Fantastic Four (1) #21

Writer: Stan Lee
Art: Jack Kirby
Colorist: George Bell
Art Simek

Tracking down the Hate-Monger in the South American country of San Gusto, Nick Fury comes to seek aid from the Fantastic Four. Upon arriving at their headquarters, Fury finds that they are already under the influence of the Hate-Ray, and he decides to use this fact to his advantage.
  • Continuity Notes
  • First post-WWII story to feature Fury, establishing him as a CIA agent.
  • Mention is made of Sgt. Fury #3, which featured Reed Richards.
  • Rare post WWII story with Fury sans his trademark eye patch
  • Fury would face off against the Hate-Monger in future issues of his own title and Captain America
  • Reprinted in:
    • Marvel Masterworks: Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Volume 1
    • Marvel Masterworks: The Fantastic Four. Volume 3
    • S.H.I.E.L.D. by Lee & Kirby: The Complete Collection

Classic story with a great ending. The lead-up to the Fantastic Four getting involved makes for a good piece of storytelling; showing the FF's daily lives interrupted by The Thing's antics to let off steam after reading about the Hate-Monger. The opening perfectly illustrates the Lee/Kirby team's genius for Silver Age comic book storytelling. Fury eventually gets involved and his manipulation of the rest of the FF to join Reed makes for an interesting foreshadowing of the type of character he would eventually become. Lee writes Fury a bit more polished but still a scrapper. Fury's liasoning with the FF to tackle the Hate-Monger really sets the template for what Fury would become in the Marvel universe; the average guy who has strong ties with the super-hero community and is capable of calling in the occasional favor.