Battle Scars #4-6 (Oct 2011 - Mar 2012)
Writer: Chris Yost, Cullen Bunn, and Matt Fraction
Artists: Scott Eaton
Inker: Andrew Hennesy
Letterer: Joe Sabino

Marcus Johnson comes from a tour of duty in Afghanistan to learn that his mother has been murdered, and soon thereafter is hunted down by the likes of Taskmaster and Deadpool. Johnson shrugs off SHIELD protection and probes the mystery of his mother's death with help from his friend, "Cheese" and eventually comes face to face with Nick Fury.

I am going to be honest, considering the directives behind this story, it was not going to be easy for me to like this story at all. It doesn't help that its so bad. I can't really understand why we need an African American Nick Fury to replace a white Nick Fury, just because the movies have Sam Jackson playing him. I honestly feel it would have been better to just start drawing Fury like Jackson in all the comics without explanation, because this convoluted mess is just insulting. Marcus Johnson as a character is not bad, to Yost's credit, but the requirements of the story turn him into a bad joke by the last issue. Why in the world would he suddenly give up the name he's had since birth to be called Nick Fury? The machinations done to Johnson to have him lose his eye and hair are silly. Shoehorning Coulson from the Marvel Cinematic is also awkward given that he is never drawn like actor Clark Gregg and the nickname of "Cheese" doesn't help. The inclusion of Taskmaster and later Orion from Leviathan are the only elements that feel organic, and in the case of the latter, its a nice nod to the otherwise ignored Secret Warriors series. The appearances of Captain America and Deadpool are unnecessary and can someone tell me why does Fury bother donning the old Scorpio costume? (its not to hide his identity. Who else is going to do that?) They gave Nick Fury a son before, and it generated some good stories, but the addition of Johnson/Fury Jr. is plainly not made to enhance the character of Fury at all. If we get stories where Fury mentors Johnson, then all this might be worth my time, but I have the feeling this more to push off old Fury. On the positive side, the art is solid stuff and the action on display here is really good. I was glad to see the Secret Warriors status quo continued here, and Leviathan is too good an evil organziation to not use more often.

But the good is not enough to balance out what I didn't like in the story.