Secret War: From the files of Nick Fury

Issue Date: 
May 2014
Story Title: 

Mike Raicht (writer), Gabriele Dell’Otto (painter), Brian Michael Bendis (inspiration), Jeff Christianson, Stuart Vandal, Michael Hoskin, Mark O’English, Ronald Byrd, Sean McQuaid (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - level 1), Jennifer Grünwald (assistant editor), David Gabriel (director of sales), Tom Brevoort & Andy Schmidt (consulting editors), Carrie Beadle (book designer), Patrick McGrath (cover & S.H.I.E.L.D. database designer), Tom Marvelli (creative director), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

This is an additional book to go with the Secret War series, which features Nick Fury’s attempts to overthrow the Latverian prime minister using several of the Earth’s mightiest heroes. The operation was not officially sanctioned by S.H.I.E.L.D. This issue contains interviews, profiles, transcriptions of telephone conversations and articles not shown in the other Secret War issues.

Full Summary: 

Memo from S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Colonel Fury (seconded by Deputy Director Valentina Allegro de Fontaine) to the United States Security Council. A file on Phineas Mason was attached.

In the memo, Fury explained that it had come to S.H.I.E.L.D.’s attention that various technologically advanced villains (TAV’s) had been dealing with the Tinkerer when in need of repairs to their costumes. The Tinkerer had been spotted in Latveria with Prime Minister Lucia von Bardas. Fury, on behalf of S.H.I.E.L.D. requested the resources necessary to investigate Bardas and Latveria, and prevent any offensive actions against the United States or the rest of the world. This request was denied by the Security Council, and Fury made the decision to carry out his own Secret War.

Philadelphia Enquirer Article (by Nancy Buczak)

Her headline was ‘Man electrocuted by aliens in downtown Philly - Flying men spotted on scene.’ This newspaper report described events that took place in Secret War #1. It stated that eyewitnesses described ‘men and women with rocket packs’ flying onto the scene after Simon Maddicks, also known as Killer Shrike, was electrocuted in the street. The paper didn’t identify Maddicks. One of the ‘eyewitnesses,’ Jason Sitwell, described the agents as aliens, who were taller than normal humans. Fury made a note in his file to thank former agent Johnny Rogers who worked at the newspaper for covering for them. He also wanted to speak with agent’s Woo and Sitwell about the handling of this operation. Also, he thought ‘Jasper’ Sitwell needed to keep his quotes shorter, as he had too much fun with this one, and he needed to change more than just his first name.

Daily Bugle Article (by Julie Slott)

Slott’s article was from her gossip column, filled with conjecture and speculation. She reported that Alison Blaire, the one-time mutant superstar known as the Dazzler, was seen at Club M. Slott asked, did she leave with a certain local cop who works the streets of Mutant Town? Are they an item? Was this strictly a business call?

She then reported on Captain America and Luke Cage boarding a plane for Latveria, and wondered what kind of vacation they could take there.

Her final report was on Giant-Man and the Wasp attending the opening of a super-chic restaurant, and speculating on their relationship.

Draft e-mail from Kat Farrell, Daily Bugle reporter, to Robbie Robertson and Ben Urich.

On February 12th, 2004, Kat Farrell was writing a report on the attack on Luke Cage in his apartment, and the concurrent attack on Captain America at his home. The subject was ‘Bring on the bad guys?’ She asked if the attacks were connected. Kat noted that explosions were reported at Matt Murdock’s apartment too. Some eyewitness reported seeing Spider-Man and Daredevil moments later fighting two unidentified villains at approximately the same time. Kat wondered whether to include this as well. With the litigation currently going on between Murdock and their distinguished competition, do they really want to make a claim that would imply a similar belief on their part?

NYPD dispatcher recording

This was a transcription of a recording taken by the NYPD of their dispatch officer, Ted Ling, speaking with Sgt. Greg Wimmer who was on his way to Mt. Sinai Hospital where a major disturbance had broken out. Wimmer saw Iron Man flying past on his way there. Ted Ling received reports of the situation getting worse, and he informed Sgt. Wimmer and his men to stand down, ordering them to help get people away from the docks and maintain at least a ten-block perimeter.

Notes from Nick Fury’s private journal.

Fury considered several people who might be able to help him out with his Secret War. He wondered whether to use fellow S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, but worried for their careers if things went wrong. He considered using Wolverine, but knew he was a wildcard. He asked himself how he would handle him if he went too far. He then considered Peter Parker, who nearly always worked solo. How would he react to working as part of a team? He needed to keep this mission quiet, and whoever he chose, he had to trust implicitly. He couldn’t believe that a Latveria minus Dr. Doom could be this much trouble, or that his own government once again seemed to be turning its head the other way in times of crisis. His first choice was Captain America, because of his leadership qualities.

