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List of comic book drugs

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List of comic book drugs

This is a list of performance enhancers, serums, trigger chemicals, booster drugs, and mutagenic foods in universes, that were used to give a specific hero or villain their powers. This list also provides a brief summary of heroes who gained their powers from special concoctions like Captain America's Super Soldier Serum, Hourman's Miraclo and the original Blue Beetle's Vitamin 2X.


  • Ace Periodicals 1
    • Power Elixir 1.1
  • Antarctic Press 2
    • Ultra Serum 2.1
  • Archie Comics 3
    • Secret Formula F22X 3.1
    • SHIELD Formula 3.2
  • Avatar press 4
    • FX 4.1
  • Big Bang Comics 5
    • Panacea Pills 5.1
    • Rocket Pills 5.2
  • Charlton Comics 6
    • U-235 Pills 6.1
  • Comico 7
    • Performance Enhancers 7.1
  • Dark Horse 8
    • Grendel 8.1
    • Mayfly 8.2
  • DC Comics 9
    • Anabolus Serum 9.1
    • Anti-Lead Serum 9.2
    • Apocritic 9.3
    • Bio-Restorative Formula 9.4
    • Burnt Sienna 9.5
    • Bzrk 9.6
    • Chuckles 9.7
    • Cortexin 9.8
    • Cosmic Carrots 9.9
    • Delirium 9.10
    • DMN 9.11
    • Eucharist 9.12
    • Exo-gene 9.13
    • Fear Gas 9.14
    • Gingold 9.15
    • Hairballs 9.16
    • Ilium 349 9.17
    • Ivo's Immortality Serum 9.18
    • Joker venom 9.19
    • KT-28s (Katies) 9.20
    • Krotan 9.21
    • Lazarus Pit 9.22
    • Miraclo 9.23
    • Profem 9.24
    • Sauncha 9.25
    • Serum X 9.26
    • Sharp 9.27
    • Soul 9.28
    • Speed Juice 9.29
    • Steroid A39 9.30
    • Super-Plastic Liquid 9.31
    • Tar 9.32
    • Thrill 9.33
    • Velocity 9 9.34
    • Velocity 10 9.35
    • Venom 9.36
    • Vitamin 2X 9.37
    • X-24 9.38
    • Xium 9.39
    • Yatz Serum 9.40
    • Z Formula 9.41
  • Marvel Comics 10
    • Acetovaxidol (AVX) 10.1
    • Compound X07 10.2
    • Extremis 10.3
    • Goblin Formula 10.4
    • Growth Pills 10.5
    • Heat 10.6
    • Hook 10.7
    • Infinity Formula 10.8
    • Kick 10.9
    • Mutant Growth Hormone 10.10
      • Ultimate Marvel 10.10.1
    • Oz 10.11
    • Rapture 10.12
    • Rave 10.13
    • Red, White & Blue 10.14
    • Serum SO-2 10.15
    • SSS-2 10.16
    • Super Soldier Serum 10.17
    • Terrigen Mists 10.18
    • Thunderbolt 10.19
    • Toad Juice 10.20
    • Zap 10.21
  • Nedor Comics 11
    • Alosun 11.1
    • Formic Ether 11.2
    • Lamesis Formula 11.3
  • Shonen Jump 12
    • Devil Fruit 12.1
    • Hyorogan 12.2
    • Nuclear Cigarettes 12.3
    • Phenixamin 12.4
    • Senzu Beans 12.5
    • Rumble Ball 12.6
  • Tokyopop 13
    • Red Eye 13.1
  • Vertigo Comics 14
    • Dream Sand 14.1
    • Heavy Liquid 14.2
  • Wildstorm 15
    • Amazo Pills 15.1
    • Compound V 15.2
    • Darkshots 15.3
    • Goloka Root 15.4
    • Goose Juice 15.5
    • Hyperdrene 15.6
  • See also 16
  • References 17
  • External links 18

Ace Periodicals

Power Elixir

Developed by a scientist named Dr. Carter, who inoculated his two sons with the serum. It gave them super strength and superspeed, but left a "W" scar on their chest. Stan, the elder son, went on to become the Golden Age hero Lone Warrior, and his younger brother Dicky became his sidekick. First appears in Banner #3.[1][2]

Antarctic Press

Ultra Serum

The drug which gives Captain Patriot his powers. The drug was designed and administered by the Enterprise Group. First appears in Meta-Docs #0.[2][3]

Archie Comics

Secret Formula F22X

The formula was developed by Blaine Whitney, better known as Golden Age super hero the Wizard. In order to make his physical prowess match that of his super mental powers, he invented a serum that increased his strength to superhuman levels. First appears in Top-Notch Comics #1.[2][4]

SHIELD Formula

The SHIELD formula was designed by scientist Tom Higgins. He was killed by enemy agents before he could complete his research and fully develop the formula. Years later his son Jon Higgins was able to finish the formula. He rubbed it into his body, donned a special suit that allowed the chemical to be absorbed more easily, and then lay under Shield. First appears in Pep Comics #1.[2]

Avatar press


A "singularly disturbing, sometimes permanently deranging and occasionally spectacularly fatal" drug used by Carrick Masterson to create the superheros in his super hero team The Levellers in the 1960s and again in his later group "The Front Line". "It's a less-than-friendly psychedelic whose positive effects include feelings of great strength and energy, intensification of the senses and general unusual stimulation. It also makes you poo yourself and be generally unpleasant to be around." [5]

Big Bang Comics

Panacea Pills

A powerful mutagenic stimulant in capsule form. Separated into three different colored pills from which Vita-Man gets his powers of superstrength (red), constitution (yellow), and speed (blue).[6]

Rocket Pills

A mutagenic steroid used by Jimmy Travis the Blitz of Earth A (Silver Age), and his sidekick Marty Eastman the Cyclone to gain superhuman speed. Unfortunately Cyclone became addicted to the pills and was forced to retire until he beat his addiction. Mack Snelling the Blitz of Earth B (Golden Age) also used Rocket Pills.[7]

Charlton Comics

U-235 Pills

As developed by Professor Invento, they gave Atomic Mouse his powers. The active ingredient in these pills was Uranium-235. First appears in Atomic Mouse #1.


Performance Enhancers

Demon from the Justice Machine took a special performance enhancing super drug to which he eventually became addicted. The drug granted him limited super speed, as well as enhanced reflexes and strength.[8]

Dark Horse


A recreational drug from the time of Grendel Prime that enhanced human strength. Grendel: War Child #1.[2]


A drug from the comic Empowered, it grants 1/500 people who use it super-intelligence, at the price of cancer that kills within 24 hours. The other 499/500 end up simply getting cancer. A boy with cancer whom Empowered befriended gained his powers through the use of it, and at present is working to handle the side-effects.

DC Comics

Anabolus Serum

Dr. Anabolus created an experimental super soldier serum which he tested on a puppy donated by the U.S. Army K-9 corps. The formula transformed the puppy into Rex the Wonder Dog. Rex gained increased speed, strength, stamina, agility, and intelligence. Dr. Anabolus was killed by a Nazi spy shortly after, leaving Rex as the only proof of his formula's existence. First appears in Rex the Wonder Dog #1.

Anti-Lead Serum

Invented by Brainiac 5, this serum protected Daxamites from the effects of lead, which affects them like Kryptonite affects Superman. The serum also allowed Mon-El to keep his powers on worlds with a red sun.[2]


The mutagenic compound called Apocritic made from Starro DNA by Checkmate scientists. The drug allows special field operatives designated as Rooks to maintain a telepathic link at the risk of summoning Starro to Earth.[9]

Bio-Restorative Formula

A formula developed by Alec Holland to increase the growth of plants. When a bomb exploded in his lab, Holland was doused with the burning fluid and ran dying into the Louisiana bayou. The formula combined the consciousness of Alec Holland and the swamp plants to form Swamp Thing. Before the accident, Holland calculated that 300,000,000 gallons of the Bio-Restorative Formula could have turned a desert the size of California's Mojave into a fertile crop field. From Swamp Thing #1.[2]

Burnt Sienna

Chemical warfare agent developed during the Vietnam War. An allegory of Agent Orange, it was discontinued because it was felt to be too dangerous. It was later used by a local cult leader in Cambodia who discovered that it left those exposed open to suggestion. First appears in Captain Atom #47.[2]


Bzrk is a toxic mutagen manufactured on the planet Apokolips. Human users increase in size and strength until they spontaneously combust. First seen in Martian Manhunter v.2 #30 (May 2001).[10]


A recreational drug created and distributed by Maxie Zeus in Batman: Cacophony. Its key ingredient is a diluted form of The Joker toxin, another ingredient is ecstasy. Its sale causes a turf war between Zeus and the Joker.


A drug created by Dr. Michael Grant, that when spilled into the water supply, gave human intelligence to the animals who drank it. This intelligence was passed down to their descendants, resulting in the talking animals of Kamandi's time. First mentioned in Kamandi #16.[2]

Cosmic Carrots

When eaten by Roger Rodney Rabbit (Captain Carrot), they dramatically enhance his physical characteristics for roughly 24 hours, depending on his physical exertion. They grew in soil contaminated by a radioactive meteor fragment (Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew #1)


A mystical hallucinogen from India in powder form, which when inhaled “unleashes the demon that resides inside every man”. Prolonged use results in insanity. First appears in Hawkman #39.[2]


An addictive mutagen that transforms its users into pseudo-demons, the users becoming increasingly violent as they approach the end of their 'high'. Created by Lord Satanus in Adventures of Superman #534.[2]


An addictive enhancer drug made from the blood of the hero Endymion. Handed out by arch-villain Golgoth to his favored lieutenants. From Mark Waid and Barry Kitson's Empire #3.


The Exo-gene (also exogene) is a toxic electromagnetic pulse or deactivated completely by mechanical means. First appears in 52 #4, first announcement of the Everyman Project in 52 #8.

Fear Gas

A gaseous toxin invented by an unstable psychologist named Jonathan Crane (alias the Scarecrow). Fear Toxin causes its victims to experience their greatest fears and assorted phobias, and if taken in large enough doses it may have prolonged mutagenic properties. According to comments made by the Signalman in Justice League of America #1 (2006) it has also become a recreational drug for teenagers.


A special formula made from a rare tropical fruit called Gingo, that grants the Elongated Man (Ralph Dibny), and Stretch from Hero Hotline their unique stretching abilities; Gingo is also used in Gingold brand cola. It was revealed in Invasion! #3 that it is a metagene reaction to Gingold that grants Ralph Dibny his stretching powers, and ordinary humans will not develop stretching powers after using Gingold. (Although, in the pages of 52, Ralph successfully used it on an unconscious demon, tying up its then-rubbery body.) Normal humans are supposedly highly allergic to the concentrated form of Gingo used by Dibny. Gingold is also used in the Pseudoderm material from which the Question's mask is made.[2]


Introduced in the pages of Hawkworld, a drug that slowly transforms its users into feral werebeasts. The more they use, the more feral and out of control they become, as demonstrated by FerAlyse and other denizens of Chicago's Netherworld. It was introduced in Hawkworld #30.[2]

Ilium 349

Ilium 349 is a special rare earth element like Kryptonite, which was found only in the Pre-Crisis version of the bottle city of Kandor. Ilium 349 was discovered by renegade Kandorian scientist Zak-Kul who used it to create a device which could be used to either shrink or enlarge a person or city.[11]

Ivo's Immortality Serum

The unstable Professor Ivo perfected an immortality serum that made him immortal, and indestructible, but horribly disfigured his body and made him even more mentally unstable.[12]

Joker venom

The evil liquid or gaseous toxin which sends its targets into fits of uncontrollable laughter; higher doses can lead to paralysis, coma or death, leaving its victim with a ghoulish, pained rictus grin. The Joker has used venom since his debut; only he knows the formula, and is shown to be gifted enough to manufacture the toxin from ordinary household chemicals. Another version of the venom (used in "Joker's Last Laugh") makes its victims resemble the Joker, susceptible to his orders.

KT-28s (Katies)

KT-28s, or Katies, are a fictional psychoactive drug in Watchmen. Later on in the novel, Dr Manhattan states that he can synthesize limitless amounts of lithium which would lead to advances in technology. Lithium is also used as a drug in psychiatric treatment and the term KT-28, which sounds more like an official pharmaceutical name, implies a legitimate drug which has somehow found its way onto the streets.[13]


Drug from Thanagar that allows a person to shapeshift. It only works once on a human, but a Thanagarian can change their shape an unlimited amount of times. It is highly addictive and prolonged users become incapable of retaining a cohesive shape if not given the drug regularly. Used and trafficked to Earth by the Thanagarian criminal Byth. Introduced in the pages of Hawkworld.[2] Pre-Crisis, Krotan was the name of a scientist who invented a similar drug called the Changeling Pill.

Lazarus Pit

The various chemicals native to Lazarus Pits have demonstrated the ability to resurrect the dead; upon resurrection the subjects exhibit temporary dementia. The substance that fills each pit was originally a chemical blend of unknown composition, until Kobra recreated their unique chemical composition. Ra's al Ghul and Kobra each had their own secret network of Lazarus Pits, and because of their necessity to the Earth's survival, Batman also created a Lazarus Pit in the Batcave.


Miraclo is the drug that gave Hourman (Rex Tyler) his powers which are: Superhuman strength, speed, stamina, and durability, as well as night vision and the ability to survive underwater. Theses powers lasted only one hour. Furthermore, the drug also proved to be addictive, requiring Hourman to limit himself to one pill a day to protect himself from the negative side-effects.[2]


A powerful mutagen used by Sean Erin to induce a sex-change, changing him from male to the female Shvaugn Erin, for the express purposes of attracting Element Lad. First appears in Legion of Super Heroes #31.[2]


The spinach like foodstuff from which Captain Strong gained his powers.[14][15]

Serum X

An injectable mutagen that transformed water-breathing Atlanteans into air breathers. From Aquaman #35.[2]


A drug that apparently regulates and slows down the accelerated metabolism of super-speedsters in the DC Universe. Unlike most speedsters, Eliza Harmon (Trajectory of Infinity Inc.) was unable to slow her highly accelerated perceptions of the world around her and so turned to the drug. First used in the pages of 52 #17.


Soul is a street drug from Gotham City created by "Doctor Death". It has one of two effects on a person, it either enhances their best qualities or bring out their worst qualities. It is apparently produced from rendered corpses.[2]

Speed Juice

Unlike the Flash's natural connection to the Speed Force, Johnny Quick from the Crime Syndicate of Amerika receives his powers by injecting himself with an enhancer drug called "Speed Juice". Whether Speed Juice has any relationship to Velocity 9 is unknown at this time.

Steroid A39

A medication originally developed to treat the rare medical condition xenoderma pigmentosum, it later surfaces as an addictive street drug that turns its habitual users into mindless super-strong zombies. This drug mixed with alcohol and adrenaline was responsible for Dr. Pieter Cross gaining the ability to see in the dark. He used this ability to become the new Doctor Mid-Nite. From the Doctor Mid-Nite mini-series.[2]

Super-Plastic Liquid

After being accidentally drunk, the super-plastic mutagen granted Chuck Taine "super bouncing powers" as Bouncing Boy, a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes. From Action Comics #301.


Addictive and illegal street drug that causes rapid physical mutation and grants the user limited super strength. Those who use tar are called "tar freaks". An insidious side effect causes the user seek out battles. There is another version of tar called s-tar or (super-tar) which causes an even greater increase in strength and is even more addicting, also once a person had used s-tar 3 times it would build up in their system which would become fatal.[2]


A recreational drug manufactured by Scarecrow for the Black Mask. From Batgirl (Vol. 3) #1-7.

