Fury #1: Review

May 1994
Barry Dutter, M.C. Wyman

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

Rating:
4.5 stars

Fury #1 Review by (May 8, 2013)
MCP doesn't give reasons for its sequences of appearances (but you may find clues in their Forum or its archives). But I can make a suggestion:- Stoner didn't die in this book, he was just seriously injured and in a coma, so he couldn't tell anyone about Jake Fury. During this period is place was taken temporarily by Col Harrison. Stoner then recovered and retook his Directorship, but was no longer as hands-on. Stark (and others) eventually replaced him with Nick Fury. This could also tie in with the 2-issue Fury/Agent 13, whose villain is never named, but is Fury's only predecessor as SHIELD Director, who was shot by Hydra and abandoned by SHIELD. That statement *could* be taken to match my outline above. But actually FA13#2 inserts kidnapped by Hydra in between shot and abandoned, which means it follows from a modified version of this book's plot, and doesn't relate to EtM which hadn't even been dreamt of yet. Continuity implants, even when they're not deliberate retcons, usually involve changing things that were stated in earlier comics. For instance this book negated the implication in ST#135 that SHIELD had only recently begun, and Fury was its 1st Director. FA13 denied the scene here where Stoner dies in front of Stark, and said he was captured by Hydra, and SHIELD didn't rescue him. TIA ignores him completely. EtM effectively ignores his death and/or capture, and implies that he just gets replaced by Fury. There is often a choice of what to ignore. Eg one could imagine Stoner's death scene in this book occurring after his mentions in EtM, but then have to worry about the state of the helicarrier in its various appearances. And now the recent Iron Man Season One throws a large rock into the pool by introducing a new early SHIELD Director, and having SHIELD existing before the origin of Iron Man, and the helicarrier already being built then.

The history of SHIELD presented here and in Iron Man: The Iron Age and Iron Man: Enter the Mandarin are somewhat conflicting, but the Marvel Chronology Project tries to make sense of it. The relevant parts of this book mostly involve Tony Stark, so the easiest thing to do is look at the MCP sequence for Iron Man around this time. It has Stark organising the creation of SHIELD and the hiring of Stoner in this book between Tales of Suspense #40 and #41. Stoner gets SHIELD up and running here before ToS#43. Stoner's death after investigating the sabotage of the flying car prototype is between ToS#44 and Avengers #1. The helicarrier is still being developed. Then in the middle of ToS#45, TIA#2 has Stark liasing with Col Harrison about SHIELD stuff. After ToS#48 it has a working flying car, and the helicarrier is flying but not quite finished during Spymaster's attempt to hijack it. MCP then inserts elements from Fury #1 here:- the official launch of the helicarrier is sabotaged, and Fury is brought in to investigate before ToS#49. Then we have the EtM version of ToS#50 where SHIELD send Iron Man to investigate the Mandarin. Stoner is said to be still in charge throughout EtM, but never actually appears. The series never actually says that scenes occur on the helicarrier, but one could be forgiven for assuming that they did. EtM ends after the equivalent of the 2nd Mandarin story (ToS#54-55) with Stark saying he wants to replace Stoner with Fury. But this doesn't happen until ST#135 after ToS#64, which this book says occurs a few months after Stoner's 'death'. The detailed dating in the 1st Official Avengers Index has ST#135 in May, and Stoner's death would be in the preceding October, with the end of EtM in March.

Strucker's hologram claims the Deltite affair was just a diversion. As was the story of the alien Gnobian hive queen in NFAoS(1989)#1-6. There Nick's buried memories of finding the Gnobian queen with Strucker in 1944 led to a revelation that Srucker got lots of Hydra tech from the alien, but also that she was the source of SHIELD's LMD tech. The Strucker hologram now claims these memories were false implants. The Strucker hologram says these things were distractions while he himself was being resurrected in NFAoS(1989)#21 (which tells us when this hologram scene is happening). Strucker had been killed by Hydra's Death Spore bomb in ST#158. Since then he'd been replaced by a series of LMD's (not counting the Deltite). But now the Death Spore virus itself was used to revive him. This is presumably the 3rd of the things Arnim Zola gives him, alongside the Deltite and the Gnobian. Finally I don't think Stark's promised bigger role with SHIELD refers to anything in particular, just getting back together after falling out over the attempted takeover of his company.

