Nick Fury

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This article is about the first character named Nick Fury. For his son, see Nick Fury, Jr..
Nick Fury
Nickfuryshield.jpg
2001 trade-paperback collection, with repurposed cover art from Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. #4 (March 1968) by Jim Steranko.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos #1 (May 1963)
Created by Jack Kirby
Stan Lee
In-story information
Full name Nicholas Joseph "Nick" Fury
Team affiliations Secret Warriors
S.H.I.E.L.D.
United States Army
C.I.A.
Howling Commandos
Great Wheel
"Avengers" (1959)
Notable aliases Scorpio, Gemini, various others on undercover missions
Abilities Halted aging from the Infinity Formula
Skilled and experienced soldier
Skilled with many weapons and fighting techniques

Colonel Nicholas Joseph "Nick" Fury is a fictional character appearing in comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by writer/artist Jack Kirby and writer Stan Lee, Fury first appeared in Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos #1 (May 1963), a World War II combat series that portrayed the cigar-chomping Fury as leader of an elite U.S. Army unit. A popular character over a number of decades, in 2011, Fury was ranked 33rd in IGN's Top 100 Comic Book Heroes.[1] He has sometimes been considered an antihero.

The modern-day Fury, initially a CIA agent, debuted a few months later in Fantastic Four #21 (Dec. 1963). In Strange Tales #135 (Aug. 1965), the character was transformed into a spy like James Bond and leading agent of the fictional espionage agency S.H.I.E.L.D. The character makes frequent appearances in Marvel books as the former head of S.H.I.E.L.D. and as an intermediary between the U.S. government or the United Nations and various superheroes. It is eventually revealed that Fury takes a special medication called the Infinity Formula that halted his aging and allows him to be active despite being nearly a century old.

Nick Fury appears in several Marvel series set in alternate universes, as well as multiple animated films, television shows, and video games based on the comics. The character was first portrayed in live action by David Hasselhoff in the 1998 television movie Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Samuel L. Jackson later signed a nine-picture deal to portray the character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise, first appearing in the 2008 film Iron Man.[2][3] Jackson also cameos in an episode of the related Marvel television show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. A version of the character appearing in Marvel's Ultimate Marvel imprint was based on Jackson's appearance and screen persona, well before he was cast in the role.[4] The recognizability of the character portrayed by Jackson in the films later led Marvel to retire the original character, replacing him with his African American son Nick Fury, Jr., who like the Ultimate Marvel version is patterned on Jackson.

Publication history[edit]

Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos[edit]

Fury initially appeared in the World War II combat series Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos,[5] as the cigar-chomping NCO who led a racially and ethnically integrated elite unit. The series ran 167 issues (May 1963 - Dec. 1981), though only in reprints after issue #120 (July 1974). Following several issues by creators Lee and Kirby, penciller Dick Ayers began his long stint on what would be his signature series; John Severin later joined as inker, forming a long-running, critically acclaimed team. Roy Thomas succeeded Lee as writer, followed by Gary Friedrich, for whom this became a signature series as well. Annuals featured the "Howlers" called back to fight in the Korean War and Vietnam War.

The Howling Commandos encountered Office of Strategic Services agent Reed Richards (later Mister Fantastic of the Fantastic Four) in #3 (Sept. 1963), and fought alongside Captain America and Bucky in #13 (Dec. 1964).

Strange Tales and solo series[edit]

In Strange Tales #135 (Aug. 1965), Fury, now a colonel, became a James Bond-esque Cold War spy, with Marvel introducing the covert organization S.H.I.E.L.D. (Supreme Headquarters International Espionage Law-enforcement Division) and its nemesis Hydra .

Strange Tales #135 (Aug. 1965). Cover art by Jack Kirby and Frank Giacoia.

The 12-page feature was initially by Lee and Kirby, with the latter supplying such inventive and enduring gadgets and hardware as the Helicarrier — an airborne aircraft carrier — as well as human-replicant LMDs (Life Model Decoys), and even automobile airbags.[6] Lee recalled in 2005,

[T]here was a very popular television show called The Man from U.N.C.L.E., sort of a James Bond type of thing. And I thought, just for fun, I'm going to bring Sgt. Fury back again. But it's now years later and I'm going to make him a colonel, and I'm going to make him the head of an outfit like U.N.C.L.E., a secret military outfit. So I had to think of a name, and I love names, so I came up with the name S.H.I.E.L.D. ... [A]nd I think this was Jack's idea, and it was a wonderful idea — they were headquartered in a floating helicarrier, which was like a super-dirigible....[7]

