Nick Fury Profile, History and Stats

Real Name: Nicholas Joseph Fury
Known Aliases: Doyle, the Man in the Mystery Mask, Patch, Scorpio; various others used in espionage
Occupation: S.H.I.E.L.D. Director; former agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistics Directorate), intelligence agent, soldier and commando leader, parachuting instructor, stunt flyer
Identity: Publicly known
Legal Status: Citizen of the United States with no criminal record
Place of Birth: New York City, USA
Group Affiliation: S.H.I.E.L.D. (both incarnations); formerly Team Valkyrie, the Central Intelligence Agency, Office of Special Services, liaison to MI-5, Howling Commandos, U.S. Army
Base of Operations: S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier, S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters, penthouse apartment in Manhattan
Known Relatives: Jack Fury (father, deceased), Katherine Fury (mother, presumed deceased), Jacob "Jake" Fury (Scorpio, brother, deceased), Dawn Fury (sister), Mikel Fury (son, aka Scorpio), Rex Fury (alleged ancestor, deceased)
Marital Status: Single
Education: High school, possibly unfinished; extensive military and intelligence training
First Appearance: SEARGENT FURY AND HIS HOWLING COMMANDOS #1; (as modern day Nick Fury, Fantastic Four #21; as Agent of SHIELD, Strange Tales #135)

History: Nick Fury, the eldest of three children, was born to Jack Fury, a noted American pilot who died in battle during the final year of World War I. Fury is also an alleged descendant of one of the men who wore the Phantom Rider mask in the late nineteenth century. He was probably born in the late 1910's, grew up in the NYC neighborhood known as Hell's Kitchen (now known as "Clinton"), and was an amateur boxer, a good skill to have in a tough neighborhood. He was a good friend to Red Hargrove, and the two of them eventually left the neighborhood after high school to pursue their dreams of adventure, eventually settling on the daring wing-walking act of Finley's Flying Circus, a traveling air-show. While with Finley's Flying Circus, both Nick and Red became excellent pilots and stuntmen. When Finley's air-show came to England in 1940, Hargrove and Fury gave parachuting instructions to Lt. Samuel "Happy Sam" Sawyer, an American soldier attached to the British Army. Weeks later, "Happy Sam" Sawyer was assigned to rescue a British spy in Holland, and Happy Sam persuaded Fury and Red Hargrove to accompany him. Their plane was downed in Holland, where they met circus strongman Timothy "Dum Dum" Dugan, who joined their rescue mission. In the end, all five safely returned to England. Inspired by the adventure Dugan joined the British Army, and in early 1941 Fury and Hargrove returned to America to enlist in the U.S. Army. Fury's enlistment at the start of American involvement in World War II helped Fury in rising quickly to the rank of sergeant. He was stationed at Pearl Harbor when the Imperial Japanese Navy ambushed the base on December, 7 1941; Red Hargrove was among the many killed in the attack.

Lt. Sawyer, now a captain within the US Army Rangers, took pains to assign Nick the command of the First Attack Squad, the "Howling Commandos," a band of rip-snorting commandos who were assigned the most dangerous missions of the European theatre. The Squad members were made honorary commandos in the British army and codenamed "the Howling Commandos" or "the Howlers". The Howling Commandos consisted of Corporal Thaddeus Aloysius Cadwallander "Dum Dum" Dugan, Private Gabriel Jones (a black jazz trumpeteer), lasso-wielding Private Reb "Rebel" Ralston, Private Dino Manelli (an actor), Private Eric Koenig (a German defector), Private Izzy Cohen (a mechanical expert), and college student Private "Junior" Juniper (killed in action, replaced with Private Percival "Pinky" Pinkerton). When "Junior" Juniper was slain in an early mission he was replaced by eccentric British soldier "Pinky" Pinkerton; German defector Eric Koenig joined soon afterward, establishing the core membership the Howlers would retain for the remainder of the war, although other soldiers came and went over time. Other units under Lt. Sawyer's command during the war included Sgt. Bull McGiveney's Maulers, Sgt. Bob Jenkins' Missouri Marauders, Jim Morita's Nisei Squadron, and Combat Kelly's Deadly Dozen. The adventures of Nick Fury and the First Attack Squad during the nearly four years of American involvement in WWII were chronicled in the pages of Sgt. Fury & His Howling Commandos, in which the unit fought in virtually every recognized theater of war (and a few more besides) and battled against high ranking Nazis such as the likes of the Red Skull (Hitler's bellboy turned super-villain), Baron Wolfgang Von Strucker, the first Baron Zemo, and many other Axis villains. During one mission inside Germany, Fury's left eye was injured from shrapnel caused by an enemy grenade that exploded near. Fury received the Purple Heart medal for this injury but remained in military service. At first Nick recovered his sight in the left eye after the injury. However, as predicted by his doctor at the time, years later the old wound was exacerbated and eventually caused Fury to lose sight in the left eye permanently. The Howlers also fought alongside several other Sawyer-led units, the costumed adventurers Captain America and Bucky in issue #13, the Marines of Captain Simon Savage's Leatherneck Raiders, and Reed Richards (Mister Fantastic of the Fantastic Four) in issue #3. At some point during the war, Fury befriended a Canadian solider named Logan, who was secretly a super-human mutant. The Howlers proved so successful that Baron Von Strucker was ordered to form a similar unit, the Blitzkrieg Squad, but the Howlers always triumphed over their counterparts.