Velocity 9

A highly addictive drug that grants temporary super speed, but speeds up the body's metabolism leading to dehydration, severe exhaustion, psychosis and what looks like rapid aging, but is actually the body feeding off itself to a super accelerated degree. Within a very short time of regularly using, after the user would shoot up, which would physically invigorate their bodies for an undetermined amount of time, as the drug wore off, they would begin to wither to an emaciated state within hours. Upon using again, they would quickly revert to their normal size and strength, quickly taking the opportunity to find more money to feed their habits. Most addicts became temporary super-criminals using their super-speed to steal to get money for more Velocity-9, repeating this cycle over and over again until they damaged their body to a sometimes fatal degree. While the formula mimicked the same aura that protected the Flashes against friction and other factors associated with traveling at super-speed, it did not completely protect against the shock traveling at such a speed would have on the body. Many former addicts became invalids afterwards with organ failure and permanent warping of their bones from the constant stress and micro-fractures from their running. One of the first addicts to confront the Flash was a friend of his whose mind had been twisted from using to such a degree that he became Flash's short lived arch enemy, even going as far as to don a costume and terrorizing his loved ones and friends. Once captured and clean of the drug, he spent months in physical rehabilitation to try and fight the crippling effects the drug had on his body, with the Flash checking up on him periodically after they reconciled their friendship. The original formula, developed by Edward Clariss, had no such side effects, but the effects were only temporary.[2] It was the subsequent impure version of the formula that would become the street drug that, for a time, plagued the speedsters. Later Deathstroke was able to fashion a particular variant of Velocity 9 devoid of any ill-effects, for Inertia's use.[16] While this version does not have any debilitating effects on the body, it is not known whether it still has the same addictive qualities. If Inertia is the only known example of using this new formula, then the way he reacts to not having a supply of it may very well confirm its addictiveness.

Velocity 10

A derivative of Velocity 9, this drug also granted its users super speed but with a different consequence: It caused different parts of the body to metabolize at different rates.[2]


Venom is a potently addictive strength-enhancing super-steroid. According to JSA Classified #17 (November 2006), Venom is potent variant based on the Miraclo formula developed at Bannerman Pharmaceuticals, the drug company formerly owned by Rex Tyler, the original Hourman although it does not have the same 60 minute limitation as Miraclo. The drug, usually injected in a constant supply into the base of the neck would instantly transform someone into a hulking mass of unbridled physical strength. Bane's apparatus included a special "boost" button to give him a jolt of Venom when needed. However, as the drug wore off or when the user was cut off from its constant supply, their body would rapidly return to its original state or sometimes even weaker, at which point the user would suffer from massive, debilitating withdrawal, usually accompanied by terrible, frightening hallucinations. The first appearance of the drug was a five-part story arc, Batman: Venom,[17] in Legends of the Dark Knight issues 16-20. Venom was created by psychotic Doctor Randolph Porter in his attempt to prove himself superior to other scientists working on similar, but less extreme, strength-enhancing chemicals. Porter created and used on himself an intelligence-enhancing drug that functioned similarly to Venom and caused his emotional responses to numb, demonstrated when he orchestrated his own young daughter's death as part of the scheme to entrap Batman ; this possible mental variant of Venom has not been seen or heard of since the original storyline. Batman became addicted to the drug while searching for a way to cope for his physical limitations and imperfections. When his suppliers ordered him to kill Commissioner Gordon to halt Gordon's investigation into their activities and he actually contemplated doing so, he realized how dependant on the drug he had become, prompting him to lock himself in the Batcave for a month with only the essential food and water he would need for that time frame to "detox" himself. During that same time frame, the scientist and a general he was working with for funding used venom and various surgeries and psychological training to turn the general's intellectual, sensitive son into a thuggish brute dependent on the drug and programmed to accept any order given to him by his father, forcing Batman to use a recording of the general's voice to make his foe stop. Later, it resurfaced as the power source for Bane, who used it to overpower and cripple Batman by breaking his back over his knee in the Knightfall story arc, although Bane has since forsaken the drug and built himself up to a Venom-like muscular state through rigorous training to remove his dependency on it. A version of it, spiked with a metabolizing form of kryptonite was used by President Lex Luthor in the first "Superman/Batman" story arc, prompting Batman to speculate that Luthor's use of Venom may be responsible for his recent, more "outlandish" schemes, such as attempting to accuse Superman of being responsible for a kryptonite meteorite the size of Texas heading for Earth.

In the Batman Beyond universe, steroid patches known as "Slappers" contained small doses of impact-release Venom. They were mainly used as performance enhancers in competitive sports, although the use of multiple patches at once could produce Bane-like combat abilities. However, if extensively used, the Slappers would eventually cripple the user as a side effect, pushing them to the point where they would have trouble coping without it. This was shown in Bane's fate at this time, with Bane having become so reliant on Venom after years of addiction that he is now a weak, frail figure who needs Venom just to keep breathing, strapped to an oxygen tank and confined to a chair.

In the Burton/Schumacher film series, Venom is engineered by Pamela Isley (Poison Ivy) to be injected into plants for the power to defend themselves like animals. Her Wayne Enterprises coworker Dr. Woodrue steals samples of base Venom and reengineers it with steroids and toxins to create a super soldier army of which Bane is the prototype. Venom appears to have the same physical reaction after injection, but leaves the user mindless and insensate. Venom is also part of Isley's transformation into Poison Ivy, with Isley transforming into her new state after she is thrown into a vat of chemicals that included venom, although she never demonstrates any enhanced strength, relying on Bane to do most of her fighting and being swiftly defeated by Batgirl in her debut. Woodrue calls Venom his "super soldier serum," invoking the name of the formula used to create Captain America in a similar fashion in the Marvel Universe.

