifice herself to let her son return to the real world as well. Before she disappeared, Stein and Chase had an emotional talk in a recreation of a place where they used to go when Chase was a child. Stein then expressed her pride towards Chase, convincing him that he was ready to move on without her. She then let her son go, and her consciousness merged with the Algorithm while her physical body vanished.
Stein's consciousness survived in the Healing Algorithm, despite her physical body having disappeared. Once her husband Victor was released from the Dark Dimension, Stein and Victor were able to make contact, enabling Stein to interact with Victor in the real world while she appeared on a screen, retaining her former physical appearance. Stein's new nature was later revealed to Stacey Yorkes, who had befriended Victor through their sessions at Alien Abductee Anonymous.
Stein recorded and archived a video broadcast by the Runaways alerting the population about the Corvus WizPhones distributed by Wizard. She alerted Victor and Yorkes that the video had been completely erased from the internet, something that could not be achieved by any conventional means. She also detailed that the rate of violent crimes had increased everywhere the phones had been tested, further confirming the Runaways' theory. Stein thus suggested to use her new computer nature to create a virus to be planted in the phones by Victor and Yorkes.
However, by hacking into Wizard Headquarters' surveillance system, Stein found out that Victor and Yorkes had been captured by the Coven, along with Dale Yorkes and several Runaways, including Chase Stein. She thus infiltrated Alex Wilder's computer at the Hostel and was able to warn Nico Minoru, who had made contact with Cloak and Dagger, of the situation.
Stein was later instrumental in the last confrontation against Morgan le Fay. Revealing her survival in the Algorithm to Chase, she worked with Victor in order to find a way to hack into the cell towers, retrieving the Disruptor that she and Victor had developed years ago. Stein then initiated a massive disruption in the cell towers, thus severing the connexion of the Corvus phones that powered le Fay, heavily weakening the enchantress as a result.
For years, Janet Stein remained a discreet person, living in the shadow of her brilliant yet abusive husband Victor Stein. She endured all the abuse without really considering leaving him in order to preserve her family and make sure that she could protect their son Chase. Due to her calm and quiet temper, as well as the fact that she had no real job of her own, Stein was often looked upon by other members of PRIDE, notably Tina Minoru, who considered that Stein did not bring anything useful to the organization. Still, Stein had ambitions of her own, craving to do research in gravitational fields, but she was forced to set aside her dreams to let her husband's career blossom out.
The main aspect of Stein's personality was her deep sense of family. Despite having an affair with Robert Minoru due to Victor's abuse, she struggled to keep her family together and was very protective of her son Chase. When Victor was temporarily rendered much more friendly due to the use of Jonah's Serum, Stein saw an opportunity to rebuild a real family with him and ended her affair with Robert, glad to see that her husband and her son were finally bonding. Stein deeply cared for Chase, to the point that she did not hesitate to scream him to leave when Jonah arrived at the PRIDE Construction Site to face the Runaways. She also notably shot her husband to save her son. Her protectiveness also extends to the other Runaways, and when PRIDE decided to rebel against Jonah, Stein insisted that their children's welfare was paramount and that they should not get hurt in any way.
Despite her discreet and compliant nature, Stein sometimes displayed outbursts of anger and frustration. When ordered to sacrifice herself by Jonah, Stein blatantly criticized the behavior of her fellow PRIDE members and abruptly told Catherine Wilder to shut up. Although she feared for the life of her husband Victor, she also agreed to join the PRIDE plot meant to kill Jonah in revenge for having fooled PRIDE, including Stein.
Powers and Abilities
- Computer Interaction: With her consciousness being uploaded in the Healing Algorithm while her physical body disappeared, Stein became the equivalent of a computer program. Thanks to her new nature, Stein was able to interact with and infiltrate into various computer systems. She notably hacked into a security camera in the Wizard Headquarters which she could control to determine that some members of PRIDE and the Runaways were in danger and alerted Nico Minoru through a computer in the Hostel. Stein could also access the internet at will, archiving a live video broadcast from the Runaways before it was completely wiped out of existence by the Coven. With help from Victor Stein, she was also able to hack into the systems controlling the cell service in Los Angeles and took them down, thus cutting off Morgan le Fay's empowerment through the Corvus phones.
- Expert Scientist: Stein's scientific background tended to be forgotten due to the attention generally being focused on her husband's technological prowess. However, Stein was a highly competent scientist on her own, and was a specialist in gravitational wave theory, a highly advanced field of physics, which was acknowledged by Jonah. This enabled her to immediately recognize that Jonah's ship relied on an anti-gravity engine, and she was quickly able to use her knowledge to create an Anti-Gravity Device which would hinder the spaceship's liftoff.
- Smith & Wesson Model 638 Airweight: Robert Minoru gave this revolver to Stein in order to defend herself from her abusive husband. Stein ended up shooting Victor when he was attacking their son Chase.
- Disruptor: Along with Victor Stein, Stein created and tried a powerful computer virus which was eventually confiscated by the FBI.
- Stein Mansion: Stein lived in this wealthy residence with her abusive husband Victor and her son Chase. Unlike the other female members of PRIDE, Stein was a housewife and thus spent most of her time in the Stein Mansion. Stein's most important event related to the house occurred when she shot Victor in the garage to stop him from attacking Chase, causing an emergency PRIDE meeting in the garage during which Stein was nearly sacrificed to revive her husband.
- Healing Algorithm: Stein chose to remain in the Healing Algorithm to ensure the departure of Chase Stein and Karolina Dean from the simulation. Although her physical body was destroyed, her consciousness was preserved in the algorithm, enabling Stein to remain active as an artificial intelligence. She was able to make contact with Victor Stein, and eventually her continued existence in the algorithm was revealed to PRIDE and the Runaways altogether. While her consciousness primarily resided in the Healing Algorithm, Stein was able to explore other virtual environments, such as the security systems of Wizard.
|Appearances for Janet Stein|
In chronological order:
- In the comics, Stein was a brilliant scientist along with her husband Victor Stein and a founding member of the Pride. Unlike her TV series counterpart, Stein was also abusive towards her son Chase in the comics.
Behind the Scenes
- Runaways: 3.01: Smoke and Mirrors
- Runaways: 3.09: The Broken Circle
- Runaways: 1.07: Refraction
- Runaways: 1.06: Metamorphosis
- Runaways: 1.03: Destiny
- Runaways: 1.01: Reunion
- Runaways: 1.02: Rewind
- Runaways: 1.04: Fifteen
- Runaways: 1.05: Kingdom
- Runaways: 1.08: Tsunami
- Runaways: 1.09: Doomsday
- Runaways: 1.10: Hostile
- Runaways: 2.01: Gimmie Shelter
- Runaways: 2.02: Radio On
- Runaways: 2.03: Double Zeros
- Runaways: 2.04: Old School
- Runaways: 2.05: Rock Bottom
- Runaways: 2.06: Bury Another
- Runaways: 2.07: Last Rites
- Runaways: 2.08: Past Life
- Runaways: 2.09: Big Shot
- Runaways: 2.10: Hostile Takeover
- Runaways: 2.11: Last Waltz
- Runaways: 2.12: Earth Angel
- Runaways: 2.13: Split Up
- Runaways: 3.02: The Great Escape
- Runaways: 3.06: Merry Meet Again
- Runaways: 3.07: Left-Hand Path
- Runaways: 3.08: Devil's Torture Chamber