Marvel foresees a problem. Their little indie flick coming out called Avengers has a character in it named Nick Fury who looks exactly like Samuel L. Jackson. When the aforementioned passion project drops, the three or four people who go from the theater to the comic shop looking for the old Nick Fury funny books (it isn’t going to happen) may get really, really confused when the mainstream character looks nothing like Deep Blue Sea shark-bait. Marvel’s got an answer for that conundrum. It’s just confusing. And stupid.
Agent Phil Coulson has been an unlikely — or perhaps super likely? — breakout star among the master-assassins and glamorous demigods of the Marvel movie universe. The unflappable S.H.I.E.L.D. agent played by Clark Gregg made his first appearance in 2008′s Iron Man movie and became one of the threads tying the movie universe together with appearances in Iron Man 2, Thor, and of course this summer’s The Avengers. He’s also a prominent character in Disney XD’s new Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon. So it was only a matter of time before he arrived in Marvel’s main 616 continuity, right? Right. And he’s not alone. A brand new character, who looks a little something like a certain cinematic head of S.H.I.E.L.D. is also coming along for the ride in Battle Scars.
Coulson is perhaps the most significant movie universe character to have no parallel in the main Marvel comics universe. That changes this week with the release of Battle Scars #6, the Shattered Heroes mini-series that introduced readers to Nick Fury’s secret son Marcus Johnson and his Army Ranger buddy Cheese. Cheese’s real name, we discover, is Phil Coulson. His new job? Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
But the arrival of the Son of Coul in the Marvel U is not the only move bringing the comics more in line with the movies. Marcus Johnson has undergone a few changes as well, losing his hair and his left eye and gaining a goatee. In an interview on Marvel’s website, Battle Scars writer Chris Yost came straight out and called Johnson the “new Nick Fury.” Now the Marvel Universe has its own Samuel L Jackson-lookalike, based on the movie Nick Fury, based on the Ultimate Universe Nick Fury, based on Samuel L Jackson. What this means for the future of the original Nick Fury remains to be seen, but let’s keep our fingers crossed that David Hasselhoff will make an appearance as Samuel L Jackson’s dad in the next Marvel movie.
Fucking dumb. It was cute when Bryan Hitch envisioned Nick Fury as Jackson back in the nascent days of The Ultimates. Concerning when they actually cast Jackson as him in Iron Man. Aggravating now that they’re doing all these fucking contortions for a cross-medium money grab that isn’t going to work.