Picture Gallery - 5
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Here's some art of Gabrielle Dell'Otto that never made it to the United States. This French edition of "Marvel Mega" (which reprinted several issues of Secret War) featured a gripping cover of Nick Fury, Iron Man and She-Hulk that was released exclusively in Europe. This book recently sold on eBay for about $38 US and shows why Del Otto is one of the brightest stars in the comic book industry. What's odd about this cover, however, is that She-Hulk (great though she is as every school-boy's dream come true) had absolutely no part in the Secret War mini-series. Hmmmm... come to think of it, Iron Man doesn't play a role in this chapter of Marvel history either. Whatever, it's still a great cover painting.
More of Dell'Otto's stellar work, this image comes from "Secret War" number 4, with Fury dramatically telling the assembled heroes to gun down the current leader of Latveria, Prime Minister Lucia von Bardas. As usual, Captain America takes umberage with such a cold-blooded order ("Though my eyes could see, still I was a blind man"). Truth be told, I'm not all that crazy about how Gabrielle draws several of the Marvel characters, such as Wolverine and the Thing. But he seems to have been born to paint Nick Fury.
And just for good measure, here's one more Dell'Otto image from "Secret War" number 4. The trade book of the entire limited series will be a treasure of Fury art at its best and a "must own" for Fans of the Fury.
In 2005, Nick Fury played a supporting role in a Punisher MAX story arch, "Mother Russia." This was clearly the same Nick Fury from MAX's "Fury" limited series, and the art by ___________ was very similar to Robertson's depiction of Fury. But this cover from the first issue of the arch by Tim Bradstreet was distinctively different take on Fury's look. At first I thought it was "too" different from the usual depiction of Nick, but over time I really came to like it. Bradstreet is a master of making comic book characters come to life and look as real as you and I.
Does Nick Fury in the cover above remind you of anyone? Tim Bradstreet got Thomas Jayne, the actor who portrayed the Punisher in the 2004 film, to model as Nick Fury in a photo shoot. Bradstreet used the photos from that shoot to illustrate the Punisher cover of Fury. I didn't realize it at first, but when I look at this picture from the photo shoot and at the resulting cover, the resemblance Nick has to Thomas Jayne is unmistakeable. So there's a piece of Fury trivia to file away in the back of your head to pull out when... when... well, you'll probably never have the opportunity to use that bit of trivia... but it's still cool.
Here's one more photo of Thomas Jayne posing as Nick Fury. The current Internet buzz is that Bruce Willis is in talks to possibly portray the one-eyed warhorse in a Nick Fury film that wouldn't be released until 2007, at the earliest. I like the idea of Willis as Fury because Willis is great at exuding on film a quiet intensity. A character, like Fury, who has a bitter, burnt-out attitude, a cynical and jaded sense of humor and a rough and tumble approach to dealing with whatever threat he's facing is a perfect vehicle for an actor like Bruce Willis. Willis' acting style compliments well Nick Fury's quiet, no-nonsense approach to getting things done. All that being said, I can't help but to wonder if Thomas Jayne could pull off the character just as well, based simply on how he looks in these photos.
When Fury's MAX title was hitting it big in sales (thanks somewhat to Garth Ennis' foul-mouthed storytelling and dialogue, and much more so due to Darrick Robertson's great artwork), Wizard Magazine decided to use Fury for a regular feature of Wizard magazine editions - the VS. feature, in which the editors would pick two unrelated characters from two different publishing universes to duke it out in tongue-and-cheeck fashion, and then delcare a winner. This is the picture Wizard published when they had Nick Fury going up against Cobra Commander from the G.I. Joe franchise. A fitting choice for Fury in that Cobra, as a globe-spanning terrorist organization, would be the perfect nemesis for Fury and SHIELD if Cobra was still part of the Marvel Universe. So here they had the one-eyed eagle of freedom throw down with the hooded leader of the hordes of Cobra. Who won this academic foray into cross-universes? Rest assured, Followers of the Fury, good ol' Nick kicked Cobra butt and permenantly retired the Commander to the grave. Wah-HOOoooo!!!!!
Here's a great image of Col. Fury done by the indomitable Bill Sienkewiez for the inside cover of one of the Fury MAX limited series editions. Normally, I'm not a fan of Bill's undefined and unrefined work that very often ends up distorting the principal characters into being almost unrecognizeable.
From the "Agent of SHIELD" arc, Wolverine issue #26 had a second, alternate cover done by Marc Silvestri, featuring Logan and Nick grappling with eachother during a freefall from the Helicarrier. This is probably one of the best Fury-related covers since the work of Steranko of the 60's. I like the way Fury has both fists with a sidearm aimed at Logan's head. Despite Logan's mutant powers, he and Fury have usually been depicted as near equals when fighting eachother (i.e. read the "Bloody Choices" graphic novel).

