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Comic Book / The Avengers Prelude: Fury's Big Week

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The Avengers Prelude: Fury's Big Week, or just Fury's Big Week, is a set of eight comics which are a prequel to The Avengers. It chronicles the events of Iron Man 2, The Incredible Hulk, and Thor from S.H.I.E.L.D.'s perspective. It was written by Christopher Yost & Eric Pearson with art duties covered by Luke Ross & Daniel HDR.

It would take the Marvel Cinematic Universe at large just under a decade for the comic's events to even be acknowledged anywhere else, starting with Disney+ Anthology Series What If...?, where Episode 3 deals with a universe where The Avengers are being killed off, and thus never form. It too tells its story over the course of five days, and also notably shows Romanoff spying on Bruce (for different reasons, but still).

Provides examples of:

  • Another Side, Another Story: Much of the later issues involve the Black Widow as she Forrest-Gumps her way through the chronologically-later MCU films (except for Thor, where Coulson and Hawkeye serve this function).
  • Badass Normal: Black Widow as usual, who has no problem navigating through a number of superhuman battlefields.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In relation to the movie Coulson's request for a gun that has the strength of the Destroyer's blast is what he eventually uses on Loki in the movie.
  • Continuity Nod: When Hawkeye visits a gas station, he notices that the place was the scene of a crime. It turns out that this is the same station where Coulson stopped a robbery in the A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor's Hammer short, which he "deduces" much to the attendant's surprise.
    Hawkeye: Who said we don't watch out for each other in this country?
  • Da Chief: Nick Fury, who spends his week dealing with obstructive superiors, dying super geniuses, incursions by alien gods, idiot generals, and giant monsters tearing up New York. Probably best summed up by when he asks Black Widow to shadow the Hulk:
    Widow: I thought Sitwell was on Banner?
    Fury: He was, but I had to send him to New Mexico.
    Widow: Why?
    (beat, as Natasha looks at Fury surprised)
    Widow: I'll get right on it.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Alluded to when Samuel Sterns starts to read Black Widow's mind, though all we know for this version of Natasha is that the traumatic events again took place during her childhood in Russia.
  • The Knights Who Say "Squee!": When Coulson learns of Steve Rogers being found, his joy is a sight to behold.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: The World Security Council, veering close to being a full-on Omniscient Council of Vagueness. Fury ends up telling Coulson to simply tell WSC what they want to hear, and then to continue doing what they were already doing anyway.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Nick Fury's general ethos in running S.H.I.E.L.D. When his bosses cut his budget allocations and tell him to start focusing on the Cosmic Cube or else, he ignores them, lies to them, and by the end of the week turns the whole situation around and tells them to either get on board with him or get out of the way.
    Fury: Hell, I dunno. Get creative, cook the books. Whatever it takes to let us do this job right.
  • Sequel Hook: The whole thing is designed to lead into the actual film, obviously.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Black Widow's reaction to Samuel Sterns/Mr. Blue's offer to join him in world domination? A gunshot to his left kneecap at point blank range.
  • Time Skip: The comic starts during the climax of Captain America: The First Avenger in the 1940s, only to jump forward to 2010 as Tony Stark, Thor and Bruce Banner come to Fury's attention for different reasons, with the epilogue jumping forward another year to the week when Rogers was discovered by S.H.I.E.L.D. in 2011.
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: Natasha asks this when Coulson asks if she can handle things with Tony Stark alone. Cut to the Vanko-controlled War Machine attacking Iron Man at the Stark Expo.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: A Subverted Trope for a variety of examples in the franchise.