"Serum" is somewhat of a misnomer, as the "serum" actually consists of various processes. Subjects that are considered by a enhancement true "Peak-Potential" are noted to be Captain America, Isaiah Bradley, Josiah X, Protocide (SSS Variant), Union Jack (different SSS variant), and Black Panther (Wakanda-herb). Variations of the Super-Soldier Serum have been developed over the years which induced greater-mutations then Peaked human capabilities, one which even created the powerful Sentry. So far it would appear that Captain America is the "Perfect Man". The more powerful variants come with strange side-effects that may also include mental deficiencies.
The first known Super-Soldier Serum was developed as part of a top secret US Government experiment called Operation: Rebirth. The creator of the Super-Soldier formula was Abraham Erskine, code-named "Professor Reinstein".
The first, and arguably the most successful, recipient of the serum was Steve Rogers. Selected by General Chester Phillips of the U.S. Army to undergo testing, Rogers was at last administered the Super-Soldier serum. Given part of the compound intravenously and another part orally, Rogers was then bombarded by "vita-rays," a special combination of exotic (in 1941) wavelengths of radiation designed to accelerate and stabilize the serum's effect on his body. Steve Rogers emerged from the Vita-Ray Chamber with a body as perfect as a body can be and still be human. A Nazi spy who observed the experiment murdered Dr. Erskine mere minutes after its conclusion. Erskine died without fully committing the Super-Soldier formula to paper, leaving Steve Rogers the sole beneficiary of his genius.
Attempt to Reproduce Rebirth
After losing the secrets of the Super-Soldier Serum with the death of Dr. Erskine, the United States Army still wanted to produce more Super Soldiers like Steve Rogers. Col. Walker Price and Dr. Wilfred Nagel forcibly recruited Isaiah and 300 other African-American solders to serve as test subjects to recreate the Super Soldier Serum. To keep the operation secret, families were sent letters informing them of the soldiers' deaths. However, Faith refused to accept Isaiah's death, and continued to look for the truth.
Of the 300 African-American soldiers, only a handful of men survived the gruesome process. These survivors became a covert black ops team. After only a few missions, only Isaiah, Maurice Canfield and Sgt. Luke Evans remained. While waiting in Sintra, Portugal for the arrival of Captain America, Maurice discovered the truth about his parents' death. Enraged by the information, coupled with PTSD and an exaggerated thyroid gland, Maurice was led into a confrontation resulting in his death, the death of Sgt. Evans, and the severe injury of Isaiah and Pvt. Merritt.
The U.S. military began experiments to duplicate Isaiah's powers. To this end, they harvested semen from Isaiah (before the Super Soldier Serum made him sterile) and eggs from Faith Bradley during her appendectomy surgery. Thirty-eight failed attempts occurred before Josiah was finally carried to term. A young African-American girl matching Faith's blood type served as a surrogate mother, but when she discovered the truth about what the child would be used for, she escaped with Josiah.
The German biochemist Eric Schmitt concocted a variant of the Super-Soldier Formula. Imprisoned by the Nazis and dying, Schmitt asked Brian Falsworth to keep the sample of the formula he had concealed on his person from falling into Nazi hands. Falsworth took the disguised flask, drank its contents, and was immediately physically enhanced by the formula. Falsworth escaped the prison and became a costumed fighter of Nazis within Germany itself known as the Destroyer.
Master Man (Wilhelm Lohmer) was subjected to the Nazi version of the Super-Soldier Serum. Although the formula was a derivative of the original Super-Soldier serum that gave Captain America his powers, Lohmer gained abilities exceeding those of Captain America.
In 1953 the man who would become the Grand Director flew to Germany, and examined the files of Major Kerfoot, a Nazi espionage officer in the SS. He discovered that the papers contained the original Super-Soldier formula. He revealed his discovery to certain high officials in the US government, and made a deal whereby he would become the new Captain America, and act as a symbol during the Korean War. How the original Super-Soldier formula came to be in the possession of the Nazis is unknown, especially as Erskine died without fully committing the Super-Soldier formula to paper.
Power Man Process
Dr. Noah Burstein created the Electro-Biochemical System. It was based on his father's work who was a Nazi scientist working on duplicating the Super-Soldier Serum.. The Electro Bio-Chemical system was created to stimulate human cell regeneration. He created it to heal any wound, cure any disease and even halt the aging process. The project was funded by a grant from Stark Industries.