Early in the war, separated from the Howlers during a mission in France, Fury was gravely injured by a land mine. Discovered by French partisans, Fury was taken to a nearby doctor, Professor Berthold Sternberg. Unknown to Fury, Sternberg not only treated Fury's injuries to a full recovery, but also surgically altered Fury so that Fury could withstand inoculation with Sterberg's so-called "Infinity Formula," intended to slow or even halt the human aging process. Fury returned to his unit a week later, still unaware of Sternberg's experiment; however, over the course of the war, exposure to Fury's blood introduced the formula into the Howlers' bloodstreams as well, causing them to remain unusually vital well into old age. Fury returned to France many times during the war, occasionally on intelligence missions from the Office of Strategic Services.

Weeks after the unit's formation, the Howlers were assigned to destroy a death ray created by Baron Heinrich Zemo, who destroyed it himself rather than risk its falling into enemy hands; Zemo later became a notorious enemy of Captain America. In mid-1942, while stationed in London, Fury fell in love with Lady Pamela Hawley, a British noblewoman serving in a London ambulance unit. In July of that same year, the Howlers ventured into Romania and met the infamous vampire Dracula, who proved as adverse to Nazis as they were. However, the vampiric Nazi agent Baron Blood would later capture the Howlers, though his plans fell apart when an American soldier that he vampirized turned against him. In late 1942, the Howlers were assigned to North Africa, where they saw action alongside nomad leader Desert Hawk and his daughter Sheila, Captain Starr and the Marines of Item Company, and infantryman Combat Casey, among others. In 1943, Fury and Dugan rescued Pam Hawley from the German sorcerer Viscount Krowler, unwittingly intervening in a time-transcending clash between the demonic Dormammu and future Sorcerer Supreme Doctor Strange, who removed the soldiers' memories of the proceedings. The Howlers faced more magic weeks later when they teamed with adventurous thief Jean Luc LeBeau to keep Baron Strucker from obtaining the time-traveling gem called the Momentary Princess. On a more prosaic note, Fury at last decided to propose marriage to Hawley, but she perished tragically during a London air raid, killed by the raid's final bomb as she was helping the wounded. Months later, when Fury was home on leave, his brother Jake, jealous of Nick's fame, was abducted by the Nazi Colonel Klaue. Nick freed Jake but was captured himself, and Jake helped the Howlers rescue Nick. Following these events, Jake enlisted in the Army; but he soon regretted his choice, and his resentment of Nick grew.

It was during World War II that Fury first encountered the man who would become his greatest nemesis: Baron Wolfgang Von Strucker. After suffering innumerable defeats at the hands of the Howling Commandos, Adolf Hitler ordered Baron Strucker to seek out and humiliate Fury in such a way that would render Fury's and the Howling Commandos' reputations worthless. Strucker then challenged Fury to personal combat on the island of Norsehaven in the English Channel. Fury accepted the offer and the two combatants met for the first time. Strucker offered a toast before the combat began, Fury accepted, and was drugged by a powerful sleeping pill Strucker had placed in his drink. Strucker soundly defeated Fury, took photos of the beaten man, and had them widely circulated amongst the Third Reich, scoring a tremendous propaganda victory. Not long after, the Howlers encountered Strucker again, and this time Fury challenged Strucker to a duel. Strucker again tried to drug Fury by offering him a drugged drink. Fury refused, and easily bested Strucker in hand-to-hand combat. Fellow Commando "Dum-Dum" Dugan took photos of Strucker's defeat and circulated them amongst the Allies.

At some point the Nazi mastermind Red Skull infiltrated Fury's base in disguise, though circumstances foiled his mission. In April 1944, the Howlers fought the Skull directly alongside Captain America and Bucky, rescuing an American industrialist. Weeks later, the Howlers pursued Baron Strucker to the German village of Gruenstadt, where they saw him lead a Nazi S.S. Squad in massacring Gruenstadt's entire population. Outraged, the Howlers gunned down Strucker's soldiers to the last man, although Strucker himself escaped. Fury did not know it at the time, but Strucker destroyed Gruenstadt to conceal the nearby discovery of a party Gnobians, extraterrestrials with vastly advanced technology. After the massacre, Strucker mindlinked with the Gnobian leader, gaining extensive alien knowledge -- though Strucker later disputed this -- while the Gnobians were infected with his own twisted personality.

On June 6, 1944, a.k.a. D-Day, the Howlers were part of the Allied invasion of Nazi-held France. In October they teamed with Captain America and Bucky to face a far different invasion, helping the contemporary Sorcerer Supreme, the Ancient One, against an alliance between Dormammu and the Red Skull; once more, sorcery removed memories of Dormammu from Fury and company. Returning to more conventional warfare, Fury and Cap destroyed one of the Red Skull's biochemical warfare camps weeks later, freeing airman Michael Kramer and other prisoners. The Howlers were also among the Allied forces who halted German advances in the Battle of the Bulge in the last days of 1944. In 1945, the Howlers had yet another brush with the unworldly in Berlin, where centuries-old sorcerer Algernon Crowe was creating zombie soldiers for the Nazis. The Howlers incapacitated the zombies and torched Crowe's facility, believing Crowe to be dead.

When the war finally ended in August 1945, Fury led the Howlers on European "mop-up" missions against remaining Axis operatives. It was during this period that the Howlers shut-down the death camp laboratories of Nathaniel Essex, a.k.a. Mister Sinister. Fury was then reassigned to Okinawa, Japan to shut down remnants there, while the other Howlers returned to civilian life.

