OK, just read issue #0.  It involves the current iteration of Nova, who is apparently a kid named Sam Alexander, whose father was an old drunk who claimed to have been an intergalactic space hero, and who eventually disappeared. In time, the son discovers that the old man had been an intergalactic space hero and ends up becoming the new Nova himself. I'm not familiar with this version of the character, so I can't say how long he's been around. I remember reading the original Nova nearly forty years ago - I don't have any great memories of him except that he was drawn by Carmine Infantino for awhile.

 

Anyway, our Sam fights a robot version of Tomazooma and meets the Avengers and asks them about the Watcher and finds out that while they know the Watcher watches, they don't know why. So, he goes to the Moon and gives the Watcher a rock and Utau Atua Utapau Uatu shows him his home movies of how his Dad (Uatu's, I mean, not Sam's) was the one who had the bright idea of giving the Prosilicans nuclear energy and we all know how that worked out.  Is this new?  I don't remember it being U Thant Utrecht Uatu's old man who did that. Anyway, Sam asks Uatu just how much he watches and Uatu blows his mind by showing him scenes from old issues of What If.  Anyway, Sam realizes that what Uatu is really hoping to see is a world where his dad wasn't wrong. Sam commiserates and says that he wishes his father wasn't a screw-up, too, then asks Uatu what happened to his (Sam's, not Uatu's) dad, and after a slight pause, Uatu tells Sam that his dad is still alive. (Say, isn't that sort of "interfering", Uatu, old son?).  Sam goes off happy and Uatu puts the rock on a shelf. 

 

A mildly interesting story, and the art is nice enough.

 

Say, the Watcher apparently has an armory - he's really loaded for bear - where he keeps the Ultimate Nullifier. How'd he end up with it? I thought Galactus took that back after Reed made him promise to leave Earth after threatening to blow his head off with it.

 

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The Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD, series started in 1965, when Fury could've conceivably been only 41, not much older than Tony Stark and about the same age as Reed Richards and Ben Grimm, who had already been described as veterans of World War II, a pre-FF Reed having guest-starred in an issue of Nick Fury & His Howling Commandos.   Of course, it was easier at some point just to never again mention that Reed & Ben were WWII veterans than to pretend that Nick Fury never took part in the Big One and that his war adventures were really in Desert Storm or the Invasion of Afghanistan after 9/11.  Yeah, it can work for Tony but not so much Nick.  And whatever solution they came up with for Nick, they have to do the same for Dum Dum, Gabe and whatever other Howlers have been SHIELD agents for nearly 50 years now.
 
ClarkKent_DC said:

The Baron said:

Well, and this just a preliminary assessment, mind you, but I do think that the ending of this issue might - might, mind you, be said from a certain point of view, to offer a certain amount of supporting evidence to the Skipper's theory that:

 

...one of the major purposes of this story is to clear away white Nick Fury so that Sam Jackson Nick Fury is the only one.

 

This is, of course, merely a tentative interpretation.

 

But isn't White Nick Fury, like, a hundred years old? (I've heard something about some kind of anti-aging Brylcreem he uses, but I haven't heard the details and don't want to start now.)

On Earth ClarkKent_DC, Sgt. Fury and Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. have long been two different characters, anyway.

It occurs to me they really should have made white Nick Fury black Nick Fury's grandfather -- eventually with the sliding timescale they're going to have to do it anyhow.  They could introduce someone who was the product of a love affair the elder Nick had in WWII and who in turn fathered the grandson in the '60s or '70s.

The Baron said:



ClarkKent_DC said:

The Baron said:

Well, and this just a preliminary assessment, mind you, but I do think that the ending of this issue might - might, mind you, be said from a certain point of view, to offer a certain amount of supporting evidence to the Skipper's theory that:

 

...one of the major purposes of this story is to clear away white Nick Fury so that Sam Jackson Nick Fury is the only one.

 

This is, of course, merely a tentative interpretation.

 

But isn't White Nick Fury, like, a hundred years old? (I've heard something about some kind of anti-aging Brylcreem he uses, but I haven't heard the details and don't want to start now.)

On Earth ClarkKent_DC, Sgt. Fury and Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. have long been two different characters, anyway.

 

 

Well, if he was 18 on Pearl Harbor Day, Sgt. Fury would be 91 this year, and I always assumed he was older than that - in his mid-90's by now.   He (and and other Howlers that are still around in-continuity) must have the Fountain of Eternal Early Middle Age.

I always assumed White Nick Fury was much older than 18 on Pearl Harbor Day, because he and the men in Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos (except Junior Juniper) are all clearly beyond their teens and 20s. Which would, by rights, make them all centenarians.

I think Kirby loosely based Nick Fury, as well as Ben Grimm, on himself and KIrby would have been 24 when Pearl Harbor was attacked.  That seems a reasonable age for Fury to have been as well, although Dum Dum Dugan seemed to be at least in his 30s during the war years.  I don't know if it was ever established exactly when Fury joined the Army, but even Steve Rogers was trying to join nearly a year before Pearl Harbor (he -- and Simon & Kirby, I'm sure -- really wanted to punch Hitler in the jaw) so it's also reasonable to assume that Fury had already been in the army several years before Pearl Harbor -- say if he had joined at age 17 in 1934.  He thus would have built up sufficient seniority, and maybe a little bit of combat experience before the U.S. entered the war, to be a credible leader even when only in his mid to late 20s.  On that basis, the original Nick Fury would now be about 97 years old.
 
ClarkKent_DC said:

 

I always assumed White Nick Fury was much older than 18 on Pearl Harbor Day, because he and the men in Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos (except Junior Juniper) are all clearly beyond their teens and 20s. Which would, by rights, make them all centenarians.

ClarkKent_DC said:

I always assumed White Nick Fury was much older than 18 on Pearl Harbor Day, because he and the men in Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos (except Junior Juniper) are all clearly beyond their teens and 20s. Which would, by rights, make them all centenarians.

Fred W. Hill said:

.....it's also reasonable to assume that Fury had already been in the army several years before Pearl Harbor -- say if he had joined at age 17 in 1934. He thus would have built up sufficient seniority, and maybe a little bit of combat experience before the U.S. entered the war, to be a credible leader even when only in his mid to late 20s

I tend to agree that Dum Dum Dugan was probably older. Fury was probably around 25 and the others somewhere close to that, plus or minus. They seemed older because they had been hardened by combat. In wartime it doesn't take long to achieve rank*, and a three-stripe sergeant doesn't have a lot of seniority. Also, unless he joined the Canadian or British armies before Pearl Harbor** there was nowhere he could have gotten previous combat experience.

* George Custer had the rank of (Temporary) Major General in his 20s during the Civil War. When he died eleven years later he was a Lieutenant Colonel.

** The Flying Tigers were American military fighting under (theoretically) the Chinese Air Force against the Japanese Empire prior to Pearl Harbor. Many Americans became members of allied forces in WWI and WWII prior to U.S. entry into those wars.

There are a couple of Sgt. Fury stories which shed some light on his pre-WWII activities and when they took place.

"The Origin of the Howlers", from Sgt. Fury # 34 (Sep., 1966), is really more of a "How Fury Met Dugan and Sawyer" account.  (The rest of the Howlers-to-be show up for only three panels on the next-to-the-last page.)  But it does provide some benchmarks.

In the spring of 1940, civilian Nick Fury is serving as a parachute instructor for the British Army.  His friend, Red Hargrove, also a civilian, serves as a pilot at the training facility.  As the story describes, previously, Hargrove and Fury had been a two-man team, performing a successful barnstorming act all over the United States.  Hargrove did the aerial stunts while Fury was the wing-walker.  The capper of the act was when Fury dove off the plane and, just as it seemed certain that his death was inescapable, he would pull the ripcord of his 'chute.

Fury and Hargrove hopped a freighter to England, with the idea of performing their act for a fresh audience.  They arrive in London one week before the Germans invaded Poland (which would put the time of their arrival in the last week of August, 1939).  Subsequently, the British government hired Fury and Hargrove to train British soldiers to be paratroopers.

It is while performing this service that Fury meets Sam Sawyer, then a lieutenant in the British Army. (Sawyer, even though an American, recognised the threat that the Nazis posed to the world and volunteered to join the British forces.)

A day or so after the Germans invaded the neutral nation of Holland (which sets the date at 11 or 12 May 1940), Sawyer is assigned to rescue a British intelligence agent stationed there.  He's carrying vital information and Sawyer has to get him before the Nazis do.  Fury and Hargrove volunteer to accompany Sawyer.

As the mission progresses, the trio encounter a travelling circus, caught in transit by the invasion of the Germans, and make the acquaintence of circus strongman Dum Dum Dugan.  Dugan joins Sawyer and Fury and Hargrove and helps them compete the mission.  Along the way, Fury and Hargrove see the horrors the Nazis are inflicting on the people of a nation that had been non-belligerant; they come to realise the threat posed by the Third Reich, not just to England or Europe, but to the entire world.