When the Thing and a handful of Avengers organized a "floating" poker game, Fury became a regular participant, among such other heroes as Wolverine, Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk and the Beast. At one such game Fury renewed his friendship with both Carol Danvers (aka Ms. Marvel) and Wolverine. This floating poker game seems to still be a part of the Marvel Universe, though less often depicted. Despite his respect for super heroes, Fury recognizes them as potential loose canons, and in the name of "National Security" SHIELD formed more than one contingency plan against them.
Here's a beautiful black & white rendering by Gulacy of Fury with his number one freelance agent, Natasha Romanov, aka the Black Widow. The suave secret agent and his beautiful operative. I don'tunderstand why Natasha and Nick have never been romantically linked in the Marvel Universe. Nick always has a minor character for a girlfriend, usually one of his true SHIELD agents. The Blacxk Widow on the other hand has been with high profile lovers such as Hawkeye, Daredevil, even Hercules! But these two espionage pro's would be great together as an item. Maybe Marvel prefers to keep the paternal, or even fraternal, feel to Nick's relationship with the Widow. What the future entails... ?
Rarely seen these days, Fury and SHIELD had an ongoing black & white comic strip in the pages of Marvel's UK Incredible Hulk magazine from the 70's. Here's one panel from that strip featuring Dum Dum Dugan alongside Nick. I'm not sure if the strip reproduced existing Nick Fury stories or if they were original stories and art. If anyone can answer this question, I'd be much obliged.
Howard Chaykin's "Scorpio Connection" story was printed in the United Kingdom as part of Wolverine's monthly UK book. This is the cover of that book which was released in Britain and not the United States. The story, which teamed up Wolverine and Nick Fury, was very well received and led to a less than steller sequel.
Here's a somber and dark portrait of Colonel Fury from the pages of the 2005 Black Widow limited series (volume 1, issue number 6). This one nicely conveys the shadowy world of darkness Fury often lives in.

Pushing the envelope of decency for a moment, here's a racy picture depicting old Nick getting his kink on with none other than the aforementioned Black Widow. Looks like someone else out there has picked up on the sexual tension between these two characters and acted artistically on it. Why include this in my Gallery? Well, I think it's unusual and different enough not to include it.
Nick Fury, as an agent of SHIELD, was meant to cash in on the James Bond craze that was sweeping the nation in the 1960's. Even though Steranko made Fury act and look more like 007 than Stan Lee the creator did, even Stan meant for the character to be an American version of Bond. Along those lines, this picture of Fury more closely resembles the 007 iconic image than any other picture I've seen. The dark suit, the shoulder holster strap, the brooding look with firearm securely in hand... only this is a revolver and not 007's Walther PPK.
This is probably the best computer generated image of Nick Fury I've ever seen. Usually CGI pictures, in my opinion, look ugly and completely artifical. I like the flesh tones and the very realistic face, plus the awesome rifle and uniform, making this a rare CGI that I like. If only the "US War Machine" series had computer art this good!

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