Ultimate Nick Fury
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (August 2010)|
Cover of Ultimates Annual #1
|First appearance||Ultimate Marvel Team-Up #5 (August 2001)|
|Created by||Brian Michael Bendis
(based upon the original character by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby)
|Full name||Nicholas Joseph "Nick" Fury|
United States Army
|Notable aliases||One-Eye Eagle|
Slowed or halted aging from the Infinity Formula
Skilled and experienced soldier
Skilled with many weapons and fighting techniques
Superhuman strength, speed, and agility
General Nicholas Joseph "Nick" Fury is a fictional character first published by Marvel Comics. Originally an Italian American colonel with graying brown hair, Nick Fury was redesigned to look like actor Samuel L. Jackson with his permission, who went on to portray Fury in several Marvel movies set in the established Marvel Cinematic Universe, such as a brief post-credits scenes in Iron Man and Thor, two scenes in Captain America: The First Avenger, and in a supporting role in Iron Man 2. Most recently, Jackson played Fury in The Avengers, a film which featured the character as a protagonist. Fury has a substantial presence in all the Ultimate Marvel comics, appearing first in Ultimate Marvel Team-Up and Ultimate X-Men and later reappearing regularly in Ultimate Spider-Man and finally securing a regular, recurring role as the General of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the leader of the Ultimates, a re-imagining of the Avengers.
When Nick Fury first made his appearance in the Ultimate Universe, he had a vastly different design, resembling more the original mainstream version with notable differences, featuring a full head of close-cropped hair, a clean-shaven, younger appearance (particularly as depicted in Ultimate Marvel Team-Up) and less visible scarring around his eye-patch, not to mention lacking a specific resemblance to any actor. He wore seemingly normal clothing which integrated outlandishly high-tech capabilities such as phasing, invisibility, and "para-shoes" that allow him to descend hundreds of feet without the aid of a parachute (shown to be capable of flight in later issues).
When the character resurfaced in 2002 in The Ultimates, he had been redesigned to look like actor Samuel L. Jackson. Jackson did not originally give his consent for Marvel Comics to use his likeness in their redesign of the Fury character for The Ultimates, and first appeared with this revised look in The Ultimates #1, as drawn by Bryan Hitch. The similarity is even noted within the comic itself, in a scene in which the Ultimates discuss who they think should play each of them in a hypothetical movie about the team. Fury's answer for himself is "Mr. Samuel L. Jackson, of course, no discussion." It was only after seeing the redesigned Nick Fury in the first issue of The Ultimates that Samuel L. Jackson learned of the use of his likeness and contacted Marvel in order to secure the role of Nick Fury in any future movies which will feature the character.
In The Mighty Avengers #13, Nick Fury (of the Earth-616 universe) uses a disguise that is similar in appearance to Ultimate Fury. This receives comment from Daisy Johnson as "his worst disguise ever." Conversely, in Ultimate Mystery, it is the Ultimate version of the character who disguises himself, resembling his Earth-616 counterpart and gets the same comment. In the mainstream event of Battle Scars, it is revealed that the 616 Fury fathered a child with an African-American woman named Nia Jones. His child went under the alias "Marcus Johnson", but his real name is Nick Fury, Jr.. Fury Jr. closely resembles the Ultimate version of Fury. When the original Nick Fury decided to retire as director of S.H.I.E.L.D., the mantle was handed onto Fury Jr., who had recently lost his left eye and took to wearing an eyepatch. This introduction was made to attract fans of Jackson's portrayal of the character in The Avengers.
Fictional character biography
Nicholas Fury fought for the United States in World War II. During the invasion of Sicily, he, along with Private Fisk and Canadian paratrooper Corporal Howlett, attempted to loot a house. American military police arrived to arrest them, and all three were subdued. Fisk was grazed by a bullet, while Fury was imprisoned in an unknown location alongside several other black men, and Howlett, despite protests that he was Canadian, was also shipped to an unknown location. Fury was selected to be the next test subject for Project: Rebirth, as his blood work most closely matched that of Subject #22, the most successful of the previous test subjects. He was injected with a serum that gave him super-strength, which he used to free himself and the other prisoners, who then escaped. The scientists who were working on him let him escape, deciding that they have all the information that they needed for now.
