- "The Strategic Scientific Reserve is an Allied effort made up of the best minds in the free world. Our goal is to create the best army in history. But every army starts with one man."
- ―Chester Phillips
The Strategic Scientific Reserve (S.S.R.) was a top-secret Allied war agency during World War II. It was formed in 1940 to battle the Nazi special weapons division, HYDRA. The Allies won the war thanks to the S.S.R.'s Super Soldier Captain America. After the war, the S.S.R. came in conflict with the Soviet deep science division Leviathan and the corrupt Council of Nine. The S.S.R. was later absorbed by the Strategic Homeland, Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division after its founding.
World War II
- "We are going to win this war because we have the best men. And because they're gonna get better. Much... better."
- ―Chester Phillips
The Strategic Scientific Reserve was formed in 1940 on the orders of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Although the United States was not directly involved in World War II at the time, Roosevelt knew that the situation was only temporary, because Adolf Hitler and his Third Reich were the greatest threat to the free world.
The commanding officer of the Strategic Scientific Reserve was Colonel Chester Phillips. The same year the Strategic Scientific Reserve was formed, he persuaded the American industrialist Howard Stark to join the agency, after a group of assassins sent by HYDRA, Hitler's special weapons division, tried to kill them both.
Shortly after, they organized the rescue of Abraham Erskine from Castle Kaufmann, where he was being held by Johann Schmidt, the commanding officer of HYDRA. Phillips sent one of his best agents, Peggy Carter, to secure Erskine's release.
The goal of the Strategic Scientific Reserve was to create an army of super soldiers that could defeat anything the Axis powers had on the battlefield. This led to, Project Rebirth, based on the work of their newest acquisition, Erskine, and the subsequent transformation of Steve Rogers into Captain America.
In November 1943, several members of the Strategic Scientific Reserve were in Italy. When Steve Rogers discovered that his friend Bucky Barnes was captured by HYDRA, he flew behind enemy lines and led a successful escape of prisoners from the HYDRA factory in Austria.
In the SSR's headquarters in London, Chester Phillips wanted to form a team of soldiers to assist Rogers in taking down HYDRA bases, but he turned down the offer, instead forming the Howling Commandos from the rescued prisoners.
Over the next year, the Howling Commandos progressively managed to destroy most major HYDRA operations, every time postponing Schmidt's planned worldwide offensive. At the beginning of 1945, Schmidt's top scientist Arnim Zola was captured and brought to the SSR's headquarters in London, where he revealed Schmidt's plans.
Loss of Captain America
With the intelligence obtained from Zola, the SSR planned an attack on Schimdt's fortress in the Alps. A huge detachment of the US Army assisted the SSR in the attack and the fortress was captured after a relatively short fight. Though Schmidt escaped with the massive aircraft bomber, the Valkyrie, so he could use weapons of mass destruction on American cities, Rogers managed to board the plane and cause its fall into the icy waters of North Atlantic.
In 1945, the efforts of the Strategic Scientific Reserve were successful. Peggy Carter and the Howling Commandos took down the last known HYDRA base in Austria, capturing General Werner Reinhardt and a weapon that became known as the first 0-8-4, the Obelisk. Reinhardt was placed in the SSR facility called the Rat, interrogated by Carter, and given a life sentence for his crimes. HYDRA was destroyed, and the Axis powers defeated, and the SSR facility in London was dismantled.
- "I want action plans on my desk in one hour. Stay vigilant. I'm not losing any more of you."
- ―Roger Dooley to his agents
The Strategic Scientific Reserve continued with its activities, because new threats to the USA arose after the war. Howard Stark was accused of selling arms to the enemy during the war, and then he disappeared without a trace. Chief Roger Dooley of the New York City SSR branch was ordered to find Stark.
Eventually, Dooley and his men discovered that the real mastermind behind the theft was Leviathan, the Soviet spy agency formed after World War I. A team of agents led by Jack Thompson and Peggy Carter went to Belarus, where they were assisted by the Howling Commandos in liberating Doctor Ivchenko, a prisoner of Leviathan, whom they brought back to the United States of America.
This was a part of Ivchenko's plan to get revenge on Howard Stark for the death of his brother. Stark had created a gas named Midnight Oil that was deployed during World War II causing the man's death; Johann Fennhoff blamed Stark and sought revenge. Peggy Carter, Jack Thompson, and Daniel Sousa thwarted the plot, but not before the death of Roger Dooley.  Stark was cleared of all charges and the SSR was recognized by the President for its work with agent Thompson taking much of the credit and being congratulated by Walt Cooper personally.
By 1947, the SSR branched out, opening a facility in Los Angeles, California under the leadership of Daniel Sousa. Using the front of Auerbach Theatrical Agency, Sousa used the alias of "Mr. Auerbach" to cover the reality of the organization. One of the first transfers from the New York Bell Company Office branch was Rose Roberts, who continued her duties as the first line of defense by acting as a secretary. One of the first cases that the new branch received was the murder of Jane Scott, found frozen in a lake in Echo Park on one of the hottest days of the year. Peggy Carter was sent to assist in the matter.
