You will never be this badass...
...Unless you're this guy.Nick Fury
is an immortal
superspy. He has been an agent (and later director) of S.H.I.E.L.D.
, an international security organization. He first appeared in "Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos
" #1 (May, 1963), created by Stan Lee
and Jack Kirby
. The Howling Commandos
series ran for 120 issues (May, 1963-July, 1974), featuring the World War II adventures of an army unit. In "Fantastic Four
" vol. 1 #21 (December, 1963), an older Nick Fury appeared alive and well in the 1960s
. He was no longer with the military, instead serving as an agent of the CIA
. This version of Fury next appeared in "Strange Tales
" #135 (August, 1965), where Fury became the leading agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
and the lead of a new series. He has since served as the lead character of several series and magazines. However, the most famous version was the period with Jim Steranko
at the helm, that showed arty Surrealism
, Op Art and graphic design sensibilities had a place in comics.
The life story of Nicholas Joseph "Nick" Fury is relatively simple. A World War II
vet from New York's
Hell's Kitchen, Fury started fighting the Nazis
with his band of brothers
the Howling Commandos
first before moving onto more esoteric foes of humanity. It was sometime between moving to work for the CIA
and fighting a hate-ray powered clone of Adolf Hitler
alongside a walking pile of rocks
that Fury realized that when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. And thus has followed a several-decades-long Crowning Moment Of Awesome
In 2000, Marvel launched the Ultimate Marvel
universe with reimagined versions of its characters, and for Nick Fury's redesign they decided to model him on Samuel L. Jackson
; even going to Jackson himself to request likeness rights. Jackson agreed on the condition that he would get first dibs to play Fury in any potential movie roles. This came to pass in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
, and as a result of those movies' popularity the Jackson version has become the
pop-culture image of Fury and the version used in all adaptations since; Marvel has even introduced a Jackson-Expy
"Nick Fury Jr." into the original continuity.
A version of Fury also appears in Marvel's Darker and Edgier
MAX imprint universe, where he debuted before The Punisher
. In there, he was a main character in two comic series: Fury
and Fury: My War Gone By
Why he is cooler than you will ever be:
Tropes regarding the original Nick Fury:
- Action Dad: Even if he and his son don't always see eye-to-eye, as it were.
- Actually a Doombot - His Life Model Decoys have been used for this.
- Up to Eleven in Livewires when a bunch of them escape and form a hivemind.
- The man's use of LMDs is pretty infamous: in Earth X, a whole slew of them were activated when the real thing died aboard a Helicarrier. Captain America even referred to them as a sort of "ghosts".
- And now Original Sin implies that ALL of Fury's modern day appearances were potentially LMDs. The REAL Fury is an old man.
- The Ageless: He is physically in his 40s, 50s tops, and will not age another day. Subverted in Original Sin, which reveals that his aging hasn't slowed as much as everyone thought - the fiftyish Fury was portrayed by a series of LMDs and the real Fury is quite a bit older.
- Art Evolution - Just look at the reprint of Jim Steranko's run to see the artwork gradually change from an imitation of Jack Kirby's style to an inspired surrealist visual magic like nothing ever attempted in mainstream comics before!
- Badass: Nick Fury is that page's image for a very good reason.
- Berserk Button: People trying to tell him what to do will piss him off. Trying to take SHIELD from him will piss him off. Being HYDRA will... you get the idea.
- Black and Grey Morality: Fury often uses morally questionable tactics like lying, manipulation to outright murder. Despite this he does care for other people, tries to minimize damage, and values freedom and justice. These acts are often necessary to stop people who don't care for the lives of others and often want to watch the world burn.
- Captain Ersatz: Dirk Anger of HATE from Nextwave was created specifically because Warren Ellis couldn't use the real deal.
- The Chessmaster: In Secret Warriors Nick has let Baron Strucker believe that he secretly controls S.H.I.E.L.D. all this time, because that puts him in a position where he can secretly control HYDRA.
- Control Freak: A very nasty one. Even after getting booted out of S.H.I.E.L.D. he still acts like he's in charge. Fury hates not being in charge of a situation.
- Crazy-Prepared: He's got special bunkers hidden all over the world, and a list of super-humans no-one else knows about that he saves for rainy days.
- Darker and Edgier: The MAX version, which was created by Garth Ennis for a six-issue miniseries and later appeared in Ennis's Punisher MAX series. In all of his appearances he drinks, smokes, swears, has sex with hookers, disobeys orders and beats people up while complaining about how little combat he sees and how pathetic modern society is. While certainly badass and fitting of the MAX label, this portrayal drew notable criticism from Stan Lee, who was openly disgusted by it.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: God help you if Fury decides he's going to teach you.
- Easily Forgiven: By the heroes whose minds he wiped without their consent during Secret War. Steve, who was angrier than everyone except Wolverine, even explicitly praised Fury in a later storyline.
- Evil Twin - Sort of. He has an LMD that developed an individual consciousness and thought it was the real thing. It took a while for it to go evil. At first, he just went rogue and spent years dismantling terrorist cells.
- Eyepatch After Time Skip: He lost his eye somewhere between his Sergeant Fury and Director Fury days.
- Eyepatch of Power
- Eye Scream: Why do you think he wears an eye-patch?
- Five-Man Band: As an agent of SHIELD, he often was in one.
- Insert Grenade Here - During his Howling Commando days.
- Jerk Ass - He takes this trope and makes it a freaking artform.
- Joker Immunity: Nick Fury refuses to stay dead while there's still fights needing fought.
- Made of Iron: Is he ever.
- Manipulative Bastard: Very much so. It's why he chose the people he chose for the Secret Warriors, because they were the most likely to do as he told, and the most likely to accept the choice.
