- —Nick Fury[src]
The eldest of three children, Nicholas Joseph Fury grew up in Depression-era New York City with his brother Jacob and sister Dawn. Fury's mother died while he was very young and his father Jack Fury, an American pilot who joined the British war effort during World War I, remarried and the children were raised by his stepmother in lieu of Jack Fury's own early death. It wouldn't be until Nick Fury became a soldier himself overseas that he would learn of his father's military service. Living in the tough streets of Hell's Kitchen, Fury soon became fast friends with Red Hargrove, whom he helped keep out of trouble. Fury himself was no stranger to trouble, but more than often confined it to the boxing ring where he would bout, or in the Police Athletic League where he became one of the finest marksman.
Nick Fury and Hargrove caught the eye of Lt. "Happy Sam" Sawyer who enlisted them for a special mission in Holland. On this mission Fury made the acquaintance of his future life-long friend, the circus strongman Timothy "Dum Dum" Dugan. Seeing the Nazi menace firsthand, Hargrove was moved to say he would enlist, and Fury said he would follow him. However Fury didn't enlist until 1941, where he received nine weeks of basic training at Fort Dix without Red Hargrove, hoping to ride out the wave of unemployment in the States. Eventually Fury reunited with Hargrove, both getting stationed at Pearl Harbor.
Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Fury was spurred on by the death of Hargrove during the attack to join the U.S. Rangers, and was eventually recruited and reunited with Captain Sawyer who assigned him command of the First Attack Squad; aka the "Howling Commandos," a specially-trained band of soldiers who undertook some of the most dangerous missions of the war. Together with Dum Dum Dugan as his second in command, Fury led Gabe Jones, Robert "Reb" Ralston, Dino Manelli, Izzy Cohen and Jonathan Juniper, as well as their later additions Percival Pinkerton and Eric Koenig against the likes of Red Skull, Baron Heinrich Zemo, and other Axis villains, fighting alongside such war heroes as Captain America and Bucky. As leader of the Howling Commandos, Fury struck blow after blow against the Nazis and their allies through missions that ranged from deep infiltration missions behind enemy lines to undercover work and even some home front action. It was during one of these missions that he first met John Richards, the grandfather of Reed Richards, who would go on to become Mister Fantastic, leader of the Fantastic Four.
During the war, Fury also first crossed paths with his most dangerous foe, Baron Wolfgang Von Strucker. Strucker's humiliating defeats at the hands of Fury would drive Strucker to devote a lifetime seeking revenge. Among the formative events during this period of his life included the friendships made with Dum Dum Dugan and Gabe Jones (both of whom would follow him into S.H.I.E.L.D.), and fighting alongside fellow war hero Captain America. Also during the war, Fury met Lady Pamela Hawley, who would become his first (and some say only true) love. Tragically she died before Fury was able to propose marriage to her. During his relationship with Hawley, they crossed paths with Doctor Strange in a taste of his future strange and extraordinary adventures. During the war Fury and his Commandos faced super-powered menaces that included vampires and other-dimensional beings.
Two serious injuries sustained during this time would have a serious impact in his later life: a grenade blast that began the slow deterioration of his sight in his left eye, and a landmine accident that led to Fury being inoculated with the Infinity Formula by Professor Berthold Sternberg in France.
The Infinity Formula substantially slowed his aging process, and Fury was thrust with a double edged sword: although his life was saved, the consequences of the Infinity Formula would haunt him throughout his life as he would see many friends age and die, as well as become the target of various villains seeking his secret. Dr. Sternberg himself was not immune to taking advantage of Fury's delicate situation, basically holding Fury's life for ransom starting in 1946, every year through 1976 by charging Fury a high fee for more of the serum.
