How Nick Fury Gets His Eyepatch in the Comics

For fans of movies and comics, Nick Fury is recognizable by his eyepatch. Marvel Studios' Captain Marvel takes audiences back to a time when Fury still had two eyes and may reveal how he lost one of them. But how did Fury lose his eyes in the comics?

That question begs another one: Which Nick Fury are you asking about? The nature of the Marvel multiverse is such that infinite versions of Fury exist throughout, but three are most significant. They each have their own story behind the eyepatch.

Nick Fury

Nick Fury Eyepatch Origin
(Photo: Dick Ayers, Marvel Entertainment)

The original Nick Fury is a Stan Lee and Jack Kirby creation. He debuted in 1963 in Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos, a series about Fury and his World War II unit. Marvel later brought Fury into the modern Marvel era as head of the espionage organization SHIELD. Sometime between World War II and his introduction to SHIELD, Fury started wearing the eyepatch.

Marvel finally revealed "the origin of Nick Fury's eye patch" in Sgt. Fury and the Howling Commandos #27. A Nazi grenade dealt the initial damage to Fury's eye. Fury caught the grenade and tossed it back, but he wasn't quick enough to get clear of the blast before the grenade exploded.

Fury could have recovered, but he got separated from his unit and stuck behind enemy lines for several days. By that time, the damage to the eye had grown more severe. The doctors gave Fury a choice. He could undergo surgery and sit out a year of the war to recover, or he could keep fighting and lose all sight in the damaged eye sometime in the future.

It's Nick Fury. Which option do you think he chose?

Fury kept fighting the good fight. The eye didn't completely fail him until years after the war was over, which is when he starting covering the eye with an eyepatch.

Ultimate Nick Fury

Ultimate NIck Fury
(Photo: Ed McGuinness, Marvel Entertainment)

In 2000, Marvel Comics launched the Ultimate Marvel imprint. Ultimate Marvel created a new universe with updated, modern versions of Marvel's most popular characters. This included Nick Fury.

Ultimate Nick Fury inspired Samuel L. Jackson's take on the character. There's even a joke in the comics where Ultimate Fury fan-casts Jackson as himself years before the Marvel Cinematic Universe launched.

Ultimate X-Men #11 tells the story of how Ultimate Nick Fury got his eyepatch. In order to update Fury's origin, the Ultimate version fought during the Gulf War instead of during World War II. He was guarding a convoy in Kuwait when it came under attack by Iraqi forces. That convoy happened to be carrying a military secret weapon, Weapon X. Wolverine emerged from the wreckage and carried Fury back to base. Fury lost an eye, but Wolverine saved his life.

Nick Fury Jr.

Marcus Johnson Nick Fury Jr
(Photo: Carlo Pagulayan, Marvel Entertainment)

By 2011, the Marvel Cinematic Universe was a phenomenon and the first Avengers movie was on the horizon. Marvel Comics decided to nudge the Marvel Universe in a direction that would more resemble its cinematic counterpart.

The Battle Scars miniseries was a significant move in that direction. The series introduced two new characters to the Marvel Universe. One was the comic book version of Phil Coulson, the popular Marvel Cinematic Universe character played by Clark Gregg.

Marcus Johnson is the other character. Johnson didn't know it, but he was Nick Fury's son. He was even named after his father, with Nick Fury Jr. being his birth name and Marcus Johnson a false name used to keep him hidden.

Leviathan, a terrorist organization with a grudge against Fury Sr., learned Marcus Johnson's true identity before he did. Leviathan capture Johnson and, in a fit of poetic torture, cut out his eye. With Coulson's help, Fury Jr. freed himself. Learning of his heritage, he decided to join SHIELD with Coulson by his side. Since then, he has been the primary Nick Fury of the Marvel Universe (his father is now the Unseen after what transpired in the Original Sin event of 2014).

Do you hope to learn how the Marvel Cinematic Universe Nick Fury lost his eye in Captain Marvel? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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Captain Marvel opens in theaters March 8th.

Other upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe movies include Avengers: Endgame on April 26th and Spider-Man: Far From Home on July 5th.