Agents considered included not only the ones he finally chose, but also Cyclops, Kitty Pryde (a one-time S.H.I.E.L.D. agent herself), Mystique and even the Purple Man.

Fury read personal profiles on the following people: -

Luke Cage - In Fury’s extended notes, he mentioned that Cage had recently struck up a relationship with Jessica Jones, who was pregnant with his child. He wanted both of them kept under surveillance.

Daisy Johnson - Her records revealed her to have a very high IQ, but she was shoplifting and failing school. Fury took her under his wing and had S.H.I.E.L.D. train her as an agent. She took to the training well, and excelled in shadow ops. She’d have finished top of the class even without her talent for seismic disruption. Fury felt her seismic powers could be utilized well in operations to catch their foes off-balance. Fury admitted to feeling a little guilty about bringing a young woman like Daisy into their operations, but would rather her fight for good rather than using her pent up anger against them.

Daredevil - Resilience and perseverance were the two main qualities that Fury admired in Matt Murdock.

Spider-Man - Fury noted that Spider-Man fed off a staggering guilt that propelled him to do basically anything asked of him.

Captain America - Fury liked his leadership abilities, and knew that his patriotism rang true and his heart was in the right place.

Wolverine - Fury would like Logan beside him working for S.H.I.E.L.D. He knew Wolverine was a bomb; a secret weapon just waiting to be messed with and cut loose by any number of organizations for their own evil purposes. He also wondered that if his mind was so messed up, why couldn’t S.H.I.E.L.D. get into the game.

Black Widow - Fury noted that due to Natasha’s past relationship with Matt Murdock, this could be used to coerce both of them should the time come when they were needed.

Cyclops - Rejected due to the fact that he lacked a killer instinct, and because he was dating Emma Frost, who couldn’t be trusted. Fury felt having her involved with mutant children was a disaster waiting to happen.

Leonard Samson - Rejected mainly because Fury didn’t know the extent of his abilities in the field, and this wasn’t the moment to begin finding out.

Falcon - Rejected due to his lack of real power. Although Sam Wilson had proven his worth in the past, he felt it best to leave him behind on this one.

Iron Man - Rejected predominantly due to the fact that the Tinkerer might have had some way of negating his armor’s power. Without it, Stark is pretty helpless. Also, Stark tends to think a lot, and what he needed on this mission were soldiers who could follow orders, not question them.

Mystique - Rejected. Fury felt she could be an asset due to her infiltration abilities, and her vast experience, but discarded her because he would never know which side she might take at any given moment. Fury also knew that she worked undercover for Xavier.

Purple Man - Rejected. Fury was desperate, and thought Killgrave’s ultra mass mind control abilities could be a way of getting the job done without bloodshed. However, Killgrave was a serial killer, and even a desperate situation could not justify his release.

Kitty Pryde - Rejected mainly because Fury thought that if she was included, then Wolverine might pull out, and he really wanted Wolverine aboard. It was a shame as her phasing powers might have been useful against the Tinkerer’s tech.

The Thing - Rejected due to the fact everyone recognizes him. Fury admitted he would probably choose him over Cage, but because of his appearance, and the fact that Latveria is an old stomping ground of his, Ben Grimm just wouldn’t do.

S.H.I.E.L.D file created by Nick Fury regarding the CIRCUIT Protocols, to be read by Contessa Valentina Allegro de Fontaine in case something went wrong
Fury wrote a file to be read by the Contessa should his Secret War fail. He explained that he had secretly smuggled a band of agents into Latveria to discover what von Bardas was up to. If Valentina read this, then his agents would have failed. Fury had picked out several operatives who he felt could go in hard and literally tear Latveria apart. He knew Valentina wouldn’t take the matter lightly, and nor should she. Fury feels it would be a drastic measure, but one that would ultimately save millions of lives. They were Hawkeye, Hulk, the Punisher, War Machine, the Sentry, Spider-Woman I and Warbird. They would be assisted by S.H.I.E.L.D. Mandroids.

S.H.I.E.L.D. agent profiles

Jasper Sitwell - Fury described Jasper as being a talented man, and their best interrogator.

James Woo - Fury sited Woo’s interrogations of Hobgoblin, Grizzly and Killer Shrike as the reasons he began to see connections between the Tinkerer and Latveria in the first place.


