Dr. Abraham Erskine and Howard Stark meet at an Engineering Conference. Schmidt intercepts the fleeing Dr. Abraham Erskine and forcefully recruits him after years of following his Super-Soldier research. Schmidt takes part in an test involving Erskine and his Super Soldier Serum which disfigures Schmitd. Erskine is rescued by Peggy Carter and brought into the Strategic Scientific Reserve.
Dr. Abraham Erskine was Bavarian scientist during the rise of Nazi Germany. Nazi officer and head of HYDRA, Johann Schmidt, forced Erskine to give him his prototype of the Super Soldier Serum. Unfortunately Erskine's formula transformed Schmidt into a madman and gave rise to his nickname, the Red Skull. After that Erskine fled to America eventually settling in Queens, New York.
When World War II started, Erskine joined the U.S. government's Strategic Scientific Reserve (SSR) under Colonel Chester Phillips. Erskine was at the Modern Marvels of Tomorrow Exhibition when Steve Rogers was enlisting for the fifth time. Dr. Erskine later asked Rogers if he wanted to kill Nazis. When Rogers said that he didn't like bullies, Erskine approved Rogers' draft card as 1-A. At Camp Lehigh, Phillips didn't like the idea of bringing a frail boy into this, but Erskine was sure that he had made his choice for the Super Soldier program.
After Rogers is selected, Erskine came to the private quarters to offer Steve a drink from Ausburg, but didn't give it to him because the experiment was tomorrow so Steve couldn't have any liquids. Erskine tells Rogers of his early experiments, Schmidt, and his reason why he chose Steve for the experiment. When Rogers arrives at the secret lab in Brooklyn, Erskine with help from fellow scientist Howard Stark injects him with penicillin and then with the Super Soldier Serum. Then using Vita rays to make Steve physically fit. Erskine's experiment is successful but then one of the member of the State Department reveals themselves to be HYDRA assassin Heinz Kruger, who sets off a bomb and then murders Erskine. Erskine's last actions told Rogers to stay who he is on the inside.
Abraham Erskine was an extremely brilliant scientist, specialised in chemistry and medicine. He firmly believes in the highest human values, and, led by his sense of guilt for having helped Johann Schmidt in becoming the Red Skull, he passes his life attempting to espiate his mistakes, creating a force of good able to fight the Skull.
Despite his burden, Erskine always tries to appear cheerful and serene. He's very wise, and is able to see beyond people's appearance, reading the true value of someone's soul.
- Steve Rogers - Friend and test subject.
- Chester Phillips - Superior officer.
- Howard Stark - Colleague.
- Johann Schmidt - Enemy.
- Heinz Kruger - Enemy and killer.
- Peggy Carter - Friend.
- Marvel Cinematic Universe (5 films)
- Marvel Cinematic Universe (1 TV series)
- Marvel Cinematic Universe (1 comic)
Behind the Scenes
- Stanley Tucci took the role of Dr. Erskine because the role enabled him to use a German accent, which he always wanted to do.
- In the comics, Erskine went under the alias of Josef Reinstein in order to hide himself from Hitler and Baron Zemo, but no mention of his false name is made in the movie. However, this alias is mentioned in The Incredible Hulk.
- Erskine's relationship with Rogers is similar to Tony Stark's with Ho Yinsen. Likewise he also died imploring Rogers to be a good person.
- Erskine used the alias Dr. Josef Reinstein when he created the Super Soldier Serum. The name appears on the canister containing the serum injected into Emil Blonsky in The Incredible Hulk.