Black Nick Fury: A Bridge Too Far?
While discussing Thor in Episode 14, Vernon and Kamau expressed some concern over the casting of Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury in the recent crop of Marvel films. In Mr. Jackson’s defense (because I’m scared of him) it should be noted that those films draw more from the “Ultimate” line of Marvel books, a recent-ish creation featuring classic characters with origins tweaked for the modern age.
The “Ultimate” version of Nick Fury was not only black, but intentionally designed to look like Samuel L. Jackson specifically (they even got his consent because the likeness was so obvious). That led to Jackson signing his nine picture deal with Marvel, so it could be the case that Marvel deliberately went after him as part of a long-term strategy. Either way, Marvel and the company’s writers made the decision before the movies were officially a part of the equation and casting anyone else would be crazy now.
On the other hand, the issues with the character’s shaky origins still stand. Ultimate Nick Fury is a Super-Soldier like Captain America who fought alongside Wolverine in WWII and is apparently ageless, but I don’t know how much they’ve gone into the seemingly unrealistic nature of a black soldier being given the serum to begin with. I guess they decided he was “one of the good ones”—must be nice.