So, after five crazy years of the wildest ride in comics or science fiction journalism, our heroes – and for that matter, our villains – have been out of the game for another five years. So, where are they now?
A drug that grants superpowers, Compound V was first developed by Dr Hans Vogelbaum in the thirties in Nazi Germany. He fled to America where he continued his research, attracting the corporate sponsorship of Vought-American, who used it to create the first actual superteam in the later days of World War Two. Over the years, many variants of Compound V have been created by Vogelbaum or others following on from him (including one version created by the Nazis working from the fragmented notes he left behind).
Compound V gives each person who takes it different powers, although the CIA team known as the Boys use a highly stable variant with predictable powers (primarily strength, toughness, healing and delayed aging). The only real pattern observable is that the earlier in life the dose is taken, the stronger the powers tend to be, which suggests that it interacts with the body’s own growth – and since Compound V is mutagenic at a genetic level, its effects are also inheritable.
Unfortunately for almost everyone involved, Compound V was created in a world where power, almost without exception, corrupts – and super-power even moreso.