Dugan joins the British Army.  Fury and Hargrove opt to return to the United States and join the United States Army.

From this point, we have to jump over to the story "The Name is . . . Bass . . . Sergeant Bass!", from Sgt. Fury # 62 (Jan., 1968).  This issue provides the account of Fury's basic training at Fort Dix, New Jersey.  The story establishes only the year---1941---and does not address any information from Sgt. Fury # 34.  Red Hargrove does not appear, but since, as we will see, he does wind up in the Army, as well, he either was in a different class of recruits from Fury's or attended basic training at a different camp.

One thing Sgt. Fury # 62 does make clear is that Fury has no previous military experience; thus, shooting down the idea that he joined the Army---any army---before 1941.

And that brings us back to Sgt. Fury # 34.  As the story winds down, it jumps ahead a little in time.  We see that Fury, a sergeant already, and Red Hargrove were stationed at Hickam Field in Hawaii on 07 December 1941.  Hargrove dies in the Japanese attack.

With America's entry into World War II, over in England, Sawyer and Dugan are transfered to the United States Army, serving in a Ranger battalion.  For the next few months, First Lieutenant Sawyer and Corporal Dugan see action in North Africa.  Then, Sawyer is wounded on a mission.  He's promoted to captain and kicked upstairs to a desk job.  It is from there that he puts together the idea of the First Attack Squad and hand-picks its members.  

We then see the original Howlers arrive in England.  No date is provided, but the earliest it could be is mid- to late summer, 1942.

What isn't settled by either tale is the matter of Fury's age.  However, in examining these two stories, one sees Fury demonstate a general wherewithal of life and human nature that makes it difficult to believe Fury was in his teens.  Furthermore, he points out Junior Juniper's relative youth---"He don't even look old enuff to carry a blasted rifle!"  Previous issues of Sgt. Fury established Junior as being a student at an Ivy League college before joining the Army, Junior would have been, most likely, somewhere between eighteen to twenty years old.

As Mr. Willis so accurately pointed out, men in combat mature quickly.  But even taking that into account, I can't see Fury as being any younger than twenty-four or -five when he became one of the Howlers.  Personally, I feel that's a little on the low end.  I would be more comfortable with Fury being two or three years older, but I can accept him being twenty-four or -five at the time.

Hope this helps.

 

Definitely shoots down the idea that Fury joined before 1941, but not that he joined before the attack on Pearl Harbor and I agree Fury most likely was at least 24 at the beginning of the war (maybe it's also possible he'd previously been in the army, perhaps the Army Air Force, done a two year peace-time hitch and gotten out, all before he turned 21). 
 
Commander Benson said:

There are a couple of Sgt. Fury stories which shed some light on his pre-WWII activities and when they took place.

"The Origin of the Howlers", from Sgt. Fury # 34 (Sep., 1966), is really more of a "How Fury Met Dugan and Sawyer" account.  (The rest of the Howlers-to-be show up for only three panels on the next-to-the-last page.)  But it does provide some benchmarks.

In the spring of 1940, civilian Nick Fury is serving as a parachute instructor for the British Army.  His friend, Red Hargrove, also a civilian, serves as a pilot at the training facility.  As the story describes, previously, Hargrove and Fury had been a two-man team, performing a successful barnstorming act all over the United States.  Hargrove did the aerial stunts while Fury was the wing-walker.  The capper of the act was when Fury dove off the plane and, just as it seemed certain that his death was inescapable, he would pull the ripcord of his 'chute.

Fury and Hargrove hopped a freighter to England, with the idea of performing their act for a fresh audience.  They arrive in London one week before the Germans invaded Poland (which would put the time of their arrival in the last week of August, 1939).  Subsequently, the British government hired Fury and Hargrove to train British soldiers to be paratroopers.

It is while performing this service that Fury meets Sam Sawyer, then a lieutenant in the British Army. (Sawyer, even though an American, recognised the threat that the Nazis posed to the world and volunteered to join the British forces.)

A day or so after the Germans invaded the neutral nation of Holland (which sets the date at 11 or 12 May 1940), Sawyer is assigned to rescue a British intelligence agent stationed there.  He's carrying vital information and Sawyer has to get him before the Nazis do.  Fury and Hargrove volunteer to accompany Sawyer.

As the mission progresses, the trio encounter a travelling circus, caught in transit by the invasion of the Germans, and make the acquaintence of circus strongman Dum Dum Dugan.  Dugan joins Sawyer and Fury and Hargrove and helps them compete the mission.  Along the way, Fury and Hargrove see the horrors the Nazis are inflicting on the people of a nation that had been non-belligerant; the come to realise the threat posed by the Third Reich, not just to England or Europe, but the entire world.

