Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, “full-bird colonel turned spy turned S.H.I.E.L.D. agent”
Rosamond, California, to Louisiana, June 1995
Film: Captain Marvel
Release Date: February 27, 2019
Directed by: Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck
Costume Designer: Sanja Milkovic Hays
Carol Danvers: Nicholas Joseph Fury… you have three names?
Nick Fury: Everybody calls me Fury. Not Nicholas. Not Joseph. Not Nick. Just Fury.
Carol Danvers: What does your mom call you?
Nick Fury: Fury.
Carol Danvers: What do you call her?
Nick Fury: Fury.
Carol Danvers: What about your kids?
Nick Fury: If I have them? They’ll call me Fury.
The 21st film released by Marvel Studios for the Marvel Cinematic Universe spends more time with Nick Fury than previous entries, giving us an ostensible origin story for the black-clad badass who’s been at the core of the MCU since his first appearance in the post-credits scene of Iron Man. As Captain Marvel is set in 1995, decades before the primary action of the MCU, Samuel L. Jackson was digitally de-aged to portray the character, then seen as a much lower-level agent in the S.H.I.E.L.D. bureaucracy and—perhaps most surprising—with both of his eyes intact.
Fury is called to a scene of suburban destruction in Los Angeles after “Vers” (Brie Larson) crash-lands on planet C-53… known to some as Earth. It’s June 1995, providing the opportunity to load the film with ’90s nostalgia from Bon Jovi and Blockbuster to No Doubt and Nerf guns.
After discovering that there was some credence to what “Blockbuster girl” had told him about an infiltration of shape-shifting Skrull, Fury follows Carol Danvers and her stolen motorcycle out into the desert town of Rosamond, California, about 20 miles outside of L.A., where she’s chasing down her own distorted memories at Pancho’s Bar. To ensure that Fury’s not a Skrull, Vers puts him through the motions, asking him to recall his history from his birth in Huntsville, Alabama (on July 4, 1950, according to his S.H.I.E.L.D. ID), through his military and spy career that consisted primarily of service in cities starting with the letter “B”, up to the then-present day in June 1995, having spent six years since the end of the Cold War “trying to figure out where our future enemies are coming from.”
Following their initially uneasy alliance Fury and Danvers develop a trusting bond as they make their airborne escape from the Project Pegasus facility, searching for more answers from Danvers’ ex-USAF pal Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch) who now lives with her daughter in rural Louisiana… “due east, hang a right at Memphis,” as Fury navigates. Along for the ride is Goose, the stray cat—or, uh, flerken—that Fury befriended inside the Project Pegasus facility, and the eventual culprit behind Fury’s famous ocular misfortune.
What’d He Wear?
Now working off the grid for his solo mission to follow Vers, Nick Fury takes an off-duty approach to dressing, still wearing a tie but hardly looking as businesslike as he did in his previous charcoal suit, white shirt, and monochromatic striped tie. Vers has also changed into street clothes, grabbing a well-worn motorcycle jacket, Nine Inch Nails T-shirt (consistent with her previously seen taste in civilian clothes), distressed jeans, and a plaid flannel shirt around her waist from a mannequin before heading out into the desert. “I see you’ve changed it up a bit… grunge is a good look for you!” Fury assures her, later offering her a baseball cap with the S.H.I.E.L.D. logo to ease their infiltration of the Project Pegasus facility.
Carol Danvers: (sarcastic) Does announcing your identity on clothing help with the covert part of your job?
Nick Fury: Said the space soldier who was wearing a rubber suit. Lose the flannel.
While Vers may have been the actual fighter pilot in a past life, Fury takes a sartorial cue from the classic American flight jacket with his zip-up blouson, constructed in a cool shade of tobacco brown suede.
Fury’s blouson jacket has a shirt-style collar, a zip-up front, and is gently elasticized around the hem. The jacket has slanted hand pockets and squared single-button cuffs that Fury wears unbuttoned.
Jackets like this are frustratingly hard to find as the dominating style of suede casual outerwear seems to be varsity or bomber jackets inspired by the MA-1, while non-sueded leather seems to maintain a stronghold on collared blousons. Earlier this year, the Theory “Noland” suede jacket in tobacco brown offered a promising alternative, slightly differing from Fury’s jacket with details like horizontal seams across the chest and ribbed cuffs and hem, but the jacket is almost impossible to find new, as it’s no longer available from Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, or Saks Fifth Avenue. MR PORTER and MODESENS seem to still offer the jacket. Other alternatives include the Alfredo Rifugio brown suede blouson or the Officine Generale tobacco suede jacket. If you don’t mind the addition of a set-in zippered breast pocket, check out the “Palerme” jacket by Mango or this Schott jacket made from unlined roughout cowhide.
