Published May 15, 2023

Who Is Nick Fury? The Official Marvel Guide

What do you know about the most wanted man on the planet? Read on to find out everything you’ve ever wondered about Nick Fury!

Marvel's number one spy guy might just also be the most intriguing character skulking around the dark corners of the House of Ideas. Most commonly associated with S.H.I.E.L.D., the original Nick Fury has been keeping Earth-616 safe for decades going back to his time as Howling Commando during World War II.

The character has been so influential that he's been translated, interpolated and even given a son who shares in his father's affinity for espionage. With that in mind, let's dig into the original, junior and the Ultimate Nick Fury from Earth-1610!


Nick Fury Sr.

Before becoming the head honcho of S.H.I.E.L.D., Nick Fury proved his mettle as the leader of a military outfit dubbed the Howling Commandos during World War II. Debuting in SGT. FURY #1 in 1963 from the fertile minds of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the group of Allied soldiers from around the globe fought valiantly against the Axis powers.

After the war, Fury joined the CIA, but in 1965 his creators brought him in as the head of a new group called S.H.I.E.L.D., then known as the Supreme Headquarters International Espionage Law-Enforcement Division as seen in STRANGE TALES #135. For decades after that, he served the group, and humanity at large.


How old is Nick Fury?

The short answer is "pretty old"! Unlike some other characters whose real-life historical activities have shifted over the years, Nick is—and always has been—a World War II veteran. He has also been active ever since, as opposed to fellow old timers Captain America and Bucky Barnes who both spent time in suspended animation.

So, how does he look so good? Well, for a while, he was taking the Infinity Formula on the regular. He got his first dose during World War II and took it for years, which kept him looking and feeling young.


How long was Nick Fury with S.H.I.E.L.D.?

Nick Fury did not start S.H.I.E.L.D., but he was chosen to be its leader fairly early on. During his interview, Fury was basically talking himself out of the job when he noticed a bomb, leaped into action and tossed it out of a helicarrier window, saving the nascent group's leadership with one brave move. With that, he proved himself worthy of leading the new group.

He held that position for years, keeping watch over the planet, taking out threats both on his own and with S.H.I.E.L.D.'s backing. During one of his more clandestine ops, though, he crossed the line. Chronicled in SECRET WAR by Brian Michael Bendis and Gabrielle Del'Otto, the spymaster lied to Spider-Man, Captain America, Black Widow, Luke Cage and Daredevil to get them to attack Latveria. Afterwards, he made them forget about the whole affair. When the fracas came to light, Fury was out as the head of S.H.I.E.L.D., going underground, but still pulling strings on a global scale.


How did Nick Fury lose his eye?

In 1966's SGT. FURY #27 by Lee and Dick Ayers, Fury snatched an incoming grenade out of the air and threw it away to save the Howlers. It was still close enough to damage his left eye. it could have been completely repaired, but the procedure would have taken him out of the war for a year. Instead, he opted for a quick repair that would eventually lead to blindness in that eye down the line and the iconic patch he's worn ever since.


Did a Skrull ever replace Nick Fury?

Over the years, Nick Fury has had his fair share of experiences with the alien shape-shifters known as Skrulls. He was a major force working against their Secret Invasion, leading his own team of Secret Warriors against the invaders. The Earth ultimately won, but lost The Wasp in the fight and allowed Norman Osborn to take over S.H.I.E.L.D. and turn it into H.A.M.M.E.R., but Fury returned to the shadows.

In the wake of the war, Bobbi Morse—who had been replaced by a Skrull for years—traveled to the Savage Land and encountered Fury as seen in HAWKEYE & MOCKINGBIRD #6 by Jim McCann and David Lopez. Given her experience with the aliens, she clocked him as a Skrull and shot him in the shoulder, taking him out shortly after.

Where is Nick Fury now?

In ORIGINAL SIN (2014) by Jason Aaron and Mike Deodato, Uatu was attacked by Dr. Midas, Exterminatrix and the Orb who made off with one of his eyes. When the Watcher refused to reveal the identities of his attackers, Fury killed him and took his other eye. After an investigation by Earth's heroes ultimately lead to the truth, Fury was turned into a chained being known as the Unseen by the other Watchers. In this new form he could bear witness to everything, but do nothing about it.

After the Cotati invasion of Earth, the Unseen examined some mysterious weapons which caused Uatu to form out of his remaining eye as seen in EMPYRE: FALLOUT FANTASTIC FOUR by Dan Slott and Sean Izaakse. Returned, Uatu reconstituted Fury as his herald in FANTASTIC FOUR #25. He continued serving in this capacity through the Reckoning War. In FANTASTIC FOUR #45, Uatu fixed the mistakes of many of his people and then set Fury up on the moon, giving him his watchtower and all of the fantastical weapons inside.

The man known as Nick Fury Jr. grew up as Marcus Johnson, not knowing anything about his father's true identity, but inadvertently followed in his footsteps by joining the Army and becoming a Ranger. Upon learning the truth, he joined S.H.I.E.L.D., fought in the second Super Hero Civil War and worked with the Secret Avengers, all while proving himself to be every bit of the super spy his father was.


Who is Nick Fury Jr.'s mother?

