Nick Fury's Howling Commandos
|Nick Fury's Howling Commandos|
Promotional art for premiere-issue cover by Eduardo Francisco
|Group publication information|
|First appearance||Nick Fury's Howling Commandos #1 (December 2005)|
|Created by||Keith Giffen|
|Type of organization||Team|
The Living Mummy
Vampire by Night
Werewolf by Night
|Nick Fury's Howling Commandos|
|Series publication information|
|Publication date||December 2005 – May 2006|
|Number of issues||6|
Nick Fury's Howling Commandos was an American comic book series published by Marvel Comics. Running six issues before its cancellation and cover-dated December 2005 to May 2006, the series featured a fictional team set in the Marvel Universe, consisting of supernatural characters employed as a unit of the espionage agency S.H.I.E.L.D..
The title is a play on that of Marvel's World War II based series Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos. Although Marvel superspy hero Nick Fury is the title character, he only appeared in a cameo in the first issue.'
The group's official name was never established in the series' six issues, but was called the S.H.I.E.L.D. Paranormal Containment Unit in its single other appearance, in Blade vol. 3, #1 (Nov. 2006). The same issue established its nickname as the Howling Commandos.
Marvel returned to the concept in 2015 with Howling Commandos of S.H.I.E.L.D., a series canceled after six issues.
Written by Keith Giffen for its entire run, the series was launched with penciller Eduardo Francisco for its first two issues, followed by Dan Norton for issues #3, Derec Aucoin for #4-5 and Mike Norton for #6.
A powerful magician claiming to be the one true Merlin (one of many characters in the Marvel Universe to make this claim) escapes from a S.H.I.E.L.D. containment facility dubbed the Warehouse. He journeys to the United Kingdom, where he transforms the entire country into a fantasy realm. The Howling Commandos are charged with stopping him.
The team is headquartered in Area 13, a classified base run by S.H.I.E.L.D. for its supernatural black op program. It also serves as a research and development facility, specializing in the supernatural.
Some of the characters, including Brother Voodoo and Gorilla-Man, were pre-existing human characters from Marvel's superhero and supernatural comics. Others, such as Goom, Grogg and Groot, were monsters from pre-superhero Marvel science fiction/fantasy anthology comics of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Others were newly created or new versions of existing characters.
The seven primary characters are:
- Frank - Frank is an intelligent clone of the original Frankenstein's Monster. He has super strength and durability, as well as a healing factor.
- Gorilla-Man (Kenneth Hale) - Hale is a man trapped in a gorilla's body, granting him super human strength, stamina and dexterity as well as immortality. He is a member of the Agents of Atlas.
- The Living Mummy (N'Kantu) - N'Kantu is a human who is injected with a fluid causing him to be immortal, although he resembles a rotting corpse. He has super strength and durability.
- Clay Quartermain - Quartermain is the commanding officer of Area 13. He takes over in the first issue from Dum Dum Dugan. He is later killed by Doc Samson when he discovers Red Hulk's identity.
- Vampire by Night (Nina Price) - Price is a hybrid of vampire and werewolf.
- Warwolf (Vince Marcus) - Marcus is the field leader. He is a werewolf who can transform voluntarily whenever Mars is in the night sky.
- Zombie (John Doe) - Doe is depicted as having normal human-level intelligence, in contrast to other zombie characters in the Marvel universe.
The main antagonists are:
- Merlin - Merlin is one of many magicians in the Marvel universe claiming to be the true Merlin.
- Tilesti of the Folk is a Faerie and Merlin's second-in-command
Supporting characters include:
- Bradley Beemer - Beemer is Area 13's Tech Chief and in charge of research and development.
- Brother Voodoo (Jericho Drumm) - Drumm is a master of voodoo magic. He is later killed when the Eye of Agamotto is destroyed.
- Glob (Joseph Timms) - Timms is a reanimated corpse that has superhuman strength, stamina and durability.
- Grogg - Grogg is a winged dragon that can shoot flames from his nostrils. He is used as the team's transportation.
- Groot - Groot is a sentient tree. He is has super strength and durability and he is able to animate and control plant life. He later became a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy.
