One Eye on the Prize

Nick Fury’s formative past remains as secretive as the man himself. But, with inspiration from his grandfather and a drive to do good at all costs, he distinguished himself in a military career to earn the rank of Colonel and be appointed director of the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division, the intelligence agency better known as S.H.I.E.L.D.

Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D.

At some point in his past, presumably in a combat situation, Fury lost the use of an eye and incurred permanent scarring around it, which he hid with an eyepatch. He also began to court acquaintances and even friendships with such luminaries as genius inventor Howard Stark and the influential Alexander Pierce.

As director of S.H.I.E.L.D., Fury kept many balls in the air at the same time, many of them of a highly confidential nature, but chief among them was the Avengers Initiative. His goal seemed to be the ultimate protection of mankind, but his means to this end were often seen as extreme by those around him who discovered his secrets.


A Good Soldier

Nick Fury is highly adept at all forms of tactics, strategy, and combat situations and is not afraid to get his own hands dirty in the field. His weapons expertise covers both personal firearms like the Smith & Wesson M&P pistol he usually carries, to far heavier ordinance such as missile launchers.

Nick Fury and Black Widow

When in a fight, he remains cool and collected, though he may be abrasive when dealing with what he sees as unruly or insubordinate operatives under his command. Those few who know him best see a good man in Fury, though one often compromised by his unflagging duty and personal sense of responsibilities.


Cutting Off Heads

The global terrorist organization Hydra has proven to be one of Nick Fury’s greatest obstacles and has provided him with more than one occasion of a former friend or colleague betraying him for Hydra’s own goals.

Once considered an old and good friend, Alexander Pierce rises to the vaunted position of World Security Council Secretary, but reveals himself as Hydra during Fury’s Project: Insight debacle. It is Fury himself who deals the killing blow to his old ally.

Nick Fury

Beyond his battles with Hydra and his differences with the World Security Council, perhaps Nick Fury’s other greatest opponent is the Asgardian trickster god Loki. When Loki directs a campaign against the Earth to gain the power of the Infinity Stone called the Tesseract for an extraterrestrial force, Fury sees it as his opportunity to call the Avengers to assemble as a blockade against it. After the team captures Loki, Fury himself faces the Asgardian to inform him of the special features of his cell on a S.H.I.E.L.D. carrier, though in the end they do little good to hold him.

Within his own organization, when John Garrett, a promising protégé of Fury’s, is uncovered as a longtime Hydra operative, S.H.I.E.L.D.’s director steps in to lend a personal hand to Phil Coulson in taking Garrett down permanently.

Allied Forces

Throughout his tenure with S.H.I.E.L.D. Fury has surrounded himself with a small circle of operatives he can trust with the safety of the world as well as his own life. Maria Hill, his deputy director, is a highly capable, duty-driven agent who will follow his commands to the letter, though will also offer her opinion and insight if she feels it to be warranted. Hill seems to know her leader well, and together they make a good team.

Three other such agents are Natasha Romanoff, codenamed the Black Widow, Clint Barton AKA Hawkeye, and Phil Coulson. Romanoff is something of wild card in Fury’s deck, but as one of the deadliest of all his operatives, he uses her like a surgeon’s scalpel on the most high-risk assignments. Fury recruited Barton into S.H.I.E.L.D., and later his Avengers Initiative, for his extraordinary archery abilities. Coulson stands as a S.H.I.E.L.D. man through and through, a usually unflappable agent that Fury came to view as one of his Avengers.

Nick Fury

Though not necessarily friends, Fury has developed a working relationship with both Tony Stark and Steve Rogers (Iron Man and Captain America, respectively), while assembling the Avengers Initiative. Both men have found ways to work with Fury despite some personal differences, and, in the end, an atmosphere of mutual trust seems to be evident between them.


Taking Initiative

When Tony Stark reinvented himself as Iron Man, he became one of the first individuals to fall under Nick Fury’s watchful eye for his Avengers Initiative. After realizing that Stark would be difficult to corral, he placed Natasha Romanoff as an undercover agent in Stark Industries and later prodded the eccentric industrialist to finish and then perfect his father Howard Stark’s Arc Reactor project.