For fans of sartorial-themed observances, October 18 is celebrated as the Day of the Cravat in Croatia, where the modern necktie was ostensibly developed during the 16th century… so I’d like to extend a very happy Cravat Day to all of my Croatian readers. On that note, let’s take a look at Nick Fury’s neckwear.
Fury unites the colors of his outfit with a luxurious silk tie striped in the uphill direction with brown and dark navy block stripes, each separated by a thin triple stripe set that echoes the wider stripes beneath it. When a defeated Fury finds himself at the mercy of Keller (Ben Mendelsohn), the tie is flipped back against his chest, revealing the distinctive gold-embroidered branding on the inside of the blade that clearly identifies the tie as a product of Italian menswear brand Canali.
While this particular tie appears to no longer be included in Canali’s luxurious catalog, the brand offers a timeless woven silk tie with blue double stripes against a brown ground.
Once Fury is decidedly aligned with Vers and Talos, he ditches the tie—perhaps symbolic of his abandonment of his previous bureaucratic role with S.H.I.E.L.D.—and is never seen sporting one again.
When Fury removes his jacket, we also get a better look at his shoulder holster, a pebbled tan leather rig with a holster under the left armpit for his standard-issue SIG-Sauer P226 semi-automatic pistol.
Fury’s shirt is charcoal with a blue sheen, perhaps indicative of a silk or high-twist cotton construction, with a narrow collar, plain front, and adjustable button cuffs.
While it may be possible sacrilege to some, the shirt reminds me of some of the inexpensive off-the-rack styles such as the Van Heusen “Flex” in colors like charcoal or night blue, each available for only $37.99. On the much higher-end, Brioni includes an all-cotton “formal shirt” for $625 in a deep shade of blue that could be an update of the version that Brioni ambassador Samuel L. Jackson wore on screen. Should that be too rich for some (as it would be for me), Charles Tyrwhitt offers a non-iron twill shirt in dark navy, perhaps bluer than Fury’s screen-worn shirt but far more affordable than the Brioni option at only $79.
Fury wears plain dark gray sharkskin flat front trousers with slightly slanted side pockets, jetted back pockets, and plain-hemmed bottoms. Through the trouser belt loops, he wears a black leather belt—edge-stitched with black thread—that fastens on the front with a polished steel single-prong buckle.
Fury wears black leather mid-calf plain-toe boots with a single zipper on the inside of each. Samuel L. Jackson himself had worn a pair of similar Balenciaga boots for a recent Esquire cover shoot, though this brand would certainly be too “high fashion” for Nick Fury, particularly the branded $1,200 “booties” currently available as of October 2019.
- Barbanera vintage calfskin “Cash” boots (The Rake, $610)
- Florsheim “Medfield” zip boots (Amazon, $99.99)
- FRYE “Mark” inside-zip boots (Amazon, $98.40)
- Laredo “Long Haul” boots (Amazon, $114.95)
- Nunn Bush “Bristol” bicycle-toe boots (Amazon, $68)
- Rockport “Toloni” zip boots (Amazon, $128.25)
- Stacy Adams “Santos” side-zipper boots (Amazon, $89.95)
While the uppers appear to be more fashion than form, the boots have classic lugged rubber outsoles that are more practical for an action-oriented agent like Nick Fury who would benefit from their traction rather than slipping and sliding across the floors of the Project Pegasus archives, though the heels are hard leather. Based on the glimpse we see between the tops of his mid-calf boots and the bottoms of his trousers, Fury appears to be wearing tall black cotton lisle socks.
Fury’s sunglasses are the most Samuel L. Jackson-like part of his wardrobe as the actor notably wears round-framed shades for many off-screen appearances. Image Optics confirmed on a post-release Facebook post that Jackson wears a pair of John Varvatos V605 with gray/crystal plastic frames and round gray lenses by De Rigo, credited to property master Drew Petrotta. These John Varvatos sunglasses are also available on Amazon.
