First Appearance: Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos #1 (May 1963)
Created by: Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
S.H.I.E.L.D.'s HNIC wasn't always an Avenger, and wasn't always black. He got his start as a WWII hero, leading his Howling Commandos into battle. The Marvel cinematic universe pays their respects to this series in Captain America: The First Avenger, except instead of Fury, Captain America leads the Howling Commandos into battle. It also isn't Fury's first foray into cinema either. In 1998, the white version of Nick Fury made his debut in Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., where he was portrayed by none other than David Hasselhoff... in a bondage-friendly leather jumpsuit.
It wasn't until 2001's Ultimate Marvel Team-Up #5 that black Nick Fury made his appearance. He was actually modeled after Samuel L. Jackson, so obviously the choice as to who should play him in the movies was made long before The Avengers was set to film. Style-wise, he's often seen in S.H.I.E.L.D.'s standard-issue white and navy blue tactical onesies, but in the film, S.H.I.E.L.D. agents are dressed like run-of-the-mill government dudes in suits. Although Samuel L. Jackson essentially portrays Fury as Shaft with an eyepatch, we can't hate on the leather trench coat he rocks in the films.