Marvel's Nick Fury exists because Stan Lee won a bet

Nick Fury may be one of the pivotal Marvel characters today, but when he was conceived in 1963, Stan Lee said Fury was nothing more than a gamble.

Marvel has long been called the House of Ideas, but one idea in particular was so deliberately flamboyant that Stan Lee is said to have written it down to win a bet. And without that gamble, fans would never have had a chance to meet super spy Nick Fury.

Fury has become an indispensable character in the Marvel Universe, both in the pages of comics and in the cinematic Universe, but as the story goes, its origin dates back to a bet that Stan Lee made with the then editor of Marvel, Martin Goodman, in the early 1960s. After the implementation of the Comics Code Authority (CCA), Goodman put The Incredible Hulk on hold, apparently out of concern that it would be too difficult for readers to distinguish him as a hero or villain. . So Marvel had a space to fill in its distribution program. As for Lee, Goodman asked for ideas and insisted that titles with hyperbolic words like "Amazing, Fantastic, Powerful and Incredible" were the keys to the success of the Marvel books. Lee disagreed.

Lee insisted that it was the creative partnership between him and Jack Kirby that made the books so popular. Not only that, he had a plan to prove it. Kirby and Lee would put together a war comic, a genre that was somewhat old-fashioned at the time, with the most ridiculous title Lee could conjure up, only to show that it was Lee and Kirby's creativity that made Marvel thrive. And so, in May 1963, readers learned about the sergeant's adventures. Fury and his Howling Commandos, set during World War II and following the exploits of the group's leader, Nik Furia, and his squad. As Lee said in a 2004 interview for journalist Ronin Ro's Tales to Astonish: Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, and the American Comic Book Revolution: “I will make a war book with the worst title I can think of, but if it's made in the Marvel style, I bet it will sell. "

Fury and his Howling Commandos

And sold it. The original series featured more than 160 numbers, ending his career in 1981, nearly two decades after the alleged and fateful gamble. It is worth noting, however, that Ro's book offers a conflicting report on the genesis of the character. Artist John Severin, a contemporary of Lee who was also working at Marvel at the time, recalled the character's development differently. According to Severin, it was Kirby who first envisioned the character and his team of soldiers, presenting him with the idea for the story in the late 1950s, although Severin rejected the offer.

Unfortunately, all the main protagonists involved in creating the character are no longer with us, so the truth behind Nick Fury's true beginnings can be lost in time, though Lee kept up his whole life that was the gamble with Goodman. the one that gave birth to the now iconic character. Obviously, Fury has undergone some major changes in the following years, including his transformation from a furry white guy to a bald African American, and the character continues to permeate pop culture. Unfortunately, fans may never know the truth behind their beginnings.

Readers may believe the version they choose, but either way, even the possibility that what has become one of Marvel's most recognizable characters is the result of a brag-fueled Lee gamble only makes both the characters like Lee's legacy are more intriguing. And if it was a gamble, Lee clearly won, considering the character's longevity and box office returns. But like any good spy, people will never know the truth about Nick Fury.

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