Fury was soon recruited by the O.S.S. full time. Working with agents of the British MI-5, he was sent after Colonel Ishii, a renegade Japanese scientist with a cache of bio-weapons; Fury captured Ishii, but was the mission's only survivor. In 1946, Fury aged sixty years in minutes due to long-term effects of Sternberg's Infinity Formula; Sternberg, having anticipated this, had mailed Fury a mutated version of the formula, and Fury immediately inoculated himself with it, restoring his youth. However, the effect lasted only one year, and Sternberg began extorting money from Fury in exchange for a yearly supply of the formula. Unable to locate Sternberg, Fury acquiesced and bought doses from him for the next several decades. The formula, the extortion, and the eventual end of said extortion was detailed in 1976's Marvel Spotlight #31.

When the O.S.S. disbanded in 1947, Fury was reassigned to Army Intelligence and eventually saw action in the Korean War, which began in 1950; at some point, Fury re-formed the Howling Commandos, who re-enlisted for a special mission to blow up a missile base behind enemy lines. At the successful close of the mission, Fury was promoted to second lieutenant and soon afterward transferred to the Central Intelligence Agency. In this capacity, he led a unit known as Team Valkyrie until the war's end in 1953. At some point in the late 1950s or early 1960s, Fury worked with the super-team called the First Line and was particularly impressed by their leader, Yankee Clipper. Following his service in Korea, Fury spied for the French government in Viet Nam in the 1950s earning him the rank of colonel. By 1963, Fury was a C.I.A. colonel in charge of a program involving telepathic operatives, one of whom, Theresa Bellwether, was murdered as part of a defense operation called Project: About Face. The ultimate fate of Fury's program is unrevealed, but by 1967 he was active in the Viet Nam War, where he once again re-formed the Howling Commandos as volunteers on special assignment; a year later, he underwent training in the Green Beret Special Forces, which he followed up with Black Beret training in 1973. Little else is known of Fury's C.I.A. activities, although during this period he frequently worked with his wartime comrade Logan, now a Canadian intelligence operative. Fury's tactics and talents earned him many rivals, including a deadly intelligence operative known only as the Spook.

The CIA used Fury as a liaison to various super-powered groups that started popping up in the 1960's, including the Fantastic Four. During his time with the CIA, Nick began wearing an eye patch for the reasons described during WWII and below. This was the trick Marvel used when they told the story of the origin of the eye patch in WWII but had to explain how years later Nick Fury showed up here and there in cameos as a CIA operative without the eye patch. Between appearing as a government liaison to the Fantastic Four and becoming director of SHIELD, he permanently lost sight in that eye as further described below.

In the late 1970's, and still with the C.I.A., Fury investigated a reorganized First Line and aided them against subterranean invaders; following his report, he was recommended for "Project S.H.I.E.L.D.," a government operation still many years from completion and being spearheaded by Anthony Stark to deal with the threat of global industrial espionage. Later, Fury went undercover in Macao to investigate Amber D'Alexis, who ran an espionage and smuggling ring out of her casino; Fury romanced D'Alexis to win her confidence, only to learn that she was romantically involved with his brother Jake, now a biophysics researcher. Fury ultimately took D'Alexis into custody, and Jake's resentment turned into hatred. A few years later, Fury re-formed the Howling Commandos at least once more, for a mission with pilot Ben Grimm. During the same time period, Fury worked with two brilliant scientists, Reed Richards (aka Mr. Fantastic) and Tony Stark (aka Iron Man); unknown to Fury, both men were involved with Project SHIELD, and Jake Fury soon became a Stark employee.

Not long after the debut of the Fantastic Four, Nick Fury aided the team against the subversive Hate-Monger. Following this mission, Fury was assigned by the CIA to investigate a spy at Stark International, unaware that Stark himself was involved in the new international espionage unit known as S.H.I.E.L.D. (Supreme Headquarters International Espionage Law-enforcement Division), the finalized version of Project S.H.I.E.L.D., whose director, Colonel Rick Stoner, had recently been slain by the terrorists Hydra (an international, high-tech terrorist organization created by Baron Wolfgang von Strucker shortly before the end of WWII operations in the Pacific theatre). Fury was dismayed to discover that the spy was his brother Jake, who had defected to Hydra. Confronting his brother, Fury was shot in the left eye, exacerbating his old war injury. Though his operations were exposed, Jake escaped, and Nick, his left eye now almost totally useless, began wearing his trademark eyepatch. Shortly afterward, a mission in Russia again teamed him with Logan, now the Canadian super-agent Wolverine.

Returning to America, Fury was, at Stark's recommendation, recruited to head S.H.I.E.L.D. in place of the slain Col. Rick Stoner. At this time, SHIELD was facing renewed attacks from Hydra. Fury was dubious of his own qualifications, but after a thwarted assassination attempt on his life by Hydra, Fury realized he was the right man for the job and accepted the role. It was in Strange Tales #135 that Nick Fury jumped genres from two-fisted war hero to a James Bond-esque spy, and Marvel introduced Colonel Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD. Soon after accepting the directorship of SHIELD, Fury recruited Dum Dum Dugan, who became his second-in-command, as well as Gabe Jones and Eric Koenig. Fury led SHIELD against Hydra, A.I.M., the Druid and other terrorists; never one to risk subordinates' lives on jobs he could do himself, Fury continued to act as a field agent, serving SHIELD both as administrative head and as field commander. Fury's right-hand man within SHIELD was Jasper Sitwell, a loyal administrator whose dedication to the rules irked Fury almost as much as it grounded him, while much of SHIELD's developing technology was overseen by Sidney "the Gaffer" Levine, a brilliant inventor and, like Fury, a veteran of a wartime unit, in his case the high-tech Skywolves. During his early clashes with Hydra, Fury fell in love with Laura Brown, daughter of the Hydra organization's supposed leader, the Imperial Hydra (Arthur Brown); when the Imperial Hydra was slain in one clash, Fury believed Hydra was on its last legs, but its creed of "cut off one arm and two shall takes it place" would soon prove itself true. When Fury's relationship with Laura Brown ended he began romancing a fellow SHIELD agent, a lovely European lady of high society - the Countessa Valentina Allegra De La Fontaine, more commonly referred to as Val. Deciding to pursue a life of action and excitement, Val walked away from a life of privilege and joined SHIELD. Eventually, she and Nick Fury would become lovers and Val would, over the years, be considered Nick's greatest love (of many).