Writer-penciller-colorist Jim Steranko began on the feature in Strange Tales #151 (Dec. 1966), initially over Kirby layouts.[8][9] He quickly became one of comic books' most acclaimed and influential artists. In some of the creative zeniths of the Silver Age, Steranko established the feature as one of comic books' most groundbreaking and innovative.[10][11] He introduced or popularized in comic books such art movements of the day as psychedelia and op art; built on Kirby's longstanding work in photomontage; and created comic books' first four-page spread. All the while, he spun plots of intense intrigue, barely hidden sensuality, and hi-fi hipness—and supplied his own version of Bond girls, pushing what was allowable under the Comics Code at the time.[12]

The 12-page feature ran through Strange Tales #168 (sharing that "split book" with the occult feature "Doctor Strange" each issue), after which it was spun off into its own series, titled Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. This ran 15 issues (June 1968 - Nov. 1969), followed by three all-reprint issues beginning a year later (Nov. 1970 - March 1971). Steranko wrote and drew issues #1-3 and #5, and drew the covers of #1-7.

Fury continued to make appearances in the other Marvel books, from Fantastic Four to The Avengers. In 1972, Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos celebrated its 100th issue with a present-day reunion of the squad, sponsored by Stan Lee and the creative team behind the title. (Lee, like other comic books professionals, has made occasional cameos in his own books, in a tradition going back to the 1940s Golden Age of Comic Books). The matter of Fury apparently not aging significantly since his term of service in World War II was justified in "Assignment: The Infinity Formula" by writer Jim Starlin and artist Howard Chaykin in Marvel Spotlight #31 (Dec. 1976), revealing Fury's age-retarding medication treatment.

A six-issue miniseries, Nick Fury vs. S.H.I.E.L.D. (June-Nov. 1988) was followed by Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. vol. 2.[13] The latter series lasted 47 issues (Sept. 1989 - May 1993); its pivotal story arc was "the Deltite Affair", in which many S.H.I.E.L.D. agents were replaced with Life Model Decoys in a takeover attempt.

A year after that series ended, the one-shot Fury (May 1994), using retroactive continuity, altered the events of those previous two series, recasting them as a series of staged events designed to distract Fury from the resurrection plans of Hydra head Baron von Strucker. The following year, writer Chaykin and penciller Corky Lehmkuhl produced the four-issue miniseries Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D. (April–July 1995). Various publications have additionally focused on Nick Fury's solo adventures, such as the graphic novels and one-shots Wolverine - Nick Fury: The Scorpio Connection (1989), Wolverine/Nick Fury: Scorpio Rising (Oct. 1994), Fury/Black Widow: Death Duty and Captain America/Nick Fury: Blood Truce (both Feb. 1995), and Captain America/Nick Fury: The Otherworld War (Oct. 2001). He starred in the 2004–2005 Secret War miniseries.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Early life and wartime[edit]

Nicholas Joseph Fury is the eldest of three children born to Jack Fury in New York City. His father is a United States citizen who enlists in the United Kingdom's Royal Flying Corps during World War I. Jack enlists in 1916 and is stationed in France. He shoots down Manfred von Richthofen early in his flying career, and is a highly decorated combat aviator by the end of the War in 1918.

Discharged after the War, Jack returns home, marries an unnamed woman, and becomes the father of three children. Nick, probably born in the late 1910s or early 1920s, is followed by Jacob "Jake" Fury (later the supervillain Scorpio who co-founded the Zodiac cartel), and their sister, Dawn.

All three children grow up in the neighborhood known as Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan, New York City, New York. Nick is an amateur boxer through the Police Athletic League where he learns marksmanship. With his friend Red Hargrove, he eventually leaves the neighborhood to pursue his dreams of adventure, eventually settling on a daring wing walking and parachuting act. Their death-defying stunts while training British Commandos in 1940 catch the attention of Lieutenant Samuel "Happy Sam" Sawyer, then serving with the British Commandos, who enlists them for a special mission in the Netherlands. Nick and Red later join the U.S. Army, with Fury undergoing Basic Training under a Sergeant Bass. Nick and Red are stationed together at Schofield Barracks, Oahu, Hawaii when the Imperial Japanese Navy ambushes the base on December 7, 1941. Red is among the many killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor, with Fury swearing vengeance against both the Japanese and the Nazis.

