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EXCLUSIVE Interview: Al Ewing unpacks 'Fury' and celebrating 60 years of Nick Fury
Marvel

Comic Books

EXCLUSIVE Interview: Al Ewing unpacks ‘Fury’ and celebrating 60 years of Nick Fury

Al Ewing gives us insights into new anniversary one-shot ‘Fury’ out in comic shops on May 24th.

Al Ewing has slowly become the go-to at Marvel Comics in celebrating anniversaries for superheroes, and it’s now Nick Fury’s turn as he reaches his 60th anniversary. Ewing has celebrated Ant-Man: Ant-niversary and Wasp, and on May 24th, Nick Fury gets the extra-sized anniversary issue, Fury. The special features multiple artists in a story that celebrates the saga of Nick Fury across history.

I had the chance to pick Ewing’s brain about the one-shot, including his thoughts on Nick Fury and James Bond similarities, how he juggled multiple artists, and I even snuck in a Fall of X question too!

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Plus, check out the art below from five pages of the comic, featuring art by Scot Eaton, Cam Smith, Tom Reilly, Adam Kubert, and Ramon Rosanas. Oh, and yes, the female villain you see in these pages is a new S.C.O.R.P.I.O.!

AIPT: To start, why do you think Nick Fury is so timeless?

Al Ewing: I don’t think Nick Fury the soldier has proven himself timeless – it wouldn’t be the done thing in a promotional interview for a Marvel mag to mention the Distinguished Competition’s WWII hero, but if you were to stack the two up against each other, I think Fury would be scissors to the other fellow’s, uh… rock. But as a super-spy, Fury – no matter which Fury you name – is the reigning mainstream comics distillation of that archetype. And he lasted through a time when competition was fierce – even the Archie gang were coining acronyms and throwing gadgets at each other, and there were plenty of TV-level spy-types with tie-in comics crowding that precious spinner-rack space.

So there’s something about Nick Fury’s unique combination of suave spy, grizzled sergeant and psychedelic superhero – the three G’s, gizmos, gung-ho and groove – that obviously made him indelible, and that’s lasted right through to the modern day.

Al Ewing interview Nick 'Fury'

Art by Scot Eaton and Cam Smith
Credit: Marvel Comics

AIPT: Nick Fury is 60, and you’re celebrating! You’re capturing the spirit of all the eras of Nick Fury. Is there an underlining trait or element to every era of Nick Fury?

AE: I’d say yes – Fury’s consistently mirroring the era he’s in. In the ’60s, comics are huge and come in all flavors, so Fury straddles two books in two time periods – a gung-ho war comic that’s light on realism and heavy on thrills, and then a spy-fi strip that, as mentioned, manages to swing through the ’60s better than any rival. As the spy genre evolves, his adventures get more complex and self-reflective, until S.H.I.E.L.D. is the enemy – and then as audiences demand a measure of authoritarian security, Fury’s “making the hard choices” right along with his fellow fictional agents, the human incarnation of the surveillance state. And then we come to the second Nick Fury, who follows the traditions of legacy heroes, next generations and movie synergy all at once, while also distilling the most memorable essences of his Dad.

So this Nick Fury story – featuring both Furies in high-stakes, super-level espionage action in three different eras – is an attempt to pack all those previous influences in, while at the same time preparing both Fury Sr. and Fury Jr. for new adventures against new friends and foes.

Al Ewing interview Nick 'Fury'

Art by Scot Eaton and Cam Smith
Credit: Marvel Comics

AIPT: Fury juggles multiple artists – Scott Eaton, Tom Reilly, Adam Kubert, and Ramon Rosanas – did you change your approach in how or what you wrote, given the artist?

AE: Not this time – I wrote a standard script for all… except for Tom, maybe? That was the portion of the script that came easiest – I had the overarching mystery to work out and solve in the opening and closing chapters, and for the WWII segment I wanted to strike a balance between a war book of that era and a more modern tale. But for Tom’s segment, I slipped into my loving Stan The Man pastiche, one of my very favorite “voices” to write in, and wrote it almost as a screenplay, similar to how I write for Javier Rodriguez, to give Tom freedom to play and experiment like Steranko. Of course, now I can’t for the life of me remember if I made that decision before I knew Tom was doing it, if his involvement was a pleasant surprise, or both – my memory is that patchy, I might have been told and forgot.

Anyway, Tom’s perfect as always, and every artist on this did a similarly wonderful job, each one wowing in their own signature style. Scott transmits the snap, zap and glamor of modern-day spy-fi perfectly, Adam transforms his section into a masterclass in storytelling and adventure, Ramon captures the melancholy and majesty of a fateful meeting of father and son in [SPOILERS! LOCATION REDACTED!], and Jordie Bellaire ties it all together with always thoughtful, always genius color work. So I’m very happy with how this anniversary package turned out.

Al Ewing interview Nick 'Fury'

Art by Tom Reilly
Credit: Marvel Comics

AIPT: Finish this sentence: if Nick Fury and James Bond met they’d…

AE: …discuss which of them has the best claim to be The Same Guy. Nick is, of course, canonically Two Different (But Related) Guys, but if we’re just talking Nick Sr., he’s got the sliding timeline on his side, whereas James has no excuse for his shenanigans, especially if he’s getting ready to Not Be Dead Anymore. Nick Fury always has a good excuse for his resurrections, but I suspect Bond is just going to sweep it under the rug like all his other incongruities.

AIPT: You’ve celebrated the anniversary of Ant-Man, Wasp, and now Nick Fury. If you had your pick, who would be next?

AE: In 2026, I’ll be pushing 50. I think by then, I’ll be old and experienced enough to write the 60th Anniversary of Galactus and the Silver Surfer. Could be the third part of a trilogy, even, after… well, I’ve said enough.

AIPT: For the X-Men crowd, what can they expect from X-Men Red during Fall of X, in three words or less?

AE: Falls. And rises.

Al Ewing interview Nick 'Fury'

Art by Adam Kubert
Credit: Marvel Comics

Al Ewing interview Nick 'Fury'

Art by Ramon Rosanas
Credit: Marvel Comics

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