Comic Book: Secret War
Secret War was a 2004 storyline of Marvel Comics, written by Brian Michael Bendis. Despite the similar name (in singular instead of plural), it has no relation with the 1986 Secret Wars crossover.There are many minor villains in the Marvel Universe with technology-based powers. S.H.I.E.L.D. finally began to think: how can those villains pay the huge costs of their technology, with their small petty crimes?. The answer: because Latveria (ruled by Lucia Von Bardas at the time) is financing them to cause mayhem in the U.S. Nick Fury explains all this to the president, but he is ignored: the president is in good diplomatic terms with Von Bardas. As he was sure that allowing the situation to continue would call for a huge disaster, Fury organizes a secret covert team to infiltrate Latveria and stage a coup against Von Bardas. Those heroes were Captain America, Spider-Man, Daredevil, Luke Cage, Wolverine, and S.H.I.E.L.D. agents Black Widow and Daisy Johnson. And when they had done it, Fury erased their memories of the whole thing, except for the two agents.All that took place a year back. In modern day, all those who were involved in that operation (but didn't remember) were starting to be attacked, and begin finding clues of what happened a year before. It ends with a big fight against a cyborg Lucia Von Bardas, aided by all the petty criminals who use her technology. She is defeated, and the whole coup attempt is finally outed. Nick Fury then announces to the supeheroes that he will now became clandestine.
Secret War contains examples of:
- Actually a Doombot: The Nick Fury who fought alongside the heroes in the last battle. The real Fury had already departed by then.
- Author Appeal: Nick Fury handpicks a squad of superheroes to invade Latveria. They happen to all be characters Brian Bendis is openly fond of, especially Luke Cage, Dare Devil, and Spider-Man.
- Blah Blah Blah: Nick Fury found a S.H.I.E.L.D. report to be basically like that. Then he heard that Luke Cage was attacked, and he suddenly become interested.
- Chekhovs Gunwoman: Daisy Johnson.
- Daisy ventures verrrrry close to Mary Sue territory with her hero worship of Nick Fury and subsequent owning of Wolverine.
- Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Finally acknowledged in-story.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: There is a conspiracy theory that says the Bush administration knew that something like 9/11 may happen, and did not do anything about it. This storyline sets a parallelism, and Nick Fury even mentions that he won't let it happen "again".
- Harmless Villain: The Killer Shrike had a number of pages with S.H.I.E.L.D. agents mocking on how much of a Harmless Villain he was.
- Invisible President: Nick Fury details a terrorist threat to the U.S., and the president simply dismisses it? They had to use the trope, or face very serious legal trouble.
- Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: The Killer Shrike had to suffer one at the hands of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents.
- Motive Decay: A rare heroic example: Fury simultaneously decides that this mission to take out Von Bardas must be one that no one can know about so as to protect himself and his team from reprisals AND to use superheroes to make it as big and flashy as possible so nobody ever tries to do what Von Bardas has done ever again.
- On a meta-level, this is lampshaded by the creators who point out that the heroes were orginally going to be in normal black ops gear to hide that it was American superheroes invading foreign soil but that would make it harder to figure out who was who for the reader so everybody got variant black ops versions of their typical costumes.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Material reveals that the President's plan was to blackmail Von Bardas into cooperating with them, using the evidence of her dirty dealing against her, which was why no action was taken. So, not only did Fury get Luke Cage (and his pregnant girlfriend) caught in an explosion, messed with the minds of people who previously trusted him, but he created a lot more problems for everyone involved, ended up having to go underground, and his successor was set up to fail. Oh, and him not being in charge of S.H.I.E.L.D. provided the Skrulls with an advantage in the lead-up to Secret Invasion.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: The big fight in Latveria. We just got a free sample.
- Oh, No... Not Again!: Wolverine does not like people messing with his memory... again.
- Secret War: Obviously. Even more than the original Secret Wars (unrelated to this story).
- Spiritual Successor: The New Avengers, also by Bendis, an Avengers line-up with more or less the same characters.
- Victory-Guided Amnesia: But not for this story, for the background story at Latveria.