In the 60s with James Bond, the Man from U.N.C.L.E. and other superspies at the height of their popularity Marvel comics had the inspiration of retooling their tough-as-nails World War II character Sergent Fury into the greatest superspy of them all: Nick Fury Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
This book covers Nick's earliest adventures and his first encounters with sinister organizations like Hydra, AIM, the Druid and the Secret Empire. The creative minds of Jack Kirby and Stan Lee are on fine display as Fury visits flying aircraft carriers, drives around a flying Porsche, and battles all sorts of insane schemes to rule to world. All the while he does it while speaking in an outrageous Noo Yawk accent and griping about how things were a lot simpler back in the war.
Somehow the crazy mix works. Fury serves as our hero and as our point of view character, always commenting on how crazy the situations are and somehow always getting the job done.
So why only 3 stars? For one thing the art in this book is rather lackluster, Kirby provided layouts but the art was finished by a host of mediocre draftsmen. For another it ends just as the series was getting good, when Jim Sterenko's innovative layouts and designs would really make it a classic. Lastly, there is a much cheaper and better reprint out there in the form of 'Nick Fury Agent of SHIELD' which covers most of Sternko's run and many of the classic moments people still remember today.
So unless you are devoted fan of the character and want to see where it all began, the Marvel Masterworks edition is really not for you.