|Super Soldier Serum|
|Creator(s)|| Abraham Erskine |
|User(s)|| Steven Rogers|
|Function(s)||Physical enhancement serum|
|Appeared in|| Captain America: The First Avenger|
The Incredible Hulk
Captain America: Civil War
The Super Soldier Serum was a serum developed by Weapons Plus, led by Abraham Erskine under the alias of Josef Reinstein during World War II. The serum provided the subject with increased stamina, speed and strength, however the serum was only successfully used by the program once before the program was "put on ice" by the United States government, with the test subject Steve Rogers.
During the 1930s, Dr. Abraham Erskine works in a German university doing research into the serum. However in 1935, the German doctor left his work in an attempt to escape Germany to avoid the racist Nazi laws but HYDRA (Nazi special weapons division) leader Johann Schmidt, who took an interest in Erskine's work, intercepts the scientist on the German/Swiss border on September 14th.
5 years later in the Bavarian Alps, Schmidt takes part in an test involving Erskine and his Super Soldier Serum which turns Schmidt into what he would become known as the Red Skull. Erskine is rescued by Peggy Carter and brought into the US Secret Strategic Scientific Reserve as part of the Project: Rebirth program along with Howard Stark to produce America's own Super-Soldier. After a long search for the perfect subject, the frail Steve Rogers is found and transformed into the perfect human specimen; becoming Captain America. However after the experiment, Erskine is killed by a HYDRA agent. In 1943, Sergeant James Barnes of the U.S. Army was captured by HYDRA and sent to work at the top secret weapons facility. When he was too weak to work, Dr. Zola used him as a subject for his experiments serum. He was injected with the serum shortly before he was liberated by Steve Rogers a month later. This blue colored serum is seen again on May 20th 2010 after being long locked away as part of the Weapons Plus program under the name of “Dr. Reinstein” (most likely the codename of Erskine - a similar retcon was used in the comics to cover up the name discrepancy) when General Ross uses a low dosage on a soldier named Emil Blonski.
The serum was successfully used on Steve Rogers by the Weapons Plus program. However, further attempts to recreate the serum failed and it was decided that instead of using Rogers to fight the enemy, he would be used to inspire the American solders. That is until he found that members of the 107th, including Bucky where captured in a nearby HYDRA facility. With the help of Stark and Carter, he was crossed enemy lines to get them back. By doing this, Phillips finally gave him active duty status and gave him command of the Howling Commandos. He led them on many missions against HYDRA, resulting in only one lost, Bucky during the train battle. However, thanks to the serum flowing in his veins, Bucky was able to survive, though at the loss of his left arm. He was found by Soviet soldiers who was HYDRA. Steve finally led his forces against HYDRA in the final days of the war and battled Red Skull one last time, resulting in his defeat and disappearance into space unknown and Rogers to crash land his plane into the Arctic to prevent it from fulfilling its mission. He was declared missing, presumed killed in action. However, the cold temperatures of the Arctic combined with the effects of the serum on his body is what kept him alive but in hibernation for decades until he was found by S.H.I.E.L.D. in the modern day. It slowed his vitals, including his aging process to a halt and kept him well preserved.
It is revealed to Emil Blonsky that during WWII the U.S. military was attempting to create super soldiers using various formula, but with only one showing promise. This formula was part of Weapon Plus and developed by Dr. Reinstein. The project was eventually shelved until it was uncovered by General Thaddeus Ross. Ross used subterfuge to get his daughter, Dr. Betty Ross, and her partner, Dr. Bruce Banner, to work on the project. The two scientists believed that they were working on radiation resistance. Banner was so convinced in the results of his project that he he subjected himself to the treatment. The results caused his body chemistry to be altered in such a way that whenever he became angry or outraged a startling metamorphosis occurred. In the initial transformation Banner's muscle mass and size increased dramatically and skin became green. Turning into an incoherent monster, Banner destroyed the lab and severely injured Dr. Ross. Learning that General Ross wanted to turn the monster into a weapon Banner fled in search of a cure.
When the Hulk resurfaced and defeated a unit of Ross' elite soldiers, the General offered the serum to Emil Blonsky, the only soldier to come out unscathed in a conflict with the Hulk. Blonsky underwent the first of two treatments, consisting of deep muscle and painful bone marrow shots. In the next encounter with the Hulk, Blonsky displayed increased speed, endurance, and agility. However as the fight went on he became more aggressive and rashly stood before the Hulk challenging him. The Hulk kicked Blonsky into a tree shattering almost every bone in his body.
