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Comic Book: Nick Fury
You will never be this badass.

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 and abstractionism 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. A flying base filled with Life Model Decoys and psychic spies was obviously in order.

These tropes feature in his life:

  • Actor Allusion - Marvel asked Samuel L. Jackson to use his likeness in the Ultimate Marvel Universe comics. It's even lampshaded when members of the Ultimates are discussing what actors should play them.
    • The deal went like this: Marvel asked if they could base their Ultimate Nick Fury on Sam Jackson, Jackson's answer was "Just so long as I get to play him!" Jackson is a lifelong comic book fan with Nick Fury being one of his personal favorites.
    • The original Nick Fury was apparently based on Dean Martin.
  • 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, actually: 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".
  • 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.").
  • The Ageless: He is physically in his 40s, 50s tops, and will not age another day.
  • Art Evolution - Just look at the first reprint book of Jim Steranko's period with this character to see the artwork gradually changes 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.
    • Badass Grandpa - Physically in his 40s or 50s.
    • Colonel Badass - Held the rank of Colonel for most of his tenure as Head of SHIELD. His Ultimate Universe version became a Four-Star Badass.
    • Empowered Badass Normal - Nick is just your average combat-hardened joe from the Big Apple... who doesn't age. Because of drugs. Awesome drugs.
      • Given all the other superheroes, he's as close to a normal hero as you'll get.
  • Bald Black Leader Guy - In the Ultimate Universe, which became the go-to version whenever they want to depict Nick Fury outside of comics lately (though he isn't bald in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, in fact 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.)
  • 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 do 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.
  • 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.
    • The Ultimate Nick Fury, {no pun intended}, is corrupt and has done immoral things to stay in charge of S.H.I.E.L.D.
  • Downer Ending: The end to the MAX My War Gone By book, it ending with Hatherly completely losing faith in the military after the events in Nicaragua and realizing that everything he had done was pointless. Despite being the most optimistic and idealistic one at the start, and despite being the most morally good of them, he dies first, but he does do so with a fairly large family. On his deathbed he tells Shirley that he did have a crush on her and they could potentially have had a happy future together, leading Shirley who had had an really unhappy marriage with Pug to kill him and his prostitute, before killing herself while talking to Fury on the phone. Fury himself had after the events of Nicaragua realized that he had complety ruined his life and letting himself do Pug's dirtywork just so he could keep fighting in wars instead of choosing a happier life. The final page is him sitting alone in a hotel room having lost everyone he cared about and possibly considering suicide. You know its bad when The Punisher got a happier ending.
  • 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
  • Eyepatch of Power
  • 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.
  • Karma Houdini: In My War Gone By, Letrong Giap is revealed to have survived Frank Castle shooting him in the neck, despite him having committed several war crimes and atrocities before and during Vietnam. Somewhat averted in that he could be considered a Anti-Villain. Nick Fury could also be considered one in the story. Barracuda would easily be one, if one has not read Ennis Punisher MAX book, which takes place after this storyline and shows his Karmic Death.
  • Manipulative Bastard
  • Morality Pet: Daisy Johnson/Quake is his, and seems to be the closest thing he has to a daughter.
  • 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.
  • Not So Different: At the end of My War Gone By Letrong Giap says this to Fury. That they both have condemned themselves to hell in their actions, but both have done it for their country and both have ended up with their sacrifice having been made pointless due the governments corruptions.
  • Obligatory War Crime Scene - One happens inthe Nicaragua story in My War Gone By, led by Barracuda. The most horrifying moment being a pregnant woman having had her stomach open and her baby stomped on.
  • Opening a Can of Clones - The LMDs (Life Model Decoys) make his deaths less than believable.
  • Race Lift - his Earth-616 incarnation (i.e. the Marvel Universe that's been around since Captain America #1 in the '40s) is a white guy with an eyepatch. In Ultimate Marvel, he's Samuel L. Jackson with an eyepatch. This was continued into his cameo appearance in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (in C. Viper's ending), which is set in a third continuity. (Marvel Ultimate Alliance gives you one skin of each, and another one of each can be unlocked by beating people up).
  • Rated M for Manly
  • Rule of Cool: The reason Ultimate Nick Fury was written as Samuel L. Jackson.
  • 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 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 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.
    • The second MAX series, My War Gone By, shows how he becomes one.
  • Smoking Is Cool - It was even a Running Gag that his connections could get him Cuban Cigars.
    • But 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.

Ms Marvel 2014Marvel Comics CharactersNorman Osborn
Sub-MarinerFranchise/The AvengersNova
Little Orphan AnnieThe FortiesSgt. Rock
Splash PanelImageSource/Comic BooksBadass
Howling CommandosThe SixtiesEnemy Ace

alternative title(s): Nick Fury
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