Co-creator: Jack Kirby

Bringing readers back to WWII, Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos #1 served as the debut of Nick Fury, who later went on to become well known as the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. Stan and Jack introduced Fury and his team in the trenches of war, and eventually brought him into the modern age as a James Bond-type superspy in Strange Tales #135. Both versions had their strong points, but it’s as a superspy that Fury really became an integral part of the world of Marvel.

Nowadays, the Ultimate version of the character has superseded Stan’s original because of Samuel L. Jackson’s portrayal in the Avengers movie, and it’s unlikely that Stan and Jack’s take will ever be seen in a movie or TV show ever again. But it’s important to know where the character came from, and what a huge impact he had on the company.