It appeared that Blonsky was near death, however he underwent a miraculous full recovery just a day or so later. Not only was he healed but his muscle mass had increased and his overall body fat decreased. Blonsky underwent another treatment. However, shortly thereafter he showed pronounced spinal ridges on his back. Blonsky became even more agressive when Banner was tracked to the lab of Dr. Sterns, a scientist who had been aiding Banner, for his own gains.
After Blonsky savagely beat Banner, who was taken into custody by Ross, he disabled the troops guarding Sterns. Sterns, eager to see the various applications of the gamma agreed to Blonsky's demand to get the power of the Hulk (albeit reluctantly). Sterns however warned him that he was unsure how the gamma would react with the super soldier serum. Blonsky lost his temper and threatened Stern's life until he agreed to it. The resulting combination drove Blonsky mad, along with giving him strength and size similar to that of the Hulk. Blonsky was dubbed the Abomination as he set to destroying New York city until he was defeated by the Hulk.
It should be noted that the serum used by Ross on Blonsky was most likely created from what the army could piece together of Dr. Reinstein's notes and research with analysis of Steve Rogers blood as all complete samples were destroyed right after Steve became the first successful super soldier. This would explain the side effects Blonksy exhibited (body deformation and mental deterioration) and accelerated healing ability which was not present in Steve Rogers (while Steve's body heals fast and is resistant to most poisons, infections, and resistance to aging, Steve could not heal all of his bones in a single day).
The Project Centipede scientists created a new version of the serum. Which was designed to give a person enhanced abilities. The serum was made up with the mixture of Gamma Radiation and Extremis, with technology from the Chitauri.
It is revealed that during Howard Stark's assassination, James Barnes as the Winter Soldier recovered five packets of Super Soldier Serum for HYDRA; who used the serum in an attempt at creating five more Winter Soldier operatives. While the serum enhanced their strength, it reduced them to a mindless state of brutality; suggesting the serum was an imperfect attempt by Stark at recreating his late colleague's formula.
The Serum's effects on its subjects
The serum's effect on the body is to increase the molecular density of cellular fibers (skin and muscle) through synthetic proteins. However, the serum not only enhances the the body and mind, but personality and emotional traits are also amplified.
- Steve Rogers: Abraham Erskine's insistence to find a "good man" is an understatement, in Steve he found someone with unquestionable moral value who only wanted to be the best he could be. He was the only subject to receive the perfect serum. As a result, he lost all of his disabilities, grew in height and mass, became heavily muscled, and gained physical and mental capabilities beyond that of normal humans.
- Johann Schmidt: Took the prototype serum, which combined with the fact that the serum was incomplete and not ready to be used, caused an external transformation that not only enhanced him physically, but made his skin red, made him lose all his hair, and disfigured his head to look and be shaped like a skull.
- Bucky Barnes: Bucky was subjected to Arnim Zola's attempts to recreate Erskine's serum when he was held captive with the 107th. The imperfect serum enabled him to survive the fall from Zola's train, and it seemed to be activated by his near death experience. It may have also been perfected during his transformation into Winter Soldier, as he only showed superhuman natural abilities after this.
- HYDRA: HYDRA used the packets of imperfect serum recovered from Howard Stark's death in an attempt at creating five more Winter Soldier operatives. While the serum significantly enhanced all of their natural abilities, it also increased their aggression significantly.
- Emil Blonsky: Given low dosages of an imperfect serum, Emil's extra physical manifestations (protruding skeletal structure) took a while to materialize. While he did become physically enhanced beyond human capabilities, the serum also addled his mind and made him go from arrogant on his first dosage to psychotic and power hungry on his second, his mental condition worsening each time he was dosed. He then had himself exposed to Hulk's blood and gamma radiation, which made him a giant sized version of himself, similar to the Hulk in terms of physical abilities, with a green tinge, with the external bone structure being a reflection of the tough monstrous fighter that he shows himself to be. However, unlike the Hulk, he retained his ability to think and speak, albeit with it being corrupted by the serum's effects on his mind. His mental deterioration is similar to Schmidt's insanity, as both of them used incomplete and imperfect versions of the serum.
- Mike Peterson: Mike was one of the people who used the Centipede Device, which had a combination of a serum similar to the Super Soldier Serum and Extremis, which was made by Aldrich Killian and Maya Hansen. The Centipede also contained a large amount of Gamma Radiation. However, it did not seem to effect his personality by much due to the Extremis also being mixed into him.
