Characters Appearing: Nick Fury
Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD #6
Issue(s): Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD #6
My genuine enthusiasm for Steranko's work was tempered only by the fact that, like several others, I had made earlier attempts to introduce at Marvel some of the approaches with which Jim would become identified - only to run afoul of Stan's edicts against wordless pages, story titles that emerged Eisner-like out of the backgrounds, etc. Well, all that did was prove that Jim's strategy to introduce his innovations without telling Stan in advance was correct.
In addition to that, Thomas is sure to tell us that sales on Nick Fury were never high, and he repeatedly emphasizes Steranko's debt to Jack Kirby.
Despite the low sales, Stan Lee saw value in the critical acclaim that Steranko was getting, so he urged the post-Steranko creative teams to "go wild" and "try anything". In practice, we'll see that will mean less of the "open-ended variety of experimental approaches" that Steranko used and more of a superficial mimicking of Steranko by creative teams not really suited for it.
Additionally, Marvel was still able to get Steranko to produce some classic covers for this issue and the next one.
As for this issue's story, despite the claims above, Roy Thomas' plot is one that would have fit very comfortably in an early 1960s Strange Tales: a group of aliens stranded on Earth that try to leave via means that will destroy the Earth in the process...
...but stopped by one of their sleeper agents who spent too much time learning to love humanity.
The sleeper agent was a SHIELD agent, which is what allows Nick Fury to tag along.
Beginning the musical chairs that will mark the remainder of this series, Roy Thomas was unable to script this issue, so that task fell to Archie Goodwin. My favorite line: "Enough! Talk is wearying and decadent!"
I will have to try that line on my next conference call.
Finally, just want to note an appearance by a SHIELD ESPer named Warden. His efforts are ultimately futile.
Quality Rating: C-
Historical Significance Rating: 1
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Marvel Masterworks: Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD vol. 3
This looks really rushed compared to #4, which makes you wonder how close to deadline Steranko quit.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | December 13, 2014 12:51 AM
In regards to Roy's introduction that you cite, and his passive-aggressive comments, I have to point out this is a subtle but regular habit of Roy's and I'm not sure he even is aware of it or is aware of how it can come off. He does seem to be kind of passive-aggressive bitchy about things, I can remember reading more than one interview where he talks about right before Ditko quits and Ditko comes in and says "tell Stan I'll drop off the next one when I come back" or something, and Roy goes "Oh, so there's going to BE a next one?" And I just hear that and think... you know, if you know Ditko, why would you say something like that?
I remember also- and this is exceedingly minor, but I remember it standing out to me- in an introduction to Alter Ego, he was talking about the 80s' DC book he did, Captain Carrot, and the artist, Scott Shaw!, I believe- and he was like, "let Scott get some credit- it's certainly a bigger part of HIS legacy than MINE-" which, while factually true, just sounds kinda shitty to say. But I don't think it's intentional, I just think Roy Thomas is like that and seeing what he said about Steranko made me think of these things.
Posted by: Wis | June 22, 2018 4:08 AM
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