I’m sure the resemblance is evident, and I don’t need to point it out, but this guy looks just like Samuel L. Jackson. That’s not by chance. Before the Marvel Cinematic Universe ever took off and we saw the post-credit scene that changed the genre of superhero movies forever, Marvel Comics launched a different campaign. In 2000, Marvel created the Ultimate Marvel Universe, also known as Earth 1610. This Ultimate Universe was Marvel’s idea to give their characters a fresh start, making them younger without that pesky 60 years’ worth of history the main continuity had. So, when tasked with creating a new character design, Marvel sought out permission from Samuel L. Jackson himself to use his image as the basis. Mr. Jackson granted permission, and this gave us today’s feature: Ultimate Nick Fury.
When Nicholas Joseph Fury premiered upon the pages of Ultimate Marvel Team Up #5, he was already over 80 years old. Fury fought during World War II for the U.S. and during the invasion of Sicily he was captured—by American military police…because racism— and was imprisoned in an undisclosed location with other Black men. At this location he was forced to participate in Project: Rebirth—a military project that was working to create the next super soldier like Captain America. What resulted was Fury gaining low-level super strength, agility, and slowed aging, thus why he is still and active.
Years later, after formally joining the U.S. Military and eventually joining the Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistics Directorate (S.H.I.E.L.D.) as an operative, Fury would rise in the ranks and be promoted to both General, as well as, the new Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. Once becoming Director, Fury was tasked with protecting not just the U.S. but the world. In order to do this, Fury has worked with the Fantastic Four, X-Men, Spider-Man, and created and commanded the Ultimates. The Ultimates are the Ultimate Universe’s version of the Avengers. Consisting of Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, and other familiar superheroes, General Fury would regularly lead the team into action.
Demonstrating high aptitude for strategy and leadership, these skills would prove invaluable during Fury’s career in espionage and heroics. Fury would at some point lose his status as Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. and would go on to create a black-ops super team consisting of Ultimate Marvel’s most amoral superheroes and called them the Avengers. Ever the strategist, he would leverage his experiences with Avengers to once again become the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Brandon Blackmon was born and raised in Clinton, NC. After high school, he attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; graduating with a bachelor’s in psychology. He attended Pfeiffer University where he received a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy and is currently a licensed marriage and family therapist. Brandon is a proud blerd (Black nerd) and a firm advocate and believer that representation matters in all forms of media.