Nicholas Joseph Fury (Nick Fury)

nickfuryfilmIn this week’s episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.0-8-4, there was quite a juicy cameo at the end: Director Nick Fury himself, portrayed as always by Samuel L. Jackson. This version of the character has been the emincence grise of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe since its beginning, appearing in the post-credit scene of Iron Man and moving the strings from behind the curtains in every movie after, until he founded the Avengers in the crossover. He’s set to appear again in the upcoming Captain America: The Winter Soldier and also in Avengers: Age of Ultron, always as the grumpy S.H.I.E.L.D. on-field director. The character however had a previous live-action incarnation, and he appeared in Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. portrayed by David Hasselhoff: in the tv-movie, he was a retired spy called back in action when the daughter of an old enemy of his, Baron Strucker, threatened the entire world with a deadly toxin. Let’s see together who in the comics is Nick Fury.

Nicholas Joseph Fury was born the elder son of Jack Fury, an American pilot who fought in the British Army during War World I. When his mother Katherine died, Nick was raised along with his brother Jacob and his sister Dawn by his stepmother. Soon after, also Jack died, and Nick started living on his own in the streets of Hell’s Kitchen, in the New York City of the Depression Era. Nick was quite a troublesome kid, but he managed to focus his aggressiveness in the boxing ring, and he soon became renowned in the neighborhood because of his hook. Along with his childhood friend Red Hardgrove, Fury joined the Army, and he learnt about his father’s heroic military career. He and nickfurycomics1Red caught the attention of Lt. Sawyer, who enlisted them for a secret mission in Holland, to escort a former Nazi scientist in the US. Durign the mission, Fury, Sawyer and Hardgrove were helped by the man who would have become Nick’s best friend, the strongman Dum Dum Dugan, who followed them in the Army. After the mission, both Nick and Red were stationed in Pearl Harbor, and, during the Japanese attack, Red got killed. Eager to avenge his friend, Nick became a commando, and, again under Sawyer’s command, he was given the lead of the First Attack Squad, later nicknamed the Howling Commandos. A very special task force put together by Fury himself, the Commandos fought alongside heroes like Captain America and the Invaders against the Axis’ most fearsome villains, such as Red Skull or Baron Zemo, always succeeding in missions other teams would have believed to be impossible. Among the many enemies Fury met, one started a personal grudge against him, which would have led to a century-long vendetta: it was Baron Wolfgang Von Strucker, a Nazi criminal who would have become Fury’s nemesis. He also met the first and truest love of his life, Lady Pamela Hawley, who was working in the Red Cross during the war. Fury was determined to marry her, but Pamela died tragically during a German bombardment, thus making Nick’s will to eradicate Nazism even stronger. It was always during the war that Fury lost his left eye, due to a grenade blast.

At the end of the war, a landmine almost costed Fury his life: the sergeant was saved by a French scientist, Berthold Sternberg, who injected him with the Infinity Formula (a personal redesign of the Forever Compound created by Isaac Newton for the Brotherhood of the Shield). The Formula saved Fury’s life, and had also the “counter effect” of slowing down his aging process: thus, Fury was able to live years with the physical appearance of his younger self, but he was also condemned to see many friends age and die before him. When the war ended, Fury was enlisted by Colonel Tom Lynaugh in the newborn CIA, where he soon developed nickfurycomics2quite a skill for espionage. He also participated to the war in Korea, where he met again some of his old comrades in arms from the Commandos and was promoted Colonel on the field. It was in these years that Fury was offered by Tony Stark the directorship of the newly formed Supreme Headquarters International Espionage Law-enforcement Division, aka S.H.I.E.L.D., an international espionage organization which would have dealt with menaces far too dangerous or delicate for a country alone. Fury accepted, and enlisted his fellow Commandos Dum Dum Dugan and Gabe Jones as his personal assistants. While Fury was giving birth to S.H.I.E.L.D., Baron Von Strucker became Supreme Hydra, the leader of the infamous Nazi scientific organization HYDRA. While the world powers were fighting the Cold War, S.H.I.E.L.D. faced HYDRA on numerous occasions, until an apparent defeat of the latter, which involved the complete destruction of their island. After that, Fury led S.H.I.E.L.D. in many crisis, fighting against Zodiac (which was led by his criminal brother, Jacob), against alien invasions, deranged gods (namely Loki) and many other natural or supernatural beings. Under Fury’s command, S.H.I.E.L.D. always supported the superhero community, knowing that, in case of emergency, superhuman beings were the first and most effective resource against a kind of evil more and more dangerous than in the War times.

Nick Fury is easily the greatest tactical mind in the world, an extremely proficient spy and a natural leader. Extremely well trained in both armed and unarmed combat, brilliant and cold-minded, the Colonel is famous for his decades-lasting plans, that conceal one another in a spiral which only Fury can fully understand. The Infinity Formula allows him to look like a man in his forties, despite being nearly a century old. This long life span allowed Fury to accumulate quite an experience, and he always knows how to move even in the most desperate situations; however, it also made Nick completely alone, with friends and lovers aging and dying, with only a few such as Captain America or Wolverine able to understand him: this progressively made him even colder and detached from anything similar to human compassion.

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53 Comments

  1. […] was eventually a success, Stoner requested a meeting with the Commandos’ on-field leader, Sgt. Nick Fury, to speak with him about the absurd ways he and his team led missions. The meeting didn’t go […]

  2. […] film, she’s a S.H.I.E.L.D. operative who had neural implants to develop ESP powers, who joins Nick Fury and Alexander Pierce in the final assault against Hydra forces. She’s also the one who reads […]

  3. […] much more sinister), and years later, when he finished his job with the G-Men, he was contacted by Nick Fury who wanted him as part of his S.H.I.E.L.D., the ultimate espionage agency. Jimmy accepted the […]


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