The modern-day Fury, initially a CIA agent, debuted a few months later in Fantastic Four #21 (Dec. 1963). In Strange Tales #135 (Aug. 1965), the character was transformed into a spy like James Bond and leading agent of the fictional espionage agency S.H.I.E.L.D. The character makes frequent appearances in Marvel books as the former head of S.H.I.E.L.D. and as an intermediary between the U.S. government or the United Nations and various superheroes. It is eventually revealed that Fury takes a special medication called the Infinity Formula that halted his aging and allows him to be active despite being nearly a century old.
Nick Fury appears in several Marvel series set in alternate universes, as well as multiple animated films, television shows, and video games based on the comics. The character was first portrayed in live action by David Hasselhoff in the 1998 television movie Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Samuel L. Jackson later signed a nine-picture deal to portray the character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise, first appearing in the 2008 film Iron Man. Jackson also cameos in multiple episodes of the related Marvel television show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. A version of the character appearing in Marvel's Ultimate Marvel imprint was based on Jackson's appearance and screen persona, well before he was cast in the role.The recognizability of the character portrayed by Jackson in the films later led Marvel to retire the original character, replacing him with his African American son Nick Fury, Jr., who like the Ultimate Marvel version is patterned on Jackson.
Fury is a seasoned unarmed and armed combat expert, was a heavyweight boxer in the army (during World War II), and holds a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and a brown belt in Jiu Jitsu. He has further honed his unarmed combat skills sparring with Captain America. The character is a combat veteran of three wars, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam Conflict, as well as numerous "military adviser" missions and clandestine operations ("a dozen conflicts you've never even heard of"). He is trained as a paratrooper, Ranger, a demolitions expert, vehicle specialist (including aircraft and seagoing vessels), and a Green Beret.
Fury has access to a wide variety of equipment and weaponry designed by S.H.I.E.L.D. technicians. He wears a S.H.I.E.L.D. uniform made of 9-ply Kevlar (able to withstand ballistic impact up to .45 caliber bullets) and a Beta cloth (type C), a fire-resistant material, which has a kindling temperature of 1,700 °F (930 °C). Fury uses various types of handguns, including a .15 caliber needle gun, a government issue .45 caliber automatic, a captured German Luger in 9mm Parabellum, a modified semi-automatic Walther PPK in 9 mm Parabellum, and the Ingram MAC-10 machine pistol in .45 ACP.