- Morality Pet: Daisy Johnson/Quake is his, and seems to be the closest thing he has to a daughter. He treats her the same as he treats everyone else.
- Failing that, Dum Dum Dugan's the nearest replacement.
- Mythology Gag - If 616!Fury needs a disguise in a story written by Bendis, he will use a hologram that looks like Ultimate Fury. Ultimate Fury will, on the other hand, use a hologram that looks like 616!Fury.
- Never My Fault: If something goes wrong, Fury will never be at fault. It'll all be someone else's, even if it actually is his fault.
- Opening a Can of Clones - The LMDs (Life Model Decoys) make his deaths less than believable.
- Perma Stubble- depending on the artist
- Put on a Bus: Vanished from Marvel after 2005 and returned in the lead-up to Secret Invasion. After Fear Itself, he disappeared again, being replaced by his son; until he resurfaced for Original Sin.
- Rated M for Manly
- Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior! - With a slowed-down aging process, but yeah.
- Seen It All: He's moving towards the century mark, has been in three wars (WWII, Korea and Vietnam), worked for the CIA before moving on to S.H.I.E.L.D. and has been through paratrooper, demolition, Army Ranger and Special Forces training. All this before he started taking on super villains as the boss of SHIELD.
- Sergeant Rock - Fury is basically the Alternate Company Equivalent of the guy who named the trope. He then moved on to become a Colonel Badass.
- Sex God: Garth Ennis portrays him as this. During one storyline in The Punisher MAX he is roused during a mission to be updated on Castle with three women in his bed. In his own miniseries after the handicapped boy he's looking after injures himself he goes into a... well, fury and phones for half a dozen Asian hookers.
- Shellshocked Veteran: His MAX series and appearences in The Punisher MAX portray him as this, disillusioned with Iraq, looking after a young boy who he wants to mercy kill, drinking heavily, sleeping with multiple hookers, and beating the crap out of US generals when they resort to terrorism.
- Smoking Is Cool: It was even a Running Gag that his connections could get him Cuban Cigars. Subverted during Joe Quesada's reign in Marvel; he banned smoking by iconic characters, including Fury.
- The Spymaster
- TOP Secret Origin - a badly wounded young soldier called Nick Fury stumbled into the laboratory of a French biochemist. The only treatment to hand was an experimental longevity drug...
- Walking Shirtless Scene: In his days with the Howling Commandos, and in the early Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. stories, Nick usually got his shirt ripped off or destroyed well before the halfway point of the story. Later on, S.H.I.E.L.D. uniforms came to be made of more durable materials.
- Will They or Won't They?: With Contessa de Fontaine. As of 2014, they're on "won't".
Tropes about the various Samuel L. Jackson-inspired Furies:
- Action Dad: Ultimate!Fury might be, since his ex-wife has a son, though whether he's Fury's son hasn't been confirmed.
- Affirmative Action Legacy / Canon Immigrant: Battle Scars (a Fear Itself epilogue) introduces Marcus Johnson, a black marine sucked into the world of superheroes when it was discovered he's Fury's son. By the end of the event - coincidentally just as the Avengers movie premiered - he'd lost his eye, shaved his head, and all in all become Ultimate Nick Fury in the non-Ultimate verse (it's even found that his birth name is really "Nicholas Fury, Jr.").
- Artificial Limbs: Ultimate!Nick Fury lost an arm in an invasion of America. It was eventually replaced with a cybernetic version.
- Badass: Just as much as the original.
- Bald Black Leader Guy: Practically a given seeing that they tailored Ultimate Nick Fury from the likeness of Trope Codifier Samuel L. "Muthafuckin'" Jackson. The sole exception is in Season 1 of The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, where he retains most of his 616 features save for ethnicity; funnily enough, that version of Nick Fury ends up looking like Jules Winfield with an eyepatch! In season 2, he's shaved his head and looks like Ultimate Fury.
- Bald of Awesome: See above.
- Berserk Button: Ultimate Fury gets furious when Peter Parker makes a sarcastic comment about his eye.
- Black and Grey Morality: Another way these versions take after the original, though Nick Fury Jr. isn't comfortable with it yet.
- Crazy-Prepared: Yep, this carries over too.
- Darker and Edgier: Ultimate Nick Fury, no pun intended, is corrupt and has done immoral things to stay in charge of S.H.I.E.L.D.
- Evil Versus Evil: Ultimate Nick Fury is notably darker than the original. A few feats including working with Ultimate Doctor Doom to tamper with one of Richard's probes, preferring to work with Ultimate Iron Man's more amoral older brother Gregory Stark, and secretly hiring the Ultimate version of the Red Skull to regain his position as the head of SHIELD.
- Eyepatch of Power: Wouldn't be Nick Fury without one.
- Eye Scream: Ultimate Fury lost his in the early 90s in Afghanistan, and the other Furies have their own stories.
- Mythology Gag: As stated above, if 616!Fury needs a disguise in a story written by Bendis, he will use a hologram that looks like Ultimate Fury. Ultimate Fury will, on the other hand, use a hologram that looks like 616!Fury.
- Race Lift: His Earth-616 incarnation is a white guy with an eyepatch. These versions are Samuel L. Jackson with an eyepatch.
- Rule of Cool: The reason Ultimate Nick Fury was written as Samuel L. Jackson.
- The Spymaster: Again, Fury Jr. excepted; he's still a rookie at this.
- Super Prototype: Ultimate Nick was an American soldier who Got Volunteered for Operation: Rebirth. He was the first test subject to not die in the process, and he quickly took the opportunity to run for it. He doesn't make a habit of showing off his powers, though.