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List of comic book drugs

This is a list of fictional performance enhancers, serums, trigger chemicals, booster drugs, and mutagenic foods in the various comic book 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

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.[3][2]

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.[4][2]

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 fluoroscopic lamps in order to force the formula into his organs. When he emerged 12 hours later, he had developed the super powers that he used to fight crime as the Golden Age hero the Shield. First appears in Pep Comics #1.[2]

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).[5]

Rocket Pills

A mutagenic steroid used by Jimmy Travis the 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.[6]

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.[7]

Dark Horse


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

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]

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 conflict. 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).[8]


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. 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 gene therapy treatment created by Lexcorp for the Everyman Project. Unlike the genetically inherited Metagene, the Exo-gene can grant superhuman powers to anyone tested and found compatible, but it can potentially cause massive organ failure six months later. The exo-gene can be disrupted by an 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.[9]

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.[10]


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 addicitve 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]

Lazarus Pit

Main article: 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.


Miraclo is the drug that gave Hourman (Rex Tyler) his powers. The powers lasted only one hour. Furthermore, the drug also proved to be addictive.[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.[11][12]

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, 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.[2]

Velocity 9

A highly addictive drug that grants superspeed, but speeds up the body's metabolism leading to dehydration, severe exhaustion and rapid aging. Developed by Vandal Savage.[2] Later Deathstroke was able to fashion a particular variant of Velocity 9 devoid of any ill-effects, for Inertia's use. [13]

Velocity 10

A derivative of Velocity 9, this drug also granted its users super-speed. But had different side effects, it caused parts of the body to metabolize at different rates.[2]


A strength-enhancing super-steroid used in great quantities by the villain Bane. According to JSA Classified #17 (November 2006), Venom is based on the Miraclo formula developed at Bannerman Pharmaceuticals, the drug company formerly owned by Rex Tyler, the original Hourman.

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 Golden Age Lex Luthor which can transform any normal animal or person into a superhuman. first seen in Action Comics v.1 #257, Nov 1959.[14]

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.[15][2]

Marvel Comics

Acetovaxidol (AVX)

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

Compound X07

A mysterious chemical created by the scientists of Advanced Idea Mechanics. 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]

Growth Pills

Main article: Pym Particles

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]

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. Introduced in Marvel Spotlight #31.[2]


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. The active ingredient is Hypercortisone-D.[2]

Mutant Growth Hormone

Main article: Mutant Growth Hormone

Also known as MGH, is a drug extracted from the genetic material of superpowered individuals, that grants temporary powers to whomever takes it. Sometimes used as a party drug, MGH often results in increased strength and aggression.[2]


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]


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.[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][16]


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 powers. Developed by Dr. Erskine (aka Prof. Reinstein).[2] 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.

Terrigen Mists

Main article: Terrigen Mist

A dangerous mutagen used by the Inhumans to induce random mutations in their youth during a rite of passage ceremony. The mists' effect on humans is unknown, but 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 hallucinogenic produced by a mutant called Toad Boy. Fatal to humans.[2]


Zap was a highly addictive drug made from the "hypothalmic fluid" of the endangered 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

Nuclear Cigarettes

The manga hero 8 Man smoked radium enriched cigarettes in order to recharge his powers.[17]

Tokyo Pop

Red Eye

Main article: Red Eye (drug)

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, doubled reflexes and limited super speed. 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.[18]

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]


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. ^
  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 ax See Polite Dissent Fictional Drug Listing
  3. ^
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  6. ^
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  8. ^
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  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive
  14. ^
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  17. ^
  18. ^
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "List_of_comic_book_drugs". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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