- "I still prefer "The Brooklyn Project", Colonel Phillips. Let that stuck-up jerk Oppenheimer and his crew at Los Alamos know they've got competition."
- ―Howard Stark
Doctor Abraham Erskine, Howard Stark and Colonel Chester Phillips, members of the Strategic Scientific Reserve, oversaw the completion of the laboratory destined to house Project Rebirth, with Stark noting that it should be called "Brooklyn Project" instead, paralleling Robert Oppenheimer's Manhattan Project in Los Alamos.
However, Erskine rejected the twenty candidates Phillips recommended as he wanted the power granted by his serum to fall in the right hands, with the agreement of Peggy Carter, who witnessed firsthand the result of the formula in a man like Johann Schmidt.
- "I know this neighborhood. I got beat up in that alley. And that parking lot. And behind that diner."
- ―Steve Rogers
Steve Rogers returned to New York City accompanied by Agent Peggy Carter of the Strategic Scientific Reserve to a secret laboratory, in order to become the first test subject of Project Rebirth. While on the way, Rogers went through his old neighborhood, remembering all the places where he had been beaten. Carter asked why he did not run away, and his answer was that if he had run, nothing would let him stop running. During the conversation, Carter realized that Rogers did not know how to talk to a woman, and Rogers confessed that that was his longest conversation, as he was both frightened and uninterested in women, as he thought he could wait for the perfect match.
Rogers and Carter arrived to an antique store, that served as entrance to the laboratory, where Abraham Erskine greeted Rogers, and Colonel Chester Phillips attended Senator Brandt and Fred Clemson of the Department of State. Rogers prepared himself for the treatment; Erskine informed the assistants of his intentions with this project, to walk down the path towards peace, and explained the details of the procedure.
The procedure began, with Rogers being infused with many injections of Erskine's Super Soldier Serum, and Howard Stark activating a saturation of Vita Radiation over the subject. The process was extremely painful, but when Erskine ordered to stop the procedure, Rogers claimed that he could resist.
The procedure was successful, and Rogers emerged from the experiment taller and muscular. However, Fred Clemson revealed himself to be HYDRA agent Heinz Kruger; he murdered Erskine and took a vial of the serum. Although Carter shot Kruger, she couldn't stop him from fleeing. With his dying breath, Erskine reminded Rogers of the promise he made the night before, being a good person no matter what happened.
Rogers managed to catch Kruger but he committed suicide via cyanide capsule before he could be interrogated, and Rogers was taken back to the SSR facility to take blood samples in hopes of reproducing Project Rebirth, as Peggy Carter remarked that the secrets of Erskine's formula were lost with his death, and the only remaining traces of the formula were now in Rogers' genes.
Colonel Phillips demanded answers for the event from Senator Brandt, replying that the assassin infiltrated the laboratory with the senator. Howard Stark examined the submarine used by Kruger, realizing that its technology was superior to theirs. Senator Brandt then learned of HYDRA's purpose from Phillips and Carter.
Phillips received new orders for the Strategic Scientific Reserve, to finish off HYDRA, and ordered Carter and Stark to move to London with him. Rogers volunteered to go with them, but Phillips ordered him to go to Alamogordo in order to being subjected to tests in order to recreate the Super Soldier Serum.
Senator Brandt offered Rogers another option, as his heroic persecution of Kruger in the streets of New York City was witnessed by many citizens and became a front page in the newspapers. He had potential as a public symbol.