Mutant Growth Hormone

Mutant Growth Hormone or MGH (and less often, MGN ["Alias", "The Underneath"] ) is a fictional drug in the Marvel Universe.

The drug is extracted from genetic material taken from genetic mutants, and is usually presented in pill form.


MGH grants temporary powers to whoever takes it, described as a "temporary genetic shift". Usually, when the source is unspecified, the effect is increased strength and aggression. If someone who already has superhuman powers takes MGH, those powers are enhanced.


The first appearance of MGH is in "Amazing Adventures" (volume 2) #11 created by Dr. Hank McCoy, also known as the X-Man Beast. Hank McCoy discovered what would later become MGH while working for the Brand Corporation, but consumed it in an effort to protect his fledgling discovery from a rival scientist. The (not yet addictive) drug caused Beast to grow gray fur (which later turned blue) all over his body and acquire sharp ears, elongated canine teeth, claws, enhanced senses and an accelerated healing factor. When he could not reverse the mutation, McCoy came to accept his fate, though his actions continue to haunt him to this day.

One supposed appearance of the drug appears in "Iron Man" vol.3, #33–34, a drug was passed around to a party crowd which gave them all very familiar powers and caused them to run amok. The drug was not named here, however it could easily have been MGH. A drug with very similar uses was being sold by the Vanisher in the 2001 annual of "Uncanny X-Men" not soon after.

MGH came to prominence in comics written by Brian Michael Bendis. It was central to the plots of the "Lowlife" story arc in "Daredevil", in which the Owl was refining his own mutant genetic material and building a criminal empire by dealing it (his dealers claimed it was from Spider-Man).

In the "The Underneath" arc of "Alias", Mattie Franklin, the third Spider-Woman, was exploited as the source of the material. This storyline is being followed up in "The Loners" miniseries, in which Mattie, Darkhawk and Ricochet target the MGH dealers and the mutant Nekra.

Patriot of the Young Avengers was revealed as a user of MGH. Having no superpowers of his own, he misled his teammates into believing he had inherited his grandfather Isaiah Bradley's super powers, when in fact Patriot was regularly taking MGH in order to be as effective as his teammates in battle. (He took the drug from street distributors and manufacturers whom he apprehended.) When this secret was revealed, he quit the drug and the team, though he later rejoined, obtaining powers similar to the ones he claimed from a blood transfusion by his grandfather. At this time it was also revealed that the criminal Mister Hyde was producing a derivative of the formula that granted him his powers as a form of MGH.

The Runaways have also encountered the drug on their jaunt to New York City. Cloak, of Cloak and Dagger, was pursued by the New Avengers after being caught on tape savagely beating Dagger, an attack which landed her in the hospital. It was later revealed that Reginald Mantz, an orderly at that same hospital, was the one behind the attack, mimicking Cloak's powers using MGH. (Deluded, Mantz considered Dagger to be his "girlfriend.")

Wolverine discovered that Nitro had been taking MGH to boost his power, which allowed him to devastate Stamford; killing over 600 people. Said event would lead to the superhuman registration act and the superhero Civil War.

Alexander Bondt, a pre-kingpin criminal leader sent to prison by young "Daredevil", consumed the drug after release from prison as means to get revenge on the superhero. In his case, the effect of the MGH was too much for his body to endure and his heart exploded.

In "Uncanny X-Men" #490; chapter 10, it was revealed that after the events of M-Day all stock of MGH that was obtained from previously-powered mutants was no longer viable. However, all of the MGH taken from still-powered mutants is fine.

Ultimate Mutant Growth Hormone

In the "Ultimate X-Men" 94, a drug similar to MGH called "Banshee" is introduced. When taken by mutants, the drug enhances their powers. Its effects on non-mutant superhumans is has not yet been shown, but it has been stated that "gives normal humans temporary powers. Flight. Invisibility." but also that one human who thought he was intangible jumped in front of a train, with the predictable results (Ultimate X-Men #94, pg 15).


In "Ultimate X-Men" #94, the Ultimate version of Alpha Flight kidnaps Northstar, after neutralizing the X-Men with near god-like powers. When Colossus begins to mount a plan to rescue him, it is discovered that he has been using a type of Mutant Growth Hormone named Banshee that has granted him his incredible strength, and not his mutation. At the end of the issue, Ultimate Rogue, Angel, Nightcrawler, and Dazzler have all taken Banshee to aid Colossus in his rescue of Northstar, dramatically changing their appearances.

In #96, Wolverine goes to Spider-Man to figure out why he was tested positive for Banshee. Parker is able to determine that someone used Wolverine's DNA was the basis for Banshee. In #97 it was revealed that Charles Xavier and Magneto developed Banshee, but Xavier cancelled the project when he realized its addictive effects. Miora MacTaggert with support from Magneto began production to fund her facility.

ee also

List of comic book drugs

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