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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comics – Day 105

Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

Today we begin a two-part look at Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD, as appearing in Strange Tales. We start with the original Stan Lee and Jack Kirby run!

Jack Kirby did layouts and plots for the beginning of Nick Fury’s run as the co-lead in Strange Tales (along with Doctor Strange) that began in Strange Tales #135. Kirby continued a little past #149, but #150 starts Jim Steranko’s stint on the title (at first over Kirby’s layouts, then by himself), so let’s just call Kirby’s run #135-149, for simplicity’s sake!

In any event, while it might not be as acclaimed as Steranko’s tenure on the title, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD is still an excellent comic book run.

The first issue introduces everything, and boy do we get a lot of cool concepts all introduced in one issue (as it shared the title with Doctor Strange, you can say it’s all in HALF an issue!)…

And after introducing Hydra a little (and showing that it was Tony Stark who called Fury here)…

That was a whole lot of awesome for one tale!

The next couple of issues saw the return of John Severin to Marvel, to finish Kirby’s layouts…

as you can see, they also introduced the barbershop front, and also, here are some of the Howlin’ Commandos….

Don Heck, Joe Sinnott and Dick Ayers also did some work finishing Kirby’s layouts.

Here’s a page I love just because Stan Lee tries to explain the “science” of it all…

This was a rip-roaring run!

A lot of great action and TONS of interesting tech stuff (the Hellicarrier, alone, is an iconic piece of Marvel history!).

And soon…Steranko!!!


I read of few of the Lee/Kirby stories somewhere as reprints – that origin story in particular is, like you noted, incredibly action-packed and packed with everything else. In fact, that entire Nick Fury run in Strange Tales, both the Lee/Kirby and Steranko phases, is so incredibly fantastic, precisely because so much was stuffed into stories that filled only half of a comic book.

Why does casting the mold and taking the readings have such a high risk of death?

Strange Tales #135 might just be the ultimate intro issue for a character. I mean, just look at all the concepts that Stan and Jack introduced in a mere 12 pages:

1. The Life Model Decoy (LMD)


3. The SHIELD flying car

4. SHIELD itself


I can’t think of another series that started with such a potent conceptual framework already in place.

These have never been collected, have they?

I was thinking the same thing, Trajan. That first story contained practically everything you would need to know about SHIELD for the next few decades.

OK…this is the coolest comic you’ve talked about Brian, and I’ve been following this from Day One!

Seriously, this “super spy” version of SHIELD and Nick Fury is about a thousand times cooler than the Nick Fury I’ve grown up reading; instead of something that’s a bit of a ripoff of NCIS or some other cop show, we get sweet, cheesy, awesome spy action!

Please tell me this has been collected!

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