Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Marvel Legends Nick Fury

I'm almost to the point where I think that the coolest Marvel characters are those that lack super powers. I've written about Hawkeye in the past,and this time, it's the spy above all spies, Nick Fury's turn.

Read on!

These days, the public image of the spy is slightly different than what it was in the sixties. Today, the spies are NSA, or some other section of the government, and they are as far from the glamorous versions we see in vintage James Bond, or in Marvel Comics' Nick Fury from the 60s.
Steranko's blend of superheroes and pop culture.

Modern spies don't run around in spandex and defeat terrorist organizations. All they do is read your email. And they certainly don't have invisible cars, jet-packs and ray guns. They have supercomputers to store all your email.

And interestingly enough, even our image of Nick Fury has changed. When you talk about Fury to the new generation of enthusiasts, they will probably visualize Samuel L. Jackson. And that's cool enough. He's perfect in the role, it's almost like it was written for him.

But back in the day, the only version of Nick Fury looked like this. And it was fantastic!

Nick Fury was The Spy, but up until he landed in the hands of artist and writer Jim Steranko, he was nothing but a minor Marvel character. Originally made for an army comic called Sgt Fury and his Howling Commandos, Nick Fury was turned into a spy in the mid 60s. Steranko expressed interest in the character, and got green lit to pretty much do what ever he wanted.

A character himself, Steranko loved the concept of the super spy. Steranko channelled the colorful 60s, and Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D was soon turned into a very unique comic book.

In fact, several unusual techniques were used while making the comic, like fold-out pages, 3D, stereogram and mix between black/white and color. The issued revolved around Nick Fury and his team battling the evil terrorist organization Hydra.

A very cool aspect of the comic was the technology of S.H.I.E.L.D. Everything from the helicarrier to the invisible car was just perfectly unbelievable, and helped sell the idea of the spy organization with unlimited budget and unlimited imagination.

Get hold of a trade-paperback of Steranko's Nick Fury, and I will guarantee you'll have a good time.

This has of course translated into several action figures, and it's almost hard to believe that this Steranko-styled Nick Fury from Toy Biz' Marvel Legends line is a decade old.

The packaging of Toy Biz Marvel Legends figures are awful, with that bulky clam shell case, and the way the accessories are displayed. And it didn't make it better that mine had badly yellowed bubbly. Still, the figure was in perfect condition. There's no reason for me to not open it, is there?

No reason at all.

Marvel Legends Nick Fury came with a couple of accessories. His gun that would fit in the holster, a jetpack, a flame and a base. The whole jet-pack get up looks a bit silly, and to be honest, I'd rather see other gadgets from the comic books.

Where's the cigar, or the wicked women? All I got was a jetpack and the ground beneath!
But the figure itself is great, if not one of the better, early Marvel Legends. It's cool to think that almost every Marvel Legends were a 100% unique sculpt. Makes you wonder what Mattel really does with all the money they save up from re-using every mold a million times.
But I digress...

Nick Fury is a really sturdy action figure, and none of the joints are particularly loose, like we saw on many of the Legends figures. I guess it's the age, and the fact that I just opened it, but still. The gun and flame are of the softer plastic kind, and they both look a bit strange, and he has slight problems holding the gun. The jetpack, on the other hand, is a perfect fit to Nick Fury.

There's not a lot of details on his outfit, naturally. But still more than many other superhero-characters. He has the expected pouches and straps, and he comes with a menacing grin on his face. I'll avoid to mention any similarities to David Hasselhoff... or maybe I just did mention it. But truth be told, the Nick Fury movie with The Hoff is far from the worst comic book movie.

I now remember why I bought this toy in the first place, but I also wonder why it has taken me so long to open it. Nick Fury is a really cool action figure, and when I think about it, a really cool character. At least back in the 60s, when spies were expected to use an entire nation's budget on cool gadgets and ridiculous vehicles to combat evil in the world.
Today, the idea of the spy, what he does, and how it actually affect us, it's somewhat disturbing. I'd rather see them use their resources on building helicarriers, than read my mail.

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