Sawyer, now a captain, assigns Fury command of the First Attack Squad, a unit of U.S. Army Rangers, who are awarded the honorary title of Commandos by Winston Churchill after their first missions. They are nicknamed the "Howling Commandos" and stationed at a military base in the United Kingdom to fight specialized missions, primarily but not exclusively in the European Theatre of World War II. During this period, Fury falls in love with a British nurse, Lady Pamela Hawley, who dies in a bombing raid on London before he can propose to her.

C.I.A.[edit]

At the end of World War II in Europe, Fury is severely injured by a land mine in France, and is found and healed by a Berthold Sternberg, who uses him as a test subject for his Infinity Formula. After making a full recovery, Fury begins working for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), precursor of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Six months into his service, he learns the extent of Sternberg's life-saving operation: the Infinity Formula has retarded his aging, but if he does not receive annual doses, he will age rapidly and die. The doctor begins a 30-year period of extorting large sums of money from Fury in exchange for the injections. These events, culminating in the end of said extortion, are detailed in Marvel Spotlight #31 (Dec. 1976): "Assignment: The Infinity Formula," by writer Jim Starlin and artist Howard Chaykin.

A rare quiet moment for Nick Fury: Splash panel, Strange Tales #168 (May 1968). Art by Steranko and Joe Sinnott.

Fury segues into the CIA as an espionage agent, gathering information in Korea. During this time the Howling Commandos are reformed where Fury receives a battlefield commission to lieutenant. He later reaches the rank of colonel. During this time, he recommends the recruitment of married agents Richard and Mary Parker, who will go on to become the parents of Fury's occasional superhero ally Spider-Man. Much later, the CIA uses him as a liaison to various superpowered groups that have begun appearing, including the Fantastic Four, whom CIA agent Fury first encounters in Fantastic Four #21 (Dec. 1963). Despite Marvel's "elastic chronology", which puts the early-1960s stories as roughly only 10 years before modern-day stories, Marvel has never retconned an explanation for that chronological discrepancy, as the company has for many others.

During his time with the CIA, Fury begins wearing his trademark eyepatch (an issue of Sgt. Fury had revealed that he had taken shrapnel to one eye during the war, which caused him to slowly lose sight in it over the course of years).

S.H.I.E.L.D.[edit]

Fury becomes the second commander of S.H.I.E.L.D. as its Public Director. The ultimate authority of S.H.I.E.L.D. is revealed to be a cabal of 12 mysterious men and women who give Fury his orders and operational structure, leaving Fury to manage the actual implementation of these orders and strategems.[14] The identities of these people have never been revealed; they appear only as shaded figures on monitors. Initially, his organization's primary nemesis is the international terrorist organization Hydra, created by Fury's worst enemy of World War II, Baron Wolfgang von Strucker (after retconning of the original continuity). Under Fury, S.H.I.E.L.D. grows into one of the world's most powerful organizations, reaching covertly into national governments and forming strategic alliances with the Avengers and other superhero groups, while always maintaining independence and deniability. Fury soon becomes the superhero community's main contact when government-related information is required in order to deal with a crisis.

After years at the helm, Fury discovers that S.H.I.E.L.D. and Hydra have both fallen under the control of a group of sentient Life Model Decoy androids known as Deltites. Betrayed, Fury goes to ground, hunted by his fellow agents, many of whom are later revealed to have been replaced with Deltites. Although Fury ultimately exposes and overcomes the Deltite threat, the conflict is so destructive to S.H.I.E.L.D.'s personnel and infrastructure, and leaves Fury so disillusioned, that he disbands the agency to prevent it from again being subverted from within.[15]

Fury rebuilds S.H.I.E.L.D. from the ground up, initially as a more streamlined agency small enough for him to personally oversee and protect from being corrupted. This new incarnation changed the acronym to stand for "Strategic Hazard Intervention, Espionage and Logistics Directorate".[16]

Sometime later, Frank Castle, the vigilante known as the Punisher, is captured and sent to a maximum-security facility with a S.H.I.E.L.D. escort. During a hypnosis session with Doc Samson, a character named Spook interrupts and has the Punisher conditioned to believe Fury is responsible for the murder of the Punisher's family. An escaped Punisher eventually kills Fury,[17] who is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.[18] The Fury that the Punisher has "killed" is later revealed to have been a highly advanced Life Model Decoy android.[19]

Returned to his post as S.H.I.E.L.D. director, Fury independently enlists the superheroes Captain America, Spider-Man, Luke Cage, Wolverine, Daredevil, and the Black Widow to launch a covert assault on the leadership of Latveria, which is plotting a massive attack on the U.S. One year afterward, Latveria launches a counterattack that results in Fury's removal as S.H.I.E.L.D. commander, forcing him again into hiding with numerous international warrants out for his arrest. His successors as Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. are first Maria Hill and then Tony Stark.[20] Both Hill and Stark, keeping Fury's disappearance secret from the S.H.I.E.L.D. rank and file, use Life Model Decoys to impersonate Fury on occasion.