Mere months after joining SHIELD, Fury was reunited with his wartime friend Captain America, who had been revived from decades of suspended animation by the Avengers. Ironically, Fury faced a more unhappy reunion when he at last learned that Hydra was led by none other than Baron Wolfgang Von Strucker, who tied to blackmail the world with a so-called Death-Spore bomb; however, Fury located the bomb and sealed it in Hydra's domed island base, where it apparently killed only Strucker and his men. On the heels of this victory, Fury was almost driven mad when he became a pawn in a game between Latverian dictator Doctor Doom and his robot opponent, the Prime Mover. During the course of the game, SHIELD clashed with a robot of the megalomaniacal Yellow Claw, and when the true Claw's nemesis, FBI agent Jimmy Woo, became involved in the proceedings, Fury recruited Jimmy for SHIELD.

Fury's peerless leadership saw SHIELD through myriad crises and continued to help the organization rise to become the world's premier covert-operations agency. Fury and SHIELD time and again thwarted numerous major threats to the world's freedom launched by such groups as Hydra and the Zodiac (which was headed at one time by Fury's brother, Jacob, as described more below). Under Fury's leadership, SHIELD spearheaded Earth's defenses during the alien Dire Wraith invasion amidst new recruits like Clay Quartermain.

Another foe of Fury's resurfaced when Jake Fury, empowered by the mysterious and powerful Zodiac Key, attacked SHIELD as Scorpio. Eventually exposed as Nick's brother Jake, Scorpio clashed with Fury repeatedly until his apparent death, although Jake's consciousness survived in an android body. A final bit of Fury's past was laid to rest when Professor Sternberg was slain by criminal Steel Harris, who attempted to up the extortion on Fury's supply of the Infinity Formula. However, with the help of de la Fontaine, Fury defeated Steel and obtained the secrets of the Infinity Formula for himself.

As SHIELD director, Fury also fought various superhuman foes alongside New York's super heroes, many of whom he befriended. When the Thing and a handful of Avengers organized a floating poker game, Fury became a regular participant; at one such game he renewed his friendship with both Carol Danvers (aka Ms. Marvel) and Wolverine (now a member of mutant X-Men). Despite his respect for super heroes, Fury recognized them as potential loose canons, and in the name of "National Security" SHIELD formed more than one contingency plan against them. For years, Fury balanced his duties against his friendships, not always to his own satisfaction. As SHIELD's influence spread and the organization grew into a vast international network, regional directors and subversives within the organization began to undertake questionable operations without Fury's authorization or knowledge. Fury became concerned about internal corruption and former SHIELD agent Barbara Morse, a.k.a. Mockingbird, was pivotal in revealing to Fury the corruption within SHIELD and she also worked with Fury to expose several criminal operations and factions within SHIELD.

Fury became the target of the seven-section organization the Sept, who attacked SHIELD's airborne Helicarrier base, overthrew a small Latin American government, attacked Fury and his men in Egypt, and were tracked to Hong Kong, where Fury unmasked their leader, the One, as the true Yellow Claw. A few years later, while investigating use of the Zodiac Key, Fury was stunned to meet a new Scorpio named Mikel Fury, who claimed to be Jake Fury's son by Amber D'Alexis. Working once again alongside Wolverine, Fury shut down D'Alexis' latest criminal operation, but D'Alexis herself held Fury at gunpoint and revealed that Nick, not Jake, was Mikel's father. D'Alexis was slain by Wolverine mere moments later, and Fury took Mikel into SHIELD custody with the intent to rehabilitate the young man, although Mikel soon escaped.

Soon afterward, in the six-issue Nick Fury vs. SHIELD mini-series, SHIELD experienced the "Deltite Affair," where Fury learned that SHIELD had been infiltrated and that artificial Life Model Decoys called "Deltites" had replaced countless SHIELD agents. Pursuant to the machinations of Baron Von Strucker, the Deltites deceived most of Fury's agents, including Val de la Fontaine, into turning against him (but not quite convincing either Dum Dum Dugan or Gabe Jones). With SHIELD turned against him, Nick suddenly found himself hunted as a fugitive by the very agents he had trained. The Deltite Affair uncovered that the whole of SHIELD was compromised but Fury, and a handful of loyal agents (including Alexander Goodwin Pierce, Kate Neville and Al MacKenzie of the CIA), defeated the Deltites; but not before almost all remaining SHIELD agents were seemingly slain. Unknown to Fury at the time, the Deltites had been directed by Baron von Strucker, alive after all, who kept the supposedly dead agents in stasis. While he had defeated the Deltites, Fury realized that SHIELD, his pride and joy, had to be taken down and, pursuant to his recommendations, the United Nations disbanded SHIELD immediately following the Deltite Affair. Fury traveled the globe to close SHIELD's bases and destroy its most dangerous technology and the global spy organization was completely shut-down and dismantled. Physically and emotionally exhausted, riddled with despair over what he had failed to see going on in his own organization, Fury retired from duty and became a recluse in Nova Scotia with his then lady-love, Kate Neville (one of the agents who had stayed loyal to him during the Deltite Affair).