After attending college in India, Fury enlisted in the U.S. military, where he was deployed into various conflicts such as the Kosovo Wars. He was later assigned to S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Weapon X program in the original Gulf War. While transporting Wolverine in his adamantium cage, an Iraqi guerrilla ambush killed his team and inadvertently freed Wolverine from his prison. After slaughtering the Iraqi guards, Wolverine discovered Fury, the only survivor of the ambush, and transported him back through the desert to the Allied forces. Although Wolverine was summarily subdued and re-imprisoned by his handlers, a bond between the two men was formed. The next day, Fury, already mostly healed, is confronted by General Thaddeus Ross. The General had discovered much was unusual about Fury and questioned him at length, prompting him to reexamine where he was going in life.
Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Ultimates
Years later, the X-Men were abducted and imprisoned by the Weapon X program. This program was overseen at the time by Wraith, who had previously staged a coup against General Ross. This coup had prevented Ross from dismantling the Weapon X program altogether. Wolverine, the only X-Man who eludes capture, later asks Fury for help in freeing the other X-Men and bringing down the Weapon X program. During the operation, which also involves the Brotherhood of Mutants, Wraith was about to kill one of the X-Men and is shot dead by Fury.
Fury is summarily promoted to General and resumes the duties of the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. He was tasked with forming a team to battle posthuman threats and resurrecting the Super-Soldier program, two objectives that resulted in the formation of the Ultimates. Fury operates as the commander of the team, at times leading them into action, though he often shares duties with the revived World War II Captain America. Nick Fury is also responsible for monitoring posthumans who are not affiliated with the U.S. Military, including Peter Parker and the X-Men.
Nick Fury has also been involved in the Ultimate Spider-Man comics. In them, he meets Peter after Norman Osborn returns. He states that S.H.I.E.L.D. was able to figure out who Peter was because of the security shots of the OZ Spider biting Peter, as well as Dr. Octopus screaming that Peter Parker is Spider-Man while in jail. Nick Fury has been watching Peter and informs him that, due to his illegal genetically altered status, he will become the property of S.H.I.E.L.D. when he turns eighteen. Although Fury wants him to be part of the Ultimates, this may have changed because the Ultimates broke apart. Peter and Fury's relationship became strained after the Hobgoblin arc. Peter punches Fury for ignoring his questions for why Harry became the Hobgoblin. At that point, Fury told one of his scientists that he wanted to know everything about OZ and that it was time for Peter Parker to lose his spider powers. This follows on to the Ultimate Clone Saga, in which it is revealed by Fury that the Tinkerer's Spider-Slayers were developed to handle Peter if and when he ever went insane. Mary Jane Watson, upon discovering Fury's intentions, tells him that Peter looks up to him like a father. This convinced Fury to let Peter keep his powers, and he apologises to Peter, stating that in his line of work he's been trained to expect someone in Peter's position to crack under stress.
Fury was judged to be at least partially responsible for the devastation of much of Earth-31916 along with Emil Burbank. Burbank had sought a means to defeat the Hyperion of that universe. An alien organism, unleashed in an attempt to achieve this, spread throughout the United States, causing widespread devastation. A probe sent by Reed Richards provided evidence that an "invasion from another universe" was responsible. The Squadron Supreme was dispatched to the Ultimate Universe in order to arrest Richards so that he could stand trial for his "crimes". A lengthy battle ensued between the Squadron on one side and the Ultimates, Spider-Man, the X-Men, and the Fantastic Four on the other. Richards, believing himself to be responsible when the Squadron produced his probe as evidence, surrendered himself. Fury was unwilling to accept this and convinced Thor to create a bridge to Earth-31916, through which the Helicarrier was able to travel. Once there, another battle between the Squadron and the Ultimate Universe heroes began. Spider-Man learns that Fury had an ulterior motive - the retrieval of the probes and their data, and had conspired with Doctor Doom to do so. In addition, Fury had brought insurance in the form of the Hulk. It took the combined power of the Ultimate Universe heroes, the Earth-31916 Squadron Supreme, and their counterparts from Earth-712 to defeat the Hulk, but Doom had proven to be simply a Doombot. To stop the fighting, the Ultimates agreed to turn over Fury to the Earth-31916 Squadron and to allow Power Princess to return with them to their universe. Fury tries to convince them that they are making a mistake, but his pleas are ignored.