For most soldiers, after V-J Day the war was over it was time to go home and live a normal life again. This was not the case for Nick Fury. Following a number of "mop-up" missions with the Howlers, Sgt. Fury was reassigned and left his wartime comrades behind in France, heading for Okinawa. His skills were quickly put to use with the growing intelligence community. The Office of Strategic Services had recognized Fury's potential during the war, using him for a few missions into German-occupied France, and based on this he was officially recruited by Colonel Tom Lynaugh in 1954. He was flown to Langley where he began training as an agent for the Central Intelligence Agency, serving through till his appointment to S.H.I.E.L.D..
During these cloak & dagger years, Fury saw action in the Korean War, briefly reuniting with some of the former Howling Commandos who reenlisted. On one particular mission, the Howlers joined Fury and Colonel "Happy" Sam Sawyer for a covert mission to destroy a MIG airbase, a mission that earned Fury a long-deserved brevet field commission to Second Lieutenant. Fury also became involved in fighting Communist Chinese forces, and was promoted to the rank of Colonel during his time with the C.I.A.
Foreshadowing his heavy involvement with super-powered beings as director of S.H.I.E.L.D., Fury recruited the then still new Fantastic Four to investigate goings-on in what would reveal itself to be a master plot by the Hate-Monger. Fury's eye began to finally fail around this time.
During a mission in Kansas, Fury found himself trying to fight off the aliens known as Tribellians. His forces were overpowered, but the tables were turned once Woody McCord arrived and defeated the monsters before being fatally injured. Howard Stark, McCord's partner, arrived to the scene and discovered Fury alongside Woody's corpse. He decided to show Fury the work McCord had been doing as defender of Earth, neutralizing any potential threat for the planet, and offered him Woody's job. Fury accepted and over the next years would secretly fight different super human threats, from aliens to Subterranean monsters and extra-dimensional beings.
in 1961 Nick Fury, along with other intelligence agents John Garrett, Thomas Davidson, Vasili Dassaiev, Cornelius van Lunt, Baron Strucker, Dum Dum Dugan, Shoji Soma, Jake Fury, Daniel Whitehall and Viktor Uvarov, were called by Leonardo Da Vinci alias Aries to form the Great Wheel of Zodiac. Each member was assigned a codename from the Zodiac Calendar, with Fury being Gemini.
While on a mission in France, Fury, his brother Jake (Scorpio), and Thomas Davidson (Virgo), encountered the Renaissance-era technology that would later be reverse engineered into the first Life-Model Decoy. Jake unwisely got too close and activated it. The technology latched onto him and Davidson, creating Life-Model Decoys of them both. Nick decided to keep this a secret.
Fury was contacted by the Board of Directors of the newly organized international espionage organization S.H.I.E.L.D. (Supreme Headquarters International Espionage Law-enforcement Division) and offered directorship by Tony Stark. (An alternate theory adds that the Deltite LMD manipulated events so that Fury would be chosen).
Fury served as S.H.I.E.L.D.'s director for many years. At his side were fellow Howlers Dum Dum Dugan and Gabe Jones, as well as long-time love, the beautiful agent Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine. His command of S.H.I.E.L.D. coincided with the ascension to Supreme Hydra by Fury's old WWII nemesis, Baron Von Strucker. The Cold War ignited with a war between HYDRA and S.H.I.E.L.D., resulting in a near fatal blow at Hydra Island, where Fury sunk the base with its leader locked inside its atomic core, left for dead.
Fury served the original incarnation of S.H.I.E.L.D. both as administrative head and as field commander. His fearless leadership saw the organization through myriad crises and helped it rise to become the world's premier covert-operations agency. Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. thwarted numerous major threats to the world's freedom launched by such groups as HYDRA and the Zodiac - headed at one time by Scorpio, an LMD of Fury's brother Jacob. Fury also assisted Earth's superheroes in cases, and S.H.I.E.L.D. spearheaded Earth's defenses during many of its worse crises, including the alien Dire Wraith invasion, attacks by the likes of the Yellow Claw and Loki and hunting down creatures such as Godzilla and the Hulk.
After the final strike against Hydra, S.H.I.E.L.D. gradually grew to a vast international network the likes of which not even Fury could personally oversee entirely. Thus in 1988 the Deltite Affair erupted, in which a group of rogue LMDs revealed that they had been manipulating S.H.I.E.L.D. Hydra, and even Roxxon Oil in an attempt to take over the planet. The most important phase of the plan involved replacing agents with advanced LMDs. This brought an end to S.H.I.E.L.D. and sent Fury into self-imposed exile. This included traveling the world, shutting down rogue S.H.I.E.L.D. bases and decommissioning their equipment.
A year later, events engineered by both the late Baron Strucker and the Yellow Claw, brought Fury back out of his exile and thus a second S.H.I.E.L.D. (Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistics Directorate) was commissioned under a United Nations charter with Fury once again as its director. This incarnation of S.H.I.E.L.D. struggled to gain its footing with resentment from other espionage agencies and the task of assembling enough resources and manpower to combat the growing international threats.
One of these threats was once again HYDRA, lead by a resurrected Von Strucker, whose plans to cripple the first S.H.I.E.L.D. were successful enough to allow a HYDRA retaliation against the new, but weaker agency. The attack leveled S.H.I.E.L.D. Central, killed 1,500 agents, and left Fury bitter and vindictive. Eventually Fury managed to defeat Von Strucker and put an end to his existence.
With Von Strucker seemingly gone at last, Fury still did not feel a whole man and his disillusionment with S.H.I.E.L.D. continued. Fury found himself siding against his friends more and more, including Captain America during the Genoshan Crisis and being used as a pawn to collect "rogue" elements like Cable and Ghost Rider for subversives within the government. Worse still was having to hunt his own son, Mikel, who donned the Scorpio identity to fight in a civil war in Carpassia.
Fury faced internal strife as the defection of former KGB interrogator Dimitri Panshin instigated a rogue faction within S.H.I.E.L.D. to make Panshin pay for his crimes. Fury and Captain America joined with Titanium Man and AIM to stop the renegades. Likely as a result of the rogue agents affair, S.H.I.E.L.D. faced severe cutbacks in funding. With a scaled-back S.H.I.E.L.D., Fury was glad to be reunited with his son Mikel in 1995. Together, father and son helped thwart a revenge scheme by the ex-wife of the head of HYDRA's NYC cell, involving a mini-neutron bomb. Later they stopped a black-market arms racket funding the local street gangs in Hell's Kitchen.
Fury had Tony Stark construct a "perfect" L.M.D. (perhaps based on the Deltite LMD) which took Fury's place while he investigated a message from his predecessor as director. His investigations took him once again to the lower levels of what was once S.H.I.E.L.D. Central, finding himself caught in a trap that housed him in a pocket dimension. In a stroke of luck, the use of the LMD Fury coincided with an attempt on Fury's life by Spook, a subversive seeking control of S.H.I.E.L.D.. This resulted in a brainwashed Punisher bringing about the "death" of Nick Fury for all the world to see.
Brought back from the pocket dimension by former agent Sharon Carter, the real Nick Fury once again attempted to set S.H.I.E.L.D. straight; uncovering an unauthorized NEMESIS project by EXTECHOP and later taking a short leave of absence from the directorship to investigate the disappearance of agent David Ferrari. Fury tried to take charge of an agency that had once again grown too large for him to handle.
Following the attacks on the Twin Towers on September 11th 2001, Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. found their roles expanded to deal with the ever-growing terrorist threats and the stronger tactics being employed by both superheroes and supervillains alike. Recent assignments have included dealing with the Fantastic Four in a post-Doom Latveria, weather attacks on the United States by a rogue S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, and safeguarding Tony Stark from assassination attempts.
When the Red Skull was killed, and Nick sent in Captain America and Agent 13 to investigate. The three began a relentless quest to track down the person responsible, and to obtain the powerful Cosmic Cube. This brought them into conflict with General Aleksander Lukin and the mysterious Winter Soldier.
