Operation Rebirth is a scientific experiment that features in Marvel Comics.
Operation Rebirth, also known as Project Rebirth, was an experiment conducted in World War II by American scientists in creating Super-Soldiers to battle Nazi Germany.
The program was one of many that was started by the Weapon Plus Project designed to engineer supermen to fight future wars. (New X-Men v1 #145) During World War II, America divided its scientific resources between the development of the atomic bomb and the creation of a Super-Soldier. (Marvel Comics Presents v2 #8) The products of the process was to create a corps of super-agents whose mental and physical ability was to bring terror to their enemies. (Captain America Comics v1 #1) After the project began, President Roosevelt had a top secret meeting with high ranking members of the War Department about the super-soldier program. Among the attendees was Daniel Shumann who argued that after the war the super-soldiers would return home and that there was nothing to stop them if they decided to use their superior might to take over the country. Thus, he advised the creation of a failsafe mechanism namely an automated machine designated as TESS-One that was programmed to eliminate all super-soldiers with F.D.R. approving Shumann's contingency and allocation of resources for it. (Captain America Comics Annual v1 #8)
The Super-Soldier Program came to an abrupt end with the assassination of the lead scientist on the project. (Marvel Comics Presents v2 #8) In an attempt to replicate it, Project Super Soldier was created where Col. Walker Price and Dr. Wilfred Nagel forcibly recruited over 300 African-American soldiers to serve as test subjects to recreate the Super-Soldier Serum with Isaiah Bradley being among the test subjects. To keep the operation a secret, the abducted soldiers families were sent false letters that claimed that they had died in service to their country. (Truth: Red, White & Black v1 #3) The program continued and a few years later they succeeded in creating a new super-soldier in Trenton Craft who instead of having enhanced physical abilities had enhanced mental abilities. He was given the codename Colonel America who was first deployed in Yokohama in Japan in 1944 where he destroyed the entire island after losing control over his powers. (Marvel Comics Presents v2 #8) Fearing the Russians, elements in the American military used the Super-Soldier program as a mask for their true agenda which was to create individuals able to survive a nuclear apocalypse. Thus, Operation Crossroads was carried out with the nuclear tests at Bikini Atoll in 1946 that was tasked with ensuring those that had the Insect gene survived. (Spectacular Spider-Man v2 #19) Among the participants in this attempt to recreate the results was with Major Adriana Soria of the Women Army Corps who was a Mutant developed into a new phylum known as Homo Insectus but the military shut down the project and she was left in an asylum over the years. (Spectacular Spider-Man v2 #18)
Over four years ago, the Office of Naval Intelligence (O.N.I.) under Admiral Jimmy Westbook sought to create their own enhanced operative super-soldier. They spent billions of dollars as they competed with Army intelligence in their own attempt at recreating Captain America. O.N.I experienced their own problems in recreating the serum and thus tried alternative methods in creating their super-soldier. This involved the use of the super-steroid acetovaxidol (AVX) that was introduced into the body with a P6 chipset controlling dosage that managed the subject's tolerance levels and absorption rates from the patches. A Protocol Six neural net processor was also grafted to the spine where it regulated the body with the learning computer managing pain, reflexes, timing, accelerated healing and stimulated hyper-dense muscle tissue. A volunteer was found with the procedure tested on him though initially it did not appear to be a success until he was nearly killed with a gunshot to the head. The subject was then turned into O.N.I. special operative who dressed up as Captain America and was deployed in numerous theatres around the world. (Captain America and the Falcon v1 #4)
Abraham's grandson Jacob Erskine began working with the Nextkin Corporation with the goal of recreating the Super-Soldier Serum to serve as a cure for cancer. A flawed version of the serum was developed that was secretly being used to create soldiers and Erskine was killed where he died in the arms of Steve Rogers. (Steve Rogers: Super Soldier v1 #1) It was later revealed that this was all the plan of the Machinesmith who intended to sell the Super-Soldier Serum to parties around the world. (Steve Rogers: Super Soldier v1 #3)
A second iteration of the operation called Project Rebirth 2.0 was created by the United States government to create an elite operative. This involved volunteers who would be bonded with the recently captured Venom symbiote. At least one volunteer had to be killed after bonding with the symbiote when he lost control over the creature. Another volunteer would be Flash Thompson who would be designated as Agent Venom. (Venom v2 #1) He was dispatched as a government operative with stopping the weapon smuggling operations of the criminal Crime Master. (Venom v2 #2) Project Rebirth was later involved in sending Agent Venom into the events of the Spider-Island Crisis when the Queen began turning people into giant spider hybrid monsters. (Venom v2 #6)
One mission for Agent Venom was him being deployed to save Sheikh Kassim from ULTIMATUM with him retrieving the businessman. (Amazing Spider-Man v1 #654.1)
Whilst in hiding, the Spider Queen hid at her base at a former facility for Project: Rebirth which Steve Rogers was investigating. He was ambushed by his fellow super-soldier with him being captured and transformed into the Spider-King that served as the Queen's consort. (Amazing Spider-Man v1 #670) They later liaised with Reed Richards during the Spider-Island epidemic in the creation of a cure for the spider-flu. (Amazing Spider-Man v1 #671)
The serum operated by rapidly building the body and brain tissue until stature along with intelligence increased to an amazing degree. Millions of cells were formed as incredibly speeds with subjects experiencing the growth of muscles. (Captain America Comics v1 #1) One attempt at recreating the serum utilised acetovaxidol (AVX) that was a super-steroid which was introduced in regulated doses to the body via a control device along with an implant that controlled other body functions such as healing and reflexes. (Captain America and the Falcon v1 #4)
- Abraham Erskine :
- Steve Rogers :
- Tyler Paxton : a male volunteer for the Super-Soldier experiment alongside Steve Rogers but when the serum was used up and with Erskine died it meant that Paxton could no longer continue with the experiment. (Steve Rogers: Super Soldier v1 #1)
- Flash Thompson : male soldier who had lost his legs during his service but got entered into Project Rebirth 2.0 where he became Agent Venom. (Venom v2 #1)
- Operation Rebirth was created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby where it made its first appearance in Captain America Comics v1 #1 (March, 1941).
