Thursday, January 20, 2011

If I Ran The Circus

I was 10 years old and spending my summer in North Carolina, being bled to death by mosquitoes. It was hot, I was hundreds of miles away from my mother and living in a house where indoor plumbing had yet to be installed. I was going in a bucket.

It was the most miserable summer of my young life. One of the few things I could count on was a (maybe) weekly trip to the grocery store where they had, you guessed it, comics.

Only this time around, they had no new comics. North Carolina had broken me. As I drug myself to exit, a familiar red, white and blue figure jumped out at me and I eagerly invited the action. It was a Captain America coloring book and I snapped it up as if it were $20 bill lying on an open sidewalk. I got it back to the house and colored those pages as slowly and deliberately as I could in order to make them last and then it happened... Cap was talking to this guy in an exquisite black suit wearing an eyepatch. His name was Nick. I knew this guy but he was different from the guy usually wearing the blue tights, white gloves and boots. No, this guy had class. He was casual. This guy looked like he poured black coffee on his cornflakes. This guy had a story. This guy wanted to be MY Nick Fury.

In a world where sales aren't a factor and I run the circus, this is the Nick Fury comic I'd want to read.


Written by Greg Rucka
Drawn by Gabriel Hardman

I'd read Greg Rucka before but oddly enough, he hadn't clicked with me until Wonder Woman, of all things. Rucka was the king of comics procedurals, having already tackled the likes of Batman and his own Queen & Country and here he was doing a comic based on an Amazonian princess who flies in an invisible jet. Not exactly the match most would choose but what Rucka did on WW was pure genius. Wonder Woman became this incredible comic about diplomacy between superheroes, gods and immortals and somehow, my thoughts turned to Nick Fury. I started to think, "So, this is what Nick Fury must be caught up in, dealing with The Avengers everyday." If Greg Rucka wrote Nick Fury, I'd hope for decades-spanning tales featuring hard-living diplomat, war vet and keeper of secrets within the Marvel Univese. Who better than Greg Rucka?

I haven't seen that coloring book in nearly thirty years but when I saw Gabriel Hardman at a recent convention and I asked him to draw Nick Fury. What I got was the awesome Fury I remembered from before, only with more stories and so many more secrets left to be kept.


KENT! said...

Devon, have you had a look yet at Secret Warriors? Volume 1 starts off a little muddy but picks up a tremendous amount of awesomomentum.

Volume 2 gets dragged down somewhat, mire in a bunch of Marvel U greek mythology with Ares and his kid but Volume 3 picks up that awesomeomentum where volume 1 left off and just goes nuts with three way superhero espionage lunacy.

Oh, and Nick Fury is the centerpost for all the madcappery. I think you'd be impressed (I know I was, now I think I like it better than both Checkmate and GI Joe/Cobra).

Who better than Greg Rucka? Perhaps Johnathan Hickman?

Devon Sanders said...

Read the first arc but it was too bogged down in post-Civil War nonsense. I may go back and try it again.

KENT! said...

Yeah, I can see that, although, it would seem that the series' first ten issues were bogged down by various Marvel U initiatives. The third volume, however really takes off and defines its own territory, Hickman using what was quite deftly set-up whilst wading through the corporate-mandated elements in the first two volumes.

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