Fury is the only "33rd-degree" S.H.I.E.L.D. officer, meaning he is the only member of S.H.I.E.L.D., present or past, to know of the existence of 28 emergency, covert bases scattered across the globe, secretly providing the Anti-Registration faction in the subsequent superhuman civil war with bases where they can rally their forces without worrying about their Pro-Registration enemies finding them.[21]

Secret Invasion[edit]

During the time Fury spends in hiding, he learns that Valentina Allegra de Fontaine has been plotting to extract S.H.I.E.L.D. passcodes from him and kill him. Fury kills her first, after which she reverts to the form of an extraterrestrial shape-shifter from the hostile Skrull race, which has mounted an invasion of Earth. He recruits Spider-Woman to be his mole inside both Hydra and S.H.I.E.L.D., and to watch for further Skrull impostors. Unbeknownst to him, she's replaced shortly after by Skrull Queen Veranke herself.[22] He later instructs former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Daisy Johnson to recruit superpowered children of various heroes and villains to help combat the Skrull invasion; these include Phobos, the 10-year-old son of Ares and himself the young god of fear; Yo-Yo, a misunderstood mutant speedster; Hellfire, a relative of Phantom Rider with supernatural powers; Druid, a magician and son of Doctor Druid; and Stonewall, a young man who can grow bigger at will and has super strength. Fury dubs them his "Commandos".[23]

Soon after the attack on Earth, Fury and his new team are seen counter-attacking the Skrull attack in Times Square, Manhattan. They manage to repel and kill the invaders in the area significantly, whilst saving the downed Initiative cadets and the Young Avengers.[24] He, along with his team and the rescued heroes, are next seen working and planning their next move in one of the scattered 28 covert S.H.I.E.L.D. bases.[25] He has been seen talking to Deadpool, while Deadpool was on a Skrull ship after pretending to join them. It is revealed that Fury hired Deadpool to infiltrate Skrull ranks by pretending to defect, with the intention of obtaining biological information of the Skrulls that Fury can use to stop them. When Deadpool attempts to transmit the data, it is intercepted by Norman Osborn.[26]

Fury leads the survivors of the Young Avengers and Initiative back to the fight in New York, where they are joined by Thor, the new Captain America, the New Avengers and the Mighty Avengers, the Hood's gang, and the Thunderbolts, to take on Veranke's army of Super Skrulls.[27]

When the battle is over and the real heroes are found, Nick is greeted by the real Valentina Allegra de Fontaine and Dum Dum Dugan. He gives them one look and teleports away with his Secret Warriors, not speaking to his former friends.[28]

Dark Reign and Secret Warriors[edit]

During an infiltration and elimination of a covert S.H.I.E.L.D. base in Chicago, Fury discovers that S.H.I.E.L.D. is, and always has been, secretly controlled by Hydra.[29] A distraught Fury now plans to use his Secret Warriors to combat the renewed Hydra threat, spearheaded by his old nemesis, Baron Strucker.[30] He hires the new Howling Commandos, a private military company formed by 1200 former S.H.I.E.L.D. agents who refused to join Norman Osborn's H.A.M.M.E.R., to employ them in his fight against Hydra and Osborn.[31] He has a number of inside men to assist in his raids,[32] including Natasha Romanova posing as Yelena Belova who is in command of the Thunderbolts.[33][34] Eventually, he and his men commandeer decommissioned Helicarriers, as well as forcing the H.A.M.M.E.R. agents at the dock to follow him.[35] Natasha brings Songbird to Fury, but she is followed and the three are captured by the Thunderbolts. Osborn then shoots Fury in the head.[36] It was not the real Fury who was shot, but a Life Model Decoy in his image,[37] which the Fixer reveals to Songbird and Black Widow later after they escape the Thunderbolts.[38]

On a solo mission soon after, Fury teams with Norman Osborn to interrogate a lower-level H.A.M.M.E.R. agent. The conversation (and materials obtained afterwards) reveal there may be an organization much like Hydra, installed in the upper levels of world governments, called "Leviathan." This organization appears to have been founded by the Soviet government for reasons as yet unclear.[39] Fury later introduces Daisy Johnson to prominent members of the Howling Commandos including Alexander Pierce, leader of the second caterpillar team, and Mikel, Fury's son and leader of the "gray" team.[40]

