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I Love Ya But You’re Strange – That Time Cap Was Obsessed With Nick Fury “Wanting” Him!

Every week, I will spotlight strange but ultimately endearing comic stories (basically, we’re talking lots and lots of Silver Age comic books). Here is the archive of all the installments of this feature. Feel free to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com if you have a suggestion for a future installment!

This week, we look at the odd Avengers subplot from the early issues where Captain America was obsessed about getting a job with Nick Fury (before Cap even knew about S.H.I.E.L.D.), to the point where he began daydreaming about Fury and pouting over not getting called.

It all began in Avengers #15 (by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Don Heck and Mike Esposito), when Captain America writes a letter to Nick Fury…

You have to love “you won’t remember me” bit. No, Fury likely forgot you. It’s not like you were Captain freakin’ America! How would Nick Fury possibly remember Captain America?

So after mailing it…

(Stan Lee does have a point about how Cap’s early adventures were almost entirely him working in counter-espionage, so a nice little bit of continuity there by Lee)

Cap does not hear any word back.

The next couple of issues Cap is too busy forming the new Avengers team with Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver.

We next see him dwelling over his lot in life in Avengers #18, by Lee, Heck and Dick Ayers…

And it begins to have an effect on him, like doing missions with the goal of impressing Nick Fury (even daydreaming about Fury)…

The idea of Cap doing a mission just because it’ll impress Nick Fury is hilarious.

The following issue (also by Lee, Heck and Ayers), we see Fury’s lack of response has begin to piss Cap off, as it is affecting his training sessions…

As it turns out, Cap’s letter went to Fury’s old office at the CIA, so that’s why he didn’t hear back from him. Hydra, meanwhile, got a hold of the letter…

After discarding it, a crook finds it and gives it to the Swordsman to help him spring a trap on the good Captain…

Check out Cap’s reaction when he gets a reply from Fury (actually Swordsman pretending to be Fury to get Cap to come to a warehouse alone)…

Cap really, REALLY wanted to be in SHIELD, huh?

That’s why it is really quite odd to see how Cap reacted when he finally DID meet up with Fury in Tales of Suspense #78 (plotted by Jack Kirby, which would explain the different reaction – Lee scripted it and Frank Giacoia inked Kirby’s pencils)…

Although, he does, at least, acknowledge the letter…

I now want a modern comic to have Hawkeye or someone tease Cap over this. “Hey, remember that time you were freaking out over not getting to work with Nick Fury?”

Also, the next time you see someone argue something like “Captain America would never do that!” or whatever, do note that it is not like Cap’s characterization has been steady during his comic book career.

NOTE: I featured this as a stand-alone bit a couple of years back before I started “I Love Ya But You’re Strange” as a regular feature and this really belongs here.

16 Comments

I am a huge Captain America fan, and at that time, I didn’t think that Cap’s actions were strange or bizarre. Now looking back, he does seem like a mixture of a lovelorn 14 year old girl and a stalker! Strange how a strong character like him can seem kind of petty in retrospect.

I’ve wondered about Cap’s reaction when he finally met Fury, too. I think the key is right there in Cap’s letter. He was assuming that Nick Fury was doing counter-intelligence work for the Army. Keep in mind that even the CIA was formed after Cap went into suspended animation. It would have been something new and strange to him. Cap may not have felt comfortable with a “spy agency” like the CIA or S.H.I.E.L.D., for whatever reason, and really just wanted to work with the Army again, since that was so familiar to him. When he learned that Fury was no longer working for the Army, that cooled Cap to the whole idea. I think Cap’s whole motivation was to find some familiar surroundings, and since, from his perspective, just a few months ago he’d been in World War II, he thought the Army would be the perfect place. After he learned Fury wasn’t with the Army any more, Cap wasn’t so keen to work with him.

Cap cried for three days when he didn’t hear back from Nick Fury.

Dammit, Rollo, now you’ve made me ashamed I didn’t think of that joke!

I just love Cap’s reaction to Fury’s letter. He just sorta loudly exclaims that he’ll join S.H.I.E.L.D. and Cap only tells the Avengers he’s also gonna be working with them when prompted. You gotta imagine that, to Quicksilver and the others, he was practically saying “screw you, bitches, I am outta here!”

I do find this storyline amusing. I imagine some of Cap’s feelings have to do with him basically being sent 20 years into the future, and wanting to reconnect with people he knew during the war. I still LOL at the panel of Cap jumping for joy when he thinks Nick Fury responded to his letter.

I read those Avengers issues for the first time recently and although Caps behavior did seem weird I actually thought it made some sense.
He’s not long out of the iceberg in a world thats changed without him. He’s not sure the Avengers (the kooky quartet) will work out. He’s the kind of guy that needs a cause he believes in to fight for. It seems pretty reasonable he’d try and join SHEILD. The weirdest bit of it though is that he tried to contact him by letter. All that tech in Tony Stark’s mansion and he has to write a letter??

Hey, everyone needs a job, and babysitting Hawkeye probably wasn’t Cap’s first choice…

always found it amazing that of all things cap could freak out over and get teased about by hawkeye it was a letter that never reached nick fury only to later nick saying cap could have worked for him. and let it pass

What’s ironic is that Cap’s pining to work with Nick Fury is later paralleled by Rick Jones pestering Cap to be the new Bucky.

How good is the counter-espionage if Cap hears about it, fresh out of the iceberg? I know he probably has some contacts, but still.

Y’know, sometimes those European countries got cold at night, Nick and Cap had to share tents, one thing led to another….

People are mentioning about Cap wanting familiar surroundings, but the odd thing about Avengers 4 is how nonchalantly Cap adjusts to being 20 years in the future, particularly without having the Avengers to guide him (they got turned into statues, remember). He takes things very well.

Haha, how great would it have been to have that referenced in the movie?

Cap and Nick talk like they’ve only met once or twice before. I’m pretty sure this has been retconned out. Now I think most readers think of Cap and Nick fighting side by side for years.

Not only is Cap obsessed with Fury…he wants to get back in the harness again. I don’t think anyone uses that expression outside of a sex club or dungeon. :)

Well, not now, Mike, but back then?
I don’t think this was all that strange. Lee’s take on Cap was that he was the veteran who came home from the war and couldn’t fit into private life any more, a popular theme in movies and fiction since WW II ended, according to Mark Evanier in the introduction to the hardcover collection of Kirby’s OMAC (which is where Evanier explains that OMAC was a variation on what Kirby would have preferred to do with Cap in the Silver Age–which Brian got into in a Comic Book Urban Legends column). But admittedly he does get kind of emotional about it.

“I got my answer–Fury wants me! At last!!”

“I’ve been thinking about you a lot, too mister!”

Cap & Nick 4-ever!!!! lol

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