Nick Fury agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2nd series) #27

Issue Date: 
September 1991
Story Title: 
Recruitment Drive

D.G. Chichester (writer), Ernie Stiner (penciler), Don Hudson (inker), Steve Buccellato (colorist), Phil Felix (letters), Mike Rockwitz (editor), Tom DeFalco (chief)

Brief Description: 

Following a recent attack against S.H.I.E.L.D., which killed 1500 personnel, Nick Fury visits the U.N. secretary general in order to acquire funds to re-man and re-arm themselves against the renewed Hydra threat. The secretary general gives a strange explanation of what might have actually happened, and ultimately tells Fury he pretty much brought this upon the organization himself. Fury is angry and storms out, heading straight over to Tony Stark’s, where he again has little joy in getting his hands on decent weaponry. The secretary general calls Hydra, and asks about his family who they are holding. They inform him he might see them again… eventually. Fury visits Madripoor in order to locate Wolverine, who is currently using his ‘Patch’ identity. He isn’t there, so Fury returns to the helicarrier, where Wolverine visits him, causing panic on board. They then meet with several other team players, including Network Nina and Dum Dum Dugan. They are briefed by Fury’s partner, Kate Neville, about the death of General Spetsburo, an old friend of Fury’s. She also mentions that there have been reports of Hydra activity in the Arctic Circle, and Fury has an idea how to get there fast. He heads to Andrews Air Force base and, as he distracts the MPs, Wolverine climbs aboard a Blackbird SR-71. Once he is on board, Fury calls out that he is trying to steal it and shoots him several times, dropping him to the ground.

Full Summary: 

Colonel Nick Fury has spent the past five days sorting out the aftermath of a Hydra attack, which killed 1500 S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives. His patience has worn thin and he pays the U.N. secretary general a visit, fighting several security guards as he enters the building. The secretary general calls a halt to the fighting, and asks Security Chief Somma to gather his men. He then asks his assistant, Mr. Denham, to see that everyone is taken care of in the infirmary. He’ll deal with Fury.

Fury is bitter that it’s taken five days to get an appointment to see him and, realizing his annoyance, the secretary general skips on the formalities. He switches on a bank of television screens that shows the recent devastation at S.H.I.E.L.D. central. The way Fury sees it, Hydra’s managed to regroup, and this was just their first move. S.H.I.E.L.D.’s gonna need U.N. funds to re-man and re-arm itself in order to fight this war properly. The secretary general has been informed that it’s more likely that it was a Hydra faction staging a kamikaze raid on his graduation ceremonies; an attack dreadfully coinciding with the accidental destruction of the building. Fury can’t believe what he’s hearing.

The secretary general points out that there were many questionable items in storage there; munitions included, sitting dormant for how long? Add to this the sudden influx of so many untrained recruits and it seems to him that Fury was asking for trouble. As for his ‘war’ - he reminds Colonel Fury that the U.N. is a peacekeeping organization, and that S.H.I.E.L.D. is now answerable to that body. He suggests Fury reassociate himself with the chain of command. The world has enough problems without inventing new ones. Fury storms out, warning the secretary general that he’s not really one for the chain of command. He’s a soldier, and he gets results.

As he departs, the secretary general calls Mr. Denham and asks him to get a secure outside line. He then calls Hydra, and informs them that Fury has been to see him. Concerned, he asks about his family. One of Wolfgang Strucker’s lieutenants, Garotte, replies that he’ll see them again… someday.

Aboard the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier, Dum Dum Dugan is patching up Gabe Jones’s head wound when they, along with Commander MacKenzie, are called to a meeting on the bridge. Mac stays behind for a moment with Valentina. She’s in bed having sustained several injuries, but she’s in good spirits. Mac tells her she’s the best thing that’s happened to him in espionage, anywhere and anytime. He almost lost her, and suggests they get out of the game before that happens. Val would love to, but she’s concerned what would happen to S.H.I.E.L.D. Mac says that S.H.I.E.L.D.’s become a hard reality, but what they can have is a dream.

(Stark International)
Nick Fury visits Tony Stark. He checks out prototypes of weapons that Stark’s company is working on and wants some of it to fight Hydra with. Stark informs him that, as much as he’d like to see the grin wiped off that skull of theirs, the U.N. is tying his hands. They have regulations about having these kind of weapons provided to a peacekeeping organization. Fury figures they can stonewall him all they like on machinery, but manpower… that’s another thing.

Nick Fury heads to the island of Madripoor, where he enquires as to the whereabouts of ‘Patch’ in a bar. The barman gives him short shrift, and one of the customers points at his eye patch and asks him what the matter is. Can’t get enough of a good thing? Fury pretends to laugh, for an instant, before grabbing the guy and his laughing friend and wiping the bar floor with them. After throwing them around a little, he tells everyone in the bar he’s after a man goes by the name o’ Patch. Either he gets the message and gets back to him, or he’ll return and give them some more dental work.

(Hydra base)
Wolfgang Von Strucker ushers in his lieutenants, informing them that Hydra will provide the manpower and equipment for this enterprise, but the tools are nothing if not put to proper use. He asks if he can depend on them. The blonde Romulus says he only has to ask. The bald, large-fingered Garotte tells him he honors them. Guillotine replies that he can count on him, but wishes he was in charge, and Saltz just wants to kick some butt.