Siege[edit]

Fury and the Secret Warriors are later summoned by Captain America to his hideout along with the New and Young Avengers, when Rogers, seeking to aid his long-time comrade Thor in his plight during the Siege of Asgard launched by Norman Osborn, gathered all his allies to strike back against Osborn and rescue Thor whilst simultaneously ending Osborn's Dark Reign. Fury insists on Phobos remaining behind due to an unwillingness for him to battle his father Ares and his youth, and later opens a wormhole aboard an ex-S.H.I.E.L.D. jet which brings the combined forces of the three teams to Oklahoma.[41][42] They then intercept Norman Osborn's siege and with the help of Iron Man, who receives a variation of his suit from Speed, they shut down Norman's suit. Their victory is cut short when Sentry, now fully possessed by the Void, begins attacking them.[43][44] Loki attempts to help Fury and the other heroes by empowering them with the Norn Stones, but Void kills him before long. Iron Man then uses the ex-S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier as a bullet on the Void. Robert Reynolds regains control of his body and begs the Avengers to kill him. Thor refuses but ends up killing him anyway when Void begins to take over again. The Avengers are reunited and the press declares that a new "Heroic Age" has begun.[45][46]

Heroic Age[edit]

While Fury remains underground, allowing Steve Rogers to take official command of the super-spy side of things, he remains in contact with Earth's heroes and monitors their activities.[volume & issue needed] He provides the New Avengers with a special serum, created as a combination of the Super-Soldier serum and the Infinity Formula, to help Mockingbird when she was shot during a raid on a H.A.M.M.E.R. base.[47] Fury later expends the last sample of the Infinity Formula to save Bucky's life. He remains immortal due to trace amounts of the formula in his body.[48]

Battle Scars[edit]

In 2012, the six part series Battle Scars introduces Nick Fury's secret son, Sgt. Marcus Johnson who is an African American and ends up losing one eye in the series.[49] The character has been described as looking like Samuel L. Jackson, just as the Nick Fury of the Ultimate Universe does.[50][51] Nick Fury retires at the end of the series, and his son joins S.H.I.E.L.D. Upon joining S.H.I.E.L.D., Johnson changes his name to his original birth name of Nick Fury Jr., as he and Agent Coulson appear on the Helicarrier in the final page.[52]

Original Sin[edit]

During the Original Sin storyline, Nick Fury is with Black Widow, Captain America, and Wolverine when they receive a distress call from Thor. Captain America asks Nick Fury to join him. Even though Nick Fury declares himself retired, Captain America insists he come along anyway. Reaching the Moon, they find Thor who explains what he saw before finally discovering Uatu the Watcher's dead body. They realize the killer was a professional and that they took a lot of the gear he had. Again, Captain America asks Nick Fury to help them. Despite Nick Fury warning them that Uatu the Watcher's murderer may be a hero, Captain America just wants the truth. Nick Fury gives his report to someone when Captain America walks in. Nick Fury is reassured that no one knows he's around as Captain America gives him pieces of what may be a bullet. After a telepathic Mindless One destroys itself with the Ultimate Nullifier during its fight with Spider-Man and Thing, Nick Fury and the Avengers arrive. Captain America wants the Ultimate Nullifier left alone until it is contained and Fury declares the battle zone a murder scene.[53] After the Orb uses the Watcher's eye to attack the heroes with their secrets,[54] he offers his services in finding who killed the Watcher (claiming that he only visited the moon after the fact rather than delivering the killing blow), but Fury is left puzzled at two details; the location of the Watcher's second eye, and why he saw nothing when all other heroes present were bombarded with their secrets. However, while pondering this, he is shot and beheaded by the Winter Soldier, who proclaims "No more secrets".[55] When the investigating teams - including Black Panther, Emma Frost, Doctor Strange and the Punisher - attempt to pursue Bucky, they find a mysterious space station of unknown origin that Bucky discovered by tracking a signal from Fury's head, which is revealed to be a highly advanced Life Model Decoy, with the space station containing an elderly Nick Fury and several LMDs.[56] Fury relates to the heroes an account from 1958, when as a member of U.S. Army Intelligence, he fought off an invasion of alien Tribellians in Kansas. It was in that battle that he witnessed the heroic death of Woody McCord, who defeated the aliens before being fatally injured. When McCord's partner Howard Stark arrived on the scene, he decided to recruit Fury to continue the work Woody McCord had been doing as defender of Earth, single-handedly neutralizing any potential threat for the planet. Nick Fury accepted and over the decades he would secretly fight different superhuman threats from aliens to subterranean monsters and extra-dimensional beings, as a side job to his work with the Army, and later, S.H.I.E.L.D., one that no one at either organization ever knew about. The corpses discovered recently by the superhero investigators were threats that Fury had neutralized. Orb says there is more Fury has not revealed, but Orb collapses, due to his body's absorption of what he stole from Uatu.[57] Fury reveals that he has rapidly grown elderly and is dying because the Infinity Formula in his body has been depleted. He explains that he chose each of the heroes assembled so that one of them can replace him. His refusal to answer Panther's demand for an explanation of what happened to Uatu leads to a battle between the heroes and the LMDs, during which Fury activates Uatu's eyes.[58] Fury fights off most of the attacking heroes - including revealing an undisclosed secret to Thor that causes him to lose the ability to wield his hammer.[59] Fury confesses that he killed Uatu in self-defense after Doctor Midas and the Orb attacked him. Fury took one of Uatu's eyes, needing to know who mounted the assault and Uatu's oath preventing him from revealing that information directly. After killing Midas, Fury absorbs the power from one of Uatu's eyes - the other now in the possession of the Orb - and becomes Uatu's replacement, the Unseen, while Bucky takes his place as Earth's cosmic trouble-shooter.[60]

