Throwback Thursday: Battle Scars

By Wyn Buckley

Battle Scars
Written by Christ Yost, Cullen Bunn, & Matt Fraction

First Published: November 9th, 2011

Let’s go back to 2011. The Marvel event Fear Itself was still fresh in memories. Skadi, through the villain Sinthea Schmidt, daughter of the Red Skull, cause a reign of fear across the Earth. This story starts during that chaos.

Enter Marcus Johnson, a sergeant in the United States Army –an Army Ranger, is on his second tour of duty overseas. He and his best friend, referred to as “Cheese”, are in aftermath of a fight to repel a Taliban attack. Trading jibes and just glad to be alive, Marcus receives devastating news from home. His mother has been killed during the riots and chaos caused by Skadi. He leaves immediately for home and to attend her funeral. During the funeral, we see Steve Rogers and Agent 13 watching him.

Marcus returns to his mother’s home, the place where she was killed, and discovers evidence that contradicts the reports that her death was an unfortunate one of many caused by the Fear. His mother was targeted, and soon, so is he. Marcus is swept up into the world of superheroes as he tries to find out why every B-list super villain is coming out of the woodwork to kill him. The greatest secret of the Marvel universe is quickly unraveled; Marcus Johnson is the son of none other than Nick Fury.

Marcus inherited the Infinity Serum from his father, and the supervillain Orion plans to duplicate the serum using Marcus’ blood. Teaming up with a father he thought was dead and his best friend, Marcus must defeat Orion. Which he does, of course, because he’s our hero.

Marcus Johnson survives and takes up his birth name, Nick Fury Jr., and joins the new S.H.I.E.L.D. Phil “Cheese” Coulson joins, too.

I love this book because of its unique introduction of a more MCU-esque Nick aimed at fans of the movies. Marcus repeatedly is overwhelmed by suddenly being a part of a world of superheroes, something that feels authentic and genuine in this book. It also is a book I love rereading every couple of months.

If you enjoy Battle Scars, some titles you should also check out are:

  • Secret Avengers; the Nick Spencer and Ales Kot runs.

o   Spencer’s run focuses on a conspiracy and heavily shadowed operation coming out of AIM Island. This run also features Clint Barton, Natasha Romanoff, and Bobbi Morse as part of a rather dark run that I mostly enjoy. I do wish the ending had lead into a book for Bobbi, Daisy Johnson, and Bucky Barnes.

o   Kot’s run is very funny and zany. Adds Jessica Drew to the cast [though we sadly lose the amazing Mockingbird from the line-up]. Something is causing another universe to open, and our secret(ish) Avengers are working to stop it.

  • Fury Shield 50th Anniversary One-Shot: Nick is swept up in a Hydra time-travel plot, and ends up back in the 1960s and meets… Nick Fury. Father and son reconnect over generations and team-up to stop Hydra.