Marvel Comics is by far my favorite entertainment company........By far. I love Marvel. Out of all the comics that I own (and that is a lot), the vast majority are Marvel, probably about 90-95%. However, the company that I love has disappointed me lately. You see, they've shoehorned in a couple of elements from their Movieverse (as people have been calling the continuity of their Avengers series of films) into the comic book Marvel Universe and that bugs me. Now I don't hate the Marvel Movieverse. It and I have come to an understanding - The movies that are made are BASED on the comics that I love, I no longer feel that in this case they have to be faithful recreations of them. (Snyder's pathetic interpretation of Watchmen is another matter entirely. See my earlier post if you're wondering what I'm on about.) And due to this, I actually rather like the films in the Avengers series.
The two elements from the films that have been rather clumsily, I believe, inserted into the Marvel Universe are, the change to what the acronym S.H.I.E.L.D. stands for and a Black(ish) Nick Fury.
Now I remember reading an article written by the great Stan Lee in which he stated that when he first created S.H.I.E.L.D., he came up with what the acronym stood for. (Now I can't remember what that was and I don't intend to spend the next couple of weeks going through my thousands of back issues of Marvel comics to find the article of which I speak and in which it is printed.) He then said, in the article (to the best of my recollection) that he forgot, so he came up with Strategic Hazard Intervention, Espionage and Logistics Directorate. This is the acronym that S.H.I.E.L.D. has for a long while and until about a year ago stood for. Then, however, it changed to the same as in the Marvel Movieverse, Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division. The in-universe excuse is, that due to changes to and an almost total collapse of S.H.I.E.L.D, it has had to re-invent itself.
The second change, as I have already said, is the introduction of a, sort of, black Nick Fury. Now Nick Fury in the Movieverse is played by Samuel L. Jackson, who, at times, does a fairly good job. Movie Nick Fury is based on the Nick Fury from Marvels Ultimate Universe (an alternate reality re-invention of the biggest properties that Marvel have.) Ultimate Nick Fury seemed to some readers to be a cross between the aforementioned Mr. Jackson and Avery Brooks (The awesome Captain Sisko from Star Trek Deep Space 9.). When this was brought to my attention, I decided that I would much rather see Avery Brooks in the Marvel films than Samuel L. Jackson, because I believe that he is a much better actor. But I digress. So, there's a black Nick Fury in the movieverse and a white Nick Fury in the Marvel (comics) Universe. Some influential people at Marvel have decided that they need a black Nick in their comics continuity, so they invent a (to my knowledge) previously unheard of mixed-race son of white Nick Fury, complete with eye-patch.
Some of you reading this might think that I don't like change in my comics universes. The truth is, I don't mind a bit. I like certain things to remain constant but I'm fully aware that comic universes need to evolve, for things to be shaken up now and then, for things to remain fresh and even sometimes relevant to the reader. My problem with the change of the acronym and the introduction of a black-looking Fury is that I believe that Marvel have done it as a purely financial choice rather that a creative one. I think they believe that if fans of the films (of which there are a great many), decide to look in on Marvel's comic universe, they will be more likely to make purchases if they recognise elements from the films that they like. Most of the characters and story elements are already present so I think changing the S.H.I.E.L.D. acronym was unnecessary, and the introduction of Fury Senior's son was handled very clumsily. Yes, there is a black (recognisable to the fans of the movies) Nick in the Ultimate Universe but there are only about three current titles in that line now. Attracting new fans to the main Marvel Universe would be far more profitable, what with its much greater range of titles, than, to the Ultimate one.
It may seem like I'm nit picking (certainly about S.H.I.E.L.D.) but it bugs me that Marvel have, it seems, put profit above creativity and continuity, which I feel is a bit of a slap in the face to long time fans of Marvel comics.