Dividing his time between monitoring strange phenomena in the southwest United States and babysitting Stark, Fury finally informed Iron Man that he could only really use him as a consultant. This panned out when S.H.I.E.L.D. subsequently sent Stark to chat with General “Thunderbolt” Ross about the Emil Blonsky, AKA the Abomination, and the Avengers Initiative.

Nick Fury and Phil Coulson

Once briefed on the Asgardian incursion in New Mexico by Phil Coulson, Fury met with Dr. Erik Selvig to talk about the scientist’s dimensional gateway research and to show him the Tesseract, a powerful artifact recovered by Howard Stark from the wreckage of the Red Skull’s World War II-era aircraft. Selvig accepted an invitation to work on developing the Tesseract’s energies for other uses, though Fury was unaware of Loki’s influence on the man at that time. Not long after, S.H.I.E.L.D. found the frozen, yet still alive, Steve Rogers. Fury went to great lengths to ease Rogers’ transition from the 1940s to the 21st century and ensure Captain America’s place in the Avengers lineup.

Unhappy with his budget allocations, the World Security Council halted money flow to Fury’s various projects to divert funds to Tesseract research. The S.H.I.E.L.D. director continued his work in secret, but developed weapons from the strange cube’s energies and wrangled a new S.H.I.E.L.D. budget. When Loki stole the Tesseract from a facility overseen by Dr. Selvig, Fury tasked Phil Coulson and the Black Widow to bring in Stark and Dr. Bruce Banner, the Hulk’s alter-ego, while he himself prepped Steve Rogers for duty.

The Avengers brought Loki to a S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier and Fury put him in a cell made to contain the Hulk. But, the trickster escaped after killing Coulson, and Fury in turn was forced to trick the team into reassembling to stop Loki and the alien Chitauri when they invaded New York. In the end, he ignored orders from the World Security Council to use nuclear weapons on Loki. He risked his entire career to do what he believed was right in the situation. The Council expressed their concerns over the Avengers after their victory, as well as their disdain for Fury’s decision to allow the god of mischief and the Tesseract to be taken back to Asgard with Thor, Loki’s brother and a member of the Avengers.

Nick Fury continued to work on Project: Insight, a series of S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarriers designed specifically to target insurgents from above, but began to suspect that the World Security Council was hiding things even from him. After sending Agent Romanoff to covertly capture Insight data, he revealed the project to Steve Rogers, who in turn expressed his concern over the risk to private citizens’ rights. Fury went to his old friend on the Council, Alexander Pierce, to delay the Insight launch while he investigated the info gained by the Black Widow. But when Pierce, secretly a Hydra leader, ordered Fury killed, the S.H.I.E.L.D. director gave Captain America the data and then faked his own death to go deep undercover.

Nick Fury and Doctor Eric Selvig

Pierce moved to capture Rogers or to kill him, but Fury revealed himself to his former friend after Rogers convinced him that the only way to destroy Hydra was to destroy the compromised S.H.I.E.L.D. Fury killed Pierce, watched as his beloved organization was completely dismantled, and decided to stay “dead” to the world while he rooted out remaining Hydra cells in Europe.

Nick Fury next resurfaced during the Avengers’ violent struggle with the artificial intelligence known as Ultron. At Clint Barton’s secret safehouse, he explained to Stark that Ultron wanted nuclear weapons, but since he couldn’t achieve that goal, he’d find something even worse to use on humanity. This gave the team the impetus it needed to refresh its desire to end the robot’s rampage for good. When the Avengers confronted Ultron in the small European nation of Sokovia, Fury flew in with a decommissioned helicarrier to aid in evacuating the Sokovians from their compromised capital city.

Nick Fury

Years later, Fury and longtime ally Maria Hill, while driving in Arizona, would receive information about an alien attack in Wakanda that matched the signature from recent events in New York, but at a highly elevated level. Their conversation was interrupted by a car crashing in front of them—their first indication of the horrific event caused by Thanos that caused half of the universe to vanish in one fell swoop. Fury helplessly watched Hill disintegrate, seeing the same happen all around him to those on the street, ran to retrieve a device in his car and managed to press a send button, even as he too disintegrated.

