Nick Fury Agent of SHIELD #1
Issue(s): Nick Fury Agent of SHIELD #1
Val Fontaine, now working for the CIA, is called in to look at the messages they've been leaving. She's joined by Al Mackenzie, the CIA agent we met in the Nick Fury vs. SHIELD mini. The CIA acknowledges that they aren't as adept as SHIELD was in dealing with these kinds of threats, but still manages to get a crack in about Buck Rogers jumpsuits.
The killers claim to be from a group called Death's Head. That's a reference to Baron von Strucker's answer to the Howling Furies from the World War II days. The CIA also thinks Death's Head is an offshoot of Hydra.
With all that information, i don't know how those two flying, energy blasting characters didn't turn out to be Fenris, but i guess that's just what they want us to think. The actual truth is much weirder. A hint of how weird comes with the introduction of the next two characters, a Wilhelm Schmidt and his ward, Lump.
The person they go to see doesn't like Lump very much, and he doesn't like Nick Fury either.
Then Val and Al meet with Alexander Goodwin Pierce to find out where Nick Fury is.
You can see the references to Madame Hydra (note: not Viper; this is the one from the vs. SHIELD mini) and the woman creeping around in the air vents.
Nick Fury is with Kate Neville.
And Nick has been staying in shape by running through suicidal training exercises.
Meanwhile, the next attack is on Dum Dum Dugan. His wife is killed in the attack.
The Death's Head squad bring Dugan to Fury's house.
The former SHIELD agents fight off the Death's Head duo...
...but they are really just there to deliver Dugan.
Dugan is also seemingly dead.
It's ok, he's just an LMD, so fire him back up. Oh wait, we don't know that yet.
At the end, we see that Lump has been brought back to the unnamed guy that doesn't like him, and after he's done hearing the latest from the Death's Head duo, he goes and talks to an unnamed lady.
Lots of unnamed new characters, and lots of characters from the SHIELD mini that i don't feel are properly re-introduced here. It's just the introductory issue, but i find it more confusing than intriguing so far. Bob Harras may have gotten in the habit of writing for the prestige mini format, but i'm not sure if that can be used in the monthly format as easily. We'll see how things develop. One thing i do like is the Bob Hall / Kim DeMulder art combination, which is combined with some more subdued coloring than you normally see in super-hero comics, from Bernie Jay (who also did the coloring for the vs. SHIELD mini).
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: It's said to be about a year since SHIELD disbanded.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (3): showAl Mackenzie, Alexander Goodwin Pierce, Contessa Valentina Allegro De La Fontaine, Death's Head (Gnobians), Dum Dum Dugan LMD, Kate Neville, Lump (Gnobian), Nick Fury, Red (LMD), Werner Von Strucker, Wilhelm Schmidt
This issue highlights the creepy aspect of the Dugan LMD retcon. Was the Dugan LMD having sex with Dugan's wife? I suppose Nick could have programmed it to claim it was impotent but if Nick was really evil enough to let his best friend's wife have sex with an LMD than he deserves a lot worse than what happened to him at the end of Original Sin.
Posted by: Michael | October 12, 2014 7:58 PM
Are we to believe Nick hid from Val since SHIELD disbanded?
Posted by: Luis Dantas | October 12, 2014 8:47 PM
Maybe Dum-Dum LMD's wife is also an LMD. Or a Skrull. Or Master Khan in disguise.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | October 12, 2014 11:08 PM
Or Xorn pretending to be a Skrull pretending to be an LMD.
Posted by: david banes | October 13, 2014 4:26 AM
UHNMCC day that the penciler of this issue was Bob Hall
Posted by: Midnighter | October 14, 2014 6:37 PM
You're right, Midnighter. Thanks.
Posted by: fnord12 | October 14, 2014 6:51 PM
I remember getting this issue in real time to support a Nick Fury/SHIELD ongoing (I think I bought 2 copies) despite knowing that this was the post-mini cast, not the classic one which Harras did away with.
Although I am a fan of both Hall and DeMulder, I just couldn't get through the first issue due to Harras' writing. And yeah, Original Sin and its reveals regarding Fury and Dugan only make this story read worse. Way worse.
Posted by: Clutch | October 15, 2014 8:59 AM
I never understood why Marvel had these premium priced books like this one, but put such subpar art on them.
Posted by: Bob | April 29, 2015 3:33 AM
This issue highlights the creepy aspect of the Dugan LMD retcon. Was the Dugan LMD having sex with Dugan's wife?
Since Hawkeye apparently had sex with one, it's certainly not impossible.
But yeah, that Original Sin revelation just sours any appearance of the character.
Posted by: Jon Dubya | October 16, 2016 10:46 AM
Maybe Mrs Dugan is an LMD as well. And the Dugan grandkids... Or maybe they're secret Skrulls. Or Magneto's real children.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | October 16, 2016 3:43 PM
The easiest fix would be to say that this is the last appearance of the real Dugan, but of course the retcon precludes that.
It's really hard to square the Nick Fury in stories like this with the chessmaster he gets retconned into later.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | October 16, 2016 3:48 PM
I think this may be the longest running Marvel series that I've never owned or read a single issue of. Come to think of it, I also never heard of any of this books events referenced anywhere else. Didn't this last until 1994?
Posted by: Bigvis497 | July 6, 2017 12:33 AM
It lasted until '93. You left a comment on the last issue. And yes, almost nothing of lasting significance happened in the series. No great story arcs, no lasting new characters (I think), no memorable artists or writers. Mostly it undid the effects of Nick Fury vs SHIELD, or created new revelations that were later retconned. The two big things it did were finally bring back Baron Strucker (which I approve of) and change what the acronym S.H.I.E.L.D. stands for (which bugs me to no end).
Posted by: Andrew | July 6, 2017 6:41 AM
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