Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2nd series) #28

Issue Date: 
October 1991
Story Title: 
Icy Roads

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

Brief Description: 

After shooting Wolverine, Fury has his body placed in a body bag and then informs the MPs that he’s going to have to commandeer the Blackbird until his investigation is concluded. Network Nina ensures they accept Fury’s decision. On board the Blackbird, Logan slices his way out of the body bag and removes the bullets himself. As more MPs approach, Logan flies the Blackbird out of the air base and heads north. The Hydra faction, led by four of Strucker’s lieutenants, squabble between themselves, before seeing Fury’s team approaching. Fury has everyone parachute from the plane, before setting a crash course for Hydra’s plane. This forces them to evacuate the plane inside a cargo container. Fury then ejects himself from the Blackbird, which collides into the Hydra plane, causing a massive explosion 20,000 feet up. Fury meets up with his team on the ground, as Hydra organizes itself, after suffering damage to their equipment and several casualties. With a map and a Geiger counter to help them find what they’re after, the lieutenants head off, leaving the soldiers behind to guard the container and their repairs. Once they’re gone, Fury and Wolverine attack the soldiers stealthily, and Fury doesn’t plan on letting anyone out alive.

Full Summary: 

(Andrews Air Force Base)

Fury has been looking at a way to get back at Hydra since they ambushed and destroyed S.H.I.E.L.D. Central. Nobody was willing to help him. The U.N. slammed the door shut in his face while his old friend, Tony Stark, was unable to help. He figures that, if you want something done, you have to do it yourself.

Having shot Logan, Dugan and Pierce fasten him inside a body bag. Fury informs the MPs that he’s going to have to impound the Blackbird as part of his investigation. One of the MPs replies that this is highly irregular. There was no need to shoot the man, as there were plenty of MPs around. Fury tells him that the man is a trained killer, who would have sliced through them like a hot knife through butter, not to mention absconding with the bird’s technology for his own profit.

Making the MPs nervous with talk of blood and violence allows Network Nina to use her psychic abilities to loosen their grip on the truth. Fury informs them that S.H.I.E.L.D. exists to protect countries against this sort of thing and, if they have a problem with that, then they can take it up with their commanding officer. Under Nina’s influence, the MPs soon come around to Fury’s way of thinking. As they depart, they ask Fury to ask his agents to stay put and keep the safety on his weapon.

The next stage of their plan is to resurrect Wolverine. Before Dugan and Pierce can unzip the body bag, Wolverine’s claws snikt through the material and he tears his way out. Pierce tells him that he was supposed to wait, but Logan was becoming frustrated being stuck inside there. He asks Dugan what kinda crazy load Fury has in that piece. It kicked like a freakin’ mule. If it wasn’t for his healing factor closing up around the rounds, he’d be in that gladbag for good. Dugan tells him to stop his grousing. Holding a scalpel, he informs Logan that they’ll fix him up good and remove the bullets in a jiff. Pierce adds that he’s been looking for an opportunity to use his knowledge from a weekend’s seminar on surgical techniques. Logan grabs their instruments and says he’ll do it himself before he allows the ‘Bush League Marcus Welby’s’ to operate.

Nina returns to the Blackbird and tells Fury that she’s got the goods from their chopper. Now it’s his ball game. Fury orders everyone to buckle up, as Nina warns them that more MPs are on their way. Logan grins. The X-Men have a similar rig to the one they’re in, and he knows how to pilot it out of the base. They make their escape before the MPs get within range.

An interceptor is unleashed in pursuit of them, but they are no match for the high-powered Blackbird. Fury chews on his cigar, and thinks the S.O.B.’s think this is a joke. How can you fight a war against Hydra without the goods? Fury is hyped at the prospect of a good battle.

On board Arctic-1, Baron Wolfgang Von Strucker’s lieutenants are progressing slowly with their plan. Guillotine taunts a soldier for being lazy, but Saltz chastises him, and tells him to let the guy do his job. They squabble, and Garotte calls on them to cool it, or else. Garotte joins Romulus in the cockpit. She’s spotted something on her radar, and it’s closing in fast. On board the Blackbird, Dum Dum Dugan has plotted the point where they should catch up with the Hydra plane. Logan sees that it’s a desolate piece of real estate and wonders what they’re looking for. Whatever it is, says Fury; they ain’t getting’ it.

Fury tells everyone that the hydraulics on the Blackbird should hold out long enough to get them there. Logan is concerned about this news, and he asks Nina and Pierce what exactly Fury is planning. Nina asks what he means. Logan suits up, and explains that the Blackbird’s got no weapons, so how are they supposed to take out that transport? With the hydraulics set to burn out, how do they plan on getting back? Nina tells him that Fury’s been pretty on edge since the attack on S.H.I.E.L.D. Central. He might not have thought this through.

This angers Pierce, who warns Nina to shut up, and asks who Logan is to question a leader like Nick Fury. Logan pops his claws and replies that he’s a survivor, and that means knowing what it is they’re getting into if they want to have half a chance to get out. Pierce insists this still doesn’t give him the right to speak this way, before Nina gets between them to cool things down before they overheat.

