In these two issues—OK, mostly the second one—we see Captain America checking in on his old World War II buddy Nick Fury at the request of the US government, after Nick seems to have gone rogue, investigating the apparent return of deceased SHIELD agents now under the sway of Hydra.
We only see Cap twice in issue #43, the first time when he is given his assignment by former Avengers liaison—and perpetual busybody—Henry Peter Gyrich, who is concerned Nick may cause an international incident (and, knowing Nick, probably not for the first time this week). Anticipating some divided loyalties ahead, Cap agrees, not necessarily to do Gyrich’s bidding, but to get to the bottom of the situation wherever it leads.
I imagine Cap would have more trust in Fury than Gyrich, given his tense interactions with the latter regarding Avengers business as well as Gyrich’s activities on the Commission on Superhuman Activity, the same body that led him to Cap’s retirement Captain America #332.
At the end of the issue, Cap confronts Nick…
…and they reconnect over a training session as issue #44 opens, during which Nick affirms his diametrically opposed feelings for the Washington bureaucracy and the man who now fights beside him.
Nick seems to be testing Cap, although I suspect he’s just teasing, making his old pal work for his secrets (while Baron von Strucker, presumed dead, enjoys his own sparring session below).
For his part, Cap enjoys the workout…
…and Nick reiterates his thoughts from above to his old friend.
Nick makes clear he’s his own man…
…while Cap reminds Nick he doesn’t have many people on his side in the halls of authority.
Cap makes clear he’s on Nick’s side, and he just wants to help him patch things up with the higher-ups, given that his relationship with them—even with Gyrich—is better than Nick’s.
After a quick cooldown, Nick shows Cap what he discovered in the last issue—SHIELD agents thought dead—and tries to explain the convoluted conspiracy at foot between SHIELD and Hydra.
Nick confides in current director Dum Dum Dugan as well, given that he’s one of the few SHIELD members he can still trust—until Gabe Jones brings in a few old fellas that are also beyond reproach.
NIck shows Cap and the Howlin’ Commandos a very personal example of what they’re up against: Clay Quartermain, Agent of
SHIELD Hydra. (“Golly, that’s gotta stink,” Cap thinks to himself, blissfully unaware of what awaits him.)
Wow, Nick, you must be desperate!
Before they can act, Nick gets an emergency signal regarding a murder on the helicarrier, and he enlists Cap to join him (“but don’t get in my way”).
(If it were anyone else but Cap, I’d read that last bit as sarcasm.)
As events develop, Cap tries to calm Nick down… but then suggests an uncomfortable possibility that will likely only get him upset again.
To make matters worse, Nick discovers George Washington Bridge—another SHIELD agent, not, you know, the bridge—has accessed his secret files. Cap once again tries to settle him down…
…but he has to admit the task is futile once more of Nick’s former agents show up, proclaiming their loyalty to Hydra.
Cap admits Nick was right about everything—if not justified in being a little on edge about it—before the inevitable fight breaks out, with Cap trying to appeal to Jimmy Woo, whom he met in Strange Tales #160 (and who is better known now as an Agent of Atlas, not to mention star of film and TV).
Cap is forced to knock Jimmy out before considering that Nick is not thinking completely rationally himself at the moment.
After thinking the obvious, Cap steps in to help, only to receive a predictable “I had this” from Nick.
After they finish up, Cap tells Nick he totally gets it now, and Nick tells him where this goes from here. Cap pledges his support…
…which is largely symbolic, as he is not seen in this title again. (This isn’t saying much, as this volume of Nick Fury Agent of SHIELD ends after two more issues.)
Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD (vol. 3) #43, January 1993: Gregory Wright (writer), John Heebink (pencils), Don Hudson (inks), Kevin Tinsley (colors), Phil Felix (letters). (More details at Marvel Database.)
Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD (vol. 3) #44, February 1993: Gregory Wright (writer), John Heebink (pencils), Don Hudson (inks), Kevin Tinsley (colors), Phil Felix (letters). (More details at Marvel Database.)
Not yet collected.
ALSO THESE MONTHS: Captain America #411 and Thor #458 (January 1993), Guardians of the Galaxy #32 and Excalibur #60 (January 1993), and Captain America #412 (February 1993)
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