Strange Tales #141 - 143 "Operation Brain Blast"
Writer: Stan Lee
Penciler: Jack Kirby

Inker: Frank Ray (141), Mike Demeo (142)
Letterer: Sam Rosen (141), Artie Simek (142)

Nick Fury is introduced to the new ESP Division at S.H.I.E.L.D. with a demonstration which unwittingly alerts former rogue S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Marvin Flumm, aka Mentallo. Fearing the agency will use their new technology to seek him out, he forges a partnership with The Fixer, recently escaped from a maximum security prison. Together the nefarious pair break into S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters from beneath the ground and launch an offensive. Nick Fury leads a defense squad but is captured and made a "brain-slave". While being strapped to a miniature H-bomb, Fury starts singing 'Johnny Get Your Gun', a trigger for the ESP Division to pick up on and lead a S.H.I.E.L.D. team to his location. Dum Dum arrives with a special team equipped with scrambler helmets and arrest Mentallo and the Fixer.

  • Continuity Notes
  • Cover appearance on all issues
  • Appearances by Dum Dum and Gabe Jones
  • Introduction of the ESP Division and the Fixer and Mentallo
  • Reprinted in: 
    • Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD (1) #17-18
    • Marvel Masterworks: Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Volume 1
    • S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Complete Collection Omnibus
    • S.H.I.E.L.D. by Lee & Kirby: The Complete Collection

Classic storyline features the premiere of the ESP Division which would play a larger role in the later Steranko scripts and beyond. Both villains make strong additions to the growing pantheon of villains for Nick Fury, their combined forces forming a believable and potent threat. Stan Lee scores some nice continuity points with Fury checking up on Inferno 42 (In TOS ), a scene featuring Tony Stark's heart condition, and mention that Nick Fury is relatively new to the job of director of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Jack Kirby is especially strong in these stories with plenty of unexpected angles. Worth noting is the techno babble reaching new heights with mention of an "automatic encephalogram inducers for cybernetic visualization" (!!?) and a chest-strapped phone that has to be seen to be believed. Another winning entry.