Powers, abilities, and equipment[edit]

Nick Fury's aging has been slowed greatly by the Infinity Formula, a serum created by Dr. Berthold Sternberg. Fury was first inoculated with the serum in the 1940s. Fury took the serum annually for many years. Originally Fury had to take the formulae annually or the effects would be reversed allowing his body to reach its actual chronological age.[61] Later stories state due to the Infinity Formulae' regular cumulative effect, Fury no longer needs additional doses to prolong his life span.[volume & issue needed] Nick Fury is depicted as an active athletic man despite his advanced chronological age, though writers have sometimes portrayed Fury as being past his prime despite the Infinity Formula as in the Fury and Wolverine graphic novel. However, as of the "Original Sin" story arc, it is revealed that at some point the Infinity Formula stopped working for him and Fury has only pretended to stop aging by using LMD's.[62]

Fury's injured left eye, though initially minimally affected by a grenade blast during World War II,[63] has over the decades resulted in a 95% loss of vision in this eye. Despite some comments to the contrary, Fury has not had the eye removed, nor bionically enhanced, and merely covers it with a cosmetic eye-patch to prevent depth perception distortion. He has explained that when needing to disguise himself, he only need remove the eyepatch, slip in a contact lens and darken his hair, as everyone always looks for a one-eyed man.[64]

Fury is a seasoned unarmed and armed combat expert, was a heavyweight boxer in the army (during World War II), and holds a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and a brown belt in Jiu Jitsu. He has honed his unarmed combat skills sparring with Captain America.

Fury is a combat veteran of three wars, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam Conflict, as well as numerous "military adviser" missions and clandestine operations ("a dozen conflicts you've never even heard of"). He is trained as a paratrooper, Ranger, a demolitions expert, vehicle specialist (including aircraft and seagoing vessels), and a Green Beret.

Fury has access to a wide variety of equipment and weaponry designed by S.H.I.E.L.D. technicians. He wears a S.H.I.E.L.D. uniform made of 9-ply Kevlar (able to withstand ballistic impact up to .45 caliber bullets) and a Beta cloth (type C), a fire-resistant material, which has a kindling temperature of 1,700 °F (930 °C).

Fury uses various types of handguns, including a .15 caliber needle gun, a government issue .45 caliber automatic, a captured German Luger in 9mm Parabellum, a modified semi-automatic Walther PPK in 9 mm Parabellum, and the Ingram MAC-10 machine pistol in .45 caliber.

As the director of S.H.I.E.L.D., Fury has access to the entire S.H.I.E.L.D. highly advanced arsenal of weaponry; various air, land, and sea craft provided by S.H.I.E.L.D.; and numerous S.H.I.E.L.D. paraphernalia, including a radio-link tie and a bulletproof suit. Due to his high-ranking status, even when S.H.I.E.L.D. is directed by Tony Stark, and then Norman Osborn, Fury retains access to several S.H.I.E.L.D. warehouses and paraphernalia that are unknown to anyone else but him.

Other versions[edit]

1602[edit]

In the 1602 miniseries, Nick Fury appears as Sir Nicholas Fury, Queen Elizabeth I's chief of intelligence. His character was modeled after Elizabeth's real-life spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham.[65]

Avataars[edit]

In the Avataars: Covenant of the Shield miniseries Nick Fury appears as Regent Nicholas, who watches over the throne of Avalon "with his elite guard as its shield."[66]

Back in the USSA[edit]

In the alternate history novel Back in the USSA by Eugene Byrne and Kim Newman, Fury is mentioned as being among a group of military officers hoping to take power from President J. R. Ewing after the collapse of the United Socialist States of America.

Deadpool" Merc with a Mouth[edit]

Deadpool visits a universe where the Wild West still exists and Nick Fury is the sheriff of a town there.[67]

Earth X[edit]

In the Earth X universe Nick Fury is dead. Several LMDs still exist and fight against Cold War-era communists such as the current leader of Russia, Piotr Rasputin. One attacks Piotr when he is meeting with Captain America's party.[68]

Fury[edit]

In the Marvel MAX-imprint miniseries Fury vol. 2, by writer Garth Ennis and penciller Darick Robertson, Fury is a burned-out Cold War veteran unable to cope with the modern world. He is swiftly drawn into a conflict with an old Hydra enemy and the new bureaucratic version of S.H.I.E.L.D. This version continues to appear in Ennis' Punisher series. Writer-editor Stan Lee, a co-creator of Nick Fury, was critical of the extreme violence and gore of this new series: "I don't know why they're doing that. I don't think that I would do those kinds of stories."[69] A 2012 sequel series followed Fury's involvement in 1960's anti-Communist military action, including Vietnam and Cuba.[70]

Fury: Peacemaker[edit]

A six-part miniseries, written by Ennis, was published in 2006 under the Marvel Knights imprint. It portrays a young Sergeant Fury during World War II, who learns the art of war in the deserts of North Africa with the newly formed British SAS and ultimately joins them on a mission to assassinate an important German general.[71]

"House of M"[edit]

In the alternate reality of the crossover story arc "House of M", Nick Fury has vanished some time ago. During the mutant purges of the armed forces (which involved outright executions of most of the human field-officers) Nick Fury is kept on as a subservient Drill Instructor, because his talents are too valuable. He makes an enemy of one of his soldiers, Earshot, who has the power to throw his voice with precision over long distances. Earshot uses this power to trick Nick Fury into a trap, seemingly killing him. It is hinted that the trap was actually planned by Wolverine, another of Fury's soldiers.[72]

Marvel Mangaverse[edit]

In the Marvel Mangaverse imprint, Nick Fury, the director of S.H.I.E.L.D., disappears for a time to mastermind the death of 99% of the superhuman population. He is assisted by that universe's Black Cat. It is said, by his mind-controlled victim, Sharon Carter, that the motivation for the superhero deaths is jealousy.

Marvel Zombies[edit]

Nick Fury organizes a resistance against the zombies but is eventually devoured by the zombified Fantastic Four on the Helicarrier. Shortly before he dies, Fury orders Thor to destroy the teleporter built by Tony Stark to prevent the Fantastic Four from escaping to other dimensions, effectively saving the multiverse.[73]

MC2[edit]

In the alternate reality known as the MC2 Universe, Nick Fury is alive and well and is still running S.H.I.E.L.D.[74]

Mutant X[edit]

In the alternate reality of the X-Men-related miniseries Mutant X, Fury leads S.H.I.E.L.D., an anti-mutant policing organization. It is corrupt, and brainwashes its personnel to violently hate all mutants.[75] Fury himself is an extreme megalomaniac, and kills his own men at the slightest questioning of his orders.[76]

The Transformers[edit]

Fury and Dum Dum Dugan appear in the alternate universe toy-license series The Transformers #3 (Jan. 1985).

Ultimate Nick Fury[edit]

Main article: Ultimate Nick Fury

In the Ultimate Marvel Universe, General Nick Fury is African American, with his look and personality tailored after actor Samuel L. Jackson. Jackson went on to play the live-action adaptation of Nick Fury within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

In other media[edit]

Collected editions[edit]

