Nick Fury and His Agents of SHIELD #3 [1973]


Two STRANGE TALES reprints from 1966 in this issue, the SHIELD stories from #150 and #151. First up is “Hydra Lives”, with John Buscema making his return to Marvel, penciling over Kirby layouts, inking by Frank Giacoia.  Unfortunately two pages are edited out, making for some weird jumps and unexplained bits.  It’s not too bad looking, though parts of it don’t look like Buscema followed Kirby’s layouts at all (though some things, like the Overkill Horn, seem like pure Kirby).  Anyway, the story has Fury testing out a prototype of the “Overkill Horn”, a deadly sonic weapon that can potentially detonate atomic devices at a distance.  The test is explosive, putting both Fury and Dugan in wheelchairs (but not out of action) for a short while.  Nick then gets an invite to a party in the dead Egyptian city of Karnopolis by Don Caballero, who SHIELD suspects of being the new Supreme Hydra (“cut off a limb and two more shall take its place!”).  Nick heads off, leaving Jasper Sitwell in charge.

Next story is “Overkill”, this time with Jim Steranko making his Marvel debut over Kirby layouts (and my copy seems to be signed by Steranko on the splash page.  Or signed by someone, and Steranko is the only name in the credits I can twist this squiggle into.  Well, maybe Irving Forbush).   It’s really sharp looking, with a lot of nice dynamic bits and detailed settings.  It’s kind of shame that Steranko was “graduated” to full art so quickly, as I’d have liked to see what full Kirby pencils inked by him would have looked like.  Anyway, for some reason they decide to quickly abandon the “party” pretext (which probably would have made a good James Bond kind of scene, but I guess with only 12 pages an issue there was pressure to keep to action scenes) and Fury just arrives in Karnopolis and is attacked by walking statues and Hydra agents (Hail Hydra!).

He’s able to escape on an unguarded plane, not realizing that he was allowed to escape, and the plane carries the Overkill Horn.  I’m not sure I like how easily Fury was duped. Still, it all looks very good.
The cover is the Kirby/Steranko cover of ST #151.

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