It seems appropriate that Marvel’s resident spymaster should have a biography that’s constantly under revision. Created in 1963 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby for the lead in SGT. FURY AND HIS HOWLING COMMANDOS, Fury was initially a two-eyed tough guy from New York who led a rag-tag group of soldiers in World War II’s European combat. He and the HCs seem heavily inspired by DC’s SGT. ROCK comics featuring the tough-talking New Yorker Rock and the ragtag Easy Company.
Although World War II had been over almost twenty years when SGT. FURY premiered, the character was still alive and ornery- and now missing an eye- in a 1965 issue of STRANGE TALES which introduced Fury and the reader to SHIELD (The Supreme Headquarters of International Espionage Law-enforcement Division). It turned the brave-but-ordinary war veteran into comic equivalent of the Man From U.N.C.L.E. or an American James Bond. Outfitted with Jack Kirby gadgets he fought a not-so cold war against the evil organization HYDRA.
As years went on, Fury’s adventures skewed more toward superheroics, with SHIELD agents donning black tights (which carried over to the recent AVENGERS movie) and more and more outlandish gear. The great Jim Steranko drew some amazing Fury tales in the 60s with an eye on Pop Art and design. Other than the introduction of the age-defying “Infinity Formula” to account for his relative youth, Fury himself remained a mortal tough guy able to go toe-to-toe with superhumans.
Fury has been portrayed in live-action not only by Samuel L. Jackson (playing the “Ultimate” version of Fury who was, himself, based on Jackson) most recently in THE AVENGERS , but also in an unlikely 1998 TV movie by David Hasselhoff. Having survived WWII and the Cold War, Fury seemed just as able to brush that one off.
Please join me for tomorrow’s MIGHTY MARVEL MAY for a big star!