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The Abandoned An’ Forsaked – The Nick Fury Who Died Was Not an LMD…Okay, Yeah, He Was an LMD

Every Saturday, we will be examining comic book stories and ideas that were not only abandoned, but also had the stories/plots specifically “overturned” by a later writer (as if they were a legal precedent). Click here for an archive of all the previous editions of The Abandoned An’ Forsaked. Feel free to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.

Today we look at the hilarious “death” of Nick Fury.

Enjoy!

So during the mid-1990s, Marvel split their comics into four or five groups. The problem was that they had a few titles that really did not fit into ANY group. Hulk, Daredevil, Ghost Rider, Punisher – they were not Avengers, they were not X-Men, they were not Spider-Man characters (the New Warriors, for instance, became a Spider-Man related title so that they could fit into that group). So Marvel just gave them their own group – Marvel Edge. And then they had a crossover between these characters that really have nothing in common. The crossover dealt with the Punisher being convinced that Nick Fury killed his family (Punisher was mind-altered and controlled by some folks who were trying to get Fury out of the way so that they could take over SHIELD).

In the final part of the story, Punisher learns of the existence of Fury’s Life Model Decoys…

He then destroys all of Fury’s Life Model Decoys…

And then kills Fury at the end of the issue…

In the Incredible Hulk, Peter David has some fun with the death of Nick Fury…

Before highlighting that Fury was, indeed, dead…

Note Iron Man’s presence at the funeral. That’s important.

So as I talked about last week, Sharon Carter turned out to be alive, only left for dead by SHIELD while on a secret mission (for which SHIELD faked her death). So she went to SHIELD for answers, only to learn that the man who would know, Nick Fury, was dead…

Mark Waid, too, has fun with the “yeah, I’m sure he’s dead” aspect of it all…

So Sharon eventually goes to look for Nick Fury’s body, which apparently was not actually buried in Arlington because the government did not want people to have access to the Infinity Formula in Nick’s veins…

And here comes the explanation!

You see, even though all the LMDs had been destroyed, they were not REALLY destroyed! Tony Stark just made a very special one that no one else knew about and Stark did not think about himself even though HE WAS AT THE FUNERAL!

So Sharon goes to look for the real Nick Fury, while moaning to herself about what he did to her…

Note that Fury did not actually show Cap Sharon’s death.

So anyhow, she finds him trapped in time. He explains his disappearance…

(Angel, by the way, died soon after they landed in the past. So the big bad guy was basically a MacGuffin).

While stuck in the past with Sharon, he explains that he thought that she WAS dead…

So all was cool once again between Sharon and Nick (and Sharon eventually became the head of SHIELD for a time while Fury took off for a bit).

So yeah, Nick Fury died and it turned out to really be a Life Model Decoy. Hard to think of a less inspired explanation than that, huh? Although I guess the simplest solutions are often the best ones…

57 Comments

…and why, exactly, does Nick Fury have two functional eyes in the distant past?

randypan the goatboy

January 21, 2012 at 10:58 am

Wow how very Dues ex machina of them…there should be a limit to how long a character has to be dead. if it was five to seven years i bet we wouldn’t see so many of these quick fix death sales gimmicks..Of course not everyone can be Bucky dead . that has to be the record

Terry Kavanagh, argh, master of convulated mysteries that make my head hurt – Nightwatch, Blood Rose, FACADE, early Clone Saga – those issues of Web of Spidey were Godawful…

The best part about this article was looking at that fantastic Waid/Garney Cap page. I adored every single panel from their first run. Probably my favorite comics in the 20+ years I’ve been reading.

@ Fisk: Easily one of my three least favorite comic book writers. For every former editor who goes into writing that turns out pretty good, there’s always ten Kavanaghs.

There’s a funny bit in this week’s Amazing Spider-Man (#678) where Slott pokes fun at that FACADE business.

The whole sequence where The Punisher is going after Fury is hilarious, from Fury’s dialogue on the first page (I imagine him having a voice like Burgess Meredith in Rocky) to Daredevil’s ridiculous costume on the last. DD’s appearance is completely out of context, and the scene is so much funnier because of that.

1.- Who was that blonde “Doc”?
2.- Why does Fury’s LMD have an X on the neck?
3.- How retro that Castle’s trigger for the bombs was an old fashioned one, like the ones Wile E. Coyote uses.
4.- Who lettered the Captain America pages?
5.- Man, the art on the last few pages pretty much tells us all that was wrong with comics in that era.

…and why, exactly, does Nick Fury have two functional eyes in the distant past?