Months later, Fury left retirement to join de la Fontaine, Val's current lover, Al MacKenzie, Neville and Pierce against the Death's Head Guard, who were Gnobians altered by former Nazi geneticist Arnim Zola and driven mad by Strucker's hatred of Fury. The Death's Head Guard slew hundreds of American agents before Fury managed to break through their programming, after which the Guard committed mass suicide. Strucker later implied that the aliens were in fact creations of Hydra, but this claim seems dubious given the Gnobians' wartime activities.

The United Nations soon realized that some international espionage agency was necessary and asked Fury to come out of retirement and head up a new version of SHIELD. In the second Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD series, Fury accepted total control of the new SHIELD (Strategic Hazard Intervention, Espionage, and Logistics Directorate) being answerable only to the U.N. Security Council. The new SHIELD was to be a more tightly run organization, built with safeguards to prevent corruptions like those of the original. Fury first gathered a small cadre of agents and from there began to expand the agency. Under Fury, the new SHIELD renewed ties with the superhuman community and faced enemies both new and old, including Algernon Crowe, one of the leaders of Mys-Tech (which combined science and magic in pursuit of conquest). Investigating Myst-Tech's greatest threat, the reality-altering Un-Earth, Fury was slain by Crowe, only to be resurrected when American and British super heroes reversed time to defeat Mys-Tech. Fury later teamed with the United Kingdom's Super-Soldiers against Hydra's Warlord Huang Zhu in the Savage Land.

Despite the new SHIELD's early successes, tragedy again struck when Baron Strucker was resurrected by his old Hydra compatriots and he reformed Hydra. Hydra replaced one of SHIELD's first graduating class of 1,500 agents with an LMD that contained an explosive implanted in it. The explosive was detonated in SHIELD's New York City Central Office, destroying the building and killing all 1,500 agents. This, and subsequent actions against Hydra, including the successful defeat of a Hydra team attempting to recover a sunken Soviet nuclear-powered ice-breaker, and the hijacking and subsequent recovery of SHIELD's flying headquarters, the Helicarrier, drove Fury near to the brink of insanity. Fury subsequently recovered from this affliction with no permanent ill effects and Hydra inadvertently provided replacement agents when Fury discovered the comatose agents held in stasis that were believed to have been slain by the Deltites. Learning that Strucker was still alive, Fury again confronted his old nemesis and defeated him, although Strucker eluded capture. Reunited with his longtime agents and friends, Fury set about expanding SHIELD, which eventually neared the size and complexity of its predecessor and brought the new SHIELD back to its original grandeur. Fury even made peace with his son, Mikel, whom he recruited as a SHIELD agent following Mikel's attempts at being the leader of the small European nation of Carpasia. Mikel helped Nick when internal strife within Hydra fueled subversive activity in Fury's home neighborhood of Hell's Kitchen, New York.

Also during this time period, a conspiracy arose involving the terrorist known as Leviathan to prevent Fury from obtaining the Infinity Formula. Fury began to age rapidly. However, it was ultimately discovered that after so many years of using the Infinity Formula Fury's body had begun producing the drug on its own. Fury became young again and, with the aid of the cyborg Deathlok (Luther Manning), Fury put an end to the conspiracy. A short time afterward, Fury temporarily resigned his position as Director of SHIELD to "Dum-Dum" Dugan in order to take time off, but eventually returned once more to the fold and resumed the mantle of command.

Sometime later, Fury received a coded distress message from someone called Fallen Angel, who claimed to be Rick Stoner, SHIELD's first director long believed dead. Commissioning from Tony Stark a specialized Life Model Decoy (LMD), Fury left the LMD android in his place and traced the message signal to Project: Backslide, an abandoned SHIELD experiment, only to be pulled into a pocket dimension with Fallen Angel, who, regardless of his true identity, died shortly afterward, leaving Fury stranded for months. As it turns out, the Fallen Angel had been abandoned by SHIELD after Hydra kidnapped him. Fury set about tracking the Fallen Angel, but as the situation was politically volatile, Fury diverted attention from his investigation by appointing an LMD to take Fury's real-time place. His search led him to the "Backslide," an abandoned SHIELD project which created a portal from a fabricated Cosmic Cube. Ultimately, the Fallen Angel hoped Fury might use the portal to go back in time, prevent SHIELD from being formed, and thus gain revenge for his abandonment.

Unknown to Fury, his LMD duplicate captured and tried to rehabilitate the killer vigilante Punisher. However, the Spook (a longtime rival of Fury's) brainwashed the Punisher, putting Frank Castle under a posthypnotic suggestion that Nick Fury was the man responsible for killing his family many years ago. Operating under this brainwashing, the Punisher attempted to assassinate Fury (in reality being the LMD duplicate, but believed by all to be the genuine Fury). SHIELD then began a full-scale manhunt for the Punisher, who happened to encounter the monstrous Hulk. The Hulk held a grudge against Fury as Fury had led SHIELD in an attempt to abduct him as his wife, Betty Banner, was dying, and the Hulk attacked Fury and SHIELD, allowing the Punisher to elude capture and then later to assassinate the Fury LMD and again escape. Fury was "buried" in Arlington National Cemetery with attendees from many SHILED agents, the Avengers, the X-Men, Wolverine, the President of the US and former Howling Commandos who were still alive all these years later.