In the video game, Batman: Arkham Asylum, a Dr. Penny Young, an Arkham doctor, manufactures a more powerful form of Venom codenamed "Titan," under the orders of Jack White, AKA the Joker, believing that Titan's strength-enhancing properties could be used to help patients better cope with the physical treatment they would have to endure during their therapy. Bane is later unwillingly reinjected with Venom (since at this point he had beaten his addiction to the drug and considered it to be a crutch and a handicap only used by the weak) by Joker to kill Batman, although Batman defeats him by disconnecting him from his tank. The Joker later reveals that he plans to use the upgraded "Titan" drug to help his army conquer Gotham City. After Batman defeats Joker's thugs and his Titan-fueled lackeys, Joker tries to shoot Commissioner Gordon with a Titan dart, but Batman takes the dart, using a Titan antidote he had developed earlier on himself even after Joker injects himself with Titan, preferring to fight his own way rather than allowing the Joker to provoke him into using his methods. Titan-Joker nearly kills Batman in his advanced form, but is later electric shocked and returns to normal. The final cutscene shows Bane, Killer Croc, or Scarecrow gaining possession of a crate full of Titan.

Titan resurfaces in the sequel, Batman: Arkham City, where it is again used by Bane- as well as samples of Titan being discovered in various locations in the city, requiring Batman to work with Bane to recover and destroy them-, although its most significant role is through the toll it has already exacted on the Joker's body from his overdose back at the asylum. The consequences of his overdose provide the Joker's motivation for his various actions in the sequel, the Joker seeking to escape his imminent death due to the blood poisoning caused by the serum, going so far as to infect Batman with the serum and send his blood to other hospitals in Gotham so that Batman will be forced to help him develop a cure to save the innocents infected with the disease.

In the prequel, Batman: Arkham Origins, Bane is the leader of a gang, providing some of his chief lieutenants with venom tanks that they can use in their fights with Batman, albeit with a comparatively limited physical effect; none of the henchmen shown using the venom demonstrate anything more than a conventionally muscular physique. Bane is originally shown as a very well-built, sumo-wrestler-esque figure, but develops into the mutated state depicted in earlier games when he gives himself a large dosage of a Titan prototype, the drugs subsequently damaging his mind and apparently erasing his memory of Batman's secret identity.

In the series Young Justice, Santa Prisca, the birthplace of Venom, is depicted as the single largest manufacturer of the drug, but suddenly it began hoarding it, Batman sent the Young Justice team in to find out why. Eventually it's revealed that the Cult of Kobra has begun hoarding the Venom in order to develop a Venom/Blockbuster-hybrid drug, later dubbed "Kobra Venom"; the resulting combination creates a permanent transformation combining the strength of both transformations, and successfully transformed a meek teenager into Mammoth. By the end of the episode Santa Prisca is destroyed along with the Venom manufacturing plant and the hybrid formula. Sportsmaster however is able to deliver a single vial of the formula to the Light, a shadow organization, from which they will be able to reverse engineer more.

In the film The Dark Knight Rises, Bane's addiction to Venom is replaced by an unnamed pain killer administered through his mask to treat injuries sustained while he was in prison. Despite helping increase his strength and endurance, the drug does not spontaneously enhance his muscle density, with Bane's physique portrayed as merely that of a very well-built individual, but his dependence on it, due to the aforementioned injuries, is used against him in his second fight with Batman when Batman manages to damage the tubes on his mask providing him with the drug.

In episode 5 of the television series Gotham, an early version of Venom, called Viper, is being circulated on the streets to some members of the lower class by a man named Stan Potolsky, who used to work for WellZyn Laboratories, a division of Wayne Enterprises. Viper is shown to give its users super-strength through a process which redistributes an individual's calcium sources throughout the body to the user's muscles. For this reason, users of Viper are frequently consuming large quantities of calcium-rich foods, such as gallons of milk and cheese, to replace their depleted sources of calcium. When unable to consume the required calcium, the user's body begins to undergo rapid atrophy until every bone in the user's skeletal system seems to have wasted away, resulting in death. When confronting Potolsky on the rooftop of the building in which the meeting is taking place, Gordon shoots a canister of Viper, releasing the substance in Potolsky's face and exposing him to a very high dosage of Viper and causing him to stagger toward the rooftop ledge. Before falling, Potolsky mentions a warehouse, which upon later investigation, the two detectives find empty.

Vitamin 2X

Created by pharmacist Dr. Franz, this experimental vitamin is what gave the original Blue Beetle his powers.[2]


Roy Lincoln swallowed an experimental explosive capsule rather than let it fall into the hands of enemy agents. This caused a transformation that led to him becoming the Human Bomb.[2]


A mutagenic rare earth element discovered by the Silver Age Lex Luthor which can transform any normal animal or person into a superhuman. First seen in Action Comics v.1 #257, Nov 1959.[18]

Yatz Serum

Developed by defecting Soviet scientist Prof. Emil Yatz, it grants the recipient a superhuman healing factor, along with enhanced strength, stamina, and agility. Yatz injected Jack Ryder with his only sample, saving the latter's life from a gunshot wound and in part of his becoming The Creeper. Yatz subsequently destroyed his notes and equipment before being shot and killed himself. It appears in Showcase #73 (Mar./Apr., 1968).