In 2011, readers met a soldier by the name of Marcus Johnson in the pages of BATTLE SCARS by Chris Yost, Cullen Bunn, Matt Fraction and Scot George Eaton. By the fifth issue of that series, Marcus discovered he was the son of Nick Fury and fellow CIA agent Nia Jones. When she became pregnant, Fury convinced her to leave the life and raise him in anonymity.

Fury later revealed himself to his son after Orion killed Nia. While being held by the villain, Orion ordered one of his minions to cut out Marcus' left eye. The villain targeted Johnson so that he could steal the Infinity Formula coursing through his veins.

How did Nick Fury Jr. join S.H.I.E.L.D.?

After saving his father and helping defeat Orion alongside the Secret Avengers, Marcus had to make some decisions about what to do moving forward. He shaved his head and changed his name to Nick Fury Jr. before officially joining S.H.I.E.L.D. alongside his fellow Army Ranger Phil "Cheese" Coulson.

In this new capacity, Fury served on various Secret Avengers teams and became Daisy Johnson's number two when she took charge of S.H.I.E.L.D. from Maria Hill. Along the way, he has become a respected and notable member of the larger hero community blazing his own trail while still operating in his father's shadow.


Where is Nick Fury Jr. now?

After S.H.I.E.L.D. fell apart, Nick Fury Jr. sought a new purpose. In the back-ups of the Infinite Destinies annuals of 2021, he focused on keeping the Infinity Stones out of enemy hands, even going so far as to capture Star. That story continued in BLACK CAT (2020) #8-10 and GIANT-SIZE BLACK CAT: INFINITY SCORE by Jed MacKay and C.F. Villa when the title thief began acquiring the stone-bearers herself.

From there, Fury found himself dealing with Skrulls in 2022's SECRET INVASION by Ryan North and Francesco Mobili. Fury was duped into investigating an undercover cell of the aliens who used his face to infiltrate a number of government organizations. He spent most of the story tied up, but Maria Hill managed to end this latest invasion attempt.

Nick also appeared in CAPTAIN AMERICA: SENTINEL OF LIBERTY #7-11 by Collin Kelly, Jackson Lanzing and Carmen Carnero after responding to a call for assistance in bringing down the Outer Circle, a massively powerful organization that Bucky Barnes joined. Along the way, he and the others were mentally manipulated by M.O.D.O.C., the Mental Organism Designed Only For Control.


Ultimate Nick Fury

When the Ultimate Universe launched in 2001, the Earth-1610 version of Nick Fury was already established in S.H.I.E.L.D. and setting the stage for a new era of heroes. Though he had a different look than his Earth-616 counterpart, this new version knew what it took to keep his world safe and went to incredible lengths to do so while also keeping certain elements secret. In many ways, Ultimate Nick Fury acted as the backbone of that universe, often playing a major role in the events threatening reality.


Where did Ultimate Nick Fury come from?

Like his Earth-616 counterpart, this Nick Fury also served in World War II. After being arrested, he was forced to participate in Project Rebirth, the program that also created Captain America. He survived the experiment as well as the ensuing destruction of the facility and then freed the others who had been held captive as seen in ULTIMATE ORIGINS #1 by Bendis and Butch Guice.

Years later, after working as a soldier of fortune for a time, he re-enlisted to fight in Kuwait. A year after losing his eye and being saved by Wolverine, Fury met with the President and began working on a way to save the world from impending threats. He brought in Franklin Storm, Richard Parker, Bruce Banner and Hank Pym to restart Project Rebirth, giving them a sample of his own blood, not Captain America's. Banner tested the results on himself, turning into the Hulk. When he did so, he accidentally killed Richard and Mary Parker, orphaning future Spider-Man Peter. 


What is Nick Fury's relationship to the Ultimates/Avengers?

As the head of S.H.I.E.L.D., Fury was tasked with protecting the world from increasingly dangerous threats. In addition to pushing forward with Project Rebirth, he also began putting together a super team called the Ultimates that included Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America, Giant Man, Wasp, Thor, Hawkeye and Black Widow. They fended off a Chitauri invasion along with a variety of other threats.

After several more adventures and some time spent away from S.H.I.E.L.D., Fury returned and created a new group called the Avengers that took out the Red Skull. Fury also oversaw conflicts against The Maker, vampires, a group calling themselves the New Ultimates and many others. In other words, if there's a major super hero operation in the works, Fury is involved.


How does Ultimate Nick Fury know Ultimate Iron Man?

While Nick Fury was not directly involved in Tony Stark's journey to becoming Iron Man, he did bring the hero into the team fold in the pages of ULTIMATES #2 by Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch. The two were never particularly close, but worked well enough together to save the Ultimate Universe several times over.

How did Ultimate Nick Fury deal with Incursions?

Leading up to Secret Wars, one reality would come crashing into another one, resulting in an Incursion that would leave one of the two destroyed. Ultimate Nick Fury had recruited Reed Richards, then going by The Maker, to keep an eye out for world-threatening events in AVENGERS #41 by Jonathan Hickman and Mike Deodato. Fury was made aware of the problem in #44 and decided not to let the rest of the world know what was going on.

The story carried over into SECRET WARS #1 in which Earth-1610 came crashing into Earth-616 as an Incursion. He sent every resource he had against the other reality and yet, they were both destroyed only to be saved by Doctor Doom. Eventually reality was restored with many individuals from Earth-1610 making their way to Earth-616.

To uncover all of Nick Fury's secrets, head on over to Marvel Unlimited and started reading all of his fantastic adventures!

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