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Nick Fury

Marvel Legends
by yo go re

It's Nick Fury, #1 super spy! Yes, Nick Fury - he's only got one eye.

Nick Fury Once a gung-ho sergeant during World War II, Nick Fury worked his way up the U.S. intelligence ladder on the basis of actions, brains and integrity. Kept in the peak of youthful vigor by the mysterious Infinity Formula, the studly secret agent has done it all: from wooing wicked women to skydiving while smoking a cigar. When the free world has its back to the wall, Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. is the man most likely to come out fighting!

Hong Kong Phooey intro aside, if any Marvel character deserved the "Legend" moniker, it's Nick Fury. Like the bio said, he started out as a WWII soldier, and is still alive and kicking today. He's a prime example of the type of character that wouldn't really fit into any specific line too well, so he's ideal for a catchall like Marvel Legends.

He's also a prime example of Marvel doing anything it can to make a buck. In the '60s, espionage ruled the day: novels, films, tv, everything seemed to want to capture the Cold War mystique, and Stan Lee was no different; following the lead of government spies like the Man from U.N.C.L.E., Stan decided to create S.H.I.E.L.D. And why create a brand new character when you could just mine one that's just floating in limbo?

This isn't the first time Nick's had an action figure, but it might as well be: the only other one was in the Spider-Man: The Animated Series line.

Commander Fury is 6 3/8" tall, and is articulated at the neck, shoulders, biceps, elbows, wrists, fingers, waist, hips, thighs, knees, ankles and toes. His body is a heavily modified Namor, but it suits him. Besides, better that than Punisher.

Nick's S.H.I.E.L.D. uniform is detailed nicely, all dark blue with white and silver accents. Actually, the body is generic enough that you could build your own S.H.I.E.L.D. field team with some extra Plan B heads. There are various pouches and straps all over, a knife in his boot and a real working holster over his heart. His hands are molded with separate trigger fingers to allow him to hold his pistol, and he's got a S.H.I.E...

Okay, you know what? Forget it. No more periods in that damn word. "SHIELD" is an example of what we like to call a 'backronym' - an acronym whose letters were determined first, then words were jammed uncomfortably into place to suit its meaning. Originally, SHIELD was the "Supreme Headquarters International Espionage Law-enforcement Division." Realizing that was stupid, Marvel quickly changed it 25 years later to "Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistics Directorate," which at least makes more sense. Still, it's ridiculous, and I hate typing all those periods. So anyway, Fury's got a SHIELD insignia on his right shoulder.

smoke 'em if you got 'em In the comics, Sgt. Fury's always been a bit of a cigar aficionado. While Dave Cortez did a pretty good job of capturing this old soldier's look, the figure was obviously intended to come with a cigar clenched between his teeth. As such, he's left with some weird half-snarl thing that doesn't look horrible, but also isn't the best thing Marvel's done in this line. It's just another case of political-correctness run rampant.

Nick Fury and the other Agents of SHIELD have never been able to support their own comicbook for very long: for one reason or another, the title usually folds after just a handful of issues. Still, the agency is a big part of the Marvel Universe, always working behind the scenes to keep the world safe.

ker-BLOOM!

Like the rest of the Marvel Legends, Nick Fury comes with a detailed base. Like his body, it's mostly reused from Namor: the Sub-Mariner's waterspout has been transformed cleverly into a flame and smoke afterburn for the included jetpack. The pack, which hugs Fury's back well, can be removed from the base, so Fury can wear it even when it's off. Without the jetpack, the base measures 6 3/4" tall.

The figure comes with a reproduction (complete with a new cover) of Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD #1, part of Jim Steranko's brief but extremely influential run. Steranko captured the '60s vibe in his artwork by bringing in psychedelics and op art, photographs and graphic design and melding them with his Jack Kirby-influenced pencils. The story, also written by Steranko, is definitely packed with intrigue, action and way-out spy tech. It's a good intro to the character and the era.


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