Z Formula

Used by the villain Mr. Who to increase in size and gain "the strength of ten gorillas" in order to fight Doctor Fate. From More Fun Comics #73.[2][19]

Marvel Comics

Acetovaxidol (AVX)

The drug that gave the Anti-Captain his enhanced abilities. From Captain America and the Falcon #4.[2]

Compound X07

A mysterious chemical created by the scientists of A.I.M.. When a tanker carrying Compound X07 was involved in an accident with a church bus, the lone survivor, who had been thoroughly drenched in the compound, gained lightning-fast healing and became insensitive to pain. He eventually became the costumed individual known as Madcap. The chemical may or may not have contributed to his mental instability. First appears in Captain America #307.[2]


A techno-organic virus created in an attempt to recreate the Super-Soldier Serum that gave Mallen and Tony Stark (a.k.a. Iron Man). Mallen gained electrokinesis, enhanced speed and strength, and the ability to breathe fire, while Iron Man was completely healed from his earlier fight with Mallen, got the ability to control his armor through thought- as well as interfacing with external electronic systems- and the crucial undersheath of the Iron Man armor is now stored inside Stark's bones.

Goblin Formula

The Goblin Formula (additionally known as the OZ formula) is a biogenic chemical compound made to augment the human body. After Norman Osborn had his business partner Mendel Stromm arrested for embezzlement, he found in his notes a formula which could apparently augment a person’s body to superhuman levels. Norman began research on the formula, hoping to eventually sell it. Unknown to him his son had tampered with it to spite him. Consequentially the completed formula was unstable and exploded in Norman's face. He spent the next week in the hospital recovering. After finally regaining consciousness he found his mental and physical functions have been greatly enhanced. It was later learned that exposure also causes severe insanity which was the primary motivation for Norman taking the identity of the Green Goblin.[20]

Growth Pills

The Pym Particle delivery system that allowed Giant Man, Ant-Man, and the Wasp to grow or return to their normal size. Also referred to as shrinking capsules.[2]


Its origin is unknown but it is an encapsulated drug that is mainly distributed to L.A's mostly young, and powerful elite. Not only is it highly addictive and a potent hallucinogen, but it also able to temporarily suppress advanced healing factors like that of Daken. Side effects include blackouts and memory loss.


A narcotic described as "ultra-addictive" that originated in Atlantis and made its way to the surface. Treated as a narcotic by Atlanteans, when used on humans it makes them aggressive. Hook-addicted humans secrete an enzyme that, if harvested, can be turned into a separate narcotic.[21]

Infinity Formula

The powerful serum that keeps Nick Fury youthful (a.k.a. an immortality drug). He needs to receive an annual injection of the formula or he will rapidly age 60 years. Developed by a French scientist, Dr. Berthold Sternberg, and initially given to Fury in an attempt to save his life near the end of World War II when he was injured by a land mine. The last known samples of the Infinity Formula are then expended by Nick Fury to save Mockingbird[22] and Bucky's lives,[23] although Fury claimed that he had enough of the formula in his system that its loss would merely cause him to age normally from now on. Introduced in Marvel Spotlight #31.[2]

As of Original Sin #6 it is revealed that the Infinity Formula that was within Nick Fury has been shown not to be permanent and was "used up"[24] and Fury began aging rapidly. It is not stated if this was due to some specific condition to Fury only (as Fury had access to more doses of the Formula), or if other recipients of the Infinity Formula will also lose their artificial immortality as Fury did.


A highly addictive drug dispensed via inhalant, that enhances special abilities in mutants. Later discovered to be an aerosol compound for distributing a primordial microorganism known only as Sublime. Used by Xorn, Jumbo Carnation, Quentin Quire, and Sophie of the Stepford Cuckoos; it was used by Beast in an alternate future, allowing him to be possessed by Sublime until the timeline is undone by Jean Grey. The active ingredient is Hypercortisone-D.[2]

Mutant Growth Hormone

Also known as MGH, is a drug extracted from the genetic material of superpowered individuals, that grants temporary powers to whoever takes it. Sometimes used as a party drug, MGH often results in increased strength and aggression.[2] Also, when given to an already super-powered individual, it enhances their abilities further. The name is a reference to the actual drug human growth hormone (HGH), which has been controversially used by athletes in sports since the 1970s and is banned under numerous international competitions.

Ultimate Marvel

The Ultimate version of the Mutant Growth Hormone (a.k.a. Banshee) has appeared, and engineered by Charles Xavier in the Savage Land with Magneto and his group. The drug, much like the Mainstream MGH, boosts mutant's power (evident in Colossus and Alpha Flight's cases). Later on Moira MacTaggert reveals it gives normal people sonic scream abilities, and is formed from Wolverine's own blood.[25]


A drug developed by Osborn Industries in the Ultimate Marvel universe that indirectly granted that universe's Peter Parker his powers when he was bitten by an Oz-injected spider. Also gave the Green Goblin and Hobgoblin their powers.[2] Apparently, like Infinity Formula, it gives the user an immortality, yet has an unlimited time than the formula's serum.


