Captain America once got caught in an exploding meth lab causing the drug to merge to the Super-Soldier Serum running through his veins.
While he might be famous for taking on some of Marvel’s greatest supervillains, Captain America can’t punch some problems away, as he learned when he tried to take on the drug crisis in the early ’90s. Steve Rogers probably didn’t plan on getting hooked on drugs at any point in his life, but his experiences while on a meth-like substance taught him much more about himself in the “Streets of Poison” storyarc.
In 1990’s Captain America #372, by Mark Gruenwald, Ron Lim, Danny Bulandi, Steve Buccelatto, and Joe Rosen, saw Steve Rogers declare war on drugs. Captain America noticed one of the Avengers’ staff, Fabian Stankiewicz, acting off and manic, When he convinces Fabian to share what drug he is on, Fabian reveals that he has taken ice and describes it as a longer-lasting crack. Steve is worried about the Avengers employee and sends him to rehab before hitting the streets to find the source of this new drug.
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To do this, the Captain dons one of the best disguises that he has ever used. With long hair and a beard, people realize it’s a hero in disguise but seem to think it’s the Punisher instead of Captain America. He is then able to find multiple small-time dealers who eventually lead him to the warehouse where the product is made. However, Steve is discovered by a kid named Napalm, who detonates the building with the hero still inside.
Diamondback, who recently went on a first date with Steve was called to the scene to help find Captain America. He’s not missing long though, as he strides through the flames and embraces Diamondback before going in for a kiss. The kiss confuses Diamondback as it seems much more forward than he usually is. Steve refuses to see a paramedic as he claims he has never felt better in his life, before heading back to Avengers Headquarters to plan their next move.
As time goes by, Captain America acts increasingly odd. He snaps at Peggy Carter, reprimanding her for calling in Black Widow to help during the warehouse explosion. Upon leaving Peggy, the Captain catches Diamondback talking to John Jameson about the Avenger’s strange mood changes. Steve is enraged and immediately kicks Diamondback out, before turning his attention back to the drug trade.
Captain America continues to cause chaos throughout New York. He has since turned his attention away from the dealers and is now going after the users. He even flips a car,threatens an innocent man, threatens an entire club and beats down Daredevil before he realizes there is something wrong with him.
Ultimately, Captain America begins to suffer from paranoia and believes that all of his friends and allies are against him. He’s been living on the streets for the past few days and continues to beat up drug users. Black Widow and Diamondback catch him assaulting two young men, and Black Widow is able to knock the Avenger out cold. They return him to Avengers HQ and Hank Pym is called in to figure out a solution.
Pym finds that the chemicals from the ice have fully merged with the Super-Soldier Serum and the only way to remove it is a total blood transfusion. However, a full blood transfusion could potentially take the Super-Soldier Serum out of Rogers’ bloodstream. Still, Rogers decides to go through with the procedure, electing to prove that he can still fight without it.
Captain America began to question the Serum even before the ice got in his blood, and wondered if he was a walking endorsement for drug use. He eventually decides not to reinsert the Serum into his blood after the events, believing that the best thing he can do for America is to live a drug-free life, even if it costs him his powers.
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