Here are my picks for the top five most iconic covers featuring Nick Fury (with iconic being determined by what covers are most established and most recognized when it comes to Nick Fury, with a preference towards covers that are homaged a lot). This is not a BEST cover list and due to the very nature of icons, very few (if any) recent covers will be on the list. A notable exception to the rules is that I don’t count covers from a character’s first appearance (which isn’t applicable to all characters, of course, just those who appeared on the cover of the comic they debuted in), as those tend to be automatically iconic so they’re boring. Here‘s a list of all characters featured so far.
Before the list begins, here is the first cover appearance of Nick Fury, from his debut issue..
Artists: Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers
Now on to the list…
5. Artists: Jack Kirby and Frank Giacoia
I would have gone with a cover of Ultimate Nick Fury, but he really did not have a notable cover appearance for way too long for it to be actually iconic. So instead, we have the debut of Fury as the co-lead in Strange Tales, now as an Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.!
4. Artists: Herb Trimpe and Sam Grainger
This snazzy “Day in the Life” cover is not nearly as striking as Steranko’s early covers for Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., but has somehow been homaged a lot more than most of Steranko’s other covers, most recently, I believe, on a Wolverine cover.
3. Artist: Jim Steranko
This patriotic delight is a tough call for #3, as it is a more striking cover than the cover below it, but the cover below it has been homaged plenty of times…
2. Artist: Jim Steranko
The first issue of Fury’s ongoing title has been homaged often.
And it’s not like it isn’t a great cover on its own right, just noting that I like the Strange Tales cover above it more, but again, if we were going by “best looking Fury covers,” they’d ALL be Steranko covers (Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. covers #5 and 7 are the ones who would likely be on the list if I just was doing best Fury covers).
1. Artist: Jim Steranko
It’s issue #4, though, that perfectly captures Steranko’s Nick Fury era, and this one has also been homaged constantly (most recently, I believe, ALSO on a Wolverine cover!).