A deadly, highly addictive drug produced by Alchemax that bonds to the user's DNA. Used to keep Miguel O'Hara, the Spider-Man of 2099, working for the mega-corporation when he attempted to quit; he attempted to cure himself by replacing his DNA with scans of his earlier, pre-Rapture DNA, but sabotage by a jealous colleague resulted in him receiving his powers instead.[2]


A highly addictive street drug that temporarily boosts a mutant's power.[2]

Red, White & Blue

A trio of placebos used to control and manipulate the alpha conditioned moods of Nuke, a deranged super soldier.[2]

Serum SO-2

Serum SO-2 was a mutagen developed as part of Project Sulfur to provide immunity for soldiers against biological warfare; the experiment was abandoned when it was noted that the serum had the unfortunate side effect of horribly mutating its recipients into monstrous freaks. Later Ted Sallis injects the serum into his own body in an attempt to keep it out of the hands of A.I.M. agents, the serum transforms Sallis into Man-Thing. First appears in Savage Tales #1.[2][26]


A gaseous form of the Super Soldier Serum that grants increased speed, strength, and endurance. From the Underworld mini-series.

Super Soldier Serum

The drug from which Captain America, Isaiah Bradley, Patriot, Protocide and Josiah X get their enhanced abilities. It was developed by Dr. Abraham Erskine to enhance all the physical and mental abilities to the pinnacle of human perfection [1], working in conjunction with 'Vita-Rays' to trigger the effects on the subject's body chemistry. However, Erskine was killed after the serum was first tested on Rogers, with the result that the serum was lost forever as vital parts of the serum's formula had never been written down or shared with anyone else aside from Erskine. Any attempts to duplicate the serum have since met with failure, either not having any noticeable result, horribly mutating the subject, or twisting their minds to turn them against their former allies. The serum has since been established as a genetically engineered virus rather than a 'drug' that would have eventually metabolised itself out of Rogers's body, although attempts to duplicate the serum by analyzing Rogers' blood have proven equally fruitless.

The FLAG, or Full Latent Ability Gain, serum which, in the made-for-television films Captain America and Captain America II: Death Too Soon, both of which starred Reb Brown, is described as giving Steve Rogers the abilities he uses as Captain America, can be likened to the Super-Soldier Serum, even though its development is not credited, even partially, to Dr. Abraham Erskine in either film.

In Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, when scientists have planned to recreate the serum, they ended up creating the giants that are seen in the Omega Base. These giants are later used by the Masters of Evil to attack Asgard, the army's value being limited as a long-term weapon but useful for a single massive assault as they burned out afterwards.

In Spider-Man: The Animated Series, the serum was used on Felicia Hardy which eventually turned her into the Black Cat, while in Ultimate Spider-Man it is responsible for the creation of Power Man.

In the film Captain America: The First Avenger, it was also responsible for turning Johann Schmidt into the Red Skull when he forced Erskine to use him as the first test subject for the serum. Due to a combination of the serum not being perfected during at time as well as Schmidt's dark inner nature, Erskine states that the serum amplifies everything about the user and therefore brought out Schmidt's flaws, turning him into the Red Skull. Having defected to America, Erskine chose Steve Rogers for the program because he recognized Rogers's good heart and high moral code, his last act being to remind Steve to be a good man whatever else the serum does to him. After Steve is transformed by the serum, all but one of the phials containing the formula are destroyed by a spy, and the last phial is accidentally shattered when Steve pursues the intruder, leaving them with no way to recreate the serum. However, a prototype version of the serum was apparently used on Emil Blonsky in The Incredible Hulk, the formula giving him enhanced speed and healing but affecting his mental state.

The Serum was mentioned in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot episode.

Terrigen Mists

A dangerous mutagen used by the Inhumans to induce random mutations in their youth during a rite of passage ceremony. Humans exposed to the mist temporarily gain super-powers, but eventually suffer from degenerative mutations followed by death. Depowered Mutants experience a temporary return of their powers but with uncontrollable and unpredictable side-effects. The mists themselves are a by product of Terrigen crystals. First used on mutants in the Son of M mini-series.[2]


A purified form of Zap. It grants the user an incredible euphoria, heightened strength, increased endurance and an inability to feel pain. It also causes death in one hour. Thunderbolt was developed by a Dr. Malheur and marketed by the Yakuza. The act of taking the drug was known as "riding the thunderbolt". As shown in Wolverine #31.[2]

Toad Juice

A hallucinogen produced by a mutant called Toad Boy. Causes fatal mutations in humans.[2]


Zap was a highly addictive drug made from the "hypothalmic fluid" of the extinct Madripoorian Spider monkey. The systematic IUPAC name for Zap was Zootoxic Acid Psychogalvanide.[2]

Nedor Comics


A distillate made from the “atoms of the sun” that granted Doc Strange his super-strength, invulnerability and flight.[2]

Formic Ether

Inhaling this gas granted pharmacist Bob Benton enhanced strength and invulnerability. He used it to become a Golden Age hero named the Black Terror. From Exciting Comics #9.[2]

Lamesis Formula

Lamesis was a supposedly long lost formula from Ancient Egypt that granted its drinker superstrength. It was used by Nelson Drew to become a Golden Age hero known as the Liberator. From Exciting Comics #15.[2]

Shonen Jump

Devil Fruit

The Devil Fruits are a class of fruits that permanently grant supernatural powers in the manga One Piece. Main character Monkey D. Luffy's body gained the properties of rubber after he ate one; numerous other characters have been given unique powers of their own from other Devil Fruits. While each Devil Fruit grants a different power, they share a common weakness: the user can no longer swim, and in fact loses all strength when immersed in sea water.


