starwolf_oakley: (Default)
[personal profile] starwolf_oakley posting in [community profile] scans_daily
CAPTAIN AMERICA #377 is part of the "Streets of Poison" story. Cap gets high on meth and has to give up the Super Soldier Serum to sober up. Yes, there's more to it than that.

Place "Breaking Bad Main Title Theme" by Dave Porter here



In the "Streets of Poison" story, a lab explosion exposed Cap to the designer drug Ice (an early 1990s street name for methamphetamine). Cap starts acting very strange, becoming paranoid and reckless. He is captured and sedated.

Captain America 377-010.jpg

Maybe the "junkie's needle" part is a reference to how the serum was first shown in a syringe, then changed to a liquid Steve drank. This change was due to the Comics Code, which didn't want needles shown.

Regarding the skills, some writers say the serum gave Steve a photographic memory. That how he learned so many fighting styles so quickly. Other writers say Steve was a fast learner even when he was short and skinny.


Captain America 377-011.jpg

Depending on the story, sometimes the serum worked best on Steve because he got the best version of the serum. Other subjects (like Commie-Smasher Cap William Burnside) got earlier versions that Erskine hadn't "refined." Or the Vita-Rays were needed as a stabilizer, because comic book science.

Captain America 377-012.jpg

Now, the meth should have been metabolized by Cap's body, like any other drug. But it hasn't.

Captain America 377-014.jpg

Keith Kincaid was on the Avengers Mansion staff at the time. Keith was the "template" Odin used to "create" Don Blake. When Jane Foster failed her "become an Asgardian" trials, Odin sent her (with her memory of Asgard suppressed) to Keith's office. They quickly hit it off.

Jane and Keith got married, had a son, and got divorced. I've asked where Keith is in the current "Jane Foster as Thor" run, but no one seems to know.


The transfusion works and non-Serum Cap wakes up. He's clear-headed. He's also not short and skinny because "taking out" the serum wouldn't automatically do that to him.

Captain America 377-016.jpg

Peggy Carter was also on the Avengers staff at this time. This being the early 1990s, Peggy was Sharon Carter's sister and an American. Cap called her "mademoiselle" because she worked with the French Resistance in World War II. (So for those who say MCU Steve dating Peggy's niece/grand-niece is weird, it could have been a LOT weirder.)

Steve having a unique spirit making him just the right guy to become Captain America has been covered in a LOT of stories. Sometimes it makes Steve Rogers look irritatingly perfect, like the ultimate Gary Stu everyone should automatically listen to... which was why SECRET EMPIRE turned that on its head.

The prestige format miniseries THE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN AMERICA also showed a lot of Steve's personality before he got the serum. IIRC, when Erskine first sees Skinny Steve at a recruiting station, he becomes giddy, saying "He's perfect" over and over. The miniseries has elements used in CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER.

Date: 2017-09-23 12:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daningram.insanejournal.com
Drugs are bad, mmkay?

Even if they help a person with chronic illnesses overcome his lifelong disabilities.

Date: 2017-09-23 01:12 am (UTC)
tripodeca113: (Default)
From: [personal profile] tripodeca113
Especially prescription drugs to prevent or cure disease.
Use depressants, or antibiotics? Well your a drug addict now. (I'm not serious)

Date: 2017-09-23 01:11 am (UTC)
bj_l: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bj_l
This is wonderfully tacky.

Date: 2017-09-23 01:18 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] scorntx
Y'know, as early 90s as this story may be, it was also the one that introduced me to Cap, Gruenwald, and Diamondback (especially Diamondback.) and generally served as a gateway to other comics.

So I can't dislike it.
Plus, that's a pretty good Cap Speech up there.

Also, it's nice to know how this one worked out (since it was only a handful of issues, not the whole thing. Still waiting to learn how the Bloodstone Saga turned out. Hope Cap made it out of that one okay...)

Date: 2017-09-23 08:24 am (UTC)
candescencearia: (Default)
From: [personal profile] candescencearia
Huh. Not often that a writer actively goes back on their own creative decisions like this, and it looks like Grunewald handled it fairly elegantly, especially since Cap would have changed his mind on his opinion of the serum long after returning to a fully regular state of mind.

Date: 2017-09-23 11:52 am (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
Love Gruenwald though I do, this one never made sense to me, since it implies that either A) Steve would have lost his super soldier status a little every time he bled.... since 1939, or B) somehow his body has not been undergoing the normal cell replacement that the human body has and he still has his 1939 blood cells flowing through his veins.

Date: 2017-09-24 03:42 pm (UTC)
steverequin: (Default)
From: [personal profile] steverequin
I remember clearly the first time I've read that story, and telling myself: "Finally, a realistic version of without-serum-Cap!" I mean, IRL, it would take weeks, months, years even, for his body to transform and shrink down to normal pre-serum Steve Rogers.

Date: 2017-09-24 10:58 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] remial
so, a) who gave Steve the drugs in the first place?
b) why is Skull so pissed?
c) how does Steve get better?

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