Grizzly - In Fury’s notes, he described how Grizzly became the first lead in this case. Fury wasn’t even present for his interrogation. Maxwell Markham was trying to turn over a new leaf, but it was a failed attempt.

Interview #1

Sitwell and Woo interrogated Grizzly, on July 1st 2003. It was observed by the Deputy Director. Markham explained that he was caught trying to stop a robbery. He had organized a team to take on Spider-Man, which included the Gibbon, but he helped Spider-Man and turned against his friends. Unfortunately, he was left holding cash from the bank robbery, and was apprehended trying to return the cash. He was asked by Agent Sitwell how he managed to take care of his suit. He didn’t seem like the tech-type. Grizzly let it slip that there was someone who maintained it for him. He was old and had white hair with a long nose and was suggested to Markham by the Rhino. The old man only dealt in favors, never cash. He usually wanted things stealing for him; usually tech stuff so he could tinker with it. The old man wanted to look at his suit, but Markham didn’t want it falling into the wrong hands as he was trying to change. Instead, he let the man fix the exo-skeleton whilst still wearing it. Markham mentioned a lot of other guys taking a similar kind of deal. Agent Woo was shown footage of the robbery by Contessa Valentina Allegro de Fontaine, and this backed up what Grizzly was saying.

S.H.I.E.L.D. File

The Tinkerer - Fury had wondered what the Tinkerer had to do with Latveria and Lucia von Bardas. Phineas T. Mason had been treated like a second-class villain for too long, and Fury felt his latest moves put him at the top of the list. Fury never really concerned himself with Mason until Mason’s son died. His name began to crop up more frequently after that in the interrogation rooms, and it was during an interrogation that Woo and Sitwell made some breakthroughs into the Latverian situation. The Tinkerer was collecting tech and studying it as a fee for his services. It made S.H.I.E.L.D. anxious. Separately, the tech villains weren’t much of a threat, but together, they could be quite a force. It sounded like Mason had been tinkering their tech, maybe without them knowing it.

Evidence Note

In Fury’s additional notes, he commented that, as is common with genius types, the Tinkerer couldn’t, or simply didn’t want to, remember the names of those he associated with. S.H.I.E.L.D. recovered a partially burnt list from his safe house, during the Killer Shrike debacle, and it gave them a few leads. It led to the discovery of the new Diamondback’s identity, and eventually it may lead them down some other paths as well. The Tinkerer seemed to be working in a never-ending string of favors that lead to some unknown goal. Each customer he worked with got a task that led to another customer. It was like he was working the barter system. All this was for the benefit of his backer, Lucia von Bardas. Fury wondered if there was a way to exploit this system.

Observation Transcript

This was an observed conversation between an unidentified woman and two former S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, Mike Johnson and Chris Nolan, following the disembarking of Flight 456 from New York to Latveria. The unidentified woman was informed that the ‘packages’ had been delivered. She asked if there was any reason to suspect that the packages might be in Latveria for anything other than what they claimed. Mike Johnson informed her that they had to calm one of them; the Canadian. Captain America took care of him. Nolan mentioned that the Canadian made some comments about the model turned actress on a magazine cover. The teacher took offense. He’d called her a ‘hot momma.’ The unidentified woman realized they were talking about Mary Jane Parker.

She asked them what exactly happened. Nolan said the Canadian stood up and told stars and stripes to, “Mind your own business, bub.” Upon hearing this, the unidentified woman replied, “Oh boy.” Mike Johnson continued to report that they used elephant paralyzer on the Canadian to subdue him. It took him out, for only twenty minutes. They’d used enough to knock him out for three days. Nolan asked the unidentified woman what the hell she’d gotten them into. Johnson asked if this was a big deal. The unidentified woman said it was the biggest, and then asked what happened when he woke up. Nolan replied that he seemed to forget the whole thing. He asked the teacher how his wife was, but he pretended to be asleep. “He’s a good boy,” she replied. She told the two former agents they were free to go.

Fury noted that former field agents Johnson and Nolan then boarded Flight 325 for Hawaii. The unidentified woman slipped into the ladies’ room and was never seen again. He marked this file for possible entry into rogue agent log on Fury’s approval, and then for deletion.

