By Marc Strom
Nick Fury knows a thing or two about secrets.
The World War II vet and former director of S.H.I.E.L.D., always the man with the plan, recently put together mankind's last, best hope against the invading Skrull hordes: a group of ragtag youngsters called the Secret Warriors.
And when SECRET INVASION #4 hits shelves on July 9, the citizens of the Marvel Universe can only hope the Warriors live up to the hype when they try to fend off an army of Super Skrulls tearing through the streets of Manhattan.
Dipping into his "Caterpillar File," a list of metahumans who inherited their powers from relatives, Fury reached into some of the more remote corners of Marvel history to recruit the children of various heroes and villains.
To fill out the Secret Warriors, Fury tapped Phobos, the young son of the Avenger Ares, capable of instilling fear into the hearts of anyone he chooses; fleet-footed Yo Yo Rodriguez, daughter to the more obscure Griffin; the original Ghost Rider's grandson, J.T.; the son of the notorious Doctor Druid; and Jerry Sledge, whose lineage remains unknown.
Fans have heard little of the Caterpillar File since Secret Invasion mastermind Brian Michael Bendis first introduced it in SECRET WAR, but series editor Tom Brevoort always knew it would return before long.
"The Caterpillar File was put into place in SECRET WAR as a springboard to future stories," the editor explicates. "Brian always knew he'd be going back there."
And given the nature of the Skrull threat, Brevoort says it makes sense Fury would choose now to dig up the secretive file.
Preview art by
Leinil Francis Yu
"As Fury himself says in MIGHTY AVENGERS #13, he was looking for potential operatives who were, up [until] that point, apart from the superhuman mainstream," Brevoort reminds. "People who were obscure enough that their being replaced by Skrulls would have been unlikely."
However, with the exception of Daisy Johnson, Fury's original "Caterpillar," none of the Secret Warriors have seen any real combat. So what exactly gives them an edge against the Skrulls?
"Did you see that gun that Fury was carrying," Brevoort quips. "How does he lift that [thing]? And where does he keep it? Does he have a really big holster?"
Seriously though, fans will have to wait to see just what Fury's done to make the Secret Warriors a palpable threat to the Skrull invaders.
"You'll see more about the kind of training these kids have received, and why they're ready to enter a combat arena, in MIGHTY AVENGERS #18," Brevoort teases.
Preview art by
Leinil Francis Yu
Regardless of how much Fury has trained them, some of the Secret Warriors, including Ares' son, seem a little young for the battle on their horizon. Nonetheless, the Warriors' fearless leader has no qualms about placing them in harm's way.
"Fury's a soldier, one who fought in World War II," Brevoort reasons. "And Secret Invasion is a war, make no mistake about that. Fury knows that, like it or not, in a time of war, kids get drafted to serve. It's a necessary evil, but something that has to be done to insure the future of the human race."
Until then, though, readers can expect the Secret Warriors to do a lot of "punching and hitting and shooting," according to Brevoort.
"And maybe a craps game if things slow down for a moment."
SECRET INVASION #4, by Brian Michael Bendis and Leinil Francis Yu and featuring Nick Fury and his Secret Warriors, comes your way on July 9. Also, be sure to check out this week's Digital Comics Highlights for more Nick Fury courtesy of Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited.