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Nick Fury is the director of a top secret government agency called S.H.I.E.L.D.

History

Early life

World War II

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Left to Right: Izzy Cohen, Nick Fury, and Dum Dum Dugan

During World War II, Nick Fury was a sergeant in the United States military and led a group of soldiers called the Howling Commandos. In 1944 Captain America and Logan were sent on a mission in Germany to rescue a French scientist named Andre Cocteau who had been captured by the Red Skull. However, Captain America and Logan failed at their mission when they were captured by the Red Skull and learned that Andre Cocteau was a double agent working for the Nazi's. As Red Skull was about to kill Captain America and Logan his fortress was attacked and they were able to escape. As Captain America and Logan watched Red Skull and Cocteau fly away in a plane they were approached by Nick Fury and his Howling Commandos. It was then revealed that it was Fury and his team who attacked Red Skull's fortress allowing them to escape. Logan was furious that Cocteau escaped but several decades later he learned that Andre Cocteau was really a double agent who was sabotaging the Nazi's war efforts form behind enemy lines and that Captain America and Logan were sent on a mission to rescue him (that their commanding officers knew would fail) to make his defection to the Nazis appear convincing.

Through unknown circumstances Fury lost his left eye and began wearing an eyepatch.

Nick Fury was eventually promoted to the rank of colonel and toward the end of the war the U.S. government chose him to be the director for a new top secret armed federal agency called S.H.I.E.L.D. The U.S. government even faked his death by making it appear that he died when his plane crashed into a basin in Sepulveda, California.

Later life

Missing captains of industry

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After several industrialists went missing in China, Fury contacted the Chinese government to ask permission to go into China and search for them. However, the Chinese government refused to allow S.H.I.E.L.D. to search for them so Fury approached Tony Stark told him that he wanted Iron Man to go into China to search for them. Since Iron Man was not a S.H.IE.L.D. agent this also gave S.H.I.E.L.D. built in deniability in the event that Iron Man were captured by the Chinese government. When Iron Man went to China he searched for the missing industrialist and found them. However, Iron Man discovered that they were really alien dragons disguised as humans and that they and Fin Fang Foom were planning to open a portal to their home world and bring more of their race to Earth to conquer the planet. To defeat the alien dragons Iron Man combined his suits repulsor technology with the power of the Mandarin's rings and the energy blast destroyed the dragons.

The return of Howard Stark

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Fury shocked to discover that Walter Stark is still alive

Fury later had Iron Man assist S.H.I.E.L.D. on surveilling a known A.I.M. (Avanced Idea Mechanics) base. However, during this time Iron Man received a video transmission from Walter Stark (who was believed to have been killed ten years earlier). Iron Man then broke into the A.I.M. base and rescued his father and get back onto the S.H.I.E.L.D. air ship. Some planes then started to attack Fury's air ship and he ordered Dum Dum Dugan to shoot them out of the air and get back to base.

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Walter was later taken to Bathesda Hospital. During his time there Tony discovered that Dum Dum Dugan was posing as one of Howard's doctors and he questioned Fury as to why he ordered him to do that. However, Fury ignored his question and berated Stark about how Iron Man ruined his mission before any useful information could be gathered. Tony then told Fury that he thought what was happening was some kind of government cover up. Tony's fears were made greater when Julia Carpenter brought Walter out in a wheelchair and after seeing Fury, Walter begged Tony not to let S.H.I.E.L.D take him.

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Tony later hacked into S.H.I.E.L.D.'s computer files and learned that ten years ago Nick Fury traded Walter to A.I.M. in exchange for a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent that they had captured. Upon learning this Iron Man broke into a S.H.I.E.L.D. facility looking for Fury. When Iron Man confronted Nick Fury, Fury told Iron Man to have Tony Stark meet him in his office to learn the whole truth about his father. When Tony met with Fury, Fury told him that ten years ago after A.I.M. attempted to kill Howard he was taken to the hospital but did't die like everyone was thought to believe. While in the hospital A.I.M. attempted to abduct Howard from the hospital for some kind of mind reading experiment but the robots they created to do this went out of control and nearly killed him instead. As soon as Fury learned of this he sent Dum Dum Dugan and some other S.H.I.E.L.D. agents to watch him. However, their mission was a failure and A.I.M. was able to abduct Howard anyways. Lastly, Fury revealed that A.I.M. placed that file about S.H.I.E.L.D. trading his father for a captured agent into their computers so they would be tearing at each others throats

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At that moment Tony received a phone call saying that A.I.M. had taken over Stark Enterprises and both Tony, James Rhodes, Fury went to take care of it. As they arrived A.I.M. agents attempted to shoot and kill Rhodes. However, Fury protected him from their attacks. As Fury and Rhodes made it to the roof of Stark Enterprises they noticed that some A.I.M. agent ere getting away on helicopters and Fury communicated with his agents who flew a helicopter to the roof and Fury jumped onto it and followed the A.I.M. helicopter.

As Tony went to meet his father he learned that Walter Stark was just a clone of the original who died several years ago. The Howard Stark clone then revealed that A.I.M. forced Iron Man to go after Fury so that he could take control of Stark Enterprises for A.I.M. After a brief battle with the Crimson Dynamo, Howard is able to escape and he promises to someday return to finish the job.

The Armor Wars

After the fall of the Soviet Union several Russian soldiers wanted things to return to how they were. The Russian soldiers intended to take over a Russian missile base, use their nuclear missiles to destroy Moscow, and blame America allowing them to take over the government. To help accomplish their goals the Russian radicals hired an ex-KGB agent called Crimson Dynamo to attack the Russian base. As soon as the Russian government learned of their plan they contacted S.H.I.E.L.D. and in turn S.H.I.E.L.D. asked Iron Man for assistance. As Iron Man arrived at the Russian military base he fought the Crimson Dynamo. However, Crimson Dynamo purposely flew into a nuclear missile causing it to explode and the nuclear fallout caused people to become sick from radiation poisoning.

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As Tony returned home he learned that Iron Man was being blamed for the nuclear explosion. Nick Fury then arrived at Stark Enterprises and told Tony that once the smoke settled at the Russian base they grabbed what was left of the Crimson Dynamo's armor. Fury then told Tony that this time Crimson Dynamo's armor caused Iron Man a lot more trouble this time then it had before and that he wanted to know where he got his new armor. Fury then said that he would be in touch with Stark and left Stark Enterprises. Tony then examined the armor and discovered that Crimson Dynamo's armor was created by using stolen Stark Enterprise technology. Upon learning this Iron Man set out on a mission to destroy his stolen technology and attacked both criminals and heroes that had possession of his armor. Fury then visited Tony and told him to fire Iron Man or else S.H.I.E.L.D. would be forced to shut down Stark Enterprises. Tony later publicly fired Iron Man from Stark Enterprises making it easier for him to go after the people that stole his Iron Man technology.

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Fury examines Iron Man's helmet

Justin Hammer (who was the one behind the theft of Stark's technology) then created a giant robot called Firepower to kill Iron Man. As Iron Man fought Fire Power he was hit by one of Firepower's missiles and was apparently killed in the explosion. However, as Fury found Iron Man's helmet in the wreckage he examined it and saw that there was no blood on the helmet and that all of the circuits in it were negated which made Fury very suspicious. Tony later revealed to his friends that he efforts to destroy his stolen technology were too little and too late so he set his armor on autopilot and as it flew over Firepower it destroyed the armor.
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Sometime later Nick Fury approached Tony Stark outside of Stark Enterprises and told him that Firepower was now missing (Justin Hammer was secretly controlling Firepower to destroy several Stark Enterprise buildings). Fury then told Tony that he suspected Hammer was behind this because he wanted to but Stark Enterprises out of business but he didn't have any proof. Fury continued to say that because of his lack of proof he was unable to do anything and that to stop Hammer he needed Iron Man's help (implying he knew Tony was Iron Man). As Tony told Fury that Iron Man was dead Fury began to walk away and said that if he didn't do anything Stark Enterprises would be too. Tony listened to Fury and once again took up the mantle of Iron Man. Iron Man was able to defeat Firepower and then went to Hammer Industries where he deleted all files on his armor from Justin Hammer's computers.

Legacy Virus

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When Apocalypse created a virus to destroy humanity he had his puppet, Grayden Creed, go to a hearing of Congress to try to convince everyone that mutants were the cause of the virus. From the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier, Fury, War Machine, and S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, G.W. Bridge watched the committee hearing. The X-Men were eventually able to stop Apocalypse's mad plan to destroy all life on Earth.

The Chameleon

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S.H.I.E.L.D eventually encountered an international hitman known as the Chameleon who managed to escape him each time by disguising himself as other people. Fury then learned that Chameleon had been hired by terrorist to sabotage a peace treaty signing in New York City so Fury had his agents bring J. Jonah Jameson to the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier. Fury knew that Jameson was throwing a party for the world leaders and told him that Chameleon might try and assassinate the leaders at the party he was throwing. Fury then told Jameson of Chameleon's ability to take the appearance of any person and told him to keep a watchful eye for any suspicious activity and to alert the undercover S.H.I.E.L.D. agents if he saw anything. Unknown to either Fury or Jameson, Peter Parker was secretly listening to their conversation. Fury then had his agents take Peter and Jameson back to the Daily Bugle.

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Later at the party S.H.I.E.L.D. agents went undercover to protect the leaders and capture the Chameleon. Fury was able to watch what was going on from the helicarrier by hacking into the Daily Bugle's security cameras. As Spider-Man arrived he saw the Chameleon and tackled him. Fury saw this from the helicarrier and wondered what Spider-Man was doing there. However, both Chameleon and Spider-Man were able to escape the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. 

