Holiday Christmas Special: 1994 "Downtime"
Writer/Artist: Howard Chaykin
Inkers: Joe Rosas
Letterer: Brad Joyce
Nick Fury's perennial
gloom come Christmas time is turned around when he receives a very
special Christmas card, dated 1943.
one really thinks about it, this was probably the last time someone who
cared about the character of Nick Fury was given the opportunity to write
a real character piece for him. No HYDRA, AIM, Hate-Monger or Scorpio,
just a story about Nick Fury the man and his relationship with his lifelong
friends. There's more genuine character moments in these 8 pages then
in the next 4 years worth of Nick Fury stories. The classic gang is here,
with special emphasis on Dum Dum and the Val who share the final
panel with Fury in a perfect ending. Its a shame and a tragedy that the
Nick Fury published later includes such inferior clones like MAX Fury
and Ultimate Fury and that this Nick Fury, the Fury of Chaykin,
Kirby, Lee and Steranko is probably gone forever.
With the reworked origin
in the Dutter-penned oneshot and the somewhat disappointing end of the
S.H.I.E.L.D. Volume 2 run, I personally place this adventure in this slot continuity
wise since this is just a good place as any to bid a farewell to the
classic and original Nick Fury.