How Did Nick Fury Lose His Eye in the Comics?

Thanks to Samuel L. Jackson’s masterful performance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), Nick Fury has not only become one of the most important, but also one of the most popular characters in Marvel’s roster. Nick Fury’s role has always been quite substantial, and he had a solid impact on the evolution of Marvel’s stories, but it wasn’t until Jackson’s interpretation that the character actually reached mainstream audiences. There are a lot of interesting stories surrounding Nick Fury’s character, which is why I have decided to dedicate today’s article to one of Marvel’s most badass characters ever. 

Depending on the iteration of the character, Nick Fury either lost his eye during an accident involving an explosion during World War II (the original version of the character), during an ambush in Kuwait (Ultimate Marvel), or from having it cut out by an enemy of his father (modern-day iteration). 

In today’s article, I am going to focus on the comic book stories in which Nick Fury lost his eye. There have been three relevant iterations of the character so far and I am going to tell you how each of them lost their eye. You’re also going to find out the exact comics in which that happened and what exactly happened in each of the stories. You might bat an eye so prepare yourselves for an interesting article! Let’s begin. 

In which comic books did Nick Fury lose his eye?

Now, in order to answer this question fully, I have to explain that there are three iterations of the Nick Fury character that I am going to take into consideration in this article. 

The first character is Nicholas Fury, also known as Nick Fury, a superhero created by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby, who made his debut in the comic book Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos #1, published way back in May 1963. Originally, Nick Fury was the leader of a WWII commando group consisting of Dum Dum Dugan and several other soldiers. He was initially almost exclusively featured in wartime adventures but later stories and editions featured Nick Fury in a variety of different situations. 

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A good example of this is the comic Strange Tales #135 from August 1965, where he was feature alongside Doctor Strange, and which shows him, several years after the war and with the rank of colonel, as the director of S.H.I.E.L.D., an ultra-secret American agency. He subsequently made frequent appearances in other Marvel series as the director of S.H.I.E.L.D., acting as a link between the superheroes and the government.

The second relevant iteration of the character is General Nicholas Joseph “Nick” Fury from the Ultimate Marvel universe. This is a reinterpretation of the classic Nick Fury that I mentioned above, with one of the main differences being that the original is a Caucasian American colonel with gray-brown hair, while the Fury of the Ultimate universe is an African-American general with the head shaved, very similar to actor Samuel L. Jackson, whose consent for the likeness the authors had. 

Fury enjoys great importance in the Ultimate universe, having appeared in several of the comics. He debuted in Ultimate Marvel Team-Up, and later had appearances in Ultimate X-Men and Ultimate Spider-Man. He eventually landed a regular role as the General of S.H.I.E.L.D. and leader of the Ultimates, a reinterpretation of the main-universe Avengers. 

Details about the early years of his life are sketchy and contradictory. It has been said that he was an orphan boy, that his mother was still alive, that he had graduated from a university in India less than a decade ago, and that he personally contributed to the end of the Cold War. Despite this, his status as a war hero is generally considered unquestionable, despite the fact that he sometimes tries to hide his past from others. Fury has said that he has been prepared to die since he was 18 years old, but what happened after and how it affected his life remains a mystery. 

The final iteration I am going to talk about here is Nicholas Joseph “Nick” Fury, Jr., a character created by Cullen Bunn, Matt Fraction, Christopher Yost (writers), and Scott Eaton (artist), who debuted in Battle Scars from January 2012. US Army secret agent and hero Nick Fury Jr. made his debut as Marcus Johnson, only for it to be revealed, later, that he is the son of Nick Fury, from whom he inherits the post of an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. 

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Born in Atlanta, Georgia, to former CIA agent Nia Jones and the director of S.H.I.E.L.D., Nick Fury, who, having met and, later, becoming lovers during an anti-HYDRA mission in Czechoslovakia, as soon as they learn about Nia’s pregnancy decide, so that they can protect their son from paternal enemies, to keep him hidden from the whole world; then her mother changes her name to “Nia Johnson” and becomes a social worker in the aforementioned town raising her son under the equally fictitious name of “Marcus Johnson”. 

As a boy, “Marcus” enlisted in the United States Army as a ranger, and was sent to serve his country in the Middle East, obtaining the rank of sergeant within a few years and forming a close friendship with his second-in-command, private “Cheese” Coulson. 

Now you know about the three iterations of Nick Fury I am going to talk about in the article. This is, of course, only a brief history of each of them, but it is more than enough if you want to know the main differences between these characters and their roles in the Marvel Comics fictional universe. Now, let us determine the issues in which each of these iterations lost its eye. 

The original Nick Fury lost his eye in Sgt. Fury and the Howling Commandos #27, published in February 1966. Now, as is going to be the case with the remaining two iterations, I am not going to give you details about these stories here, but rather in the next section of this article. Now, let’s continue. 

The second iteration of the character, from the Ultimate Marvel universe, lost the eye during one of the earlier stories from the Unlimited Marvel series, and the third iteration of the character, the son of the original Nick Fury, lost his eye during the Battle Scar series. In the next section, I am going to give you details on these stories, revealing how each of the three iterations actually lost its eye in more detail. These stories are quite fun and despite the same characters, they are generally very different one from another. 

Credit Marvel Comics

What happened to Nick Fury’s eye in the comic books?

As we all know very well by now, Nick Fury lost his eye in the comic books. This fact is valid for all three iterations of the character, as I have already revealed in the previous section. Taking all of that into account, I am now going to reveal to you the details about the stories I have only mentioned in the last paragraphs of the previous section. All three stories are faithful to Nick Fury’s adventurous character and they’re all entertaining stories that I am now going to recount. 

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The original version of Nick Fury lost his eye during World War II. The Nazis, as one would expect, caused some trouble for the Americans and Nick Fury ended up being on the other side of a generated explosion. Okay, Nick Fury, of course, survived, but not without an injury to his left eye. The initial damage was not that big but he had to go to surgery if he wanted his eyesight back. This, in turn, meant that he would be away from the field for a while, which is why he ultimately refused. The damage increased and he lost 95% of his vision on that eye, which resulted in him putting on the bandage and the patch. 

The second iteration of Nick Fury, the African-American from Ultimate Marvel, lost his eye in Kuwait, while he was transporting a dangerous mutant to another location. The mutant in question was none other than Wolverine and when the convoy was ambushed, it was Wolverine who saved Nick Fury’s life. Wolverine took Fury, carried his body through the desert and thus saved him from certain death. What he could not save was his left eye, which ceased to function, resulting in Nick Fury wearing an eyepatch for the rest of his life. 

Finally, Nick Fury Jr., who was only later revealed to be the son of the original Nick Fury, lost an eye while he was captured by some of his father’s old enemies. In order to make the son look like the father, the enemies decided to take out Fury’s eye, effectively making him the same as Nick Fury senior, the original iteration of the character. With just one eye, Nick Fury Jr. managed to escape his captors and then joined forces with S.H.I.E.L.D. to fight evil around the globe.