We don’t get a very close look at Fury’s black 24-hour bezel watch, but it may possibly be a Rolex GMT Master II like this $11,000 watch at Big Watch Buyers, which has black PVD plating on the stainless 40mm case, ceramic rotating bezel, and Oyster-style link bracelet with fold-clasp closure. The 24-hour bezel is marked with white hour markers (numeric for even numbers, dots for odd numbers), and the black dial has white hour indicators.
According to Bob’s Watches, the 24-hour rotating bezel first appeared on the Rolex GMT Master when this iconic timepiece was introduced via partnership with Pan Am in 1954 with an additional fourth hand to efficiently use this feature, originally developed for pilots and navigators on long flights, adding yet another aviation-inspired piece to Nick Fury’s wardrobe.
The final scene before the credits finds Fury back in Los Angeles and back behind his desk at S.H.I.E.L.D., but the burgundy turtleneck that has replaced his staid white shirt and tie—as well as his new makeshift eyepatch—tells us that he’s evolving from the desk-bound agent that started the story. Inspired by Carol Danvers’ USAF call-sign from her file, he renames his plan for “more heroes” from The Protector Initiative to The Avenger Initiative, kicking off his plan for “a response team comprised of the most able individuals humankind has to offer.”
The SIG-Sauer P226 seems to be the standard issue sidearm for agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., carried by Nick Fury as well as Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) and Talos while he’s impersonating S.H.IE.L.D. director Keller.
The Swiss-designed SIG-Sauer P226 was still a relatively new pistol on the U.S. market in 1995, having only been developed a dozen years earlier at a time when most American police departments were still armed with .38-caliber revolvers. As these agencies gradually began to modernize and arm their offers with semi-automatic pistols, SIG-Sauer joined Beretta and Glock among the “big three” firearm manufacturers that were being pressed into service around the country, including with the FBI.
In fact, before standardizing the .40-caliber Glock in 1998, the FBI had authorized nearly a half-dozen 9×19 mm Parabellum pistols, including the SIG-Sauer P225, P226, and P228, as well as the Beretta 92FS, Smith & Wesson 5904—and even the 10mm Smith & Wesson 1076—in the agency’s quest to replace the aging six-shot .38 Special revolvers that had proved ineffective during a deadly 1986 gunfight that had proved fatally ineffective against two heavily armed bank robbers in Miami.
What to Imbibe
After their intergalactic success against Kree warriors, Fury joins Carol, Maria, and Maria’s daughter Monica for dinner at Maria’s home. As they’re still in Louisiana, Maria serves a local beer, Abita Amber, a flagship brew from Abita Brewing Company in Abita Springs, located about 30 miles north of New Orleans.
Jim Patton and Rush Cumming founded Abita Brewing Company in 1986 and has grown to considerable nationwide popularity, with its flagship beers served in 46 U.S. states and Puerto Rico. In addition to Amber, Abita’s flagship beers include Golden, Jockamo IPA, Light, Purple Haze, Restoration Pale Ale, and Turbodog.
How to Get the Look
For our throwback introduction to Nick Fury in Captain Marvel, Fury rises above the 1995 setting with a unique outfit that adds a fashionable touch to a practical off-duty ensemble of a suede blouson jacket, dark shirt, striped tie, 24-hour watch, and zip-side boots. If not completely timeless, this aviation-inspired approach to dressing is more universal than what some men were wearing in the mid-’90s!
- Tobacco brown suede blouson jacket with shirt-style collar, zip-up front, slanted hand pockets, and single-button squared cuffs
- Charcoal blue high-twist cotton dress shirt with narrow collar, plain front, and adjustable button cuffs
- Brown and navy block-striped Italian silk tie with thin triple accent stripes
- Dark gray sharkskin flat front trousers with belt loops, slightly slanted side pockets, jetted back pockets, and plain-hemmed bottoms
- Black edge-stitched leather belt with polished steel rectangular single-prong buckle
- Black calf leather plain-toe inside-zip mid-calf boots with lugged rubber outsoles
- Black cotton lisle socks
- Tan pebbled leather shoulder holster
- John Varvatos V605 crystal/gray plastic-framed sunglasses with round gray lenses
- Black PVD-coated stainless watch with white numbers and markers on black dial and rotating 24-hour bezel with black link bracelet
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Check out the movie… and don’t cut Nick Fury’s toast diagonally.
(Thank you to my pal Jay, who gave me tickets to go see this on the night it was released in March, making this one of the few movies I’ve actually seen in theaters on the day it came out!)
Had a space invasion, big car chase, got to watch an alien autopsy… typical nine-to-five.