Later looking for test subjects at Seagate Prison, he recruited Carl Lucas as a volunteer for experimental cell regeneration based on a variant of the Super-Soldier process he had previously used to empower Warhawk. Dr. Burstein immersed Lucas in an electrical field conducted by an organic chemical compound; when he left Lucas unattended, prison guard Albert Rackham misused the experiment's controls, hoping to maim or kill Lucas. Lucas's treatment was accelerated past its intent, inducing body-wide enhancement that gave him superhuman strength and durability.
Bushmaster kidnapped Dr Burstein. Bushmaster forced Burstein to mutate him as he had Cage, but was nonetheless defeated and soon became paralyzed by the process. Bushmaster later died when he was turned into a metal-like substance after his last-ditch effort to find a cure by reversing the process that gave Cage his powers failed, reverting to a permanently-immobilized statue. Cruz McIver the son of Bushmaster, after he was confident that the process wouldn't kill him like the other subjects he augmented himself using his father, but his plan backfired and only granted more power to his father and used that power to kill his own son and also drain Iron Fist of his powers, except the absorption and accumulation of so much power was too great and he exploded.
The Navy was attempting to make its own version of Captain America using the 'AVX' patch (Acetovaxidol). Loosely based off of the process Luke Cage underwent, it was hoped that continued applications of the patch would be a more controllable dosage and keep the subject from going rogue. Unfortunately, the process seemed to aggravate Anti-Cap's mental problems.
Avengers: The Initiative
Dr. Erksine discovered similar results could be achieved with a perfect diet and an extremely specialized exercise program, which resulted in his grandson Michael van Patrick having the same peak physical condition naturally. The research was not classified or ever used by the military because they wanted a quick fix; the natural super soldier would take a lifetime of dedication to produce. After his death Dr. Blitzschlag performed cloning experiments on MVP's body, first cloning it at least four times. An Indentical clone created to replace the original,, the Scarlet Spiders three clones given Iron Spider Armor  and KIA a version given the Tactigon which went crazy and had to be put down.
Patriot (Elijah Bradley) leader of the Young Avengers, was the nephew of Josiah X and grandson of Isaiah Bradley. He claimed that he received a blood transfusion from his grandfather gaining the same enhanced abilities. But in truth he was using the Mutant Growth Hormone. Soon the truth came out and he quit the team. But he came to the rescue of his friends during the subsequent battle between the Kree and the Skrulls forces, the Young Avengers and the New Avengers, Patriot used himself to shield Captain America from gunfire, and was severely injured. After the battle Captain America rushed to the hospital to give Eli a blood transfusion only to discover "another Captain America", Eli's grandfather, had already given Eli his blood. Since the transfusion, Eli has gained physical attributes and powers of a real Super Soldier.
Todd Ziller was a volunteer in the new Super-Soldier process. They could not recreate the serum so the Army used existing transformative substances. The final result included Gamma enhancements, Mutant Growth Hormone, Pym Particles and the Connors Formula. The resulting application of the serum in Ziller's body turned him into a giant reptile similar to Godzilla, for which he was given the alias of "American Kaiju."
The Super-Soldier Serum, also called the Super-Soldier Formula, is the name for a process to increase the physical attributes of its recipient to the peak of human potential. Peak Humans are superior to any Olympic level athletes who have ever competed. Top athletes normally have one or two aspects close to, or a bit under, peak level, while peak human Serum-enhanced individuals have all their capabilities like mental processes, strength, speed, durability, healing, senses, immune system, mitochondrial efficiency etc, at the maximum level of human potential.
The most common power granted by the serum is that of exceeding peak human potential. This means the individual is capable of lifting around 800 pounds (at least) over their heads.  , running at speeds up to 57 miles per hour and for some users is higher , and due to the Super Soldier Serum's ability to counteract the lactic acids in the muscle that cause fatigue, allowing the individual to maintain strenuous physical activity for up to 12 hours on end before tiring. The serum also increases the individual's metabolism, allowing them to heal faster than a normal human, giving them enhanced durability. Along with increased durability, the increased metabolism Super Soldiers enjoy also grants them immunity from nearly any poison known to man, due to their body's ability to process it faster than the effects can cause harm to their body. This includes most known drugs and alcohol which has no effect on a SSS recipient.
The serum also affects the mind, allowing the individual to retain and recall any information they take in. It also allows the individual's mind to react and process data faster, which improves their reflexes far beyond those of a normal human. For example, Steve Rogers has stated that he can dodge bullets because he can see faster than they move.
Marvel Cinematic Universe (Earth-199999)
Dr. Abraham Erskine developed his serum while working in Germany. However a Nazi General Johann Schmidt used the serum to enhance his physical & mental abilities, however the formula appears to have been either prototypical or flawed, the resulting effects heavily distorted Schmidt's facial tissue and skin complexion becoming the Red Skull. Dr. Erskine later explained that the formula amplifies a persons key traits causing Schmidt to change.