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The Chameleon

Fury then contacted Agent X and told her that they were now in a code red situation and that he would be coming to the Daily Bugle himself. A short while later Agent X and the VIPs met Fury on the roof of the Daily Bugle. As Spider-Man secretly watches them from the roof he notices that Fury's eyepatch is on the right eye instead of the left eye and realizes that he is really the Chameleon. As Spider-Man tackles the Chameleon the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents subdue Spider-Man believing that he was trying to harm their director. As Spider-Man attempted to tell the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents that he was the Chameleon his words fell on deaf ears. However, the real Fury contacted Agent X through the ear piece she was wearing and as soon as Chameleon realized that he was discovered he hijacked a plane and flew off. Chameleon's plane was shot down by Agent X but he managed to escape.

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Spider-Man later stopped Chameleon from assassinating the two world leaders from inside the United Nations. Chameleon was then taken into S.H.I.E.L.D. custody. Afterward Spider-Man watched from a building across from the United Nations as the delegates left after the peace treaty signing. Spider-Man was angry that he went unthanked for for saving the world leaders. At that moment Fury flew up to Spider-Man in a plane and told him that he did "A heck of a job" and thanked him before he flew off.

The super soldier serum

Red Skull's doomsday weapon

Mission to stop Spider-Man

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When John Jameson went to to another planet in an alternate dimension called Counter-Earth he was believed to have died and Spider-Man was blamed for his death because he was spotted on the rocket at the time it launched. However, it was later discovered that John was alive. Spider-Man returned to the launch site sometime later to steal a shuttle and fly it to Counter-Earth to rescue John. However, Nick Fury was waiting for him.
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 Fury ordered Spider-Man to stay where he was but as Spider-Man jumped onto the shuttle Fury fired a laser at Spider-Man from his gun but missed. As Fury flew up to Spider-Man he told him that his next shot would not miss him. As Spider-Man shot a web line at Fury's gun he pulled it out of his hand. Spider-Man then told Fury that he was the only one that could rescue Jameson because it was the only way to clear his name. As  Spider-Man threw the gun back at Fury he caught it. Fury realized that Spider-Man was right and asked if he knew how to pilot a space shuttle before letting him go.

Non-canon history

In the story book Spider-Man: The Chameleon's Many Faces, Nick Fury and several S.H.I.E.L.D. agents plan to stop Chameleon from giving secret plans to the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier to Shocker and Rhino. However, Spider-Man interferes and Chameleon is able to get away with the disc. Spider-Man and Nick Fury then join forces and take down Chameleon and recover the plans to the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier.

In the comics

His full name is Nicholas Joseph Fury.

During World War II, Fury rose to the rank of sergeant and was made the leader of a military unit called the Howling Commandos. During this time Fury and the Howling Commandos were stationed at a military base in the United Kingdom to fight specialized missions.

At the end of the war Fury is severly injured by a land mine explosion in France. This was the explosion that damaged his left eye. However, Fury lost his sight over a period of time. Fury was then found by a scientist named Berthold Sternberg, who used him as a test subject for his Infinity Formula. The Infinity Formula allows Fury to recover from his injury and learns that the Infinity Formula slows down his aging. 

Nick Fury then joined the C.I.A. and later reaches the rank of colonel. Sternberg then begins to extort Fury for money in exchange for the Infinity Formula but is eventually able to reproduce it him self. The C.I.A. then uses Fury as a liaison to various superpowered groups such as the Fantastic Four. The C.I.A. later sent Fury to stop a criminal called the Hate Monger (who was revealed to be a clone of Aldof Hitler) from using his Hate Ray on everyone on Earth and teamed up with the Fantastic Four to stop him. Sometime after this Fury totally lost sight in his left eye and began to wear an eyepatch.

Nick Fury was then chosen to be the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Supreme Headquarters International Espionage Law-enforcement Division. Later changed to stand for Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistics Directorate). However, the ultimate authority of S.H.I.E.L.D. is revealed to be a cabal of 12 mysterious men and women who give Fury his orders. (In some versions the twelve mysterious men are the members of the United Nations World Security Council). Fury soon becomes the superhero community's main contact when government-related information is required in order to deal with a crisis.

Sometime later the Watchers punished Fury for his many sins by turning him into a chained silent observer of Earth called the Unseen.

Appearances

X-Men: The Animated Series

  • Time Fugitives, Part I
  • Old Soldiers

Iron Man: The Animated Series

  • The Beast Within
  • Not Far from the Tree
  • The Armor Wars, Part I
  • The Armor Wars, Part II

Spider-Man: The Animated Series

The Incredible Hulk: The Animated Series

  • Raw Power (Mentioned only)
  • Darkness and Light, Part I (Mentioned only)

Spider-Man: Unlimited

  • Worlds Apart, Part I

Trivia

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  • Nick Fury was voiced by Philip Abbott in all his appearances in Iron Man and the episode Day of the Chameleon in Spider-Man: The Animated Series.
  • Abbot was later replaced by Jack Angel for all subsequent appearances of Nick Fury in Spider-Man: The Animated Series.
  • Nick Fury was voiced by Mark Gibbon in Spider-Man: Unlimited.
  • He was uncredited in the X-Men episode Old Soldiers.
  • His appearance in the X-Men episode Time Fugitives, Part I was just a brief cameo.

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