Strucker warns them to be careful and not underestimate S.H.I.E.L.D. He feels that their recent ‘castration’ might only make Fury scream louder - albeit in a somewhat higher pitch than previously. Strucker hands Garotte a piece of paper with some coordinates on it, and exclaims that their prize awaits them. However, he warns his lieutenants that, if they fail, they risk setting Hydra’s cause back, and also risk feeling his displeasure. The lieutenants know full well they must not fail him.

(S.H.I.E.L.D Helicarrier)
Nick receives a call from Kate. She’s just gotten a communiqué in from the Soviets. It’s about his friend, General Yuri Spetsburo. She thinks he should come down. He doesn’t respond, and switches off his communicator. He’s about to hit the bottle, and doesn’t want company.

A plane lands on the Helicarrier’s deck. A guy waits for the pilots to emerge but they fail to do so. He climbs into their cockpit and finds three agents out cold. Immediately, he orders a code omega red: possible intruder alert. Unseen by them, a shadowed figure sprints into an open doorway. It doesn’t take the stranger long to locate Nick Fury sitting in the dark and attack him. Fury responds by lashing out and grabbing his gun, but the stranger shoves him backwards.

Fury manages to get his gun on the guy, and says, “Suck on this, you Hydra…” As he squeezes the trigger, before the firing pin can close, an adamantium blade slips its way underneath it, jamming the weapon. “Logan?!” exclaims Nick Fury. Logan asks if this is how he treats all his new recruits.

The two men stand up, and Fury tells him he’s been looking all over for him. Logan thanks him for busting up his bar, and asks where he wants the bill sending. He then explains that he just put a Bush League hit squad to early retirement. It seems they had it in for him on account of him and Fury being buds. Fury asks who they were. Logan thinks that, from the fashionable skull-and-tentacles look they were sporting, they were Hydra. He’s happy to bust their heads for old times sake, but if they wanna make it personal, that’s fine by him. It makes it that much easier to do the wet work.

Logan grabs a bottle. “You weren’t gonna drink alone, were you?” Fury is pleased to see him, and he puts a S.H.I.E.L.D. cap on Logan’s head. He wants to make his S.H.I.E.L.D. employment official, but Logan asks him not to push it.

A briefing takes place with the key figures in attendance, including Nina, Dum Dum and Pierce. Kate takes charge. She informs everyone that General Spetsburo killed himself after ordering certain key Soviet records on the Arctic Circle destroyed. She knows that he and Nick were close, and apologizes for having to remind him of this. She continues to mention that unidentified air activity moving north towards the North Pole all points to Hydra. There may be a connection between Spetsburo and the Hydra flight, maybe long before any of them dared suspect. But, they may never know. They don’t have anything with the range or speed to make an intercept. Fury asks why that’s stopping them.

(later - Andrews Air Force Base)
The makeshift team’s helicopter lands on deck, and they rush out. They are intercepted by a group of MP’s, one of whom, Ortha, apologizes. He informs Fury that he’s not authorized to be there. Fury asks him not to apologize for doing his job, but he wishes to introduce them to his people; Pierce, Nina and Dugan.

Fury puts his hand on Ortha’s shoulder and says that he reckons they have one of those SR-71 Blackbird’s stowed away somewhere. Ortha confirms this, adding that they’re decommissioning her for the Smithsonian. Fury tells him that S.H.I.E.L.D. has heard rumors about subversives wanting to get their hands on the bird’s technology. You never know whom you can trust these days. As he distracts the MPs, Wolverine makes his way, unseen, towards the plane. Ortha has heard similar rumors from folks at the U.N. He’s heard stuff about S.H.I.E.L.D. overextending its authority, and about Fury being a little on edge. Fury asks him not to be embarrassed. He understands. He needs to ensure that everything’s on the up-and-up before allowing them to stick their noses into his security.

As they chat, Fury looks up and points at Wolverine hiding underneath the bird’s carriage. “There… that’s one a’ the ones we’re after,” cries Fury. Logan wonders what on Earth is going on, as Fury grabs one of the MPs rifles and begins blasting at him. Several bullets hit Wolverine, slicing through his body. He falls to the deck, with blood pouring from several wounds. Fury looks back at the MP and reiterates that you never know who you can trust these days.

Characters Involved: 

Dum Dum Dugan, Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine, Colonel Nick Fury, Gabe Jones, Al MacKenzie, Network Nina, Alexander Goodwin Pierce (all S.H.I.E.L.D.)


The Secretary General and his staff including Chief Somma and Mr. Denham
Baron Wolfgang Von Strucker

People in hospital
Tony Stark
Madripoor citizens
Barman and customers, including Charley

Romulus, Garotte, Guillotine and Saltz (Strucker’s lieutenants)
Unnamed blond employee of Strucker’s

S.H.I.E.L.D operatives
Military police including Ortha

(on monitor)
Kate Neville
General Yuri Spetsburo

Story Notes: 

Following the ‘Deltite’ affair, S.H.I.E.L.D. was in turmoil, and was in the process of rebuilding itself to its former glory. Gabe Jones was in charge of recruiting around 1500 new agents and was training them to be S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives. Meanwhile, Hydra was rebuilt with Baron Wolfgang Von Strucker in charge. He was returned to life after several years using a deathspore virus. He destroyed S.H.I.E.L.D. central, massacring the new agents to prove Hydra was once more a unified force to be reckoned with. [Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. #21 – 26]

Yuri Spetsburo committed suicide in Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. #23.

The Smithsonian is a collection of several museums, primarily located in Washington D.C.

Wolverine made a cameo appearance in the previous two issues, confronting a Hydra squad on Madripoor.

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