At about the same time, S.H.I.E.L.D. was dealt a huge blow by The Hand and HYDRA. Fury and Elektra worked at bringing a brainwashed Wolverine into custody. They succeeded, but not before Elektra was killed and resurrected by The Hand. Wolverine's brainwashing was reversed just in time to help fend off the dozens of brainwashed mutants attacked the Helicarrier and S.H.I.E.L.D. bases around the world. The Helicarrier was destroyed, S.H.I.E.L.D. was shattered, and Nick was left in critical condition.
Fury eventually uncovered that many tech-themed criminals were being supplied high technology through the Latverian prime minister Lucia von Bardas. He presented the evidence to the President, who decided to do nothing about it. Apparently, because the U.S. government had funded the restoration of Latveria since Doom's fall and were afraid of it backfiring on them. Realizing that the President turning a blind eye would cost lives, Fury gathered Captain America, Luke Cage, Daredevil, Spider-Man, Black Widow, Wolverine and Daisy Johnson into mounting a "Secret War" against Latveria. Because simply assassinating von Bardas would not stop the impending attack against the States, Fury needed to send a message to her cohorts - by bringing down Castle Doom down upon her. He then somehow managed to cover all of this up and brainwashed everyone but Widow and Johnson into forgetting what happened.
A year later, von Bardas was found to be alive and sent tech-theme villains against the participants of the Secret War. She then linked all of the tech together to create and antimatter bomb capable of destroying the States. However, only Daisy's timely intervention halted her insane plan. Fury then explained to the Avengers, Fantastic Four and X-Men about the Secret War. In fact, a Life-Model Decoy was in his place, which he used to explain that he's going underground and hoped that they would one day understand why he did this.
In the aftermath, Fury is no longer in charge of S.H.I.E.L.D., replaced by Maria Hill, someone known not to favor superheroes as he generally did. Fury's old supporters such as Dum Dum Dugan were marginalized as much as possible in an attempt to put a gap between S.H.I.E.L.D. and costumed vigilantes.
With the outbreak of the superhero Civil War, Nick remained in hiding, using old decommissioned S.H.I.E.L.D. safe-houses, the locations of which were known only to him. Fury allowed Cap and his Secret Avengers to use one of these as their base, and helped their cause, most notably the efforts of the reformed Winter Soldier.
Fury was long aware of the Skrull plans before the Skrulls even revealed themselves, after an impostor posing as Contessa de la Fontaine attempted to seduce him and extract S.H.I.E.L.D. pass-codes from him. He became suspicious and killed her. He subsequently went into hiding and began assembling a new team of Howling Commandos, composed of unregistered superpowered young people, personally trained by Fury himself, to combat this threat. He also assigned Jessica Drew to be his mole in both Hydra and S.H.I.E.L.D.. However, the Hydra doctors who attempted to restore her powers were actually Skrull agents, who used her DNA so that their queen Veranke could take her place.
Fury brought his Commandos directly into the fray in New York City, killing Skrulls while helping evacuate civilians and downed heroes when the invasion began. He brought the recovered heroes into Central Park where the rest were gathering. After a brief discussion with Norman Osborn, Iron Man, and then a direct encounter with the Skrulls, the battle between the entire Skrull army and the gathered heroes and villains ensued.
After the battle was over, Iron Man and other Avengers took down the fleet and Iron Man brought down a ship carrying the original heroes who were replaced with Skrulls including Dum Dum Dugan and a number of S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents. Once they recognized Fury, he teleported his entire team away.
With Fury as, on a technicality, a government fugitive for his Secret War, it was presumed that his team was also aiding and abetting a fugitive and may also be warranted for arrest. Their existence had been made public and the team's objective of defeating the Skrulls had been achieved, their current purpose was unknown.
