Comic Browser:


Marvel Spotlight #31: Review

Dec 1976
Jim Starlin, Howard Chaykin

Story Name:

Assignment: The Infinity Formula!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Marvel Spotlight #31 Review by (October 26, 2021)

Review: Nice little spy story answers a question which had likely been nagging at the back of various readers’ minds for some years, namely, how old is Nick Fury? Since he is a WW2 vet, he was likely in his 20s during the war and that would put him in his 40s for his debut as SHIELD Director in 1965. By the 70s, however, Marvel was getting a sense that some of these characters may be around for a while and so they needed to explain how Nick Fury could still be doing James Bond stuff in his 50s or 60s (the same problem would confront Roger Moore eventually). Thing is, this wasn’t an obvious problem yet; so kudos to the House of Ideas for addressing the issue before it came up. Answer: Fury takes a drug that keeps him young. Cool. And he does it in an action filled issue with gritty art by Howard Chaykin (I’ll never understand how an artist with such a dark and heavy style was chosen to illustrate the original Marvel STAR WARS). Anyway, satisfying issue answering a question no one was asking yet. But would eventually.

Comments: First appearance of the Infinity Formula, explaining Nick Fury’s longevity. Issue includes an advertisement featuring O.J. Simpson selling a new sneaker called Juicemobiles.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Marvel Spotlight #31 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

During World War 2, Sgt. Nick Fury was critically injured when he stepped on a mine in France. Partisans rushed him to a doctor named Sternberg who saved Fury’s life but also used as a Guinea pig for a formula he had been working on. Shortly after the end of the War, Fury was sent a dose of the formula by the doctor and was surprised to find himself aging drastically overnight; he later learned that Sternberg had given him a drug to increase his longevity which needed a booster shot every year. Sternberg has been extorting money from Fury every year since for the shots….

But now Fury receives a phone call telling him Sternberg is dead and they will be handling the longevity serum from now on, mentioning Madam Renour as their agent. Fury, unwilling to reveal his darkest secret, tells Contessa Valentina de la Fontaine that he is taking a vacation and he heads to Paris. There, he punches his way through Madame Renour’s guards to confront his former spy partner but all she has for him is a chip from a Las Vegas casino, owned by one Steel Harris….

Fury arrives in Vegas and punches his way in to see Steel Harris, who is dreaming of having Fury in his power because of the infinity Formula. And then Harris gets word that he Formula has been stolen; Harris blames Fury and starts shooting. Fury dives out of a window and into his car, speeding away from the casino. He is pursued by a helicopter firing upon him so he programs his car to jet into the air, jumping out before it collides with the copter. He then clobbers the two hoods left behind to make sure he’s dead—but he feels himself getting older. Fury returns to the casino and fights Harris—and notices that Harris, too, is rapidly aging. Fury hurls Harris through the glass ceiling to his death on the casino floor far below. As Fury collapses, Val arrives and gives him a dose of the serum, as she is the one who stole it from Harris’ gang. As she helps him home, Fury learns to appreciate her for the first time….

Howard Chaykin
Howard Chaykin
Janice Cohen
Howard Chaykin (Cover Penciler)
Klaus Janson (Cover Inker)
(Unknown artist) (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Jim Novak.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

> Marvel Spotlight: Book info and issue index

Share This Page