Perfect Super Soldier Serum Abilities
- Physical Transformation: The serum heals all disabilities, makes the subject taller and increase muscle-mass. The serum also enhances the attractiveness of the user, physical appearance, features and muscle mass are altered, enhanced, and perfected. All physical imperfections (i.e. warts, moles, scars, blemish, freckles, unwanted hair, etc) heal and result in user possessing perfect skin. Dentition becomes perfect, their voice becomes more compelling, alluring and appealing. The hair on their head restores and enhances to perfection. Their bodily scents become extremely pleasant and compelling. The serum grants the user a perfect body, with flawless skin, beautiful hair, golden-proportioned body and muscles, and makes them well-endowed.
- Enhanced Strength: Physical strength is enhanced, enabling user to lift up to 3 tons.
- Enhanced Durability: Bones, muscles, skin, tissues all become denser and tougher than normal, which makes them very durable compared to a normal human.
- Enhanced Speed: Boasts phenomenal speed, able to intercept a bullet fired from point-blank range. Can run and move at speeds that are far superior to the finest Olympic athlete. Easily capable of running 30 mph.
- Enhanced Stamina: Their musculature produces less fatigue toxins during physical activity than the musculature of an ordinary humans.
- Enhanced Agility: The body's agility becomes greater than that of an Olympic gold medalist. The body can instinctively coordinate itself body with perfect balance, equilibrium, flexibility and dexterity.
- Enhanced Reflexes: Reflexes are enhanced to the very peak of human potential. Auto-reflexes allow body to easily dodge gunfire and attacks even when not consciously aware of them, immense reflexes can be used to attack and counter instead of just defensive purposes.
- Enhanced Senses: Senses are also greatly enhanced, which enables them to see, hear, smell, feel and taste things imperceptible to normal humans.
- Accelerated Perception: Mental performance becomes greatly enhanced beyond the peak of human potential and perfected. Allowing the mind to operate in the most efficient and rapid manner possible. Able to analyze and understand languages, machinery and people's minds and actions within a matter of seconds. Able to immediately develop solutions to any problem they happen to face and formulate how to overcome an obstacle. They can understand the mechanics behind any issue they face and know what must be done to solve any problem. They gain a tactical ability, that allows to immediately intuit the best way to engage in any tactical problem, (situation, puzzle, object, opponent, etc) effectively resulting in perfect leadership.
- Perfect Memory: Gain total recall and permanently remembers and can instantly recall everything ever read, seen, heard, etc perfectly, without trouble or pause for thought. The brain has unlimited storage, analysis and processing capacity. Able to duplicate and master any physical act, or skills after seeing it done once.
- Accelerated Healing Factor: The body can rebuild itself whenever it's damaged, healing can happen within seconds with small wounds, and the process is perfect, leaving no scars or marks. Any and all injuries will heal rapidly and perfectly without leaving a trace of injury.
- Enhanced Longevity: The body restores to it's prime and the aging is completely stopped; thus granting them a form of ageless immortality. However, this appears to have its limits as after returning to the past to be with Peggy Carter, Steve Rogers was an old man by the time he reached 2023 again.
- Enhanced Immunity: The body possesses physical, mental, social, spiritual, emotional and sexual health superior to any human to have ever lived. Possess endless vitality, libido and will to live. Every part in and of his body, external and internal, is at first-rate health and condition, devoid of any disorders, diseases, disabilities, etc. Tall, lean, brawny muscles/body shape and perfect golden-proportioned body doesn't change regardless of calories intake or time.
- In the original comics, the Super Soldier Serum was developed by Professor Josef Reinstein, although it was retconned as an alias for Dr. Abraham Erskine. The doctor created the serum to work in conjunction with his "Vita-Rays" treatment to create the ultimate human. Vita-Rays are Asgardian technology that can convert energy into matter and increase the biomass. In theory, once injected with the serum and exposed to the vita-rays the person would be at the peak of human efficiency. The army wanted to use the serum to create an army of super soldiers to stand up to the Nazi war machine. The government envisioned an army of men who did not get tired, ran faster, and fought harder than any other army on earth.
- When saturated with Vita-Rays, the serum worked more successfully. Bruce Banner didn't have the original formula so he combined Vita-Rays with gamma rays to work similarly, but instead gamma rays corrupted the serum's effects and turned him into the raging monster known as the Hulk by causing the body to release gamma in times of stress and lose of emotional control.