This is the latest in a series (of indefinite length and regularity) of pieces looking at particularly odd/strange/interesting instances of retroactively connecting different comic book characters (for instance, Uncanny X-Men #268 retroactively established that Wolverine knew both Captain America and the Black Widow from World War II). Here is an archive of all of the past pieces.
Today we look at the not-so-surprising connection between Captain America and Nick Fury!
Nick Fury was introduced as a World War II character in early 1963. Captain America was re-introduced to the Marvel Universe in early 1964. So Avengers #4 was the first time that Captain America could possibly have been attached to Nick Fury.
Nick Fury joined the modern Marvel Universe in late 1963 as a Colonel working for the Central Intelligence Agency. He appeared a few times over the next year or so before late 1964's Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos #13 established that Nick Fury and Captain America knew each other.
They first meet when Cap is in his Steve Rogers secret identity. They later meet again when Cap is once again in his Rogers identity, this time going undercover so he can infiltrate a Nazi mining project (along with Bucky disguised as a Hitler Youth)...
Shortly after that issue came out (and clearly in response to that issue), Avengers #15 established their connection in the present.
Cap writes a letter to Nick Fury at the C.I.A. to see if he can get a job working for the C.I.A. (which must have been a bit surprising for Cap since the C.I.A. did not even exist in his day).
I still love how Cap thinks that Fury won't remember him. I suppose he figured Nick Fury met tons of super-famous guys dressed in a red, white and blue costume during the war (amusingly enough, through various retcons over the years, Fury likely HAS met about two dozen costumed heroes during the war).
I've written in the past about how Cap then began to dwell on Fury ignoring him over the next few months. You should really read that column to see how much Cap obsessed over Fury, including jumping for joy when some bad guys trick him into thinking Fury said yes to his letter.
In early 1965, Nick Fury began working for S.H.I.E.L.D.
Roughly a year later, Nick and Cap finally met each other in Tales of Suspense #77 (probably plotted by Jack Kirby, which likely explains Cap's more subdued approach to meeting Nick finally)...
They fight some bad guys during the issue, and basically do a bit of a mutual admiration society before they save the day and Nick Fury makes Cap the offer he was hoping for for over a year...
If YOU have a suggestion for two comic book characters who were retroactively revealed to know each other, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don't make your suggestions in the comments, please (especially about other Nick Fury examples - there are plenty of them out there!).