Transcription of a recording from Room 274 between Nick Fury and Captain America

Captain America wanted to tell the others about what they’d been involved in, but Nick Fury said no. This was not an Avengers mission that was going to pop up in the Bugle on Monday morning. Cap knew this, but wanted to tell Parker, Cage, even Logan. They deserved to know what they were a part of. Fury told him it wasn’t that simple. Not everything was black and white. He thought Cap had been thawed out long enough to know that. After a minute and a half’s pause, Fury apologized for the aside. Cap was worried in case anything should happen to them, but Fury replied that it had been six months and nothing had happened. It was a war, and it was fought like any other war. If there are going to be repercussions; so be it! The mission ended and they went their separate ways. Nothing more, nothing less.

Cap thought Fury didn’t really believe that. He told Fury that they may be able to handle the repercussions, but what about Cage, Parker or Murdock? Calling revenge against people who trusted Fury and were willing to give their lives for his war… to call that repercussions? That was something the fat guys in suits upstairs that Fury liked to mock would say.

Cap didn’t come to fight with Fury; he just wanted Fury to do the right thing. He told Fury their country was great because of men like him. He trusted him, and so did the others. They needed to know because they deserved a chance to defend themselves. Fury replied that they were grown men and could handle themselves. Cap hoped he was right. Fury then asked why Cap didn’t just tell them. Cap told him it wasn’t his place. He figured Fury had his reasons for running things the way he did. Cap was a soldier before, and is now. Soldiers don’t make policy. He just wanted Fury to know there’d be a reckoning, and they should be prepared for it.

Cap left, and Fury spent twenty minutes considering what they had talked about before departing the room.

Letter found in apartment of Kali Hudak

A letter was retrieved from the trash along with $300 cash from Kali’s address. She was the ex-wife of Jamal Hudak, better known as Scorcher. Hudak had sent his wife the money. He asked about Lucas, and whether he was still getting good grades. He wanted Kali to tell the boy he missed him. He wanted her to do something for him. He asked her to leave town, and use the money to get a room with Lucas in Jersey, or to visit her mom in Cleveland. Whatever she did, he wanted her out of the city. He informed her something big was happening. He and his colleagues had their markers called in and were doing a job together. It was going down in New York in the next couple of days, and so even though she may hate his life, he wanted her to listen. He promised to give up the life. Things had gotten scary but he couldn’t go into further detail. Maybe after this was over, he hoped they could try again. He wanted to be a part of his son’s life. He promised to send another letter after this was over.


Diamondback - Debbie Bertrand was the daughter of David and Kirsty Bertrand from Greenville, North Carolina. She was a student at the University of North Carolina and All-American athlete. She was a possible mercenary and former waitress. She was known to be connected to Scorcher and Lucia von Bardas. Her abilities involved gymnastics, accomplished hand-to-hand combat, knife throwing, spike throwing and carried ‘diamonds’ which were needle-sharp and occasionally filled with various substances.

Fury noted that she was going to be in trouble when the real Diamondback, Rachel Leighton, found out she was using her name. Debbie seemed new to the game, and was extremely paranoid that she’d get caught. She would over-plan and didn’t seem to adapt well.

In Jasper Sitwell’s extended notes, he added how he wondered why he was always called in every time one of these crazies took over an old name. Why not Woo or even Special Agent Jessica Drew who’d been put in charge of the RAFT? He thought Debbie Bertrand simply took a wrong turn somewhere along the line, and ended up with a S.H.I.E.L.D. file. It was just Sitwell’s luck that he ended up having to fill that file.

Interview #2

Jasper Sitwell interviewed Mr. and Mrs. Bertrand - the parents of the new Diamondback. The interview was observed by Agent Clay Quartermain and took place in a S.H.I.E.L.D. compound in Raleigh, North Carolina. Sitwell asked about their daughter. The Bertrand’s were anxious, and asked if she was okay. Sitwell assured them that she was, but that she had taken on the guise of Diamondback and engaged in multiple criminal acts. Mrs. Bertrand thought he must be mistaken. Her daughter was working as a waitress in Charleston for the summer. She even told her mom that she had an interview with one of her seminar professors from freshman year. Sitwell informed her that Debbie hadn’t been at her job at Chimichuchu’s in over two months. According to her shift manager, Chip, she showed up for her paycheck one Friday and never came back.

Mr. Bertrand asked if he was sure it was his daughter. After being assured that it was, he asked Agent Sitwell if they needed a lawyer. He replied that they could, but only if they felt uncomfortable being there. They weren’t in any trouble, but they needed to find out a few things and trace the series of events. He asked how she got involved, and why. After chatting between themselves, the Bertrand’s agreed to answer his questions, providing he did his best to help their daughter.

