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Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki
Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki

"So this Dr. Banner was trying to replicate the serum that was used on me?"
"A lot of people were. You were the world's first superhero. Banner thought gamma radiation might hold the key to unlocking Erskine's original formula."
Steve Rogers and Phil Coulson[src]

The Bio-Tech Force Enhancement Project was a program developed by the United States Army to rekindle Project Rebirth and recreate the Super Soldier Serum in order to form super soldiers as a response to the September 11 attacks.


"In WWII, they initiated a sub-program for Bio-Tech Force Enhancement."
"Yeah, Super Soldier."
Thaddeus Ross and Emil Blonsky[src]

During World War II, the Strategic Scientific Reserve created Project Rebirth, a weapons program intended to bestow Allied soldiers with superhuman abilities through the Super Soldier Serum created by Dr. Abraham Erskine. The project resulted in the creation of Captain America, although the program was immediately terminated following Erskine's assassination and the destruction of all remaining vials containing the serum.[1]

Two days after the September 11 attacks, General Thaddeus Ross was commissioned to rekindle Project Rebirth in order to create new super soldiers for the United States Armed Forces.[2] In the beginning of the project, the military had been using captured terrorists of Al-Haquid to test out various possible serums. However, pictures of the project came out and the United States Congress killed it.[3]

As the recreation of Erskine's serum was necessary, Doctor Bruce Banner, a renowned scientist specializing in the fields of biochemistry, nuclear physics and gamma radiation was recruited into the project, along with girlfriend and fellow scientist Betty Ross. However, General Ross chose not to divulge the serum's true properties to Banner, instead informing him that the serum he was tasked to recreate had been designed to prevent radiation poisoning.

Banner chose to substitute the original serum's vita radiation with gamma radiation, believing it held the secret of unlocking the original serum's formula.[4] After losing funding for the project after many years, Banner chose to test his recreated serum on himself, along with a primer designed by Dr. Ross that would allow his blood cells to absorb the radiation. In addition, after no apparent effects to 15 seconds of exposition at level 1, Banner chose to increase the dosage of gamma radiation in order to impress the general and gain his approval.

Bruce Banner's first transformation

Unaware that it was a recreated Super Soldier Serum, Banner injected himself with it and was doused with an overabundance of gamma radiation by a Gamma Ray Projector inside a Culver University lab that was intended to be fatal. However, Dr. Ross' primer caused his blood cells to absorb the excess amounts of gamma radiation, causing Banner to transform into a large, green-skinned being that soon became known as the "Hulk". Hulk attacked everyone in the room on impulse, destroying the lab, killing two scientists and injuring the Rosses. After Banner transformed back into his normal self, he tried to visit Dr. Ross, but her father refused, adding that if Banner did not allow his monstrous alter-ego to become weaponized, he would be pursued by the military, forcing Banner to flee the country and become a fugitive.

The project was officially terminated following Banner's departure, which then spawned a global manhunt for the scientist.[2]