Many super soldiers from Marvel Comics haven’t yet been adapted into the live-action Marvel Cinematic Universe. Creating a superhero franchise such as the Marvel Universe goes hand-in-hand with introducing enhanced human beings, several of whom gained their superpowers after being exposed to a variation of the super-soldier serum. Captain America is certainly the most high-profile recipient of the super-soldier serum, but many other characters have also been gifted abilities thanks to the substance. This includes several in the MCU, such as Bruce Banner, Bucky Barnes, Alexei Shostakov, and Emil Blonsky, but there are still many super soldiers missing from Marvel Studios’ live-action franchise.
Originally developed by Dr. Abraham Erskine during WWII, the super-soldier serum was designed to transform an individual into the peak human, and in both Marvel Comics and the MCU, Steve Rogers was selected to acquire these attributes, transforming him into Captain America. Although Rogers was the only successful recipient of Erskine’s formula, many attempts were made in the years since to recreate the super-soldier serum, though these attempts often came with drastic side effects. Despite being laden with problems, variations of the super-soldier serum have been given to many characters in the history of Marvel Comics, though not all of these super soldiers have been introduced to the MCU.
10 Brian Falsworth (Union Jack)
Brian Falsworth debuted in Marvel Comics’ 1977 run of The Invaders #18 as a prisoner of war during WWII. Finding himself imprisoned with Erskine’s scientific partner, Professor Eric Schmitt, Falsworth is gifted Schmitt’s recreation of the original super-soldier serum, granting him abilities akin to those of Captain America. Initially dubbing himself Destroyer, Falsworth eventually becomes Union Jack – the moniker previously used by his Howling Commando father, James Montgomery Falsworth. It’s possible that Brian Falsworth could debut in the MCU as early as 2023’s Secret Invasion, as Olivia Colman is set to portray Sonya Falsworth, and James Montgomery Falsworth was previously seen in 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger.
9 Arkady Rossovich (Omega Red)
Arkady Rossovich was a serial killer from Soviet Russia in Marvel Comics who continued his crimes despite being recruited into the Russian Army. After surviving his execution, Rossovich was subjected to a recreation of the super-soldier serum, as the Soviets wanted to create their own version of Captain America, dubbing their new soldier Omega Red. As a mutant, Rossovich had dealings with several other high-profile mutant characters, including Wolverine, Sabretooth, and the X-Men. With David Harbour’s Red Guardian currently filling the heroic Russian super soldier role in the MCU, it’s possible that Rossovich could be introduced as a villain, especially with the introduction of the X-Men right around the corner.
8 Keene Marlow (Destroyer)
Before Brian Falsworth was introduced to Marvel Comics, Kevin “Keene” Marlow was the individual given the super-soldier serum by Professor Eric Schmitt, with Falsworth later retconning his origins. Marlow was an American journalist introduced in 1941’s Mystic Comics #6, thrown in a German prison during WWII where he was gifted Schmitt’s formula, transforming him into a super soldier known as Destroyer. Unlike Falsworth, however, Marlow continued as Destroyer after the war, collecting villains such as Scar, Bruiser, Crocodile, Organite, and Krakoom, the leader of the terrorist organization Horde. With connections to Brian Falsworth, Marlow could be introduced to the MCU during Phase 5’s Secret Invasion.
7 William Burnside
As a child, William Burnside idolized Steve Rogers and was shocked to learn of his apparent death in 1945. After discovering the formula for the super-soldier serum, Burnside teamed up with Jack Monroe – the new “Bucky” – injecting them both with the serum, which led to mental side effects. Burnside was later brainwashed to be the Grand Director, the leader of a Neo-Nazi group, but eventually redeemed himself and was gifted a new life. With Steve Rogers’ absence being a hot topic after Avengers: Endgame and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, it’s possible that Burnside could have a part to play in the MCU’s Captain America: New World Order.
6 Jack Monroe
Jack Monroe, nicknamed “Bucky” after Captain America’s sidekick, was a student taught by Burnside before he injected himself with the super-soldier serum. After an attack by the Red Skull, Burnside and Monroe became Captain America and Bucky, with dire side effects. While Burnside was placed in suspended animation, Monroe was cured of his psychosis by SHIELD and turned into the superhero Nomad, assuming Steve Rogers’ previous moniker. It’s possible that Burnside and Monroe could debut in the MCU’s Captain America: New World Order, or a future MCU project featuring Sam Wilson as Captain America, though many are still calling for Steve Rogers’ Nomad story to be told in the MCU.
5 Luke Cage (Power Man)
Introduced in 1972’s Luke Cage: Hero for Hire #1, Cage was a relevant hero for the time, debuting as a man imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit and subjected to an experimental procedure that gave him enhanced strength and unbreakable skin. Over his long history, he has been affiliated with Iron Fist, married Jessica Jones, been featured as an Avenger, and has gone on to lead the Thunderbolts and become Mayor of New York City. Mike Colter portrayed the character in Marvel Television’s shows on Netflix, and with Charlie Cox and Vincent D’Onofrio’s move to the MCU from Daredevil, it’s possible Colter could reprise the role in future MCU projects.
4 Frank Simpson (Nuke)
Debuting in 1986’s Daredevil #232, Frank Simpson was hand-picked to be a test subject for the Weapon Plus program, the project that had previously created Captain America and would go on to forge Wolverine into a weapon. Eighteen recruits of the Weapon VII program, a.k.a. Project: Homegrown, were killed during testing, but Simpson survived, becoming the deranged super soldier known as Nuke. The program also fit him with cybernetic enhancements and left him addicted to placebo pills to control his aggression. Much like Luke Cage, a version of Simpson appeared in Netflix’s Jessica Jones, portrayed by Wil Traval, so it’s possible he could make his way into the MCU proper.
3 Robert Reynolds (Sentry)
After WWII, Project: Sentry was started to recreate the super-soldier serum but with its effects amplified by a hundred thousand percent. However, the project went the best part of forty years without turning any meaningful results. That was until Robert Reynolds, a meth addict, broke into a laboratory and ingested the “Golden Sentry Serum,” gaining the power of a million exploding suns. Although striving for good, Reynolds’ darker persona, the Void, posed a huge threat to the Marvel Universe, with two sides of the same person becoming arch-enemies. The Sentry is rumored to debut in the MCU during Phase 5’s Thunderbolts, but nothing involving the character has been confirmed.
Introduced in 2004’s Captain America and the Falcon #1, not much is known about the Anti-Cap’s background or real identity. Although rejected from serving in the United States Navy, the Anti-Cap signed up to be part of an experimental program in which the subject would receive a spinal implant that would disperse a super-soldier serum-like drug into the subject. With his power awakened after being shot, the US Navy quickly began to lose control of their super soldier, and after a brawl with Captain America, the subject was dubbed the Anti-Cap. This would be an interesting story to tell in the MCU, particularly now that Sam Wilson has become Captain America.
1 Mitchell Tanner (Warhawk)
After being critically wounded in the Vietnam War, Mitchell Tanner was given a version of the super-soldier serum by Dr. Noah Burstein, the man who would later experiment on Luke Cage. The serum gave Tanner steel-like skin and superhuman strength but left Tanner with a mental imbalance. Dubbed Warhawk, Tanner became an assassin for the CIA and later infiltrated and attacked the X-Men while working with the Hellfire Club, though he would later work for SHIELD in exchange for a reduced prison sentence. With the potential for Luke Cage to debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it’s possible that Mitchell Tanner’s Warhawk might not be too far behind.