Agent Sitwell asked if Debbie was involved with the Tinkerer, Scorcher or Lucia von Bardas. Mrs. Bertrand asked why she would involve herself with these people, but suddenly noticed a ‘Dr. Bardas’ amongst the photos provided. She explained that Debbie took her to one of her seminars on parents weekend. Lucia had told them that Debbie had potential. That was who her job interview was with. They were so proud when Debbie told them Lucia was elected prime minister of Luxemburg. Agent Sitwell pointed out that it was Latveria, not Luxemburg. Mrs. Bertrand thought that was what she had said. Her husband reminded her that Latveria was Dr. Doom’s country, and Sitwell asked Agent Quartermain if he got that. Quartermain replied that Fury was already on his way. Agent Sitwell asked them to hold tight and hoped they could help their daughter. Mrs. Bertrand said it wasn’t his fault she turned out the way she did.

Transcription of phone conversation between a S.H.I.E.L.D. operator and Contessa Valentina Allegro de Fontaine - 13th June 2005

The operator informed Valentina that they had been monitoring Jessica Jones’ phone line like she asked, and coordinating any agent discussions in the field. Valentina was dealing with something concurrently, and kept mumbling to someone as she spoke to the operator. Someone, it seemed, had gone missing, and Valentina wanted him found. The operator informed Valentina that Jessica had called many subjects involved in Fury’s altercation, including Matt Murdock’s law firm and Luke Cage. She also contacted Misty Knight and Danny Rand. Rand was seen at the hospital with Cage and Jones earlier, but this was the first contact they’d had with Knight. They weren’t sure how she tied in with things.

Valentina informed the operator that Cage was Jones’ boyfriend and Knight had worked with both Rand and Cage. She thought they needed to study their files more closely before an op. If the photos of Cage and Rand weren’t enough to keep them interested in the file, nothing would be. The operator replied that they didn’t see a lot of files because they were not yet a field operator. Valentina told them that if they wanted to get ahead, they’d have to. The operator then informed Valentina that it appeared Matt Murdock’s home was attacked last night as well. Both he and Spider-Man were seen together. Murdock’s Daredevil persona and Spider-Man were seen alongside Fury before…

Valentina replied, “Murdock’s home as well? She yelled to someone nearby and asked why she was only just getting this information. She wanted her people to start connecting the dots. This wasn’t the way S.H.I.E.L.D. worked. She asked the operator if there was anything else.

The operator then told her that they knew the Jones woman attempted to contact Special Agent Aspen. Valentina said that Aspen had been off the board for a long time, and figured Jones must be panicking a bit. Maybe she thought her ex may have had some information. Valentina thought Fury was with her. She asked the operator if they could bring in Jones for questioning. Their agents were in contact with her, right? Maybe they could calm her down. She added that according to Captain America, Jessica Jones was pregnant so she shouldn’t be running all over the city playing detective regardless of what was going on.

The operator replied that they were about to get to that. There had been an incident. Following the disturbances last night, and the disappearance of many of their principles, she had been informed that they had lost contact of Jessica Jones. They still had the man she was with under surveillance, however. He was Ben Urich, a reporter with the Daily Bugle and current co-worker. Valentina couldn’t believe they’d lost contact with a pregnant woman. The operator told her that apparently their field operatives hadn’t been informed that Jones was a superhuman, or pregnant.

Valentina asked if she thought they made up these files for nothing. She told the people she was with that Jones had been lost, and she wanted a sweep to make sure she wasn’t taking a catnap in her apartment or having a coffee at the Daily Bugle. She told the operator that the situation had gone ROANOKE. She told her to delete this conversation as per protocols and to connect her with Special Agent Jessica Drew. The operator did as they were asked, and Valentina added that they should make sure they read the files. It would help their career last a little longer. Valentina then added that it wasn’t the operator’s fault. It had been a trying twenty-four hours and they had been very helpful. She wanted a level 9 - her ears only.

This file was deleted immediately according to ROANOKE guidelines.

Characters Involved: 

See above

Story Notes: 

This issue also features the cover for Secret War #5.

Julie Slott’s article refers to Alison Blaire being seen with a local cop at Club M. This is almost certainly Izzy Ortega and his girlfriend, Lara the Illusionist, and not the real Alison Blaire at all.

The attack on Luke Cage and Jessica Jones happened in Secret War #1. Captain America was attacked by Lady Octopus and Hobgoblin, and Daredevil was attacked by Scorcher and Diamondback in Secret War #3.

The attack on Mt. Sinai Hospital took place in Secret War #4.

Mystique worked for Charles Xavier as an undercover agent in her own series, Mystique #1 - 24.

The Tinkerer’s safehouse was discovered in Secret War #1.

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