Fury investigated a covert S.H.I.E.L.D. base in Chicago that didn't exist in official databases. Analyzing its contents, Fury discovered that S.H.I.E.L.D. was, and always had been controlled by HYDRA, which also had connections to the security departments of the American, Canadian and Russian governments. Realizing that all his work had been a big lie, he gathered his Commandos to prepare to counter the renewed HYDRA threat and to overthrow the corrupt H.A.M.M.E.R. agency - created by former Green Goblin, Norman Osborn, having been given national mandate by the government after killing Queen Veranke - that replaced S.H.I.E.L.D.. But to defeat two opponents controlling massive armies, Fury needed an army of his own. He hired the services of the Howling Commandos PMC, led by Dum Dum and 1200 S.H.I.E.L.D. agents refusing the automatic transfer to H.A.M.M.E.R., before stealing three decommission Helicarriers and convincing 3000 H.A.M.M.E.R. agents to join him.
Fury reactivated the services of John Garrett, needing his help in determining the allegiance of a former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, Seth Waters. Garrett returned from a successful mission, determining that Waters was working for an unknown group who was highly connected in the government. Therefore, Fury broke into Avengers Tower, where he was coerced by Osborn himself into interrogating Waters. He then escaped with the data, learning that there was a group called Leviathan, much like Hydra, which was founded by the Soviet government.
While Fury remained underground, allowing Steve Rogers to take official command of the super-spy side of things, he remained in contact with Earth's heroes and monitored their activities. He provided 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. Fury later expended 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.
When the Watcher's armory was stolen and one of his eyes was taken from him by the Orb, Doctor Midas and the Exterminatrix, Nick Fury arrived at the Watcher's Citadel in order to investigate who was the culprit. Uatu refused to tell him, as it was his duty not to act but only watch. After realizing that the Watcher's eyes were where the things he had witnessed were saved, and that the only way for him to stop the criminals before they could do anything was to have one of the eyes, to have their identities revealed to him, Fury killed the Watcher and took the remaining eye.
While an LMD of him and the Avengers led an investigation to find out who attacked the Watcher, Fury determined that his life was coming to a close, and that he needed to find a replacement for his position as the Man on the Wall. His candidates were Black Panther, Doctor Strange, Ant-Man, Emma Frost, Gamora, the Winter Soldier, and the Punisher. He secretly contacted them for an investigation which had the apparent objective to find the killer of Uatu. Doctor Strange and the Punisher abducted the Orb from the Avengers Tower after the villain had been captured with one of Uatu's eyes, as he could sense them and bring them to where they were. The Winter Soldier realized Nick Fury had been lying to them, killed the LMD which was with the Avengers, then took the eye the LMD had seized from the Orb and used the robot's chip to track down the real Fury.
By other means, all the heroes selected by Fury were brought together to a secret satellite, where they found the aged Nick Fury. Fury told those heroes his history of going to nearly any extremes whatsoever in defence of Earth, including systematically torturing aliens, committing indiscriminate genocide on planetary civilizations, and starting wars spanning entire galaxies, and that because he now lacked the Infinity Formula in his blood, he was rapidly aging and was going to die, so he needed a replacement. When Fury got an alert that the body of the LMD left with the Avengers had self-destructed because someone was trying to investigate it, he took one of the Watcher's eyes from Bucky and enclosed himself in a secure room, as he tried to activate the second eye he had all this time. When the Avengers arrived at the satellite, as Iron Man tracked down the signal from the LMD, Fury confronted the heroes, equipped with an armor while holding the two eyes of the Watcher, claiming that his eyes had been opened.
Fury managed to repel the heroes and get back to the Watcher's citadel, where Doctor Midas was trying to acquire more power than he had when he attacked the citadel. Fury fought Midas' Mindless Ones, during which one of the Watcher's eyes was taken from him by the Orb, and was almost defeated, until the heroes chosen by Fury got to him, and also managed to get the confession from him that he was the one who had killed Uatu. Fury then confronted Midas, who was becoming more powerful by absorbing the powers from Uatu's corpse. By forcing Midas to absorb the power of the Watcher's eye he had left, Fury overloaded him and killed the villain in an explosion, which also seemingly killed Fury. After the explosion, the other Watchers punished Fury for his many sins by turning him into a chained silent observer of Earth, forcing him to watch but never interfere, as the Unseen.