Meanwhile, Chief Jack Thompson of the New York Bell Company branch was going through a crisis of faith after the successful capture of Dottie Underwood; the FBI took over her custody and FBI agent Vernon Masters, an old family friend of Thompson's, told him that since the SSR was a wartime organization, it would soon be deemed defunct and replaced.
Investigating the Scott case caused the SSR to learn that the Council of Nine was manipulating events to hide the discovery of Zero Matter and to get their member Calvin Chadwick ultimately elected to the presidency of the United States. When the SSR desired to raid the Arena Club to learn the secrets of the Council, Masters, a Council member, thwarted the plan by getting an executive order to cease-and-desist and threatened Sousa and Carter that they might not survive the changes soon to take place. This showed the agents that few could be trusted and the reach of the Council was extensive.
Tired of Carter interfering in the schemes of the Council and wanting the uranium rods which she stole during her Infiltration into the Roxxon Warehouse, Masters talked Thompson into finding information to discredit the agent, had Sousa assaulted by masked thugs, and took command of the Los Angeles branch.
The next year, a new agency, the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division, also known as S.H.I.E.L.D., was formed. The SSR was absorbed into S.H.I.E.L.D., becoming one of its subdivisions.
Subdivision of S.H.I.E.L.D.
The Strategic Scientific Reserve became the research division for S.H.I.E.L.D., a newly created organization, making weapons and inventions for the organization. One of the SSR's facilities was re-purposed as the S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy of Science and Technology and was used to train gifted young adults to become S.H.I.E.L.D. scientists.
Director Nick Fury took possession of several old SSR bases and secretly furnished them with modern technology. He put only the most trusted agents in charge of those bases, the Koenig brothers among them. These bases became the first facilities of the reorganized S.H.I.E.L.D. led by Phil Coulson, as the agency lost several facilities during the HYDRA Uprising. One of them, nicknamed the Playground, became the agency's headquarters.
|Name||Position||Status during activity|
|Roger Dooley||Chief - New York City||Deceased|
|Jack Thompson||Chief - New York City||Deceased|
|Daniel Sousa||Chief - Los Angeles||Active|
|John Flynn||Senior Agent||Active|
|Rose Roberts||Phone Operator||Active|
|Steve Rogers||Captain America/Howling Commando||Presumed Deceased|
|Bucky Barnes||Howling Commando||Presumed Deceased|
|Dum Dum Dugan||Howling Commando||Unknown|
|Jim Morita||Howling Commando||Active|
|Gabe Jones||Howling Commando||Active|
|Jacques Dernier||Howling Commando||Active|
|James Montgomery Falsworth||Howling Commando||Active|
|Gilmore Hodge||Super Soldier Program Candidate||Denied|
- Strategic Scientific Reserve Headquarters
- Strategic Scientific Reserve New York Office
- New York Bell Company Office
- Auerbach Theatrical Agency
- Camp Lehigh
- Strategic Scientific Reserve Brooklyn Facility
- The Rat
- Guest House
- Vita-Ray Detector:
- Sweet Dreams Lipstick:
- Pick-Lock Wristwatch:
- Brooch Key:
- Stun Light Device:
- Memory Inhibitor:
- Motion Detector:
- Vacuum Syringe:
This insignia was used by the Strategic Science Reserve from its creation in 1940. It retained its use after the SSR was absorbed into S.H.I.E.L.D. as one of its scientific research and development subdivisions until it was dissolved and fully absorbed into other S.H.I.E.L.D. subdivisions several years later.
Behind the Scenes
- According to Captain America: The First Avenger concept artist Ryan Meinerding, "The SSR logo was a way of unifying the modern S.H.I.E.L.D. logo with its 1940s counterpart using the eagle symbol, as well as using the eagle's wings as a symbol for Cap's helmet and the Invaders."
- In Captain America: The First Avenger: America's Secret Weapon the SSR is called Special Scientific Reserve.
- ↑ Captain America: First Vengeance, Volume 5
- ↑ Captain America: First Vengeance, Volume 3
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Captain America: The First Avenger
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.01: Shadows
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.08: The Things We Bury
- ↑ Captain America: The Winter Soldier
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Marvel One-Shot: Agent Carter
- ↑ Agent Carter: 1.01: Now is Not the End
- ↑ Agent Carter: 1.05: The Iron Ceiling
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Agent Carter: 1.08: Valediction
- ↑ Agent Carter: 1.07: Snafu
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Agent Carter: 2.01: The Lady in Lake
- ↑ Agent Carter: 2.02: A View in the Dark
- ↑ Agent Carter: 2.03: Better Angels
- ↑ Agent Carter: 2.04: Smoke & Mirrors
- ↑ Agent Carter: 2.05: The Atomic Job
- ↑ Agent Carter: 2.06: Life of the Party
- ↑ Agent Carter: 2.07: Monsters
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.12: Seeds
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.01: Shadows
- ↑ Marvel One-Shot: Agent Carter
- ↑ Captain America: The Winter Soldier
- ↑ Agent Carter (TV series)
- ↑ Colonel Phillips Memo
- ↑ Coulson's room inside the Playground
- ↑ The Art of Captain America: The First Avenger, pg. 111