- Hellstorm (Daimon Hellstrom) - Hellstrom has mystical powers due to being half demon. He is currently a member of HYDRA's Department of Occult Armaments and is one of the Hell-Lords.
- Lilith - Lilith is the daughter of Dracula and possesses vampire powers. However, she is immune to sunlight and can not be permanently killed while her father is alive.
- Buzz McMahon - McMahon is a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent that pilots Grogg.
- Werewolf by Night (Jacob Russoff) - Russoff's lycanthropy gives him superhuman speed, strength, agility as well as sharpened senses and a healing factor. He only appears in issue #1, the Director's Cut.
Other characters include:
- Abominable Snowman - This Abominable Snowman is described as the actual folkloric Abominable Snowman and not specifically connected to other Marvel characters named Abominable Snowman.
- Dragoom - Dragoom is an alien who has a plasma form and the ability to control fire. He joins the team in issue #6.
- Goom - Goom is an alien from Planet X first appearing in "pre-superhero Marvel". He is seen briefly at the beginning of issue #3.
- Gorgolla - Gorgolla's body is made of living granite, giving him super strength and near invulnerability. He also has wings that allow him to fly.
- It the Living Colossus - It is a living statue, capable of flight and nearly invulnerable.
- Manphibian - Manphibian is a member of an amphibious race, with superhuman strength and razor-sharp claws.
- Joshua Pryce - Pryce has magical abilities. He joins the team in issue #6.
- Sasquatch - This Sasquatch is described in issue #2 as the actual folkloric Sasquatch, and not specifically connected to the superhero Sasquatch (Walter Langkowski) or to the race of Sasquatches revealed in the series Alpha Flight vol. 2.
In other media
- Nick Fury's Howling Commandos appear in the Ultimate Spider-Man episodes "Blade" and "The Howling Commandos." It consists of Frankenstein's Monster, Werewolf by Night, N'Kantu, the Living Mummy, Man-Thing, and an additional but mostly unseen member Max the Invisible Man. Nick Fury's Howling Commandos worked with Blade (later revealed to be a former member) and Spider-Man into recovering Tekamentep's Ankh from Dracula. Afterwards, N'Kantu the Living Mummy later turns rogue after acquiring Tekamentep's Ankh which restored him to life and power so that he can get even with Nick Fury (who N'Kantu claimed to have the Howling Commandos as part of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s "collection of freaks"). N'Kantu is taken down by the combined efforts of his former teammates and Spider-Man's team. With help from a giant-sized Man-Thing, Spider-Man uses Blade's sword to cut Tekamentep's Anhk from around N'Kantu' neck which regresses N'Kantu back to his mummy form. Following the battle, Spider-Man ends up feeling the presence of Max the Invisible Man (who the Howling Commandos had put in charge of watching over Aunt May's house).
- Nick Fury's Howling Commandos appear in the Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. episode "Hulking Commandos." It consists of Blade, Frankenstein's Monster, Werewolf by Night, N'Kantu the Living Mummy, and Man-Thing. On Halloween, the Howling Commandos have been enlisted by Nick Fury to hunt down the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. while they were trick-or-treating in Salem, Massachusetts. The Howling Commandos end up helping the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. fight Dormammu and the Mindless Ones at the time when Dormammu was targeting a magical hourglass with the powers of order and chaos that is held at the Salem Museum. In the episode "Days of Future Smash: Dracula," Hulk pursues Leader to 1890 during the Victorian era where he manages to put together the Howling Commandos with Frankenstein's Monster, N'Kantu the Living Mummy, and Werewolf by Night's grandfather to thwart Dracula and Leader's plans to blanket the Earth in darkness with their Gamma Furnace. In the episode "Planet Monster" Pt. 2, the Howling Commandos are among the superheroes that help the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. and the Avengers fight the forces of the Supreme Intelligence.
- Review Nick Fury's Howling Commandos #1 at ComicCritique.com
- 'Nick Fury's Howling Commandos' at the Grand Comics Database
- 'Nick Fury's Howling Commandos' at the Comic Book DB
- Nick Fury's Howling Commandos at the Unofficial Handbook of Marvel Comics Creators