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Comic Book / Nick Fury

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You will never be this badass.note 

Nick Fury is an ageless 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.

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; this caused some legal issues as Mr. Jackson was not asked permission for his likeness, but a deal was hashed out where he agreed to let them use it on the condition that he get to play the part if any movies involving the character were made (Mr. Jackson bears no ill-will toward the comic creators these days, especially given the success of the MCU and his role in it). Eventually they contacted him to play the role in Marvel Cinematic Universe as per their arrangement, 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. Since then, Nick Fury Jr. has become the "main" Nick Fury, after the original was Put on a Bus in Original Sin and the Ultimate Nick Fury was killed in Secret Wars (2015). Original Nick later returned for a year or so as the team benefactor in Exiles (2018).

Nick Fury has appeared in the following works:

Nick Fury Comic Books

Nick Fury’s comic appearances contain the following tropes:

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    Tropes not specific to a particular series 
  • Action Dad: He had couple of sons by different mothers; Mikel and Marcus. He wasn't around while either grew.
  • Actually a Doombot: His Life Model Decoys have been used for this.
    • In Livewires a bunch of them escape and form a hivemind.
    • And now Original Sin implies that ALL of Fury's recent 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.
  • Alternate Company Equivalent: It's generally accepted that Sergeant Rock is DC's version of Nick Fury in his military daysnote , and King Faraday is DC's version of Fury in his SHIELD days.
  • Berserk Button: People trying to tell him what to do will piss him off. Trying to take S.H.I.E.L.D. from him will piss him off. Being HYDRA will... you get the idea.
  • Breakout Character: Both the Original and Modern. The White Nick Fury got his start in the anthology comic Strange Tales and was soon moved to being a supporting character in the Marvel Universe and got many of his own series and a movie, where as the modern AKA Ultimate Universe version was so popular in that comic series that it became the new main version of the character in other media even being in the MCU played by his inspiration, Samuel L. Jackson.
  • Broken-System Dogmatist: Can come off as one of these, especially in stories where he's a gung-ho Pro-American supporting a blatant Type II corrupt Eagle Land, while handwaving his country's own corruption. Played straight during the "Fantastic Four" storyline where Doom was banished to Hell and Fury attempted to arrest Mr. Fantastic for taking over Latveria and liberating its population from Doom's influence as international crimes. One of the Latverians outright called Fury a hypocrite for tolerating Doom's own brutal tyranny and America even giving Doom diplomatic immunity, while claiming to arrest Mr. Fantastic for trying to let native Latverians live independently.
  • Captain Ersatz: Dirk Anger of HATE from Nextwave was created specifically because Warren Ellis couldn't use the real deal. Meanwhile, Sunfire and Big Hero 6 has its own Fury stand-in, a Japanese woman working for that nation's Homeland Security who wears an eyepatch and is named Furi Wamu.
  • 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.
  • Colonel Badass: Held the rank of Colonel for most of his tenure as Director of S.H.I.E.L.D.
  • Continuity Snarl:
    • Nick Fury's eyepatch is due to receiving an injury to his left eye from a grenade during World War II. Fantastic Four #21 shows a flashback with Nick Fury without an eyepatch, before his World War II injury, when he was working for the CIA. Marvel: The Lost Generation #10 establishes Fury wore a bionic eye replacement before the modern era, which retcons the appearance of Nick Fury without an eyepatch as Nick Fury with a bionic eye implant. In Fury #1, a flashback shows the Scorpio LMD, disguised as Jake Fury, shooting Nick Fury in the left eye. This flashback is assumed to take place after Nick Fury was already wearing a bionic eye, so the shot to his eye damaged his bionic eye, otherwise, Nick Fury would have lost his left eye twice.
  • 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.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Nick Fury ALWAYS has something to say when he's in a fight.
    Baron Strucker: BAH! The drink was just insurance! I can destroy you without it!
    Nick: Yeah? HOW? Like this? Or mebbe a punch like THIS?? Tell me, Nazi! I'm dyin' to find out!
  • Death Is Cheap: Nick Fury refuses to stay dead while there's still fights needing fought.
  • Decompressed Comic: Before it was fashionable in American comics to stretch stories over six or so issue, the Steranko run managed to make the Yellow Claw Saga run for nine issues long.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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: Fury's eyepatch is one of his most well-known traits and helps signify that he is a huge badass.
  • Eye Scream: Why do you think he wears an eye-patch? He lost his eye to a Nazi's grenade back in World War 2 as revealed in issue 27 of Nick Fury and his Howling Commandos.
  • Handicapped Badass: Having one eye doesn't slow Nick Fury down.
  • Important Haircut: Fury marked his transition from World War II frontline badass to SHIELD superspy by getting a haircut and shaving off his perma-stubble.
  • Insert Grenade Here: During his Howling Commando days.
  • Jerkass: He takes this trope and makes it a freaking artform.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: It's because of this that people like Captain America and Wolverine value him as a friend.
  • Jerk With A Heart Of Jerk: Invoked. Nick Fury claimed this for himself in back in the '70s Captain America comic. After he'd spent a whole issue getting The Falcon pardoned for his criminal past, Cap remarked, "Fury, under that rough, unshaven exterior..." Fury interrupted, "There's an even rougher, unshaven interior!" Of course, in this case, it's very blustering; while later writers did make Fury genuinely amoral, around this time he was still a pretty straightforward bleeding-heart hero.
  • Made of Iron: He’s over 80 years of getting his ass beat, but he still stands up and kicks major ass. That is until Original Sins.
    • In one of the most absurd instances, during a fight with Wolverine, Wolverine tackled Fury into a wooden cabin. The mutant's super strength caused the entire cabin to come down on Fury but he just bounced back up. And that was just the beginning.
  • 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.
  • Manly Man: He charges into the fray, guns blazing, often shirtless, while smoking a cigar.
  • Mook Chivalry: Played hilariously straight in Strange Tales #157, when a HYDRA leader tells his men to attack Fury using "Plan K-11," meaning they each go at him one at a time... allowing him to beat them all up one at a time.
  • 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. Results are also mixed.
  • Mythology Gag: If 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 the original 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. Sometimes it just depends on what happened. Secret Warriors has him admit that every life he ever sent to battle was his own fault, which is why Baron Strucker can't actually claim the responsibility of getting his son killed. In Original Sin, he tells Captain America I Did What I Had to Do, and he's not sorry for any of it, except for the punch that he then gives to Cap.
  • Opening a Can of Clones: The LMDs (Life Model Decoys) make his deaths less than believable.
  • Perma-Stubble: Depending on the artist.
  • Pragmatic Hero: 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.
  • 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 before being turned into The Watcher's successor and vanishing again. He then returns in Exiles (2018) as the new team's benefactor.
  • 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.
  • Sink or Swim Mentor: In Secret Warriors, he makes all of his recruitment undergo a Secret Test of Character by torturing them and seeing if they reveal anything. Keep in mind, this is pretty early in the training process.
  • 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.
  • Spy Catsuit: Fury's default outfit is the SHIELD catsuit. Sometimes he wears a trenchcoat over it, for no other reason than to look more badass.
  • The Spymaster: He fits this trope to the tee. Helps that this a job usually as a former head of S.H.I.E.L.D.
  • Super Hero 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...
  • Tuxedo and Martini: Fury started out slightly more Stale Beer but rapidly became some kind of radioactive psychosis-inducing cocktail. Steranko even marked the transition, with Nick shaving the scruffy stubble he'd had since WWII.
  • 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".

Alternative Title(s): Nick Fury Agent Of Shield 1989, Nick Fury Vs Shield, Fury Of Shield, Nick Fury Agent Of Shield