A Return To Form

Along with beings from across the cosmos, Nick Fury came back to life five years after losing it because the Avengers time-traveled to get Infinity Stones, made a new Gauntlet and restored the previously lost lives. He did not rush into battle against Thanos-from-the-past, but did go to the wake held for Tony Stark soon after.


Monsters from the Multiverse

After Fury returned to life, he discovered he was no longer connected to everything going on in the world. The Avengers were gone, his old contacts weren’t reaching out, and he was having trouble keeping on top of everything. Responding to a suspicious attack in Mexico that leveled a village, where locals claimed to have seen a face inside a sandstorm, Fury and Maria Hill arrived just in time to see Quentin Beck battle a huge Sand Elemental.

After this, Beck told Fury that he was a warrior from an alternate Earth—a world that had been destroyed by a legion of Elementals. Fury and his small team accompanied Beck to Morocco, in time to stop a different Elemental. He also reached out to Peter Parker, trying to get Spider-Man’s help in defeating the monsters. Peter ignored Fury’s calls however, opting instead to go on a class trip to Europe where he could act like a normal teenager.

In Venice, Italy, the first stop on Peter’s trip, a Water Elemental ambushed the Canals. Beck arrived just in time to stop the beast, while Peter, wearing a last-minute carnival mask, aided him. Not realizing how coincidental it was for the Water Elemental to strike in the exact place Peter had traveled to, all while Fury was activity trying to recruit Peter to stop the Elementals, Fury decided to pay Peter a visit in his class’ Venice hostel. To make sure they could speak privately, Fury shot Peter’s roommate Ned with a tranquilizer dart.

On their way to his base of operations, Fury gave Peter a special gift: a pair of sunglasses left for him by Tony in the event of Tony’s death. At the hideout, Peter met Beck and learned about the Elementals. Peter then politely declined to help, seeing as how it seemed like Beck had it all handled. Beck understood while Fury was upset. So upset, in fact, that he pulled some strings to get Peter’s trip rerouted from Paris to Prague so that Peter could be in the city that was due for the next Elemental event.

In Prague, Fury chastised Peter for mishandling the glasses Tony left for him, which contained an advanced AR interface that gave Peter access to all of Stark Industries’ security and defense systems. After Peter and Beck bested the Fire Elemental, which Beck claimed was the biggest, and final, Elemental, Fury and Hill left to go report in with EuroPoll in Berlin.

Peter was then tricked by Beck into giving him the glasses, not knowing that Beck was a disgruntled ex-Stark employee leading a team of other upset Stark techs in a plot fool the entire world into thinking he was a super-powered hero saving the world. After Peter discovered he’d been lied to, he fell into a trap set by Beck that used illusions of both Fury and Hill to get Peter to reveal the names of the others he’d told Beck’s secret to.

Beck, now with access to all of Stark Industries’ drones, decided to fake one more Elemental attack, this time on London. He contacted Fury telling him that a city-sized Elemental was about to land there. Fury and Hill flew to London, but once there they received a call from Happy Hogan, who delivered a cryptic message designed to let Fury know that Beck was lying. Fury got the message, instantly cracking the code and figuring out that Beck had fooled him. Hill then ran to the roof of their building during the Elemental attack and shot down a drone Beck had cloaked in front of Fury—one meant to kill Fury.

After Spider-Man defeated Beck and stopped all the drones, Fury told Happy that he’d had his suspicions about Beck all along. Hill, however, confessed that Fury was lying and that he’d been tricked by the ridiculous multiverse story the whole time.

Later, Fury and Hill made a call and contacted…the real Nick Fury, who was in space, relaxing in front of a screen projecting an image of a tropical beach. Reporting in, the Fury and Hill whom Peter had been dealing with revealed themselves to be shapeshifting Skrulls Talos and Soren, who had been operating as Fury and Hill at the behest of the real Fury. Talos apologized for being taken in by Beck’s deception, and before he could explain further Fury disconnected the call.