March 7, 2010

Marvel Snapshot: Character Spotlight: Nick Fury

Welcome back to Marvel Snapshot everybody! This week we’re starting a new format that’s going to be sticking around for a while, as the column will be a “snapshot” or spotlight on a certain hero or villain in the Marvel U. I’ll be talking a little bit about the history of the character and also what they’re up to in current continuity. We’re going to start off with one of my favorites and I’m sure yours too, super-spy extraordinaire, Nick Fury!

For those of you who don’t know him (I hope you’re DC loyalists), you’ll be fascinated to learn of his humble beginnings as a youth in the Hells Kitchen neighborhood of New York City. He was the first of three children born to a pilot, Jack Fury, from the U.K.’s Royal Flying Corps and an unnamed woman. His younger brother would grow up to become one of his deadliest foes, Scorpio. Fury joined the military and progressed through the ranks fast enough that in WWII, he commanded his own unit dubbed, The Howling Commando’s. This special unit took on extra special missions that nobody else could come back alive from. He and his team (Dum Dum Dugan, Pinky Pinkerton, etc.) also helped Captain America and Bucky on a few occasions. Toward the end of the war, Fury was badly injured by a landmine and is then used as a test subject for the Infinity Formula. After his recovery, Fury later learned of his unwilling part of the experiment. He is then told if he doesn’t receive regular injections of this formula, he’ll age rapidly and die.

Eventually he joined the O.S.S., which later became the C.I.A. and he developed into a spy. While doing his thing in Korea, he earned the rank of Colonel. He also suggested to the C.I.A. that they use Richard and Mary Parker (Spider-Man’s parents) as spies. Fury also worked as a liaison between the government and super-powered people like the Fantastic Four. During this time, Fury donned his trade-marked eye-patch as well. Fury eventually was recruited by Tony Stark into Shield. He immediately became second in command of the entire organization. After a major security breach however, Fury decided to disband the organization only to rebuild it from the ground up by himself. This was when the acronym S.H.I.E.L.D. first came into play. For those of you who don’t know, it stands for, Strategic-Hazard-Intervention-Espionage-Logistics-Directorate.

Some time later, Fury enlisted Captain America, Spider-Man, Luke Cage, Wolverine, Daredevil, and Black Widow to go to Latveria on a secret mission to take out Lucia von Bardas. This mission was not authorized by the U.N. or the American Government, so when one year later Latveria counter-attacked, Fury was fired as head of S.H.I.E.L.D. and international warrants were issued for his arrest. Fury went underground and disappeared as only he could, and he started to realize something was seriously wrong with the government. He shacked up with Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, but soon realized she’s working for someone behind his back and plotting to kill him after she gets what she wants. He follows her and learned that she is a Skrull spy. It took him all of two seconds to put a bullet in her head and then he goes even farther underground to start a new team that he knows he can trust. “If all the apples are rotten in a barrel, you pick them off the tree,”- A line from the film, The Untouchables, that is very apropos.

This is the beginning of his newest project, The Secret Warriors. This team led by Fury himself, is a rag-tag group that is lacking in experience but certainly not power or skill. The team consists of (right now), former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Daisy Johnson, Phobos-the ten year old son of Ares, YoYo-a misunderstood speedster, Hellfire- a dude with supernatural powers, and Stonewall- a young guy with super-strength. This new team makes their debut in the final battle with the Skrulls during Secret Invasion. After that, they go back underground for more of Fury’s specialized training. During Norman Osborn’s Dark Reign,  the team is called upon to fight the Thunderbolts. After this though, Fury and Norman form an uneasy alliance to interrogate a H.A.M.M.E.R. agent with information. After learning the info they need, Fury bolts and then tells his team that an organization called “Leviathan” has infiltrated the worlds governments and he needs to stop them.

This is about right where Colonel Fury is in current continuity. He’s leading a team of kids into battle after battle, not knowing if they’ll survive. But that’s what he does, the impossible. He is America’s James Bond, a war hero, a strategic genius and quite a lover too. I like this character for many reasons. Mostly though, it’s because he’s usually one step ahead of everybody else. Fury has ties to just about everyone on Earth and then some. He’s used every cool weapon, is physically a match for Captain America, and just like a cockroach, doesn’t seem to know how to die.

The upcoming issue titled “Shield”, due out in April, will supposedly show a different origin for S.H.I.E.L.D. Instead of the agency being started in the 1960’s, it will reveal that it has been operating for hundreds of years. This will be a 6 issue limited series starting in April but one thing I noticed that was puzzling me was that there was no solicit for issue #2 in the May previews book (#79). Hopefully it’s a mis-print or it’s going to be every other month. The series is being written by Jonathan Hickman (Fantastic Four, Secret Warriors), so it’s in good hands. Well, that’s it for now but hopefully this new series will answer several burning questions like…When did S.H.I.E.L.D. originally begin? Is the “real” Nick Fury just a Life-Model-Decoy? Is Pinky Pinkerton light in the loafers? Let’s cross our fingers and pray that Marvel will gives us these answers!

Lite in the loafers?

Serious Pimp?

Please leave comments about your favorite Nick Fury moment. I know I have several but I’ll hold mine until things get flowing. See you next week for another exciting peek into someones profile!

Billy Dunleavy

Source Material
The comics (Marvel Database)



  1. Nick Fury’s the man!!

  2. billy

    @Andy-He’s always been one of my favs. He to me, is more of the Marvel version of Batman than most. Obviously due to his lack of super-powers.

  3. Eli

    Awesome Billy!

    I always thought of Fury as a loser of a character. I stayed away from anything with his name on it. Then I happened upon Marvel 1602. I know its a strange place for it to happen, but it was in that book that I saw just how undeniably cool and bad@$$ Fury is.

    @Billy – Yeah, I’d say he’s pretty close to the Marvel equivalent of Batman. He’s always a step or two ahead of everyone else it seems.

  4. infinite speech

    I’m not a HUGE Fury fan but I will say he gets the job done regardless of what anyone else says or thinks and the fact that he usually is a step or 5 ahead makes him pretty unpredictable as well. Good one Billy as long as it wasn’t Strange i’m cool lol

  5. billy

    @Eli-I must say that 1602 is one of my favorite reads. I don’t think it gets enough notoriety in the comic community or the non-comic community. It’s awesome!
    @Speech-Just for you and Andy, next week is officially Dr. Strange week! lol…just kidding…maybe 😉

  6. infinite speech

    I wonder how good my articles will come out if I keep my eyes closed? lol

  7. billy

    Great article! I like the new format!

  8. […] back to another great character spotlight here on Marvel Snapshot. If you didn’t catch last weeks column, you might be a little lost with this new format so I suggest going back over that one to get […]

  9. […] does involve war in some respect. Lovece himself writes an article centered around Marvel’s Sgt. Fury comic, discussing the characters, the creators, and the general aesthetic of the comic and the […]

  10. Eli

    OK, just read Secret War. I gotta say that Fury is about the baddest man in Marvel or DC. He really is like Marvel’s Batman.

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