I’ll give Marvel credit for one thing, and that’s their love of putting as much synergy as possible into their books. Characters change their looks and status quos, villains become prominent as they are set to appear in a movie, and new number one issues are released just in time to capitalize.
A decade ago when we had the early days of the Ultimate universe we were introduced to a new version of Nick Fury, a traditionally white character in the main Marvel universe, who suddenly became Samuel L. Jackson. No, he didn’t become African American, he literally became Samuel L. Jackson, and it was awesome. I have never complained about that, nor have I complained about the awesome work that Sam Jackson has put into the movies as he plays Nick Fury. But now the growing fanbase has begun to equate Nick Fury more and more with the Sam Jackson version; between the movies, the Ultimate universe, the cartoons, really, every part of Marvel aside from the core 616 universe.
Marvel has been running a mini series called Battle Scars that spun out of Fear Itself, introducing a character named Marcus Johnson and proclaiming that by the end of the mini he would be the most important person in the Marvel Universe. As the mini has gone on we have learned way, primarily that Marcus is the son of Nick Fury. On top of that, Marcus lost an eye last issue to a villain who flat out said they wanted to see the resemblance.
Now, in the Mighty Marvel Manner, USA Today has released pages from the final issue of Battle Scars not only confirming Marcus’s new “Sam Jackson” look, but also showing that his friend Cheese is going to be Agent Coulson from the Marvel movies, effectively bringing the character (who has been in four Marvel movies thus far) into the official canon.
Talking to USA Today, write Chris Yost had this to say. “There is a great value in having new readers, people who come in after seeing the movies, and being able to pick up a comic that has the characters they recognize.”
Personally, I agree with him. If you’re serious about trying to bring in new readers through other mediums, you need to have familiar faces. Marcus will be filling that role, which I much prefer to Nick Fury somehow getting a race change. Plus, Marcus gets to wear the short lived Super Soldier outfit that Steve Rogers wore between coming back from the dead and becoming Captain America again, which I found to be a pretty cool costume.
Take a look at the pages with the words on them to see the biggest change of all of this.
He’s not Marcus Johnson anymore, now he really is Nick Fury.