We see Fury becoming Director in Strange Tales #135. He still doesn't know about SHIELD and the helicarrier because Stark and the President didn't share that information when they instructed him to find the mole in Stark Industries. And this book treats Fury appearing not to have met Stark before in #135 as a joke. But the scene with Nick's girlfriend Laura Brown must be a mistake. She was the daughter of the Supreme Hydra in ST#135, and only hooked up with Nick later. After that we get a quick overview of the Deltite affair in the Nick Fury vs SHIELD mini-series. As here a sentient 'Deltite' LMD took over SHIELD by replacing lots of agents with other Deltite LMD's, including the ruling council, until Fury discovered what was going on and stopped it in the limited series. One of its aims was to get Fury's Infinity Formula to extend the lives of the Deltites. But here there are differences. Jake Fury smuggles the 1st Deltite into SHIELD, to be activated later. But NFvS had the LMD active very early, even replacing enough of the SHIELD council to ensure that Fury was elected the next Director. (In fact the secret inner council as portrayed in NFvS seemed to be a different thing than the council described here and in ST#135.) There the Deltite was a 'mutant' LMD that became sentient. Here it was all a plot by Strucker. There the Deltite took control of Hydra as well. Here that is brushed under the carpet. The attempted SHIELD takeover of Stark International mentioned as part of the Deltite's reign was in Iron Man #117-119, with Fury's blessing. This is retconned here to being a Fury LMD under Deltite control.

James Hudson's early Guardian armour was seen in a backup story in Alpha Flight (1983) #2 and in AF#-1. The Logan seen here is before he gains his adamantium claws and the codename Wolverine. But he would still have his retractable bone claws, which he just chooses not to use. Stark mentions financial contributions to SHIELD from Cordco (run by Janice Cord's father as in Iron Man (1968) #2), Williams Industries (run by Simon Williams, later Wonder Man) and Roxxon (but Iron Man:The Iron Age will say it's called Republic Oil and Natural Gas at this time - this applies to all later mentions of Roxxon here). We have here a very early Forge app, long before he became involved with the X-Men in Uncanny X-Men #184. The 1st of Hitler's clones turns up as the 1st Hate-Monger fighting Fury and the FF in the original Fantastic Four #21. Nick didn't have an eye-patch there, but did in ST#135 2 real-time years later. SFHC#27 gave him a war wound that would eventually take the sight from that eye. The bit about Nick aggravating the old eye injury while fighting Jake is to explain why it suddenly gets worse. There was more to explain than an eye-patch. As the Marvel present was moved further away from WWII, how come Fury didn't look old? The Infinity Formula mentioned here was introduced in a flashback in Marvel Spotlight #31 to explain his slow ageing.

Iron Man in his bulky gold armour places that appearance between ToS#40 and #47. The goons don't know he's called Iron Man, so earlier rather than later, and the Marvel Chronology Project puts it immediately after #40. There are no real clues as to where the other parts fit, but the MCP has Stoner dying between ToS#44 and Avengers #1. Jake Fury's cameo as a soldier here causes another temporal clash, as he supposedly didn't join the army until after SFHC#68-69. However, Jake's resentment of his older brother increasing during his war experiences was documented in Defenders (1972) #49. West Coast Avengers #27 will say that it is Jake's hate of brother Nick that causes the Zodiac Key to come to him. (Daredevil #73 had shown that the Key sought out conflict.) Jake's scorpion doodle here inspires his Scorpio identity, in which he strikes at Nick and SHIELD in the classic NFAoS#1&5. Jake's escape into the river here is probably deliberately prescient of Scorpio's escape in NFA0S#5. Much later Secret Warriors will reveal that Jake Fury had been duplicated by an ancient technology (from Jonathan Hickman's SHIELD series) that was a precursor to SHIELD's LMD tech. It was the evil duplicate that became Scorpio. The good original went undercover in Hydra as Kraken.

Rick Stoner who is introduced in the middle of all the above is an invention of this book. His only other appearance will be in Iron Man: Enter the Mandarin which will present a somewhat conflicting story. Arnim Zola debuted in Captain America #208, and #209 described how his work is based on Deviant biotechnology, and how he created the body he now inhabits in WWII. (This was during Jack Kirby's return to Cap, while he was also inventing the Eternals and the Deviants in the Eternals series.) The Cap story went on to involve Red Skull and one of the Hitler clones. A flashback in Super-Villain Team-Up #17 described Zola saving Hitler's brain and producing clones like the Hate-Monger(s). (But there's a clash with this book as a flashback in SVTU#16 has the Hitler clone introducing Zola to Red Skull just before CA#208.) Red Skull of course used the suspended animation potion to survive his last WWII battle with Cap in Tales of Suspense #72, as revealed in ToS#79.

