By Frank DeAngelo IV & Marc Strom
Welcome to Secret Invasion Illumination, True Believer! Over the next few months, we'll be taking a look at various key players from the mega event spinning through SECRET INVASION itself as well as MIGHTY AVENGERS, NEW AVENGERS and more of Marvel's top titles and what role they'll play in the event as it unfolds.
First up, we've got everyone's favorite man of mystery, former director of S.H.I.E.L.D. Nick Fury. With his imminent return in MIGHTY AVENGERS #12 on April 23, we spoke with writer Brian Michael Bendis and editor Tom Brevoort about all things Fury... or at least, as much as they could say without incurring the super spy's wrath!
Nick Fury: Birth of an International Super Spy
90-years old and still kicking, Nick Fury has seen it all.
In the days of World War II, before he even gained his trademark eye-patch, Fury led the elite U.S. military unit known as the Howling Commandos. Striking fear in the hearts of Nazis across the European theater and fighting alongside the likes of Captain America and Bucky, the Commandos owned the battlefield and never learned how to say quit.
With the war over, Fury continued his career as a military man, unable to live a life without espionage. And thanks to the "Infinity Formula," Fury found he had quite a long life ahead of him.
Introduced into Fury's bloodstream by Professor Berthold Sternberg while being treated for injuries during the war, the Formula slowed the old soldier's aging process...which would account for his boyish good looks even today!
By the time S.H.I.E.L.D. started up, Fury had positioned himself as the obvious choice to act as the intelligence organization's director.
But after years of faithful and successful service, Fury's world came crashing down around him when he mounted a covert invasion of Latveria to prevent high-level officials in that country from funding super villains the world over. Caught in the act, Fury went underground, only to be heard from sporadically in the last few years...until now.
Why Makes Nick Fury Cool?
He's got one eye and never misses a shot...what more needs to be said?
Despite not having quite the notoriety of Spider-Man, Wolverine, or Iron Man Fury remains one of Marvel's all time greats. Rather, that's just part of the character's charm. Acclaim and recognition would only complicate the cigar chompin' general's life. After all, any good secret agent shuns the spotlight.
The ex-director of S.H.I.E.L.D. stands amongst the most colorful and
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powerful heroes on the planet, and they turn to him for leadership, strength, and the best that humanity has to offer-not to mention for the craziest, cut throat, hardcore strategies ever imagined.
Brilliant in his methods, Fury commanded S.H.I.E.L.D. long before Tony Stark and did it all without the help of that fancy Extremis hardware. Steady and convicted, the old soldier continues fighting the new war against threats home and abroad.
"He's John Wayne in a James Bond world," SECRET INVASION and MIGHTY AVENGERS editor Tom Brevoort offers on Fury's unique appeal.
And one more factoid for you: Nick Fury rocked the uber-popular "lots of guns, lots of belts, lots of straps all over" look long before the 90's hit, so you can add "trendsetter" to his list of accolades.
Where's Nick Been?
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Wouldn't you like to know? SECRET INVASION scribe Bendis remains tight-lipped on our favorite spy's whereabouts since the end of SECRET WAR, but he'll certainly tell you where you can find out for yourself.
"All of that is addressed very dramatically in MIGHTY AVENGERS #12-13," the writer promises.
Living underground for so long has left Fury with little in the way of resources, the writer reveals: "He no longer has all his friends and cool toys. He is alone with his wits."
Considering we've only seen Fury once or twice in the last few years, you can bet that wherever he's been, he's got something big cooking... and with or without his cool toys, Nick Fury still stands as one of the most deadly individuals in the Marvel Universe.
What Comes Next
With the Skrulls' invasion forces hitting Earth's atmosphere at full throttle, Fury will finally make his return to the world at large...but don't expect a warm welcome back from all his friends.
"SECRET INVASION is all about trust, so at the start of it, forget about Nick," Brevoort forecasts. "Almost all of the heroes aren't certain who they can trust from moment to moment."
For this particular mission, Fury won't necessarily have to unite the still divided super hero community. Instead, Brevoort explains, "he might need some guys to work together harmoniously for whatever specific mission he needs them for, but whether they get along apart from that really isn't his problem. He just needs them to be able to do the job for him when it counts."
But can Fury hope to stem the Skrull menace at this point in the game? Maybe... but you'll have to check out MIGHTY AVENGERS #12, on sale April 23, to find out what exactly he has planned for those pointy-eared villains.
Who do you trust? Learn more about Secret Invasion now at Marvel.com/SecretInvasion! Also, read the SECRET INVASION PROLOGUE in Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited and watch the Secret Invasion animated short!