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The Abandoned An’ Forsaked – So Cap is Now Drug-Free…Or Is He?

by  in Comic News Comment

Every week, we will be examining comic book stories and ideas that were not only abandoned, but also had the stories/plots specifically “overturned” by a later writer (as if they were a legal precedent). Click here for an archive of all the previous editions of The Abandoned An’ Forsaked. Feel free to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.

Today we look at a short-lived storyline where Captain America had the Super Soldier Serum removed from his system as an anti-drug statement.

Streets of Poison was a seven-part story that ran from Captain America #373-378 in 1990, written by Mark Gruenwald and drawn by Ron Lim and Danny Bulanadi (who managed to draw all seven bi-weekly issues. Damn, Ron Lim was fast).

Streets of Poison was an odd little story, and I will be featuring the series as a whole in an upcoming edition of I Love Ya But You’re Strange, so please refrain from commenting on the storyline as a whole in the comments section until I feature it it in I Love Ya But You’re Strange.

The basic gist of the story, though, is that Captain America is accidentally exposed to a new crack-like drug called Ice. The drug has a strange reaction with the Super Soldier Serum in Cap’s blood, with the result being that Cap goes insane.

Hank Pym realizes that the only way to save Cap’s sanity is to do a massive blood transfusion…



Throughout the story, Cap had been wondering if the Super Soldier Serum was really anything different than an especially effective steroid and whether he was just another typical drug user. So now that he is without the drug, Cap wonders if he can still BE Cap…


So to prove himself, he tracks down Crossbones and fights him…







Hank lets him know that they can give him the Super Soldier Serum back…


So that was the status quo – Cap no longer had the Super Soldier Serum in his blood, but he was still a peak athlete. We see as much the next issue…


However, reaction to Streets of Poison was mixed, to say the least. You have to give it up to Gruenwald, though, he was willing to change if he thought he made a mistake, and just six issues after Cap gave up the Serum in #378, Cap #384 shows us that the Serum was never actually gone.



Thus, we have a rare Abandoned an’ Forsaked when it is a writer abandoning and forsaking his own story. I especially love how Gruenwald essentially admits in the last thought balloon of Cap that, yeah, the Super Soldier Serum/drug comparison was not a particularly good one.