Sharon’s bear chest restored his eyesight.

>Sharon’s bear chest restored his eyesight.

Yes, Sharon borrowed Ursa Major for a cameo. But only his chest.

Man, who’d those old-timers piss off to get stuck seated behind Deathcry?

Yes, Sharon borrowed Ursa Major for a cameo. But only his chest

Yeah yeah. I noticed the typo after I hit publish.

bare chest.

Akaky Akakievich Bashmachkin

January 21, 2012 at 12:11 pm

@Kabe

“1.- Who was that blonde “Doc”?”

Doc Samson, Hulk’s super-powered psychiatrist.

Hulk, Daredevil, Ghost Rider, Punisher – they were not Avengers, they were not X-Men, they were not Spider-Man characters

————Not quite-the Mack Bolan/the Shadow imitator first turned up in ASM#129 as an associate of the Jackal.

Who was that blonde “Doc”?

Doc Samson, colored inconsistently.

Why does Doc Samson need a gun? He can lift 75 tons and can fight the Hulk.

It’s a tranq gun.

Doc Samson was like a much less athletic, much less smart, less strong, psychiatric Beast until World War Hulk happened.

found the whole nick is really dead for good this time not an lmd story confusing as it moved on for after all surely wolverine senses would be able to sense the nick in the casket as a lmd a different kind . not to mention how did sharon wind up in the past with nick when only nick went through the portal?

wolverine senses would be able to sense the nick in the casket as a lmd a different kind

He could have figured out that it was a machine due to the lack of smell from decomposition.

To be fair to Tony, those problems he mentioned were being mind-controlled by Immortus and forced to murder. I don’t blame him for forgetting.
Can someone explain to me why Sharon was angry at Steve for believing she was dead if Sharon was in on the plot to fake her death?

I seem to remember they half-heartedly offer up that the LMD was specially designed to full even Wolverine’s senses.

I love how Shang Chi is literally yellow. Nice coloring there.

Silly Brian, Iron Man WAS at the funeral, but he’s just Tony Stark’s bodyguard! Are you suggesting that he IS Iron Man? Wha?! :)

Ah, the ’90s. For every bit of awesome like Waid’s run on Cap, there was loads of crap like the Marvel Edge stuff. Ugh!

That final scene is an odd one.

I mean, having non-romanitcally linked, opposite sex people shower in front of one another is a genre trope that works just fine. It is wildly unrealistic, but it works just fine as a device to demonstrate trust. It also introduces a vintage Bondian tease that works pretty well in the superhero genre. However, these are not exactly the best characters to use this device on.

Both are largely defined by their jobs and their jobs are about not trusting people. Neither character has cause to trust the other given what they know, so Sharon Carter stripping down in front of Nick Fury seems a bit soft-headed. Other than her job, the other defining trait that Sharon Carter has is her intense loyalty to Steve Rogers. Flirting with one of his best friends strikes me as a violation of the that trait as well. Finally, Fury has always been defined by a pretty old school value system. So, his leering at a subordinate seems like a break in character as well.

Obviously, this was not the most coherent story in Marvel history to begin with, but that conclusion was a real topper.

No snark for the ’90s holy-shit-we’re-still-figuring-out-computer-coloring colors?

The 1990s were such a low point in comics. The art in most of those books was terrible, the plotting worse, and the stories were extended needlessly forever. For instance, they actually launched a miniseries just for showing Sharon investigation of Fury’s fate (and teasing sexual tension between them, apparently).

I reeks so much of a cheap moneygrabbing scheme.

Can’t wait to see this story updated when they kill Nick this year and replace him with Marcus Johnson as the new Nick Fury Jr… only to have it overturned in 5 years by revealing another LMD switcheroo.

There was a story (in the early Seventies, IIRC) where AIM was desperately trying to steal an LMD. They finally got one, and were carrying it off in it’s open-front storage case, bragging about how they finally got an LMD of Nick Fury, when it sat up and started shooting. Turned out the “LMD” *was* Fury, in his underwear, pretending to be one of his LMDs.

That always struck me as a nice reversal of the trope. :-)

Here is a question, which strip got the most generous helping of Kirby Koncepts?

There is a pretty case for Nick Fury, isn’t there? You have the LMDs, the Helicarrier, the Flying Car and a visually strong supporting cast.

Did the funeral take place before or after “The Crossing” storyline in the Avengers books? Because if it was afterwards, then at that point in time Tony Stark was dead (geeze, there’s another death that was later overturned) and that would have been a teenage version of him from an alternate reality who was in the Iron Man armor at Fury’s funeral. So this version of Stark would have no knowledge of the super-special LMD created for Fury. But, again, I can’t remember the sequence these issues were published in.

