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14 Things You Didn't Know About Nick Fury's Comic Book Backstory

In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Nick Fury - played by a dry-witted Samuel L. Jackson - is best known as the director of S.H.I.E.L.D (Strategic Homeland Intervention Enforcement and Logistics Division). He's also the brain behind the Avengers Initiative. While his role isn't too dissimilar in the source material, Nick Fury's comic book origins are long, rich and vastly under-explored in the MCU.

Fury is a war hero, a super spy, and an invaluable confidante for Marvel's superhero community. He's survived numerous conflicts between nations, defended the Earth from invading alien armies, and battled supernatural and cosmic beings - all with one eye. Thanks to some fateful encounters before the heyday of costumed fighters, Fury became the glue that binds much of the Marvel Universe together. His expansive role has only continued to grow and evolve.

  • He Lost His Eye While Fighting The Third Reich

    The question of Fury's eye-loss is a big one for Marvel fans. In Captain Marvel, a series of minor injuries - including a Flerken scratch - led to the loss. The Marvel comics explanation is similar in its simplicity. 1976's Marvel Spotlight #31 was the first time we heard the story. Fury had been too close to a grenade explosion on a WWII battlefield and was unable to get treatment in a timely fashion. 

    In both the comic and MCU versions, his eye was just left to... decay, essentially. In the comics, once Fury managed to finally get himself to a doctor, he was told that the surgery to repair his vision would take him out of commission for a year. This Hitler-hating, war-hero iteration of the character naturally waived this option in favor of continuing to fight the good fight, even if that meant going half blind.    

  • He Once Fought A Masked Clone Of Adolf Hitler

    An early issue of Fantastic Four in 1963 saw Fury and the newly-formed team trying to thwart the plans of a villain named Hate-Monger. Marvel laid it on thick, as Hate-Monger also sported a purple Klan-esque costume and used a Hate-Ray to spread disharmony.

    And, if that still wasn't enough, when Fury and his superpowered friends eventually caught and unmasked Hate-Monger, he appeared to be none other than Adolf Hitler. However, there's evidence to suggest this wasn't the real deal. Instead, this "Hitler" was merely a clone housing the brain of the original who was assassinated by the Human Torch at the end of WWII, as shown in Young Men #24. The clone theory is also supported by Super-Villain Team-Up #17, in which HYDRA scientist Armin Zola manufactured a bunch of faux Fuhrers.    

  • He's Battled Godzilla

    The king of all monsters came to terrorize the Marvel Universe for a special crossover series in the late '70s. Godzilla first went on the rampage near an Alaskan oil pipeline, and it didn't take long for S.H.I.E.L.D to form a specialized unit to take care of the giant problem. The "Godzilla Squad" united top agents - including Fury - along with top Godzilla scientists from Japan against the nuclear-powered beast.

    After little luck containing the problem, Ant-Man's Pym Particles come to the rescue, shrinking Godzilla down to a more manageable size. This victory is short-lived, as it isn't long until the pint-sized lizard escapes into the sewers of New York while being transported to a secure location. He's later recovered by the Fantastic Four who wind up accidentally zapping him to another dimension. Godzilla eventually finds his way back to Earth-616, beginning the carnage all over again.

  • Fury's Son Mikel Was Supposed To End His Life

    With three marriages under his belt, Fury's always had trouble - as you'd expect in his line of work - to maintain long-term relationships. One such dalliance with a Carpasian woman called Amber D'Alexis bore him a son, Mikel Fury. Things quickly became messy between the pair after Mikel's mother trained him to be Fury's would-be assassin, using the same codename his uncle had used in the Great Wheel: Scorpio. 

    The familial connection between Fury and Scorpio was revealed in 1989's "The Scorpio Connection" storyline, which culminated in Alexis's demise at Wolverine's claws. In the wake of his mother's death, Scorpio abandoned the mission, deciding instead to follow in his father's footsteps at S.H.I.E.L.D.