Sharon Carter, also known as SHIELD's "Agent 13," subsequently learned that Fury's death and funeral had been staged. Carter infiltrated the agency to investigate Fury's "death" only to find herself pursued by SHIELD. To avoid capture, Carter escaped through an energy portal she found in an abandoned SHIELD safehouse. There, she found herself sucked by the Cosmic Cube into the same pocket dimension as the real Fury and found herself in Nazi territory during World War II, where she encountered Nick Fury. Fury's subconsciousness had remade the pocket dimension into a duplicate of wartime Europe, where Fury relived past Howlers missions over and over again. Fury regained his senses through the arrival of Sharon Carter. As Carter herself had been long thought dead, Carter had come to this pocket dimension seeking retribution against Fury and she had found documents which questioned the fate of his predecessor, the SHIELD director code-named Fallen Angel, whom all had believed was killed by agents of Hydra. Fury disagreed, and he and the Fallen Angel struggled. They both ended up traveling through the portal, which created a reality based on the memories of war from the two soldiers. In this maddening chaos, Fallen Angel took his own life and Fury's subconscious remade the pocket dimension into a duplicate of wartime Europe. Therefore, Fury was left, trapped, fighting a stalemate war for months. Carter's presence allowed the Backslide's reality to change, offering a way out. Together, Fury and Carter battled their way free. Carter and Fury managed to escape moments before the portal's destruction, although Fury disappeared in the explosion. Soon afterward, Carter re-enlisted with SHIELD, and was named acting director in lieu of Fury's return. However, Fury eventually returned to SHIELD, driving himself harder than ever. One of SHIELD's most serious setbacks came when the Helicarrier was hijacked by the Red Skull, who joined forces with the Hate-Monger in an effort to spread hatred across the world, but the villains were defeated by Fury, Captain America, the Falcon, and their fellow wartime veteran, Namor the Sub-Mariner.

Ultimately, despite Fury's best efforts, the second incarnation of SHIELD has proven to be no more immune to corruption than the first, and Fury has grown dubious of some of the agency's more inhumane operations, such as the so-called Deathlok project run by SHIELD's Extechchop division that transformed former SHIELD Manhunter Jack Truman into a horrific cyborg. Fury even briefly lost command of SHIELD, being demoted to a non-existent desk job. Despite ending the threat of former Hydra agent Rudy Gargarin on Napoleon Island, Fury had to struggle to regain his position as head of SHIELD; which he accomplished in part by convincing the Punisher to accept a mission that took him into a Russian nuclear missile facility to save a young girl who carried a deadly biological agent in her body. Moreover, as superhuman incidents become more widespread and devastating, Fury, despite his efforts to steer government attention away from such allies as Spider-Man and Daredevil, found himself at odds with the Fantastic Four, the X-Men and even his old friends Captain America and Wolverine, whom he has reduced to manipulating on more than one mission. Even the Black Widow, a long-time Fury loyalist, discovered that Fury had manipulated her in the past by using a stolen pheromone developed by the Soviets to control the subjects of their "Black Widow" program. It remains to be seen how long Fury can tread the line between his conflicting loyalties to both the super-heroe community and the government he serves. At one point, Fury was assigned to command the UN multi-national taskforce sent to Latveria to ensure that Reed Richards and the rest of the Fantastic Four stepped down as the ruling authority in the small European country following the Fantastic Four's apparent destruction of the prior ruler, Doctor Otto Von Doom. That episode ended with Fury attempting to arrest the Fantastic Four and then aiding them in a battle against the returning spirit of Dr. Doom.

Nick Fury and his agents next picked up on something very odd going on in the super-villain community. For years, super-villains had been popping up with a fortune in hi-tech power enhancement armor and devices, and using that technology for petty crimes and other small heists. The cost to acquire and maintain such advanced technology far surpassed the amounts these super-villains were taking in from their small-time crimes. So where was this hi-tech equipment coming from? Fury found a trail that led first to Phineas Mason, the Tinkerer, and then onto Latveria, at that time being run by Prime Minister Lucia Von Bardas. With hard evidence to back him up, Fury took his findings to the President and his staff to explain that Latveria's outfitting of American criminals with technology was part of a larger threat to national security. Fury suspected that in return for the hi-tech equipment, at a certain time these super-villains would be called upon to execute a scheduled series of terrorist attacks against the United States. At that point, the President, citing a fortune in aid to Latveria and their investment in Bardas, cut Fury short. Fury was instructed to back off so that the situation could be handled "diplomatically." Fed up that the US had to play by a set of diplomatic rules that no one else had to, Fury decided that he would not sit back once again and wait for a disaster that would kill more innocent lives. Instead, he planned a pre-emptive strike against Latveria. Realizing that he couldn't use SHIELD resources without formal authorization, Fury contacted Captain America, Daredevil, Spider Man, Luke Cage and Wolverine and persuaded them to travel to Latveria, along with a young woman named Daisy Johnson. In Latveria, the group met up with the Black Widow and Fury explained that they had been hand picked for the covert purpose of overthrowing the US-recognized government of Latveria. The next night, the group fiercely fought their way into von Bardas' private chambers when they discovered that the US government hadn't sanctioned their presence and that they were in Latveria illegally. On Fury's orders, Daisy completely destroyed the castle with her powers, killing everyone except the heroes. The heroes were dismayed and indignant at Fury's actions but Fury was unrepentant. Deciding that the group of heroes could not return to the US and talk about the covert action they had just completed, Fury drugged the heroes with a serum that erased their memories of the prior two days.

A year later, Luke Cage was attacked in his apartment. An explosion destroyed the entire apartment, leaving Cage comatose. Nick Fury heard the news of Cage's hospitalization and went to visit Cage in his hospital room. After the attack on Luke Cage, one by one the other heroes involved in Fury's "Secret War" were ambushed. Eventually, Fury, Spidey, Cap and Daredevil located each other at a water-front pier and were immediately attacked by dozens of technology-powered super villains and Fury called in the Fantastic Four for help. Suddenly all the high-tech armor of the villains shut down and Lucia Van Bardas, not dead afterall, arrived in her own hi-tech armor that shot beams of energy to all of her helpless operatives, at which point Mr. Fantastic realized that all of the high-tech armor together made one explosive device capable of destroying all of New York city. Suddenly, von Bardas armor was ripped from her body. As the catalyst for the explosion, von Bardas' demise prevented the detonation of the techno-bomb and all of the heroes had survived. The villains, except for one, had all perished. The group saw that it was Daisy Johnson that had used her powers to rip apart von Bardas' armor, averting the disaster. At that moment, the X-Men arrived with Wolverine. Fury finally came clean that the attacks were retribution for the overthrow of the Latverian government a year ago. Taking out the Latverian government had been Fury's own act of international terrorism and he had used the heroes and removed their memories of the entire event. Fury remained firm, though, that his actions saved lives and would discourage other terrorists from doing what von Bardas had attempted. Wolverine snapped and stabbed Fury dead and Daisy attacked Wolverine in return but the fight was stopped by Fury's voice emanating from his corpse. What Logan kad "killed" was an LMD. Fury had been present for the battle, but had left once it was over. Fury told the group that he hoped that someday they'd understand what he had done and that he was going underground. Daisy was subsequently interviewed by SHIELD agent Maria Hill, but she did not disclose that she had been following orders given to her by Nick Fury, nor did she disclose Fury's whereabouts. With Fury a wanted fugitive, the President appointed Maria Hill as SHIELD's new director.

It was while Nick Fury was underground as a fugitive that Maria Hill and SHIELD were used by the US government to hunt down and capture all super-heroes who refused to register under the new Super-Hero Registration Act. Fury lent support to Captain America's anti-registration forces in the "Civil War" conflict, providing Cap's troops with a SHIELD safe house and new identities they could assume to avoid capture by SHIELD's "Cape Killer" squads. Adamantly opposed to the Act for forcing individuals to work in the service of their country, Fury provided information and support to the Winter Soldier (James Barnes, Cap's former partner known as "Bucky") that allowed the Winter Soldier to infiltrate a SHIELD base and sabotage an LMD that Maria Hill was using to "act" in Fury's place. As modified, anything the LMD saw and had access to, the real Nick Fury would also see while he remained hidden in his undisclosed location. Time will tell what happens next to Fury, and what his role within the Marvel Universe will be. Rest assured, Fury will always have a role in the Marvel Universe. He knows too much, is too well connected, and simply just won't quit to play shuffleboard in Florida.

Fury isn't the only established Marvel character to work with S.H.I.E.L.D. Captain America, Iron Man, Wolverine, Jessica Jones, Kitty Pryde and The Black Widow were all affiliated with the organization at various times over the years. In fact, years later, when Marvel licensed Godzilla for a monthly comic, it used S.H.I.E.L.D. as Godzilla's regular antagonist. In addition, Fury isn't the only established Marvel character to come out of the Howling Commandos and/or SHIELD. Dum Dum Dugan, G.W. Bridge, Gabriel Jones, Clay Quartermain, Jessica Drew (Spider-Woman), Jimmy Woo, Jasper Sitwell, Sharon Carter (Agent 13), Wendell Vaughn (Quasar; Photon), Mockingbird, and the Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine, were all SHIELD agents who have appeared in many other Marvel titles and books. Wherever the Marvel Universe resides, somewhere nearby lurks Nick Fury and his agents of SHIELD.

Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 221 lbs.
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Brown, white at temples
Other Distinguishing Features: Fury wears a cosmetic eyepatch over his left eye. The eye was injured when a bone chip from his right zygomatic arch was driven into his right optic nerve (which crosses over from the left eyeball to the right side of the brain) by shrapnel from a German hand grenade during World War II. This caused slight damage at the time, which became aggravated over the years, and finally caused a 95% vision loss.

Strength Level: Nick Fury possesses the normal human strength of a man of his height and build in his physical prime who engages in intensive regular exercise.

Known superhuman powers: Due to the effects of the Infinity Formula, Nick Fury ages very slowly, retaining the appearance and vitality of a man less than half his age.

Abilities: Nick Fury is a combat veteran of three wars, plus numerous "military advisor" missions and clandestine operations. Nick Fury has trained as a paratrooper (137 official drops), a Ranger, a demolitions expert (including Underwater Demolition Team training) and a vehicle specialist. He holds an unlimited-tonnage, all-seas license as a commander of ocean-going vessels. Fury has completed Green and Black Beret Special Forces training, and has been an agent of the OSS (Office of Special Services) and a liaison of the M5 (British Secret Intelligence). He is a seasoned unarmed-and-armed combat expert, was a heavyweight boxer in the Army, and holds a black belt in Tae Kwan Do and a brown belt in Jiu Jitsu. Fury has honed his fighting skills sparring with Captain America, perhaps the world's finest unarmed-combat expert. Fury is an all-around superb athlete, hand-to-hand combatant, marksman and tactician. Fury's body now naturally produces the Infinity Formula which continues to slow the process of aging in his body.