Even later comics have confused things further:- Captain America: Hail Hydra has the group as existing for millennia under other names, the latest before Hydra being the German Thule Society with the involvement of Strucker (and with Red Skull in Fear Itself: Prologue). This would suggest that Strucker took them to Japan, and got them involved with the Hand (with which he had linked up *before* WWII, according to Wolverine: Origins). And the Secret Warriors series has Hydra running SHIELD, in a variation of what *this* series seeks to deny from NF vs SHIELD. I have some issues with the date of 1944 for all this wartime activity. Internal evidence in other SFHC issues would suggest that their #28-29 happened at the end of 1942, rather than in 1944. Also the MU#1 says it happens 15 months after the Strucker and Hydra story in CSLR#2-4. If the Invaders capture of the Deutschland in MU#1 coincides with its sinking in our reality on 4th May 1945 (ignoring the fact that the Deutschland had been renamed the Lutzow in 1940), then that puts CSLR#2-4 in Feb-Mar 1944, and the meeting with Red Skull and Arnim Zola right at the beginning of 1944 at the latest. However there are reasons to believe MU#1 happened somewhat earlier and CSLR#2-4 was in late 1943 (independent of the stated 15 month gap), which pushes all the WWII action here before 1944. Of course the plans for suspended animation, cloning and Hydra are presented here as reactions to Germany facing defeat, and so make more sense the nearer the end it is. But the Axis *began* losing in 1943, so a date near the end of that year isn't unfeasible.

The aims of this 1-shot were twofold. To tell the story of SHIELD before we 1st saw it when Nick Fury became Director in Strange Tales #135. And to negate the origins for SHIELD told in the Nick Fury Vs SHIELD limited series and the 2nd Nick Fury Agent of SHIELD series which followed it. The opening scene in the destroyed French village is a replay of the end of a story in Sgt Fury & his Howling Commandos #28-29. Strucker joining Hydra in Japan is from flashbacks in Captain Savage & his Leatherneck Raiders #2-4. Strucker killing the Supreme Hydra to take over the organisation wasn't actually shown there, but is a reasonable extrapolation. And also chimes with a flashback in Daredevil #295 which shows Strucker fighting a Jonin of the Hand for control of Hydra. I think the involvement of Red Skull and Arnim Zola in Hydra is new here, and leads to some confusion. Despite saying that Skull created Hydra and sent Strucker to run it, this book also has Strucker not initially in charge, but later taking over by assassinating the Supreme Hydra. And the later Marvel Universe #1 has Skull discovering Strucker and Hydra, and getting the suspended animation drug from *them*, not from Zola as here. MU#1 also has Strucker back in Hitler's favour sometime after SFHC#28-29, as did SFHC#112&114, and the opening storyline of the 2nd NFAoS series (which this issue will debunk).



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Fury #1 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Nick Fury relates the early history of SHIELD. Strangely his story includes lots of stuff he wasn't actually there for. But this provides the opportunity to tie in some other bits of Marvel history.

His story starts in 1944 where he and the Howling Commandos were trying to stop Baron Strucker from destroying a French town and killing all its inhabitants. Strucker's pride had made him accept a challenge of single combat from Sgt Fury, while the town blew up around them, and the Howlers helped the townsfolk escape. They were both buried in rubble, but Fury dug himself out and joined his men. Strucker also survived, but having disobeyed Adolf Hitler's orders to wipe the town out he was now on the run.

When they return to England, Fury is hauled over the coals by Col Rick Stoner of Army Intelligence for his usual maverick attitude (and disrespect for superior officers). He is imprisoned for striking Stoner, but then pardoned. We see Nick's young brother Jake in the army reading about this, and complaining that Nick always gets the breaks.

Later Hitler visits his bio-geneticist Arnim Zola, who is giving the Red Skull a suspended animation potion for use if necessary. Zola has also created a clone of Hitler, to which Adolf's mind will be transferred if he dies.

After Hitler leaves, Baron Strucker comes out of hiding. Red Skull has started up Hydra as a secret society in Japan, to carry on if Nazi Germany fails. He agrees to send Strucker there to lead it, while he himself remains in Germany. Zola thinks they are traitors at first, but Skull convinces him that Germany is losing the war, and he agrees to join forces with the other 2.

After some activity during the end of WWII, Hydra goes underground until the Marvel Age.

They resurface in a low-key manner, sending non-uniformed operatives to steal hi-tech info. At one point this brings them into conflict with the early Iron Man in his bulky golden armour. Worried about the increase in industrial espionage, and rumours of Hydra, Tony Stark proposes SHIELD to the President. But it is vetoed for now.

At the same time Jake Fury is working as a scientist for Stark, trying to tap into an energy source. He sees the shape of the Zodiac Key in the energy field, which makes him think of a scorpion.

Then Hydra makes a strike (in costume) at a joint US/Canadian research base, and steals the prototype armour designed by James Hudson (later Guardian of Alpha Flight). Agent Logan of Canadian Special Services and Col Rick Stoner, now of the CIA, are sent to retrieve it. They succeed, but the incident changes the President's mind about SHIELD.

SHIELD will have an inner council of businessmen and world leaders. Stark will get the businessmen involved, including their contributing to the agency's funding. The choice of leader of SHIELD is between 2 CIA Colonels, Nick Fury and Stoner. Stoner gets the job. He also gets his pick of agents from other intelligence agencies, and trains them personally.