Dr. Erskine escaped to the USA, he joined the Strategic Scientific Reserve There he took part in Project Rebirth, a project to create a Super Soldier for the Allies. Using Vita-Rays to unlock the serum's potential, Dr. Erskine successfully used the serum on Steve Rogers who became the hero dubbed Captain America. Dr. Erskine was killed and the last vial of the original serum was destroyed by Heinz Kruger, one of Hydra's top agents. The last remnants of the serum now only exist in Steve Rogers blood.. Despite the success in creating a super soldier, Project Rebirth was effectively a failure, the goal of the US military was to produce an "Army" of soldiers not just a single individual. With Roger's too valuable to risk in Frontline action being the only guinea pig from which valuable data could be obtained; he was used by the Army in recruitment tool, in a sense creating the very Army using regular people.
During Bucky's incarceration in a HYRDA prison, he was too injected with a serum which gave him super-enhanced physical abilities, similarly to Captain America. This allowed him to survive the fall from the Swiss Alps. Later after being discovered by HYDRA, further enhancements, rigorous training & brainwashing has transformed him into the Winter Soldier.
In 1991, Hydra Operatives have learned that Howard Stark has recreated 5 more Super Soldier Serum. Vasily Karpov dispatches Winter Soldier to retrieve the Super Soldier Serum. Barnes assassinated Howard and Maria Stark. Barnes also retrieved the 5 recreated Super Soldier Serum. Karpov recruited 5 more test subjects and injected the Super Soldier Serum.
In the 21st century, General Ross of the US Army revived the bio-tech force enhancement program, a secret project set-up after the relative failure of Project Rebirth. A failed attempt to reproduce the serum with added bouts of Gamma Radiation led to the accident that turned Bruce Banner into the Hulk. Banner was later forced to flee from Ross, who employed the British soldier Emil Blonsky to track him down. General Ross, eager to sustain Blonsky's will to fight, gave him an injection of a similar serum, which gave him abilities similar to those of Captain America. Later combination with the altered serum in Banner's blood turned Blonsky into the Abomination.
As of 2013, scientists recreated a version of the serum as part of Project Centipede, which was designed to give a person superhuman abilities. This serum was a mixture of Gamma Radiation and the Extremis virus, with technology from the Chitauri.
Ultimate Universe (Earth-1610)
The Ultimate line simplifies many random elements by having many of the world's superheroes connected to Captain America's Super-Soldier Serum in some form or another. The Hulk was accidentally created while Dr. Bruce Banner was trying to recreate the serum, Norman Osborn accidentally created Spider-Man while attempting the same thing with the Oz Formula, which later mutated him into the Goblin. Weapon X and the entire mutant race were created as the Canadian response to the Serum, and so on, resulting in international supersoldier escalation and treaties being proposed to curb it. Several Spider-Man rogues were subjects of secret, illegal super soldier experiments. Captain America's illegitimate son with Gail Richards was born with the serum in his DNA. After his father's presumed death during WWII and taken from his mother, the son is raised on an army base where he appears to be a well-adjusted, physically superior and tactically brilliant young man who greatly resembles his father. However, his easy-going personality was a ruse. Around the age of seventeen, he kills over 200 men on the base and then cuts off his own face which leaves a "Red Skull" to reject his father. Lieberman was another person subjected to the serum, but on a night out he was involved in a fire scene and bravely rescued fifty-seven fire victims, but after saving them, he suddenly died. His body was taken back to the Triskelion and privately examined in which the cause of his death was determined to be due to his nervous system collapsing from the strain of the super-soldier serum. However, Lieberman's ascension to become (and replace) Captain America and his sudden death wasn't the first time that S.H.I.E.L.D. had been trying to replicate super-soldiers like Captain America, and that several other candidates like Lieberman perished with similar results. Furious at the invasion of Iraq by American super-soldiers, scrawny Azerbaijani teenager Abdul Al-Rahman volunteered to undergo medical treatments to gain superhuman abilities that would allow him to strike back at America. The treatments were successful, and Al-Rahman rapidly gained muscle mass and an athletic physique. He was the first person since Steve Rogers to be positively responsive to the Super-Soldier Serum.
The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes (Earth-8096)
In this universe Steve Rogers was recruited by Colonel Chester Phillips to join the Super Soldier Program, due to unbreakable fighting spirit and strong will. Through the Super-Soldier Serum, created by Dr. Abraham Erskine soldier Steve Rogers was transformed into Captain America.
Spider-Man: The Animated Series (Earth-92131)
In this universe the super-soldier formula created Captain America and was destroyed by Nazi spies. However, other scientists were able to create an imperfect version of the serum. Thus, each of five volunteers were affected differently, with their own unique powers which were very different from Captain America's. Also, their powers weren't permanent, and they were forced to ration their powers with keys. The five volunteers and Captain America formed the Six American Warriors. As a 13-year-old boy during World War II, John Hardesky was tricked by Nazis into spying on the creation of Captain America, memorizing the formula used to create him. However, he then realized that he had been tricked and refused to reveal the formula to the Red Skull, fleeing. Hardesky grew up to be the Cat, a highly experienced burglar. He also fathered a daughter named Felicia. When he was caught in the midst of a jewel theft, the Cat was incarcerated in S.H.I.E.L.D., partly to protect his knowledge of the super soldier formula. Years later, he was abducted from custody by the Kingpin, who attempted to force him into revealing the formula. Hardesky did so after the crime lord kidnapped his daughter, and the recreated serum was tested out on her. As a result, Felicia became a crimefighter known as the Black Cat, and teamed up with Spider-Man to save her father, who then allowed himself to be taken back into S.H.I.E.L.D. custody to protect his knowledge.
Within this universe of its deceased David North a super soldier serum alternative had been developed by the harsh world's governmental science divisions conglomerated into a massive think tank. The item of interest was clearly a Superior product from most other timelines given that it gave vastly enhanced superpowers to anyone who ingested it, at the cost of severe physiological structural breakdown causing the taker of which to violently explode. Hence the motto many soldiers in the service of the alien incursion earth's defense forces "When it comes your time to die, sing your death song and die like a hero going home." in short it grants one phenomenal superhuman capabilities at the cost of one's life which relates to a couple of days to weeks at most. A Brazilian mutant in the reluctant service of a criminal arms dealer by the name of Volga used his powers for the theft and allocation of weapons-tech across the infinite realities on his employer's behalf. When he first presented this product to the billionaire weapons enthusiast, he couldn't help but be overeager to field test its effects to ascertain more sizable profit margins for his business, naturally doing first troubleshooting upon the latter's own family with which he forced the former's servitude. After a few years of off the record experimentation with the serum dubbed by many as the Volga Effect which weaponizes the mutant genome in order to bestow more stabilized, albeit still viciously self-destructive superpowers upon anybody who intakes it.
- Super-Soldiers - for a complete list
- Some ingredients may be Vita Rays, which act as a stabilizing force.
- 71 Appearances of Super-Soldier Serum
- 8 Minor Appearances of Super-Soldier Serum
- 107 Media Super-Soldier Serum was Mentioned in
- 2 Images featuring Super-Soldier Serum
- Item Gallery: Super-Soldier Serum
Links and References
- ↑ Wolverine Vol 3 #44
- ↑ Invaders #17
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Captain America Comics #1
- ↑ Captain America #109
- ↑ Truth: Red, White & Black #3
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Truth: Red, White & Black #4
- ↑ Truth: Red, White & Black #3-#4
- ↑ Crew #5
- ↑ Invaders #18
- ↑ Giant-Size Invaders #1
- ↑ Young Men #24
- ↑ Captain America #153-156
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 13.2 Hero for Hire #1
- ↑ Marvels Project #5
- ↑ Power Man and Iron Fist #83
- ↑ Power Man #48
- ↑ Power Man #49
- ↑ Power Man and Iron Fist #67-100
- ↑ Cage #12
- ↑ Captain America and The Falcon #1
- ↑ Avengers: The Initiative #1
- ↑ Avengers: The Initiative Annual #1
- ↑ Avengers: The Initiative #7
- ↑ Avengers: The Initiative #11
- ↑ Young Avengers #10-#12
- ↑ Steve Rogers: Super Soldier #1
- ↑ New Avengers Vol 4 #9
- ↑ 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 Truth: Red, White and Black #3
- ↑ Captain America: The First Avenger
- ↑ The Incredible Hulk (2008 film)
- ↑ Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 1
- ↑ Ultimate Comics Avengers #1
- ↑ Ultimates Annual #1
- ↑ Ultimates Vol 2 #10
- ↑ Avengers Micro Episodes: Captain America Season 1 1
- ↑ Spider-Man: The Animated Series Season 5 4
- ↑ Spider-Man: The Animated Series Season 4 2
- ↑ Spider-Man: The Animated Series Season 4 3
- ↑ X-Force Vol 4 #5