The official Captain Marvel Prelude comic has revealed that Nick Fury isn't working for S.H.I.E.L.D., after all. When Nick Fury and Maria Hill unexpectedly returned in the Avengers: Infinity War post-credits scene, most viewers thought it pointed to a resurgent S.H.I.E.L.D., but that's not necessarily the case.
It was an understandable assumption, though. After all, they seemed well-organized, right down to having satellite uplinks to monitor former S.H.I.E.L.D. hotspots like Wakanda. If this wasn't S.H.I.E.L.D., then it seemed to be an organization that had taken over S.H.I.E.L.D.'s mandate and resources. What's more, there was even a curious reference to "Control," which seemed to imply some sort of organizational structure and hierarchy. In that regard, Fury and Hill appeared to be field agents, reporting in to a boss.
The Captain Marvel Prelude reveals that all these assumptions were actually incorrect. Fury and Hill aren't working as part of a new spy agency at all, and they're not field agents for a new big-screen version of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Instead, they're operating independently, drawing upon resources Fury had presumably hidden away while he was director of S.H.I.E.L.D.. It shouldn't really come as a surprise, as Nick observed in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, "If you wanna stay ahead of me... you need to keep both eyes open." Fury is a man whose secrets have secrets, and he'd evidently prepared for the day he would need to step back into the shadows. It seems he only stepped back into the light to make an unsuccessful attempt to get the Avengers back together.
It looks as though Fury retained a wide network of allies; there's a reference to Klein, a S.H.I.E.L.D. loyalist seen in both Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Avengers: Age of Ultron. According to Fury, Klein works for a company known as Transpo, and they're ideally suited to helping cover his tracks. Meanwhile, a later scene in the comic sees Fury toss out a throwaway reference to Colonel Rhodes, clearly implying he was still in touch with War Machine. It's unclear who "Control" was, but it could be a reference to either Klein or even the Avengers Compound staff.
While this official tie-in comic answers a major Avengers: Infinity War question, it raises a lot more questions about Spider-Man: Far From Home. Fury and Hill are the major MCU cameos in that film. Furthermore, a batch of Far From Home set photos showed a fleet of S.H.I.E.L.D.-style cars pulling up to surround Jake Gyllenhaal's Mysterio. Meanwhile, Spider-Man has been glimpsed wearing a stealth suit very similar to the one S.H.I.E.L.D. gave him in the "Secret War" story arc, and it even has a circular space on the shoulder that's perfectly suited for a S.H.I.E.L.D. logo. Is it possible that, in the aftermath of Avengers 4, S.H.I.E.L.D. will be brought back into action - with Fury and Hill back to working alongside the organization? That question will probably only be answered at the end of next year's Avengers 4 movie.
Captain Marvel Prelude #1 is available now from Marvel Comics.
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019