Dugan joins the British Army.  Fury and Hargrove opt to return to the United States and join the United States Army.

From this point, we have to jump over to the story "The Name is . . . Bass . . . Sergeant Bass!", from Sgt. Fury # 62 (Jan., 1968).  This issue provides the account of Fury's basic training at Fort Dix, New Jersey.  The story provides only the year---1941---and does not address any information from Sgt. Fury # 34.  Red Hargrove does not appear, but since, as we will see, he does wind up in the Army, as well, he either was in a different class of recruits from Fury's or attended basic training at a different camp.

One thing Sgt. Fury # 62 does make clear is that Fury has no previous military experience; thus, shooting down the idea that he joined the Army---any army---before 1941.

And that brings us back to Sgt. Fury # 34.  As the story winds down, it jumps ahead a little in time.  We see that Fury, a sergeant already, and Red Hargrove were stationed at Hickam Field in Hawaii on 07 December 1941.  Hargrove dies in the Japanese attack.

With America's entry into World War II, over in England, Sawyer and Dugan are transfered to the United States Army, serving in a Ranger battalion.  For the next few months, First Lieutenant Sawyer and Corporal Dugan see action in North Africa.  Then, Sawyer is wounded on a mission.  He's promoted to captain and kicked upstairs to a desk job.  It is from there that he puts together the idea of the First Attack Squad and hand-picks its members.  

We then see the original Howlers arrive in England.  No date is provided, but the earliest it could be is mid- to late summer, 1942.

What isn't settled by either tale is the matter of Fury's age.  However, in examining these two stories, one sees Fury demonstate a general wherewithal of life and human nature that makes it difficult to believe Fury was in his teens.  Furthermore, he points out Junior Juniper's relative youth---"He don't even look old enuff to carry a blasted rifle!"  Previous issues of Sgt. Fury established Junior as being a student at an Ivy League college before joining the Army, Junior would have been, most likely, somewhere between eighteen to twenty years old.

As Mr. Willis so accurately pointed out, men in combat mature quickly.  But even taking that into account, I can't see Fury as being any younger than twenty-four or -five when he became one of the Howlers.  Personally, I feel that's a little on the low end.  I would be more comfortable with Fury being two or three years older in 1942.  But I can accept him being twenty-four or -five at the time.

Hope this helps.

 

Thanks, gents. If I'm doing the math right, this would  seem to put Fury in his mid to late 90's.  Which makes sense - the news reports I've heard of the veterans gathering for the ceremonies marking the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings puts most of them in their 90's. 

Fair enough, although I'm detecting a tendency to see Nick Fury and company on the younger end during World War II so he won't seem too old today.

I honestly don't draw much of a distinction between a 90-year-old super-spy and a 110-year-old super-spy.


Fred W. Hill said:

Maybe it's also possible he'd previously been in the army, perhaps the Army Air Force, done a two year peace-time hitch and gotten out, all before he turned 21. 
 

I'm afraid that's not a possibility, Mr. Hill.  Besides the technical impossibility---all enlistments in the Army at that time were for four years---the story of Fury's basic training makes it evident that it was his first experience with Army life.  Fury's own thoughts indicate that he has never gone through anything like basic training before and has no idea what to expect.

Ah, I bow to your considerable knowledge of Nick Fury lore and military history, Commander!  These details, however, do leave me wondering if it was realistic for an army enlistee to have risen to the rank of Sergeant within apparently less than a year after joining?  A Sgt. is an E-5 (equivelent to my ranking as a YN2, or Second Class Petty Officer, Yeoman, in the Navy).  Due to my college background and work experience when I enlisted, I started as an E-3 and made E-5 within 3 years.  I suppose Fury could have been boosted up that much quicker due to the necessities of war and recognition of his ability.  And it certainly must have helped to have a friendly officer like Captain Sawyer around to nudge his career along at a faster than usual rate.
 
Commander Benson said:


Fred W. Hill said:

Maybe it's also possible he'd previously been in the army, perhaps the Army Air Force, done a two year peace-time hitch and gotten out, all before he turned 21. 
 

I'm afraid that's not a possibility, Mr. Hill.  Besides the technical impossibility---all enlistments in the Army at that time were for four years---the story of Fury's basic training makes it evident that it was his first experience with Army life.  Fury's own thoughts indicate that he has never gone through anything like basic training before and has no idea what to expect.

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