Stan's Soapbox: Nick Fury
by Stan Lee
taken from Marvel Age #77 (August 1989)

Hi, heroes! It's good news/bad news time again!

The good news is-the return of S.H.I.E.L.D.! The bad news is-some of you didn't even know it was gone! I mean, what with all the times our highflyin' international agents have guest starred in countless -other Marvel mags. who could blame you for not realizing they didn't have a book of their own?

Well that grievous oversight has been dutifully corrected. And you fans of high-tech, razzle-dazzle, two-fisted action now have cause to celebrate. The merry mismatched misfits of the Supreme Headquarters International Espionage Law- Enforcement Division are back at last (And if you're wondering how I can still remember what S. H. E. I. L. D. stands for, I'm let you in on a little secret- I'm the guy who made up that nutty acronym a couple of decades ago!)

Naturally out now S.H.I.E.L.D. series will star that gentle, soft-spoken, peace- loving homebody, none other than tender- hearted Nick Fury-the thunderbolt that walks like a man! But, since this will be the start of a row series created for a now generation of readers, Fury's awesome array of agents will be a whole now group of hard-living hard-fighting heroes! Don't ask me to tell you who they are. Wild horns couldn't pry that information from me. It's not because I'm good at keeping secrets---its I cause I just don't know! So I'll be as eager to glorn onto the first issue as you. But while were both waiting, lot me tell you something unusual about ol' Nick Fury.

Those of you who go 'way back to the beginnings of Marvel may remember the first time Nick Fury appeared in his own mag No, it wasn't a SHIELD. story It was a saga of World War II called 'SGT. FURY AND HIS HOWLING COMMANDOS". That's right, Nick was just a humble three striper at that time, just like Yours Truly was in WWII- except that Mrs. Fury's son, Nicholas, saw a lot more combat than I ever did! In fact, considering how many stories we did about him, he saw a lot more combat than anybody ever did!

But that's not the unusual part. We're coming to it now.

The SGT. FURY AND HIS HOWLING COMMANDOS series was originally created on a bet! Some" told us, during those early days at the bullpen that there was no way anybody could successfully publish a magazine of war stories. The theory was that nobody wanted to read war stories. Well you know us. Tell a Marvelite that something's impossible, and he'll knock himself out proving you're wrong! So we created and published Fury's World War 11 adventures, and they became a smash hit.

Okay, prepare yourself! We're sneaking up on the unusual part!

After a while we began to got a zillion letters and phone calls, all as" the same question If Nick Fury was a sergeant years ago in World War II, what's happened to him since? Is he alive today? And so, what's he doing now?

That's when it happened. I called a meeting of our vast, globe-girdling staff (the two or three guys who were still hanging around the office past quitting time) and we decided to do a whole row sense of Nick Fury which would take place in the present kid that's how S.H.I.E.L.D. was born!

I can picture you now. mumbling to yourself, "Big dealt So what's so unusual? Here's the answer ...

To the best of my knowledge (and you know how legendary my font of knowledge is!) there has now been a comic book hero (or any other kind of hero) who was the star of two separate series which took place at two totally different times in his lifetime! Remember the SGT. FURY series and the S.H.I.E.L.D. series were both published concurrently for many many issues until we finally dropped the World War II series because we were getting shell-shocked!

And now you have it! Marvel's own Nick Fury is the only fictional character to have been a popular, best-selling hero in two totally different series, each taking place about twenty years apart!

Now, having come to the end of this awesome little adventure into culture it's No-Prize time! Tell us who you think should play Nick Fury if and when we do a S.H.I.E.L.D. movie. Send your nominations to Slim-Jim Salicrup editor of MARVEL AGE MAGAZINE (who'll kill me for this!) and we'll announce the lucky No- Prize winner in a future column. Here's your chance to be an hot casting director, so let's see how you do!

And, while we await your choices with bated breath, you must promise never to forget or misspell those imperishable words of the poet Virgil, "Audentes fortuna juvant!"