Born and raised in Germany, Abraham Erskine showed great proficiency in science. He attended university for biochemistry and physics, and spent much of his life studying human beings. He worked on the development of a super soldier through diet, exercise, and "vita-rays". He was repelled by the Nazi movement that arose in his native Germany, and defected to America after witnessing the use of a death ray.
Erskine was created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby.and first appeared in Captain America Comics issue 1 (1941).
In his initial appearances, Erskine was given the name "Josef Reinstein". Some decades later this name was described as an alias, but his real name was not revealed. Eventually his name was changed to Abraham Erskine.
Major Story Arcs
Erskine brings his Super Soldier Serum with him to America, and recreates it for the US Army. The first test of the Serum is performed on Clinton McIntyre, aka Protocide. It fails, and McIntyre dies. Erskine returns to work on the formula, tweaking it for several months. Finally he tests the serum on Steve Rogers, and the test proves successful, transforming Rogers into the super soldier Captain America. Mere moments after his success, Erskine is assassinated by secret German agent Heinz Kruger. The Serum dies with Erskine, and to date nobody has successfully replicated it.
Powers and Abilities
Erskine has no known superhuman powers. He possesses a genius-level intellect and is particularly skilled in the area of biochemistry.
Erskine was killed prior to the Captain America project being carried out.
Erskine appears in this universe as a member of the Project: Rebirth team.
Erskine is a secret Nazi agent working undercover in the Army in this universe.
The Marvel Super Heroes
Erskine appears in some of the episodes of this series
The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes
Erskine makes his first appearance in the episode "Meet Captain America"
Captain America: The First Avenger
Erskine appears in this live-action film, where he fulfills the same role as the one he holds in the comics. The movie adds the detail that Erskine had previously tested the Serum in Germany, and his subject was the man who would become the Red Skull. He is portrayed by Stanley Tucci.