Reforming the Exiles
Due to the powers of the Watcher, the Unseen caught notice of the emergence of a creature called the Time-Eater that devoured entire timelines faster than new ones could be created. In order to investigate the Time-Eater, the Unseen used the Tallus to lure Blink to the Blue Area of the Moon, so she could use her experience of Multiversal exploration to assemble a new incarnation of the Exiles. After the Tallus helped Blink recruit her teammates, she was returned to the Moon to report to the Unseen. A group of Watchers appeared to punish him for breaking the vow of non-interference, and in the subsequent altercation the Tallus was shattered, sending the Exiles flying into the timestream.
The First War
Following the attempt of the plant-like alien race named the Cotati to take over the universe, their advanced and mysterious weapons were confiscated by the Avengers and the Fantastic Four and analysed during a rendezvous on the Moon. With the Elder of the Universe the Profiteer failing to recognize their origin despite her ample knowledge, the weapons were left behind. When the Unseen collected the weapons to study them himself, a reaction caused Uatu to fully manifest himself and emerge from Fury's eye. Recognizing that the weapons were Watcher technology, Uatu set out to prepare for an oncoming conflict, the return of "the first war." Uatu's return also caused Fury to return to his normal self. Still holding Nick accountable for his murder, the Watcher enlisted Fury to act as his operative.
- Nick Fury's Eyepatch: He has 95% vision loss in his injured left eye, over which he wears a cosmetic eyepatch.
S.H.I.E.L.D. uniform, made from 9-ply Kevlar (able to withstand ballistic impact up to .45 caliber bullets)and beta-cloth, a fire-resistant material whose kindling temperature is 1,700 °F (930 °C). Numerous S.H.I.E.L.D. paraphernalia including a radio-link tie, and a bulletproof suit.
Personalized needle pistol that had a 300-round magazine, 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. Also, an array of S.H.I.E.L.D. weapons, conventional and otherwise.
- Fury was a S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Level Ten, the only Thirty-Third-Degree S.H.I.E.L.D. Officer, and had a Code clearance White.
- Nick Fury featured in author Will Murray's novel, Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Empyre.
- Following his transformation into the Unseen, Moon Knight was the only one who was able to recognise him as Nick Fury.
- Sgt. Fury #1, #4, #19, #28-29, #34, #62
- Strange Tales #135
- Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD #1
- Nick Fury vs. S.H.I.E.L.D. #1-6
- Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Vol. 2) #1
- 1130 appearance(s) of Nicholas Fury (Earth-616)
- 26 appearance(s) in handbook(s) of Nicholas Fury (Earth-616)
- 96 minor appearance(s) of Nicholas Fury (Earth-616)
- 266 mention(s) of Nicholas Fury (Earth-616)
- 20 mention(s) in handbook(s) of Nicholas Fury (Earth-616)
- 523 image(s) of Nicholas Fury (Earth-616)
- 114 quotation(s) by or about Nicholas Fury (Earth-616)
- 6 victim(s) killed by Nicholas Fury (Earth-616)
- 2 item(s) used/owned by Nicholas Fury (Earth-616)
Links and References
- Don Markstein's Toonopedia: Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
- Comics 101 (column, March 3, 2004): "Secret Agent, Man", by Scott Tipton
- E. Favata's Comic Book Movies: Nick Fury
- ComicBookMovie.com: Nick Fury
- Sneak Peek TV: Nick Fury
- Untitled Nick Fury Project at the Internet Movie Database
- S.H.I.E.L.D. HQ - A Nick Fury Fansite
- Nick Fury Page
- Marvel Directory: Fury, Nick