One bunch he does turn down is ex-Howlers Dum Dum Dugan, Gabe Jones and Eric Koenig.

During one raid on Hydra in America, Stoner finds a Roxxon business card, but keeps the information to himself for now.

Meanwhile Stark is busy designing and building SHIELD stuff like the helicarrier and the flying cars. With help from Reed Richards and Forge, and Jake Fury who shares Stoner's dislike of his brother Nick. A test of the flying car prototype goes wrong, and Stark suspects sabotage. He asks Stoner to investigate.

Rick suspects Roxxon involvement, and sneaks aboard a Roxxon ship where he finds Hydra soldiers and a shipment of weapons. And then he sees Jake Fury bringing SHIELD blueprints to Hydra. Rather than slip away with his discovery, Stoner attacks the enemy, and then flees, wounded, in a non-flying car. He makes it to Stark's mansion, but dies before he can divulge what he's learned.

Back in Japan, Arnim Zola reveals some of his inventions to Strucker. The Deltite is an android, based on the Life Model Decoys Stark developed for SHIELD, with Strucker's brain patterns. They will infiltrate it into SHIELD. There is an 'alien queen'. And there is a survival mechanism for Strucker, to rival that for Hitler and the Red Skull.

Stark and the President attend the launch of the SHIELD helicarrier. Which blows up. The President wants Nick Fury to find the saboteur within SHIELD.

Fury is then in action with the Fantastic Four against the Hate-Monger in South America. When he is killed they discover he's Hitler's clone. When Fury gets back the President and Stark put him on the case. But they don't actually tell him about SHIELD, just that there's a traitor in Stark's organisation.

Nick first goes to see his brother Jake, just missing seeing him on a video call telling Strucker that the Deltite LMD is in place. But Jake's overreaction to Nick's presence tips him off that Jake's up to something. He tails Jake to the waterfront and photographs him handing over more blueprints. But Nick is spotted and captured.

Jake is about to shoot Nick in the head, but Nick moves his head aside at the last minute. The muzzle flash reactivates an old eye injury, as the bullet hits one of the guys holding him. But Nick is still able to use the confusion to break free, grab a gun and shoot everyone but Jake.

The brothers fight, as Jake spews out the inferiority complex-fueled hate for Nick that led him to seek power via Hydra. But even with one eye blinded Nick beats his younger brother, as he always did when they were kids. Nick retrieves the gun and prepares to take Jake in. But Jake says he won't be taken alive, and Nick just can't shoot him. Jake promises he'll be back to kill Nick, and dives into the river. Nick takes the evidence against his brother to Stark.

Narrator Fury remarks that Jake's hatred will lead him to complete the experiment that leads to the Zodiac Key, and he will return to harass SHIELD as Scorpio.

Nick's eye injury doesn't get better, and from now on he wears an eye-patch. The SHIELD helicarrier is launched without any more sabotage. And Stark and the President decide to call on Fury to be the new boss.

Nick at last learns about SHIELD and Hydra. He is taken to the helicarrier where he is greeted by Tony Stark and the SHIELD council, and offered the job as Director. He also discovers a bomb in the meeting room, and throws it out of the ship. Fury takes the job, and recruits some of his Howlers.

His narration tells how Stark gradually stops involving himself in SHIELD business, and later an inner council is set up to oversee Fury. The Deltite LMD starts replacing SHIELD agents with LMDs loyal to it, including some of the inner council. They use an LMD of Fury to try to take over Stark's company because Tony had stopped supplying them with weapons.

When Nick works out what's going on, the Deltite LMDs turn SHIELD against him. They won't kill him because they want the Infinity Formula that keeps him young. But Fury 'kills' the original Deltite LMD, ending the menace. But SHIELD is ruined.

However before long they're back, with Fury in charge again. Nick gets Tony Stark to investigate the remains of the Deltite LMD. He finds a microchip which displays a holographic message from Strucker. Strucker says that the whole Deltite affair was a smokescreen to hide his resurrection. The story about aliens supplying the tech for both SHIELD and Hydra was disinformation. And then the remains of the LMD self-destruct.

Then Nick persuades Tony to take a bigger role with SHIELD again.


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> Fury: Book info and issue index

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M.C. Wyman
Greg Adams
Christie Scheele
Lou Harrison (Cover Penciler)
Lou Harrison (Cover Inker)
Letterer: John Workman.
Editor: Ralph Macchio.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic

(Reed Richards)
Red Skull
Red Skull

(Johann Shmidt)
Wolverine
Wolverine

(James Howlett)

Plus: Adolf Hitler, Alpha Flight, Arnim Zola, Baron Strucker, Forge, Howling Commandos, Rick Stoner, Scorpio (Jake Fury).