I just watched Captain America: Civil War and there was something that didn't make sense. In Captain America: The First Avenger we find out that Abraham Erskine created the Super Solider Serum and even he didn't get it right the first time. The last vial was destroyed during the Hydra agent's escape and it was said that the formula died with him. In Agent Carter we found out that Howard hid a vial of Steve's blood with him which Peggy eventually destroyed. In the Incredible Hulk we found out that even Bruce Banner failed to replicate the process. In Civil War we find out that Howard Stark was travelling with a certain serum that Bucky stole for the Russians.

Did Howard manage to replicate Erskine's formula and did it work for the Russians besides the preliminary testing?

  • There were multiple attempts to reproduce the serem. Some with a slight improvement (BlackWidow) ... some less so
    – Naib
    Commented May 15, 2016 at 16:49
  • 4
    @Naib: Black Widow doesn't have any variant of the Super-Soldier serum. She's (mostly) just a highly-trained normal human. Her abilities are at near-peak human levels. You can clearly see that she has nothing like Cap's strength - she has to use martial arts throws and leverage to maneuver larger opponents; Steve simply hits them and they fly 30 ft.
    – Jeff
    Commented May 15, 2016 at 17:08
  • scifi.stackexchange.com/q/39060/57562
    – Naib
    Commented May 15, 2016 at 19:49
  • I felt that my answer to this one was pretty convincing. Is there anything else you'd like me to add before considering an acceptance?
    – Valorum
    Commented Jul 2, 2016 at 10:06

1 Answer 1


We know that Stark Sr. didn't manage to replicate the formula precisely, but we also know that within the MCU there have been multiple attempts to replicate the Super-Soldier Serum, with varying levels of success. This particular iteration was stolen by the Russians for the use in their Winter Soldier and Black Widow programmes, another resulted in The Abomination (Emil Blonsky) and the creation of the Hulk (Bruce Banner). Yet another attempt resulted in the Centipede programme seen in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

The simplest explanation is that the blue liquid in the boot was most likely the latest version of what would ultimately prove to be another failed version to recreate Erskine's true formula (e.g. one that would result in rapid physical growth but no unwelcome side-effects).

  • 2
    The creation of the Red Skull was the first attempt at creating the Super Soldier serum. That took place before the successful experiment on Steve Rogers, not after.
    – Paul L
    Commented May 16, 2016 at 15:31
  • 1
    @PaulL - Good point. See edit.
    – Valorum
    Commented May 16, 2016 at 15:42

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