Colonel Nicholas Joseph "Nick" Fury is a fiction World War II army hero and present-day super-spy in the Marvel Comics universe. Created by artist Jack Kirby and writer Stan Lee, Fury first appeared in Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos #1 (May 1963), a World War II combat series that portrayed the cigar-chomping Fury as leader of an elite U.S. Army unit.
The modern-day Fury, initially a CIA agent, debuted a few months later in Fantastic Four #21 (Dec. 1963). In Strange Tales #135 (Aug. 1965) the character was transformed into a James Bond-like spy and leading agent of the fictional espionage agency S.H.I.E.L.D. The character makes frequent appearances in Marvel comic book as the head of S.H.I.E.L.D. and as an intermediary between the U.S. government or the United Nations and various superhero. It is eventually revealed that Fury takes a special medication called the Infinity Formula that halted his aging and allows him to be active despite being nearly a century old.
Nick Fury appears in several Marvel comic series set in alternate universes, as well as multiple animated films, television shows, and video games based on the comics. The character is portrayed by David Hasselhoff in the 1998 television movie Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. and by Samuel L. Jackson in the 2008 film Iron Man, its 2010 sequel Iron Man 2, and the upcoming Captain America: The First Avenger and The Avengers, the first four of a nine film commitment as the character for the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise. The Ultimate Marvel version of the character was based on Jackson's appearance and screen persona, well before he was cast in the role.
Fury initially appeared in the World War II combat series Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos, as the cigar-chomping NCO who led a racially and ethnically integrated elite unit. The series ran 167 issues (May 1963 - Dec. 1981), though only in reprints after issue #120 (July 1974). Following several issues by creators Lee and Kirby, penciller Dick Ayers began his long stint on what would be his signature series; John Severin later joined as inker, forming a long-running, critically acclaimed team. Roy Thomas succeeded Lee as writer, followed by Gary Friedrich, for whom this also became a signature series. Annuals featured the "Howlers" called back to fight in the Korean War and Vietnam War.
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