Fury spots the Hydra plane and asks Nina to dish out the chutes. They’re gonna ditch the bird. His plan is to find a position on ground and then wait for the Hydra team to set down. They can then pick them off one by one. Dum Dum explains that some lads build ice forts in the snow. They’re gonna wage guerrilla warfare.

As Wolverine prepares to jump, he notices that Colonel Fury isn’t wearing a chute himself. Fury tells him he’s too damn observant for his own good, before shoving him out of the plane before he can grab a hold of anything. “Sorry,” says Fury. “I ain’t gone crazy… yet.”

Romulus watches the Blackbird and notices that from their air speed and angle of descent, it’s changed from being a pursuit to being an attack, kamikaze style. They’ve got to get out of there. Garotte informs her they’re at 20,000 feet! What strategy does her genetically enhanced mind suggest? Romulus opts for duck and cover. She orders everyone into the cargo container, and to grab what they can before their plane is history.

They wonder who could be in the plane, but they know Fury is probably flying it. Guillotine demands to be informed on their course of action, but Garotte orders him to shut up. He just hopes Romulus knows what she’s doing. So does she, she replies, as she pulls the cargo release switch.

As the cargo container drops from the plane and opens its parachute, Fury knows Logan was right. He’s got no weapons and his hydraulics are for squat. What he does have is a few tons of jet fuel with Hydra’s name on it… which is nice. As he angles the Blackbird towards Arctic-1, he ejects himself from the plane and watches the two planes collide in a massive ball of flame. As he drops upside down towards the ground, he’s loving every second. “Eat your heart out, Bruce Willis!” he cries.

Soon, as he crashes to the snow-covered ground, the others rush to collect him. He’s okay, and Logan’s glad to hear it. He then proceeds to punch him in the face, and is attacked by Pierce. Dum Dum grabs Pierce, and Fury asks him to cool down. He knows he had that coming. “Fraggin’-A, you did,” replies Wolverine, “An not just for chucking me into freefall!” He tells Fury that this isn’t just his little private war. They’re all in this now. He can keep his grandstanding under his eyepatch and they can do this thing together.

Fury says he’ll take Logan’s advice under advisement, and lights up another cigar. Logan grabs it, so Fury takes out another. Before they can continue their little argument, Dum Dum steps in, also chewing on a cigar, and jokingly tells them that, if they’re finished seeing who’s got the biggest stogie, he suggests they begin looking for their new neighbors.

Fury pulls out a pair of binoculars, and looks across the snow at the container, which has landed just over a hundred meters away. They look in rough shape.

Hydra has already suffered losses. Several bodies are removed from the cargo container, overseen by Lt. Guillotine. Some of their equipment has also been damaged. Garotte tells Romulus he can now understand why the Baron hates Fury so. Romulus says they can still complete their mission, and that is what matters.

Saltz supervises a soldier soldering their snowmobiles together before joining his fellow lieutenants on a ridge not too far away. Garotte informs them that Fury has only succeeded in slowing them down. Saltz checks the map and sees that they’re close to their destination. Guillotine tries to get his Geiger counter to work and finally succeeds. Romulus asks how far they have to travel, and Saltz informs her that it’s twenty klicks overland. How far down in the ice, though, they won’t know until they arrive. Garotte exclaims that no matter how deep, there’s power to be had in that ice, and there’s no time to waste. He orders his sergeant to finish up his repairs and follow them as soon as possible. The lieutenants; Garotte, Saltz, Romulus and Guillotine, then head off on their snowmobiles, watched intently by Fury’s team.

Nina wonders why Hydra doesn’t seem to be bothered about them any more. Logan thinks it’s because they’ve been keeping a low profile, but Fury just reckons it’s because they just don’t care - the arrogant murderers. “They think S.H.I.E.L.D. don’t matter no more.” Fury uses his binoculars and looks around the snowy terrain. He tells the others that, if they’re going to take down their point team, they’ll need the gear that Hydra has in its cargo container. He spots a polar bear squatting next to an ice hole for food to surface. Fury has an idea and Logan is already on his wavelength.

Soon, the Hydra lookout post is alerted as something snags their trip wire. They stand up and look around, but all they see is a polar bear wandering towards them. They decide a little target practice is in order, but when one of them catches the bear in his telescopic lens, he notices it’s just a skin, and wearing it is Nick Fury!

Fury opens fire immediately on the soldiers, and Wolverine pops up through the ice to take down a runner. His healing factor saves him from freezing to death, but the same can’t be said for the hapless soldiers. Fury informs Logan that they now they’re inside the wire. They’ve gotta move fast. No one gets out of there alive!”

Characters Involved: 

Dum Dum Dugan, Colonel Nick Fury, Network Nina, Alexander Goodwin Pierce (all S.H.I.E.L.D.)


Romulus, Garotte, Guillotine and Saltz (Strucker’s lieutenants)

Military police including Jerry

Flight Control staff

Hydra soldiers

Story Notes: 

Marcus Welby, M.D. was a medical drama running from 1969 to 1976, which starred Robert Young as Marcus Welby.

A stogie is a cheap cigar, named after Conestoga, Pennsylvania. It also refers to cheap cigars in general.

When Saltz is supervising one of the troops soldering, the exchange is the wrong way around. Saltz is shown soldering, not the trooper.

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