Fans of superhero comics and movies usually consider Batman to be the hero who has honed his tactical and combat skills to near perfection, ultimately dubbing him the world’s greatest prepper. And to be fair, he’s probably among the Top 5, considering his extensive tactical library, which includes contingency strategies for effective takedown and neutralization of each and every Justice League member, including himself. Not to mention, he has a genius like Lucius Fox at his side.
The Punisher is perhaps Marvel Comics’ most apt response to Batman, considering that both heroes/anti-heroes have extensive tactical and combat capabilities, which also makes The Punisher one of the greatest preppers the comic book world has ever seen, even though he only deals with street-level crime in most cases. Except they’re arguably not the comic world’s greatest preppers — Marvel/DC metacommentary points to Nicholas J. Fury as the world’s ultimate prepper, and this article will discuss why the fandom holds Nick Fury in such high regard.
Nick Fury’s early life and career are only vaguely and inconsistently described. In addition to claiming to have grown up as an orphan and that his mother is still alive, he has stated that he graduated from college in India and that he played a direct role in the conclusion of the Cold War. Regardless, it is generally agreed that he is unquestionably a “war hero.” He has also stated that he has been prepared to die since the age of 18, but it is still unknown what transpired at that time and how it affected his life and made him the ultimate prepper.
He Keeps Both His Eyes Open
Throughout his colorful career, Fury had numerous run-ins with the X-Men, Norman Osborn’s Oscorp, and Hammer Industries and has aided S.H.I.E.L.D. with creating the Ultimates — technologically empowered operatives that work for the organization. Though he played a vital role in the founding and development of S.H.I.E.L.D., it wasn’t until years later that Fury was given the directorship of the organization, where he established a black ops division.
As a very prominent spy in the universe, he had to develop different kinds of deceptive methodologies that would prevent those with nefarious intentions from getting their way. We all remember the scene in 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier in which he appears after being presumed dead and explains to the villains that they have to keep both eyes open to stay ahead of him.
He Has a Base for Every Occasion
According to comic book information, once he attained the S.H.I.E.L.D. directorship, Fury was given insight into secrets that have secrets of their own. In fact, once his predecessor General Ross retired, Fury became privy to information that literally nobody else on Earth had access to. Paired with his paranoid, break-glass-in-case-of-emergency nature, this allowed him to prepare for any unforeseen circumstances.
Among this super-classified info is also the location of all S.H.I.E.L.D. bases on Earth, some of which he even employed for his personal use, especially after he was forced into hiding following the events of the Secret Wars comics storyline. He spends an inordinate amount of time updating the bases’ protocols in case of S.H.I.E.L.D. compromise, infiltration, or the odd helicarrier destruction or two.
There’s Always a Backup Plan
Most people were left wondering what the little Tamagotchi-looking device (a pager for those in the know) was that Fury dropped when Thanos snapped him and half of life out of existence in Avengers: Infinity War. Well, moments before reaching for the device and activating it, Fury witnessed Maria Hill disappear, along with the driver who had crashed into their car. Knowing how to recognize trouble his team couldn’t handle, he reached out to the only person he thought could — Captain Marvel, whom he had met a few decades earlier and helped with her mission.
This has previously inspired Fury to prepare for the possibility of an alien attack on Earth, and witnessing Danvers’ powers, he “kept in touch.” When he activated the device before disintegrating, he alerted Captain Marvel, who responded to the call, found Iron Man and Nebula in space, and brought them to Earth, then went on to battle Thanos, which led to his ultimate defeat. It’s a good thing that a certain someone went to work prepared five years earlier.
He Uses Life Model Decoys
“Preparedness carries the day” seems to be the motto with this one. When S.H.I.E.L.D. was attacked by Hydra, Fury deployed his own LMDs — Life Model Decoys — S.H.I.E.L.D.-created replicas of Fury that were designed to duplicate his outward appearance. In fact, as a very suspicious and untrusting individual, Fury survived several assassination attempts by using his LMDs as decoys or even sending an entire squad of his duplicates on high-profile missions. Unfortunately, it’s unknown whether his LMDs made it into the MCU, but it’s as possible as a Kree posing as Fury.
He Knew People Were Fallible
Before showing us his other eye, Fury found out that those above S.H.I.E.L.D. and the organization itself were compromised, so he turned to Steve Rogers for help. He broke into Cap’s apartment and told him what happened while pretending to talk about his wife, knowing that others might be listening. The conversation was cut short by the arrival of the Winter Soldier, who shot Nick, but not before Nick gave Steve the USB that revealed Hydra had infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D.
It was Fury’s five-moves-ahead thinking that played a massive role during the course of the film, which guided Captain America to take down Project Insight — the same project that would’ve killed nearly all known and potential heroes, including Stephen Strange, who just recently traveled into the Multiverse of Madness, where we saw actress Lashana Lynch portraying Black Captain America.
While still pretty active in the comics, Fury’s participation in recent MCU films has been downplayed after The Winter Soldier to a few post-credit scenes and plot devices. He was last seen in 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home and recently mentioned in Spider-Man: No Way Home as being off-world for over a year, with his exact whereabouts unknown. Wherever he is, he’s probably prepping for the world’s next threat — perhaps the appearance of Kang the Conqueror.