Fury is seen still stranded in Earth-31916 in Squadron Supreme (Vol. 2) #1. He has apparently fulfilled the prophecy made by Hyperion in Ultimate Power #9: "Given the strength of our military industrial complex, Fury would have risen here to even greater heights than your homeworld." 
Fury returns to the Ultimate Universe in Ultimatum #4 and is instrumental in defeating Magneto. Jean Grey telepathically relays the information discovered by Fury in Ultimate Origins that mutants are not the next stage in human evolution, but are in fact the result of experimentation done by humans. This revelation causes Magneto to reverse the damage done to the Earth's magnetic poles.
Following the events of Ultimatum, Fury is informed by Hawkeye about how Captain America discovered the secret of the Red Skull. Fury asks head of S.H.I.E.L.D. Carol Danvers for permission to start up a "death squad" in order to catch the Red Skull and Cap, which he then carries out with the help of Hawkeye, Gregory Stark, and the rest of the Ultimate Avengers.
In Ultimate Comics: Avengers Fury returned to S.H.I.E.L.D. again. After learning that Captain America went rogue after discovering that the Red Skull was his biological son, Fury re-activated "Project Avenger" and recruited a team of questionable super humans to find Captain America. Following Captain America's capture, Fury briefed the Avengers of AIM's purpose of creating the Cosmic Cube to build their visioned utopia and readied his team to thwart the organization's plans.
Fury guided his team of Avengers from headquarters, with the secret intent to go ahead with "Plan B", which is detonate a nuclear warhead that was built into War Machines armor by Gregory Stark in case the mission failed.
Captain America managed to arrive at the location of the battle between the Red Skull and the Avengers and teleported the jet to the exact location where the Skull was standing, impaling him through the chest with one of the rods that protrudes from its nose. The Red Skull was taken to a hospital and kept alive long enough for Gail, his mother, to say her goodbyes. Skull explained to Fury that all he wanted to do with the Cosmic Cube was turn back time and prevent his father, Steve Rogers, from being lost during the war so that he could grow up with him and lead a normal life, rather than the one he was given. Petra, dressed as a doctor, then entered the room and shot Red Skull in the head, killing him.
A short time later, Fury is fixing his damaged prosthetic arm while speaking with Gregory Stark. Gregory concludes that it was in fact Fury himself who hired the Red Skull to come out of retirement, in some sort of plot to resurrect Project Avengers, securing him a position in S.H.I.E.L.D.'s employment and eventually regaining his old title as Director. Fury told him that was how he got the job the first time, and expects the same outcome this time as well. Fury and his Avengers later faced threats from the Ghost Rider and a vampiric menace.
In "Ultimate Enemy", approximately six months after Ultimatum, Fury is Black OPS and is "Off the Grid". He was enjoying a meal while under cover when the restaurant he was at was attacked by a creature with energy powers. Fury manages to hold the creature at bay until Spider-Man and Human Torch arrive at the scene to investigate. The creature vanishes after a short battle with the three of them. Peter is surprised to see Fury alive, as he has not seen him for months.
Nick breaks into the Triskelion and confronts Carol Danvers in the ladies' room and points a gun to her head, exclaiming that she is the only person who knew he was alive and would have motive to have him killed. The two fight before being interrupted by a female S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, informing Danvers that an attack has been made in Queens, which Fury knows is where the Parker residence is located. Simultaneously, the two order a Battalion of Hulkbuster agents to get to Queens to intercept the attacker, but their efforts fail and Peter is killed by the Goblin.
Attempting to atone for his mistakes with Peter, Fury has taken on a more direct mentor role for new Spider-Man Miles Morales.