It was before.

@Ben Herman

The Crossing almost immediately preceded Onslaught and Heroes Reborn (only 5 months/issues between the end of one and the beginning of the other), and, some would say (like me), that the epic awfulness of The Crossing is what led to Marvel’s interest in rebooting those titles. They had basically gotten themselves stuck in a continuity situation which even the most grandiose retcon could not get them out of.

@Brian

Is it possible to give issue numbers for these columns in the future? I know and have the Waid Caps and David Hulks, but no idea what the first few pages and last few pages are from. I think it would help back issue hunters, as well as solve timeline questions, to know what issues we’re looking at.

Man, the art on the last few pages pretty much tells us all that was wrong with comics in that era.

Although I could totally see why others wouldn’t like him, as he is very stylized, I loved Ramon Bernardo’s art. Also, I think even if you don’t like it, it’s still better than the non-Garney examples earlier in this piece. THOSE are more emblematic of everything wrong with comics in that era.

I second Third Man’s request for issue numbers, please. Some of these storyarcs are so wild that I feel the desperate need to track them down and own them! lol! Thanks!!

Ok, I always liked PAD’s take on the funeral. That last panel got me the first time I read it.

But then I’m a PAD fan.

I just wish Nick Fury was back at SHIELD instead of this new guy “we-gotta-have-a-black-guy-because-the-movie-is-coming-and-he´s-black-in-it.”.

The earliest (Punisher) scenes are probably from “Double Edge: Omega”, and everything past the last Cap panel is certainly from the two-issue “Fury/Agent 13″ limited series.

Brian, do you know if that plotline about Darkstar’s secret thoughts on the last few issues of The Champions was ever developed? It looks like a potential future column, if it was. I don’t think her apparitions in the Mantlo issues of Incredible Hulk really fit the idea that she is “less human than Ghost Rider”.

That art makes me ill.

The ‘Over the Edge’ era, if I’m not mistaken.

Somehow, they’ll make it that Nick Fury looks like Samuel Jackson in the regular universe. He rise up and say ‘This parties over!’ or ‘Yes, they deserved to die and I hope they burn in hell’.

Some of that art is messed. Especially the blonde chick’s body, but I admit, I could read it all day.

“Somehow, they’ll make it that Nick Fury looks like Samuel Jackson in the regular universe.”

Wouldn’t surprise me. This series of columns alone is proof enough that both DC and Marvel have done stranger things than that. MUCH stranger.

“This series of columns alone is proof enough that both DC and Marvel have done stranger things than that. MUCH stranger.”

Wasn’t Nick female in _Sky Captain_? ;-)

Ohh, my. This seems insanely complicated for such a simple explanation.

Wasn’t Fury also assasinated by Bullseye while on a double-date with Dugan at a Country Joe and the Fish concert? I had once read that was the case, but later issues of his title were all fill-ins and then it was cancelled..

Okay, maybe I’m nitpicking, but I’m a little bothered by the casual attire worn by the people at Fury’s funeral. Especially considering a military funeral, for a war hero. I understand that superhero costumes are considered the same as military formals. Chang Chi is not really a superhero and his clothes aren’t really a costume. Yet him and Leiko show up in their everyday attire. You would think they would both show more respect. At least some form of Asian formal attire. Then the Spiderman, and Star Trek shirts…..

I actually enjoyed Frank gunning down Nick. It was shocking and a bit horrifying and awesome all at once.

Out of curiosity, has anyone ever explained why the Howlers seem to be in almost as good shape as Nick? From the brief glimpse I got of them in Secret Warriors (before I moved somewhere further from comics shops) it looked like they’d all had infinity formula, and I’m fairly sure that’s not canon. At the moment.

When the Avengers movie was being made, the Department of Defense refused to participate. Their reasoning was that the command relationship of the SHIELD organization is not clearly defined. This is actually a rational concern, that has never been adequately addressed by Marvel.

Is SHIELD an intelligence organization? Then it should take orders from the Director of Central Intelligence (the cabinet level person the CIA and NSA answer to.) A military organization? Then it should take orders from the Secretary of Defense. A law enforcement organization? Then it should take orders from the Secretary of Justice. Some combination of the above? An independent with its director a cabinet level appointment approved by congress?