These are a form of nutritional supplement pellets sometimes used in the manga Naruto. By taking a single pellet a ninja's chakra can be replenished or boosted drastically. They are said to allow a ninja 'to fight for three days and three nights without rest'.

Nuclear Cigarettes

The manga hero 8 Man smoked radium enriched cigarettes in order to recharge his powers.[27]


The villain Mr. Calder in the manga series Zombie Powder took the drug Phenixamin to sustain his young appearance. However, because he used the drug so often he had to take higher doses which is what lead him to seek the Zombie Powder.

Senzu Beans

In various episodes/chapters of the manga and anime Dragon Ball, many of the fighters took Senzu Beans to restore their health. They have the added effect of keeping the user full and energetic for ten days. They also allowed the user to overcome certain illnesses.

Rumble Ball

A medicine developed by the character Tony Tony Chopper in One Piece, the Rumble Ball interacts with his Devil Fruit powers to allow him to transform into several additional forms. However, overdoses may cause him to lose control of his transformations, or even turn him into a giant, mindless monster.


Red Eye

A powerful and addictive narcotic from the manga series Cowboy Bebop. The drug is administered via an aerosol solution sprayed directly into the user's eyes. It grants the user periodic surges of superhuman strength, and limited super speed and reflexes sufficient to dodge bullets. Popular belief is that parts of the drug functioned like a cholinergic nootropic in that they temporarily increased the brain's supply of neurotransmitters, allowing users to process environmental and spatial information so quickly that all normal human movement and action appears to be in slow motion.[28]

Vertigo Comics

Dream Sand

The sand from Morpheus's pouch. Originally stolen when Morpheus was captured by the Order of Ancient Mysteries, the sand eventually ended up in the hands of John Constantine. His ex-girlfriend stole the pouch and had spent the past several years using the sand to give herself constant dreams, to the detriment of her overall health. From the pages of Sandman #3.[2]

Heavy Liquid

This is the strange material of uncertain, perhaps extraterrestrial, perhaps secret government origin that the former police-officer detective known as "S" steals to sell at a very high price to a mysterious art collector in Paul Pope's 5-issue mini-series Heavy Liquid. In its natural state, Heavy Liquid is something of a liquid metallic explosive, but when the volatile substance is heated it turns into a milky, black ooze that has a narcotic/psychedelic effect when 'ingested' through the ear.


Amazo Pills

Illegal drug from Neopolis that granted a variety of superhuman abilities. A reference to Amazo. As seen in the pages of Top Ten.[2]

Compound V

An unknown blue mutagen which when introduced via syringe, transforms humans into superhumans. First appears in The Boys #4.


Extremely potent, illegal drug for robots. The drug, which is made from dark energy, allowed computers to become "one with the multiverse". Top 10: Beyond the Farthest Precinct #2.[2]

Goloka Root

Bitter-tasting root from the mysterious island Attabar Teru. When taken, it magnifies the average human's life span and intellect. Used by Tom Strong, his wife Dhalua Strong and his daughter Tesla Strong. See Tom Strong #1.[2]

Goose Juice

The "street name" for Mongoose Blood, use of the drug grants temporary superspeed. Popular at raves. A reference to the Golden Age Whizzer. Used by recreational drug users in Top 10.[2]


An illegal drug that apparently causes the users to experience hallucinations so vivid that they are visible to others as animated translucent holograms. As seen in Top 10.[2]

See also


  1. ^ Lone Warrior
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw See Polite Dissent Fictional Drug Listing
  3. ^ Antarctic Press Art Gallery
  4. ^ The Mighty Crusaders Handbook
  5. ^ Leveling the Playing Field: Ellis talks "No Hero"
  6. ^ Vita-Man
  7. ^ Big Bang's Cyclone
  8. ^ Demon of the Justice Machine
  9. ^ As seen in Checkmate #25 June 2008
  10. ^ The Unofficial Bzrk Biography
  11. ^ Illium-349 - Supermanica
  12. ^ The Unofficial Professor Ivo Biography
  13. ^
  14. ^ Comic Book Resources - Comic Book News, Reviews and Commentary - Updated Daily!
  15. ^ Superman Homepage
  16. ^ The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive
  17. ^ Batman: VenomIGN: Review of
  18. ^ Xium - Supermanica
  19. ^ #73More Fun Comics
  20. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #37
  21. ^ Abnett, Dan, Lanning, Andy (w), Walker, Brad (p), Hennessy, Andrew (i). "Are You For Hire?" Heroes for Hire v3, 1 (December 2010), Marvel Comics
  22. ^ New Avengers vol.2 #13
  23. ^ Fear Itself #7.1
  24. ^ Original Sin #6
  25. ^ Ultimate X-Men #94
  26. ^ Man-Thing - Marvel Universe: The definitive online source for Marvel super hero bios
  27. ^ AMR: 8 Man After
  28. ^ Library - Big Shot LineupCowboy -

External links

  • Comic Book Drug Reference
  • AMR:8-Man After
  • International Hero: Demon
  • #421Action ComicsCBR Oddball Comics:
  • International Hero: Lone Warrior
  • Marvel Universe: Man Thing
  • #0Meta DocsAntarctic Press previews:
  • #73More Fun Comics
  • Mighty Crusaders Handbook: The Wizard
  • The Other Heroes of Golden Age Comics
  • LibraryCowboy's
  • Superman Homepage entry for Captain Strong
  • Weed Comic Book: Captain Cannabis and the Cosmic Crusaders
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