When the Peter Parker of Earth-616 is sent to the Ultimate Universe, Fury interrogates him for information about his presence in this universe, accepting Peter's story that he came from another universe as nobody would come up with something that insane as a lie. Peter also notes that Ultimate Nick Fury is a lot cooler than the version he knows. Attempting to atone for his mistakes with his Peter, Fury allows the other Peter to visit his counterpart's family, and is satisfied when Peter gives Miles his blessing to become that world's new Spider-Man.
Taking on HYDRA, Formation of the Howling Commandos
Nick joined HYDRA using a bio-camouflage to change his appearance under the name of "Scorpio" (resembling his classic mainstream look), stating that his motivations were to destroy the government that took everything away from him, although he still had a different agenda apart from Hydra's. The Ultimates managed to track him and tried to capture him, believing he was the traitor who provided Hydra with S.H.I.E.L.D. weapons. During an attack to Hydra's Death's Head camp, it was revealed Nick Fury was trying to destroy Hydra from the inside, while the S.H.I.E.L.D. traitor was actually Hydra leader Commander Crimson. Crimson used an Infinity Gem to battle her enemies, until a burst of energy made her disappear along the artifact.
In the aftermath of the battle, Nick told Monica Chang he was planning to create his own team, the Howling Commandos to battle Hydra the way the Ultimates couldn't, along ex-Hydra agent Abigail Brand. Before leaving, Chang told Fury he would be under her supervision.
Abilities and technologies
General Fury, like mainstream Colonel Fury, is an active physical man despite being over 80 years of age. Initially, General Fury was not shown to use the Infinity Formula or other physical enhancements that the Nick Fury of the mainstream Marvel Universe possessed. However General Fury was later revealed to have served during World War II and was a test subject of the Super Soldier program (albeit as an unwilling participant). In this reality, the Super Soldier serum not only gave Fury low level super-human strength and agility but has also reduced his aging, allowing Fury to continue to be active despite his advanced chronological age.
General Fury has had his right arm replaced with a cybernetic arm that gives him even greater strength than his enhanced biological original. The exact level of his cybernetic arm has not been specifically revealed. Unlike mainstream Colonel Fury who retains his injured eye despite being legally blind in it with a 95% vision loss, General Fury has actually lost his left eye. The skin around the left eye-socket is shown to be badly scarred, extending beyond the eye patch.
General Fury is an exceptional combatant and strategist and a gifted field leader. In his earliest appearances, he operated with technology years ahead of traditional forces, including the latest experimental weaponry, and some form of projected invisibility and the ability to walk through solid matter. These powers have very limited windows due to massive expense for any moment of "uptime"; costs for these run to the millions for less than a minute of use. He once used a chewing gum that was programmed to explode after 200 chews. The number of instances in which Fury uses these technologies has decreased since The Ultimates #1, and Fury is shown to primarily use conventional firearms.
While General Fury was Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. he was constantly monitored and shadowed by dozens of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and all known observation technologies. After leaving S.H.I.E.L.D., Fury has shown that he knows how to elude all such monitoring devices to the point that he was able to enter the S.H.I.E.L.D helicarrier and attack the current Director Danvers.
In other media
- Ultimate Spider-Man #101
- Ultimate X-Men Vol. 1 HC
- Larsuel, Kamal. "Copyright Kamal Larsuel, 2005". Samuel L. Jackson Official Website. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2008-05-14.
- Battle Scars #1
- Ultimate Origins #1 (2008)
- Ultimate Origins #2 (2008)
- Ultimate X-Men: Return to Weapon X
- Ultimate Origins #3 (2008)
- Ultimates #1
- Ultiamte Spider-Man #100
- Ultimate Power #1-9
- SQUADRON SUPREME 2 #1 - Marvel Comics Publishing Catalog
- Ultimatum #4-5
- Ultimate Comics: Avengers #1
- Ultiamte Avengers #1-5
- Ultimate Comics: Avengers #6
- Ultimate Comics: Avengers 2 #1-6
- Ultimate Comics: Avengers 3 #1-6
- Ultimate Enemy #1
- Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man #160
- Spider-Men #2
- Spider-Men #4
- Spider-Men #5
- Ultimate Comics: Ultimates #20
- Ultimate Comics: Ultimates #21
- Ultimate Origins #2 (2008)
- Ultimates 2 #7