#20-31 "Enemy of the State" & "Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D." (2004-2005)
Writer: Mark Millar
Pencils: John Romita Jr.
Inker: Klaus Janson
Colorist: Paul Mounts
Letterer: Randy Gentile
is killed and resurrected as a brainwashed assassin for the triumvirate
of Hydra, the Hand and the mutants known as the
Dawn of the White Hand. Wolverine goes on a berserker killing spree
Northstar, and scores of S.H.I.E.L.D. & Hydra agents as victims to his
Eventually Wolverine is put down, but attempts to rehabilitate him
aboard the helicarrier are cut short as Hydra launches an all-out
assault on S.H.I.E.L.D., downing the helicarrier and nearly killing Nick
Fury. Wolverine comes to his senses and blazes a trail of vengeance
through the ranks of Hydra, and the Hand, finally setting his sights
on mastermind behind the whole plot, the mysterious Gorgon. With Nick
Fury hospitalized, Wolverine and S.H.I.E.L.D. unleash a war on Hydra and
Wolverine embarks on a bloody revenge.
Fury appears in issues #20-27, 29-31
by Baron Von Strucker (deposed as Supreme Hydra).
appearance of Baroness Elsbeth Von Strucker, previously unmentioned
of the Baron. Its unclear if she is the mother of
either Werner, Andrea, or Andres Von Strucker.
Baroness' role in financing Hydra (since 1957) is vague with respect
continuity regarding the origins of the organization.
appearances by Fury on both covers to #27;
the Greg Land cover a homage to Steranko's classic Nick
Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. #4.
helicarrier is identified as Black Hawk through
its crash in #27.
Only the specialized carrier Behemoth
previously borne a name in the Godzilla series.
A new helicarrier is 16 months away from construction
at story's end.
Dum is acting commander following Fury's injuries.
injuries include a pole through his ribs, leading to his recovering
with, in his words, "new teeth and lungs"
had three Sentinels recovered from Russia in storage, reprogrammed
to obey orders through voice commands. All three were lost.
in Wolverine: Enemy of the State and Wolverine:
Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. TPBs
all out S.H.I.E.L.D. versus Hydra war is the backdrop for a bloody romp for two of
Marvel's most dangerous warriors. Millar crafts a pretty good plot
which seems an interesting counterpoint to the subdued and clandestine
take on S.H.I.E.L.D. seen in Bendis' Secret War miniseries. Shades of the
90's S.H.I.E.L.D. storyline, with Hydra's assault on S.H.I.E.L.D. Central and the
helicarrier, but without so much impact as no supporting S.H.I.E.L.D. players
are on hand. Wherein those classic issues featured Fury, front and
center with a strong supporting cast around him, this story
shortchanges the impact on the agency and (understandably) centers the
focus on Wolverine. The final issues of the arc deliver
rapid-action and large scale action for S.H.I.E.L.D. unseen in some years.
The titanic struggle rival
those seen in the classic Strange Tales with larger then life props
the Sentinels and the helicarrier.
Considering the new addition to Von Strucker's history with
a previously unmentioned wife, its surprising that it would
be to the character's
detriment. His appearance
in the crossover in Thunderbolts #4 aside, Von Strucker is all but emasculated
by Millar's storyline. Portrayed as a near impotent aging dandy whose
wife cheats on him in plain sight, its a mystery to me why
a villain with such a rich history
would be treated this way. Its very hard to reconcile the Baron, who's
single-minded vendetta against Fury fueled those classic Strange
Tales, the best issues of S.H.I.E.L.D. V2 and highlights of Sgt Fury & His Howling Commandos would
be the same Von Strucker who would willfully succumb to a Hydra execution
by the Gorgon.
Or perhaps that was the Baron's plan all along?
Ironically Nick Fury also seems sidelined for most of the good action, even Dum
Dum is moved to mention how wrong it feels to be without Fury on the final assault.
Fury lying in bed for the final two issues, waiting for sure death to come to
him in moments, one forgives his brief turn toward MAX territory with his final
I'd like to think Fury had a shotgun hidden somewhere just in case Wolverine
didn't make it in just the nick of time.
This story lacks any real emotional weight and probably didn't need
be dragged over so many issues,
but its still a kick-ass story overall and surely ranks as one of the
better S.H.I.E.L.D./Hydra wars in recent memory.