A fan theory gives a whole new origin to the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Super Soldier Serum, connecting it to a key object from Black Panther: the Heart-Shaped herb. Through over 20 movies and a couple of TV shows, the MCU has introduced a variety of objects and more that have helped its heroes in their journeys in different ways, and some of them have even made way for the creation of some villains. One of the most notable ones in Phase 1 was the Super Soldier Serum, which created none other than Captain America (Chris Evans).
Captain America made his MCU debut in Captain America: The First Avenger, which told his origin story from his days as a skinny boy from Brooklyn trying to get into the army, to becoming a war hero and a worldwide symbol of hope and bravery. What turned Steve Rogers into Captain America was the Super Soldier Serum, and he’s the only successful test subject from that program, but naturally, there have been different failed attempts at replicating it since the 1940s. The MCU has shown some of the failed experiments, with each of them having terrible consequences, but for some time, the Super Soldier Serum was left aside to focus on bigger, and at the time most important stories.
The MCU’s Phase 4 has brought the Super Soldier Serum back through variants seen in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, making viewers realize that not much is known about the serum and its origins. This has made way for a couple of theories on how the Serum was made and what it’s made of that has made it so hard to replicate, and one theory links it to the Heart-Shaped Herb that can only be found in Wakanda, thus linking Captain America to Black Panther.
Black Panther’s Heart-Shaped Herb Explained
Black Panther took the audience to Wakanda, where they not only met T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), Shuri (Letitia Wright), Okoye (Danai Gurira), and many other notable citizens of Wakanda but also learned more about this country’s history and what makes it so special. Among the most notable things that can be found in Wakanda is the Heart-Shaped Herb, a plant native to Wakanda that was traditionally consumed by the new ruler and thus heir to the mantle of the Black Panther. The herb gives those who consume it enhanced physical abilities, such as strength, speed, stamina, durability, reflexes, agility, and instincts. The herb also allows the user to enter the Ancestral Plane, where they can commune with the dead.
Erskine’s Super Soldier Serum Could Never Be Fully Replicated
As mentioned above, what turned Steve Rogers from a fragile kid into Captain America was the Super Soldier Serum, created by Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci). He started developing the serum in 1930, and the following year, Wilfred Malick delivered the key ingredient to HYDRA. In 1940, Johann Schmidt started injecting himself with the serum, but the formula was imperfect, and it turned him into the Red Skull. Erskine later escaped the US and joined the Strategic Scientific Reserve, where he started Project Rebirth. Through Vita Radiation and other experiments, Erskine perfected the Super Soldier Serum and later used it on Steve Rogers as part of the Super Soldier Program. Sadly, Erskine was killed and the last vial of the original serum was destroyed by HYDRA, so the only hope to recreate the serum was through Captain America’s blood as the formula would be locked in his genetic code, but that hasn’t been enough. Note: His Weapon Of Choice Is The Butcher
Theory: The Super Soldier Serum Was Made Using The Heart-Shaped Herb
A theory posted on Reddit suggests the Super Soldier Serum was made using the Heart-Shaped Herb that can only be found in Wakanda, and Erskine got a sample of it thanks to Howard Stark. Tony’s father comes into play in this as he not only worked alongside Erskine in Project Rebirth but he had also been working on new technology and more using vibranium, which was discovered by Stark Industries researchers in Wakanda. The author of the theory explains that Stark could have gotten some of the Heart-Shaped Herb as well after learning about the Black Panther and the abilities he acquired through the herb, which could be useful in the US. Note: Was Obviously Made With Great Love
Could The Super Solider Serum Be Linked To Vibranium Instead?
An alternate theory to Erskine using the Heart-Shaped Herb is that the Super Soldier Serum contained vibranium. It has been established in the MCU that vibranium is more than an indestructible material used for weapons and more, as it’s an element that can be used for a variety of things, including medical purposes. As Howard Stark already had samples of vibranium to work with, Erskine could have easily taken some of it in hopes that it would give the Super Soldier Serum what he needed, and it turned out to be the missing ingredient in the mix. This would also explain why the serum hasn’t been successfully recreated, as getting vibranium was very difficult before Wakanda opened its borders, and as it’s a very rare material, those looking to recreate the serum would have never known Erskine used this element in the formula. Note: Blum Recently Stated He Is Working