Moreover, SHIELD is often portrayed as having an international element. Sometimes it is said that SHIELD has treaty ties to the United Nations. The problem with that is simply: the U.N. charter is written so that the organization cannot compell its members in any way. Any action by the U.N. requires both a majority vote of the general assembly and the unanimous consent of the Security Council. The U.N. charter will not allow the existense of any sort of law enforcement body.

I have an idea. I believe my idea answers those two critical questions. And I developed my idea based upon Jack Kirby’s original design for the SHIELD badge. You may recall that design had a crossed pistol and dagger with twelve stars on red white and blue field.

Within Marvelverse canon it is established that the ancient conspiricy know as Hydra was taken over by the Red Skull and a cabal of his officers when they realized the war was lost and their personal power was more important to them than their nationalism. It is also established that allied intelligence had knowledge of the existence of Hydra, and some idea of the threat it posed. After the end of the war, this criminal enterprise saw its ranks swell with war criminals, adrenalin junkies and displaced persons.

In 1949, twelve nations signed a defensive alliance intended to prevent a resurgence of a militaristic Germany and block Soviet expansionism. This alliance became the institution we know as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. It is entirely reasonable to suggest that when NATO began to take on it’s proactive military posture (after the Korean War) a special Unified Command was created to support and coordiate law enforcement and counter intelligence operations across the borders of the member states. It is also reasonable to suggest that, in order to monitor and “watchdog” this extraordinary element, a diplomatic oversight committee was also established.

Thus the Jack Kirby design of a dagger representing the counter-intelliegence function, a pistol representing the law enforcement function, and twelve stars representing the twelve founding member-states of NATO.

The obvious limit here is that NATO is a headquarters with no troops. All the forces in NATO are actually member-state forces acting under clearly defined treaty obligations. Putting any muscle behind this unified NATO command for coordinating law enforcement activities would require participation from the members.

Marvelverse canon states that in the late fifties Tony Stark approached the U.S. president to request a special organization or department to address what Tony saw as the threat posed by Hydra and other trans-national criminal organizations. I presume that Tony was freshly pulled from school and speaking on behalf of his recently departed (killed in a car accident) father, Howard. Eisenhower would not have been receptive to Tony. Ike had become wary of what he called the military industrial complex and in his mind, Tony would have seemed to represent those interests.

A couple of years later, Tony tried again. But if his second attempt was to Kennedy, he would have received a very different reception. Kennedy liked ivy league intellectuals and would have seen Tony in that light. Kennedy was also more interested in finding new and unconventional approaches to the problems he faced. SHIELD would have fit right into his approach.

From there it is only a short step to suggest that as a condition of U.S. providing SHIELD to NATO, the U.S. is guaranteed a seat on the oversight committee for a member of the presidents cabinet. Whether that seat is filled by Justice, Defence or Intelligence would depend upon the whim of the sitting president. SHIELD command would go through the unified command and the oversight committee to NATO for its international management, and through the U.S. member of the oversight committee to the President for its domestic management.

It all fits.

This idea as it applies to the Marvel copywrite SHIELD organization is open source. I claim no copywrite of my own. Anybody may use this idea at will; so long as they do not claim it as original. Credit to me would be appreciated, but is not essential.

Joe Crislip
12 September 2012
Trapdoortales.com

The final panel seems to imply sexual tension where none exists.

[…] Punisher, which you can see in pretty awesome detail in an edition of CBR’s excellent The Abandoned An’ Forsaked […]

this….totally sucks ass.
id only read that if someone pointed a gun to my head…

All i remember about the Punisher killing Nick Fury is that the 2 issue mini-series had chromium covers.

I feel this was all brought on by a good story that led to a dramatic characterization shift. Suicide Run was a gigantic Punisher story that crossed over all his titles and ended with him killing an active duty police officer, something that he had never done before. This led to the next story and his becoming a ‘Pariah’. Then came the Countdown arc and even more downward spiraling (in this story Bullseye tricked him into thinking he had accidentally killed a couple in the park, although it may have been a retcon and hr may have originally been intended to have killed them). That’s why he ended up in jail, going crazy and killing an LMD of Fury.

These stories were good in their own ways (well, some of them) as was a bit of what came next, but eventually Punisher was almost throughly ruined and had to be salvaged by Garth Ennis, bless that bastard. I’m just glad that Edmondson and Gerads, in my eyes, are continuing the good efforts of Remender and Rucka.

I am not entirely sure that the world needed a ten part Punisher story, but ‘Suicide Run’ is certainly a decent read, especially by the standard of ’90′s Marvel and Punisher stories in general.

I love how buff Sharon Carter looks during this period.

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