  • Marvel Masterworks: Sgt. Fury
    • Vol. 1 collects Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos #1-13, 320 pages, February 2006, ISBN 978-0785120391
    • Vol. 2 collects Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos #14-23 and Annual #1, 240 pages, June 2008, ISBN 978-0785129288
    • Vol. 3 collects Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos #24-32 and 'Annual #2, 224 pages, August 2010, ISBN 978-0785142126
  • Essential Sgt Fury Vol. 1 collects Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos #1-23 and Annual #1, 544 pages, November 2011, ISBN 978-0785163954
  • Son of Origins of Marvel Comics includes Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. story from Strange Tales #135, 249 pages, October 1975, ISBN 978-0671221669
  • Marvel Masterworks: Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
    • Vol. 1 collects Strange Tales #135-153, Tales of Suspense #78, and Fantastic Four #21, 288 pages, September 2007, ISBN 978-0785126867
    • Vol. 2 collects Strange Tales #154-168 and Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. #1-3, 272 pages, December 2009, ISBN 978-0785135036
    • Vol. 3 collects Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. #4-15, The Avengers #72, and Marvel Spotlight #31, 320 pages, December 2011, ISBN 978-0785150343
  • Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Classic Vol. 1 collects Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. vol. 3 #1-11, 272 pages, July 2012, ISBN 978-0785160649
  • Secret Warriors Vol. 1: Nick Fury Agent of Nothing collects Secret Warriors #1-6, 184 pages, September 2009, ISBN 978-0785139997

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ Sara Wayland (2010-04-19). "Samuel L. Jackson Talks Iron Man 2, Nick Fury, Captain America, Thor and The Avengers". Collider. Archived from the original on February 11, 2013. Retrieved 2010-04-23. 
  3. ^ Kit, Borys (February 25, 2009). "Jackson's Fury in flurry of Marvel films". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on February 11, 2013. Retrieved January 25, 2010. 
  4. ^ Larsuel, Kamal. "August 2005 Interview". Samuel L. Jackson Official Website. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved May 14, 2008. 
  5. ^ DeFalco, Tom; Gilbert, Laura, ed. (2008). "1960s". Marvel Chronicle A Year by Year History. Dorling Kindersley. p. 92. ISBN 978-0756641238. "Convinced that Marvel's personality-driven stories combined with action-orientated artwork could sell any type of comic, Stan Lee somehow persuaded publisher Martin Goodman to try yet another war comic." 
  6. ^ DeFalco "1960s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 109: "With Jack Kirby providing the artwork and more than a few wild ideas, Fury was made the director of the Supreme Headquarters, International Espionage, Law-Enforcement Division (SHIELD)."
  7. ^ "Stan Lee's Amazing Marvel Interview!". Alter Ego 3 (104): 21. August 2011; transcript of 2005 interview. 
  8. ^ Strange Tales #151 at the Grand Comics Database
  9. ^ DeFalco "1960s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 130: "Writer/artist Jim Steranko had begun to draw the 'Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD' [feature] in Strange Tales #151 and started writing it four issues later."
  10. ^ Les Daniels, in Comix: A History of Comic Books in America (Bonanza Books, New York, 1971; Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 75-169-104), wrote, "[E]ven the dullest of readers could sense that something new was happening. ... Which each passing issue Steranko's efforts became more and more innovative. Entire pages would be devoted to photocollages of drawings [that] ignored panel boundaries and instead worked together on planes of depth. The first pages ... became incredible production numbers similar in design to the San Francisco rock concert poster of the period". Larry Hama in his introduction to the trade paperback collection Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Who Is Scorpio? (Marvel Enterprises, 2001; ISBN 0-7851-0766-5), said Steranko "combined the figurative dynamism of Jack Kirby with modern design concepts. The graphic influences of Peter Max, Op Art and Andy Warhol were embedded into the design of the pages—and the pages were designed as a whole, not just as a series of panels. All this, executed in a crisp, hard-edged style, seething with drama and anatomical tension". The series won 1967 and 1968 Alley Awards, and was inducted in the latter year to the awards' Hall of Fame. Steranko himself was inducted into the Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2006.
  11. ^ Daniels, Les (1991). Marvel: Five Fabulous Decades of the World's Greatest Comics. Harry N. Abrams. p. 144. ISBN 9780810938212. "Perhaps the most innovative new talent to emerge at Marvel during the late 1960s was Jim Steranko, whose bold innovations in graphics, layout, and design startled the readers...Steranko transformed the look of the comic book page." 
  12. ^ Ross, Jonathan (July 20, 2010). "Jonathan Ross meets Jim Steranko, his comic-book hero". The Guardian. Archived from the original on February 21, 2013. Retrieved February 21, 2013. "His work on his first hit book, Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD, took the wildly popular Bond secret-agent schtick and gave it a jazzy makeover, with outlandish plots, eye-popping visuals and even 'adult themes' that had the Comics Code Authority demanding several panels in one landmark issue be redrawn." 
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External links[edit]