- In Captain America v1 #109 (1969), it was referred to as Project Super Soldier.
- In Marvel Super-Heroes v2 #3 (1990), it was referred to as Project: Rebirth.
- In Spider-Gwen v2 #2 (2015), an alternate world designated Earth-65 that was home to Spider-Woman had its own version of Project Rebirth. Among the candidates included Samantha T. Wilson, Steve Rogers, Bucky Barnes and Isaiah Bradley. Nazi spies sabotaged the program where they killed the scientist Erksine but Wilson managed to undergo the experiment to become Captain America in the process. After Sam Wilson was lost, Project Rebirth attempted to replicate the supersoldier formula and created a clone of Captain America named Sam 13 to replace her. It was then that the original Samantha Wilson returned after being lost for 75 years to continue as Captain America of her world.
In other media
- In The Marvel Super Heroes, Operation Rebirth was shown in the Captain America segment in "The Origin of Captain America". It was shown as a secret United States military project that sought to develop a supersoldier to fight against Nazi Germany in World War II with the head scientist being Dr. Erskine. Steve Rogers volunteered for the program where he was transformed into Captain America but Operation Rebirth ended when a Nazi spy killed Erskine who was the only one that knew the formula for the Supersoldier Serum.
- In X-Men: Evolution, Operation Rebirth was mentioned in the episode "Operation: Rebirth". It was shown as being a chamber-like device that performed crude yet effective genetic engineering that was used to create supersoldiers such as Captain America in World War II by enhancing the subjects inside of it. Though it turned him into a hero, the process caused cellular breakdown that was slowly killing him as a result leading to Steve Rogers and Logan destroying the machine to prevent the harm it caused to others. Unknown to them, a back-up was still present but kept in storage with the machine being lethal to ordinary humans. Magneto learnt of the machine in time and sought to use it after he was slowly dying. He had the second Rebirth machine stolen and used it to replenish himself as it did not harm Mutants as it did ordinary humans. After the Rebirth machine restores Magneto to youth by replenishing his cells, Nightcrawler set a detonator to destroy it to prevent any further use by the device.
- In Ultimate Avengers, the Rebirth chamber was mentioned as being the means of administering the Super Soldier Serum into a candidate with this being used to create Captain America. By the modern day, Dr. Bruce Banner and Professor Betty Ross were among the scientists attempting to recreate the process.
- In Ultimate Avengers II, it was mentioned that the initiative to recreate Rebirth was known as the Super-Soldier Project (SSP). Samuel Sterns was rejected from the project by Dr. Banner when he headed it.
- In Incredible Hulk, a reference was made in the live-action film to the project that was part of the Infantry Weapons Development which in World War II had a sub-program for Bio-Tech Force Enhancement that sought to create Super-Soldiers. General Ross re-opened the program in order to transform Emil Blonsky into a super-soldier to battle the Hulk.
- In Iron Man and Captain America: Heroes United, the project was not named but the Super-Soldier Serum was part of the plot line in the animated movie. Steve Rogers transformation into Captain America by the serum was mentioned to showcase his origin. The Red Skull then hired Taskmaster with the capture of Captain America where a sample of his blood was taken to replicate the Super-Soldier Serum. This was used on Hydra volunteers that were transformed into large muscular hulking Ubermen. These soldiers had copies of Steve Rogers training implanted in their minds, versions of his shield and Stark's repulsor rifles. When the heroes attacked the Hydra base, Red Skull moved to his contingency which was to launch a rocket to disperse the Super-Soldier Serum around the world turning the populace into Ubermen but this plan was thwarted by Captain America who destroyed the missile.
- In Marvel Heroes, Operation Rebirth 2.0 was mentioned in the backstory for Agent Venom in the MMORPG.
- In Spider-Man Unlimited, Project Rebirth 2.0 was mentioned in the backstory for Agent Venom in the iOS video game.
- Captain America Annual v1:
- New X-Men v1 #145:
- Steve Rogers: Super Soldier v1: