Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury in The Marvels

Is It Just Me, or Is Nick Fury Acting Odd in ‘The Marvels’?

Samuel L. Jackson is back in his iconic role as Nick Fury in The Marvels, but there’s something off about him. The personality change he undergoes between Secret Invasion and The Marvels almost gives Skrull vibes.

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The last time viewers saw Fury was in Secret Invasion—his first solo Marvel Cinematic Universe project. The series sees Fury returning to Earth after an extended mission in space only to find that the Skrulls, a shapeshifting alien species, have launched a wide-scale invasion of the planet. Fury is forced to confront his past as it’s revealed he really dropped the ball on his duties to the Skrulls, failing to fulfill his promise to find them a home. When the series dropped, it was believed it would occur before The Marvels and serve as a lead-in to the film. Both Jackson and Secret Invasion‘s director, Ali Selim, claimed that the projects were connected, with the former even saying Secret Invasion had “to happen so that The Marvels can happen.”

However, those watching The Marvels will quickly realize that the projects aren’t connected whatsoever. There’s no mention that the Skrulls just launched a widespread invasion of Earth or that Fury seriously screwed up, and that a Skrull is now running around with all the powers of the Avengers. Instead, Fury just slips back into his old role of mentoring heroes as he guides the lead trio through their mission to stop Dar-Benn (Zawe Ashton). It’s more than just getting back to his old role, though—he’s acting like a completely different person in The Marvels than in Secret Invasion.

The Marvels Fury vs. Secret Invasion Fury

Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury in Secret Invasion

In The Marvels, Fury is very much the film’s comedic relief—which is fine. Jackson has a lot of comedic talent, and it’s hilarious hearing his banter with Carol Danvers (Brie Larson), seeing him being fully unequipped to handle three female heroes plus Kamala Khan’s (Iman Vellani) family, and watching him gush over kittens. It really works well for The Marvels’ lighthearted tone. However, it becomes problematic when we compare The Marvels‘ Fury to the Secret Invasion Fury.

In Secret Invasion, Fury is the complete opposite of who he is in The Marvels. He’s serious, gruff, hardened, weathered, angry, and remorseful. And it doesn’t seem like this is just a phase. He changed after he Blipped. When he returned five years later, he went to space to spearhead S.A.B.E.R., though it felt like his real motivation was a need to run away from everything and everyone, unable to cope with the Blip’s toll on him. Upon his return, the changes are still noticeable. He’s willing to kill in his mission to stop the Skrull and also makes the questionable decision to evade authorities and go AWOL to handle the threat himself—even though he clearly needs help.

Fury is very different in Secret Invasion than in earlier projects. However, the change makes sense as it’s the first time we saw him extensively since he disappeared in the Blip. The changes he displays actually make the Blip more realistic. It doesn’t make sense for those who disappeared not to be impacted by what happened. They were gone for five years and came back to a world that was changed and didn’t even have enough space for them anymore—they’re definitely not okay.

What’s going on with Nick Fury?

Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury in Secret Invasion

Whether Secret Invasion occurred before or after The Marvels, Fury’s drastic personality change is strange. These projects occur in close proximity to one another, considering both see him in space working on S.A.B.E.R. If The Marvels takes place before Secret Invasion, it makes the series harder to explain. Based on the state he was in when he returned to Earth, it seems like he ran away to space to be alone and try to cope. It really wouldn’t make sense if that story suddenly changed so that he was actually working with superheroes again, playing with kittens, and taking a break to go down to Earth and meet Khan’s family.

If The Marvels happens after Secret Invasion, the change is still somewhat unbelievable. During the series, he lost two of his best friends and allies, learned that one of the Avengers has been a Skrull for possibly a decade, and had to confront his biggest mistakes and regrets. Sure, by the end, he’s ready to do right by the Skrulls—but you can’t just walk away from that kind of loss, pain, and reckoning without it showing a little. Of course, people can always heal and change as many times as necessary, so he’s not limited to being terse and hardened. It’s more the fact that he doesn’t even mention or give any indication of what happened or what he might be going through that seems odd.

Are we supposed to believe Fury is just chilling with Captain Marvel after collecting her blood without permission and letting it be used to create a Super Skrull? He doesn’t want to say anything about the loss of the Skrull refugee colony after all he has been through with the Skrulls? There were still so many loose ends Fury had to tie up after Secret Invasion and so many honest conversations he needed to have. He needed to at least admit he needed help and support before heading onto the road towards healing. Something isn’t quite adding up here.

One way to explain such a drastic personality change would be if Fury is a Skrull. That would be an interesting way to trick fans after leading them to think the Skrull invasion was over. Of course, things would get pretty messy if the MCU had to figure out the timeline for him being replaced by a Skrull. Not to mention, much of Secret Invasion wouldn’t make sense anymore. Maybe he’s a Skrull … or maybe Marvel didn’t quite know what to do with Secret Invasion, so it just erased that version of Fury. It’s a shame, though, because the MCU was getting really interesting with its exploration of Fury coming back from the Blip a changed man.

(featured image: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.