Weapons: As the highest-ranking official of S.H.I.E.L.D., Fury has access to the most technologically advanced weaponry of any class in the western world. Nick Fury's preferred handguns include a .15-caliber needle gun, a government-issue .45-caliber automatic, a captured German Lugar in 9mm Parabellum, a modified semi-automatic Walther PPK in 9mm Parabellum and the Ingram MAC-10 machine pistol in .45 caliber. He has also employed such weaponry as a tear-gas boutonniere, automatic lock-pick pistol, a shirt composed of a stable, low temperature ignition explosive, a radio-link tie, a bullet-proof summer suit, a rear-view periscope hat, chemically-impregnated clothing containing binary explosives (requiring the presence of one another to detonate) and a modified Omega Speedmaster chronograph which contained an early version of a flat TV camera and a two-way radio communication device. Fury's S.H.I.E.L.D. uniform consists of 9-ply Kevlar (able to withstand ballistic impact up to .45-caliber bullets at close ranges), a type C Beta Cloth (the kindling temperature of which is 1,700 degrees Fahrenheit) and spun polymer fibers which creates a body armor that makes him impervious to cuts and bruises and also keeps him dry when it's wet, warm when it's cold, and cool when it's hot.

Transportation: SHIELD's mobile headquarters has been and, over the course of several recreations and make-overs, continues to be a true marvel of modern technology and has come to symbolize the whole of SHIELD. Originally constructed in the late 1960's with help from Tony Stark and Reed Richards, the Helicarrier provides for global vigilance unmatched by any other force on Earth. Housing hundreds of agents and technicians, the carrier also serves as home to several squadrons of fighter aircraft, helicopters, and hovercars. Among its levels, the carrier holds divisions of all of the agency's various departments, including the ESPer Division. The entire command staff hold quarters aboard the carrier, while the lower ranks occupy military barracks-style rooms. By far the largest room is the multi-level bridge which includes the massive wrap-around glass wall found at the fore of the aircraft. As for SHIELD's hover-car, while the vehicle used to be a favorite of Fury's during SHIELD's early years, advancing technology has surpassed the design and is used by Fury only to commute from his Manhattan apartment to the Helicarrier. In the original design's place is a new model which comprises the S.H.I.E.L.D. Air Cavalry; the new Mercedes based hover cars are now used for patrol and combat maneuvers in urban environments. Fury has also utilized various rocket and jet propelled backpacks to move over shorter distances.

Allies: While Fury knows and has connections with just about every character in the Marvel Universe, those that he has worked close enough with over the years to be considered allies (and in some cases even friends) is somewhat more limited. These "allies" include Captain America, Wolverine, Iron Man, the Black Widow, Mockingbird (deceased), G.W. Bridge, Agent 13, the Fantastic Four (especially Ben Grimm, the Thing), the original Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew), Carol Danvers (aka Warbird) and Michael Collins (aka Deathlok). Other Marvel characters with whom Nick has had significant contact and dealings with include Spider-Man, the Hulk, Daredevil, Luke Cage, Silver Sable, Paladin, the Punisher, Nova, Photon (Wendell Vaughn, ex-SHIELD agent; formerly Quasar, formerly Captain Marvel), ROM the Space Knight, the Avengers and the X-Men (especially Logan and Rogue).

Key Comic Book Appearances:
First Appearence: Nicholas Joseph Fury (Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos #1, 1963); first appearence with eye patch and as head of SHIELD (Strange Tales Vol. 1 #135, 1965); first post-WWII appearence, prior to his Strange Tales debut, as a CIA liaison without eye patch (Fantastic Four Vol. 1 #21, 1963)
Origin: Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos #34 (1966); Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos #44 (1967); Strange Tales Vol. 1 #135 (1965); Fury Vol.1 #1 (1994)
Significant Issues: First mission of the Howling Commandos recounted (Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos #44, 1967); first fought Baron Von Strucker (Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos #5, 1964); first met Captain America and Bucky (Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos #13, 1964); decided to propose to Pamela Hawley, learned of her death (Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos #18, 1965); injured left eye during a combat mission, Eric Koenig joins the Howlers (Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos #27, 1966); recruited by the O.S.S. (Nick Fury Vol.3 #38, 1992); fought alongside First Line (Marvel: The Lost Generation #10, 2000); aided Fantastic Four against the Hate Monger (Fantastic Four Vol. 1 #21, 1963); exposed Jake Fury as a spy within Stark International (Fury Vol. 1 #1, 1994); appointed director of SHIELD (Strange Tales Vol. 1 #135, 1965); first appearance of Laura Brown (Strange Tales Vol. 1 #135, 1965); first stand-alone monthly title for Nick Fury, introducing Scorpio (Nick Fury Vol. 1 #1); gained secret of the Infinity Formula (Marvel Spotlight Vol. 1 #31, 1976); with Wolverine, fought against Mikel Fury and discovered Mikel to be his son (Wolverine/Nick Fury: The Scorpio Connection, 1989); targeted and hunted by SHIELD, ended the Deltite conspiracy (Nick Fury Vs. SHIELD #1-6, 1988); fought Death's Head Guard, decided to re-establish SHIELD (Nick Fury Vol. 3 #1-6, 1988); apparently assassinated by a brain-washed Punisher (Marvel Double Edge, Alpha and Omega); facts revealed about alleged death at the hands of the Punisher (Fury/Agent 13 #1-2, 1998); opposed the Fantastic Four's takeover of Latveria (Fantastic Four Vol. 3 #75-79, 2003-2004); invaded Latveria and overthrew it's government without U.S. or SHIELD sanction with the aid of several super-heroes (Secret War #1-5, 2004-2005); presided over the crime scene at the destroyed Avengers' Mansion during Avengers Disassembled (Avengers vol. 1 #501-503, 2004)