16 May 2016

What I'm Into: Nick Fury

Nick Fury has been an essential part of my adult life reading comic books. From his occasional appearances in Garth Ennis' years long PUNISHER run, THE ULTIMATES, the appearances in the Marvel Studios films, and across Jonathan Hickman's Marvel works, Nick Fury reigns as one of my favorite Marvel characters. He carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. A world where you cannot trust anyone. He is a character whose failures lead to disastrous consequences. Even when he wins, it tends to be at a great cost. But no matter the high stakes, Fury always rises to the occasion.

The Essentials
  • Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD (Jim Steranko)
    • Classic. Jim Steranko took James Bond and mixed it with sixties surrealism to produce the core canon of Nick Fury and SHIELD over a couple of years. His artwork throughout the run serves as a shining example of what comics can be.
  • Secret War (Brian Bendis and Gabriele Dell'Otto)
    • Failure. The first book I remember reading that served as a showcase for Nick Fury's methods. Fury recruiting a secret team to illegally invade Latveria leads to disastrous consequences that force him into hiding. Secret War also serves as an introduction to two important members of SHIELD: Daisy "Quake" Johnson and Maria Hill.
  • Secret Warriors (Jonathan Hickman and Stefano Caselli)
    • Redemption. How much further can you fall after your actions have caused terrible damage to those who hold you in high regard? How about finding out your entire life has been a lie thanks to Strucker's HYDRA. Secret Warriors is Fury gathering teams to take back what's his and make it all right. In the end (which came much too soon), Nick Fury is back and riding high in the saddle.
  • Fury MAX: My War Gone By (Garth Ennis and Goran Parlov)
    • Regret. The one constant in Nick Fury's life is war. MY WAR GONE BY looks at Fury throughout the years in French Indo-China, Cuba, Vietnam and Nicaragua. Through it all, he fights losing battles with the bureaucracy weighing over his head and unsavory characters as allies. When it's all said and done he has nothing but a bottle, a cigar and a head full of regret.
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely and Anthony & Joe Russo)
    • Lies. Nick Fury shines in my favorite of the Marvel Studios films. Fury is forced to confront the fact that most of his life has been a lie in service of a bunch of fascist crypto Nazis. The attack on his Chevy Suburban serves as a showcase for both his gallows humor and resourcefulness. As the world he's engineered literally falls down around him, Nick is left with nothing but a determination to build himself a new life out of the ruins of a HYDRA infected SHIELD.

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