By Marc Strom
Welcome to another installment of Secret Invasion Illumination, True Believer, your inside source to the various key players from the mega event spinning through the SECRET INVASION limited series itself as well as MIGHTY AVENGERS, NEW AVENGERS and many more of Marvel's top titles!
In the SECRET INVASION PROLOGUE
, we learned that veteran S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Dum Dum Dugan, one of Nick Fury's most trusted confidantes, had fallen prey to the Skrulls' invasion, replaced by one of the shape-shifting villains.
Just what Skrull Dugan has gotten up to since then, though, remains shrouded in mystery...until August 27, at least. Dugan gets his very own flashback issue with MIGHTY AVENGERS #17, written by Secret Invasion master planner Brian Michael Bendis and with art from Khoi Pham.
Before that, though, we've got a primer on all things Dugan, as well as a couple hints from Executive Editor Tom Brevoort on just what the future holds in store for Dum Dum Dugan...if anything at all!
From War Hero to Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
A circus performer at the outbreak of World War II, Dugan one day helped a soldier by the name of Nick Fury escape his Nazi pursuers. Little did the two realize that this marked the beginning of a long and enduring friendship.
When Sam Sawyer created the group known as the Howling Commandos, a crack team of soldiers sent on only the most dangerous missions within the European theater of war, he chose Dugan as Fury's second in command.
While the mystery as to how Dugan retains his youthful charm and vigor when he should be upwards of 80-years old remains one of the great unsolved questions of the Marvel U, when Nick Fury went about staffing S.H.I.E.L.D., he didn't have far to look when he chose Dugan as his right-hand man.
Ever since, Dugan's acted as an integral part of S.H.I.L.E.D., until shortly after the death of Captain America, when a Skrull agent posing as the Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine incapacitated the WWII vet, taking his place.
Not Just the Second-in-Command
When most people think of Dum Dum Dugan, they imagine him as Fury's sidekick. But you shouldn't overlook anybody with the ability to gain Fury's trust and respect the way Dugan has.
Dugan has proven his capability to step up and take the reins of leadership time and time again. In the past few years alone, he's survived two major shakeups at S.H.I.E.L.D., first when Fury declared his Secret War and consequently went into hiding, and then when Tony Stark became the organization's commander. The fact that he's stuck around this long only proves S.H.I.E.L.D. would go to pieces if he went missing.
Or if a Skrull happened to replace him, for that matter.
Brevoort attributes Dugan's staying power to a few other factors, as well.
"Ever since WWII, Dum Dum has lived in Nick's shadow-willingly, for the most part," notes the editor. "But that means that most people tend to underestimate or overlook him. He's got as much experience as Nick in terms of being a soldier and operating on a worldwide scale. And he's got almost as many relationships with super humans in the Marvel U as Nick does."
And Then the Invasion Hit
MIGHTY AVENGERS #17 will feature another flashback, this time featuring Dugan and Yellowjacket...but which Dugan will take the spotlight?
"The events in MIGHTY AVENGERS #17 take place after the death of Cap, so it'll be the Skrull posing as Dum Dum we'll be featuring," Brevoort confirms.
As far as what trouble Skrull Dugan could have caused, with his abduction occurring shortly after the death of Cap, more than enough happened which the alien infiltrator could have messed with.
"The Dum Dum we saw in WORLD WAR HULK, for example, would have been the Skrull version," Brevoort posits.
Learn the dark secrets of Dum Dum Dugan on August 27 in MIGHTY AVENGERS #17, but check out the WWII adventures of SGT. FURY AND HIS HOWLING COMMANDOS right now on Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited!