Steve Rogers’ Super Soldier transformation in Captain America: The First Avenger had some life-changing side effects that the movie didn’t show. For a long time, Dr. Abraham Erskine’s experiment was the only fully successful Super Soldier attempt, as Steve Rogers went from being short and skinny to tall, muscular, and nearly superhuman in every single one of his abilities. With his body at the peak of its potential, Steve Rogers finally earned the title of Captain America.
But apart from his strength, speed, and endurance, Steve Rogers’ Super Soldier transformation also fixed his health conditions. TikTok user @emptyjunior pokes fun at the attention Steve Rogers’ enlarged muscles got compared to how awe-struck he must have been the moment he realized that he had better vision. As several commenters mention, Steve Rogers must have also been fascinated by his ability to run without suffering an asthma attack. After all, his health conditions included “asthma, sinusitis, high blood pressure, palpitation, easy fatigability” and other ailments. Watch the video below:
Captain America’s origin story has been revisited multiple times in Marvel Comics, but it has always looked roughly the same. First, Steve Rogers drinks the serum. Then, Dr. Erskine provides him with a dose of Vita Rays, and right after Steve’s body finishes growing, a Nazi or Hydra agent interrupts their celebration to shoot Dr. Erskine, rendering the original Super Soldier formula a mystery. Captain America: The First Avenger doesn’t show Steve Rogers’ transformation, as it swaps Dr. Erskine’s Vita Ray gun for a capsule, which conceals the process and underlines the satisfying reveal of Steve Rogers’ enhanced physique when he steps out of the machine.
Captain America’s powers vary greatly from the page to the screen. Originally, Steve Rogers’ Super Soldier abilities were limited to his peak human physique. This meant that Captain America was as strong, fast, agile, and durable as the human body allowed. Captain America: The First Avenger was faithful to this limit, but Steve Rogers’ following MCU appearances kept increasing his power level. Chris Evans’ Captain America displayed superhuman feats of power like fighting Thanos and holding a flying helicopter down using only one arm. Although Captain America’s power level has also increased in the source material, it took a considerable longer time for him to achieve similar feats.
The MCU adds two Marvel characters to its version of Steve Rogers’ Super Soldier transformation. One of them is Howard Stark, who provided the technology needed to implement Vita Rays in the process. Not only is Howard Stark key to Captain America’s origin story in the MCU, but he also managed to replicate the MCU’s original Super Soldier serum years later, which put him in the Winter Soldier’s crosshairs. The other character is Peggy Carter, who witnessed Steve Rogers’ physical changes first-hand in Captain America: The First Avenger and continued to fall in love with him. While these two characters exist in Marvel Comics, they usually don’t play a role in Captain America’s origin story.