The trade paperback for Battle Scars was recently released. This is the 6 issue series about Marcus Johnson. Who could be the most important man in the Marvel Universe.
Just be warned. There are spoilers ahead.
Battle Scars is written by Christ Yost, Cullen Bunn and Matt Fraction. It was illustrated by Scot Eaton.
Marcus Johnson is an Army Ranger. While being deployed in Afghanistan he gets the call that his mother was killed, so he returns home for her funeral. After her funeral he goes over to her house to find out why she was killed. As Marcus starts gathering some clues, on why it happened. He’s attacked. By Taskmaster. He fights Taskmaster the best that he can, but he takes an arrow in the shoulder.
Taskmaster is about to deliver the killing blow to Marcus when he is saved, by Captain America. Marcus Johnson must be pretty important to be saved by Cap and a bunch of S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives.
Captain America saves the day. Marcus is safe in the hands of S.H.I.E.L.D. Taskmaster has been apprehended.
While Marcus is at S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters, he realizes there is more to his life’s story than what he’s always believed. When S.H.I.E.L.D. doesn’t give him the answers he wants, he uses his training to escape, and go into hiding.
Now everybody is looking for Marcus Johnson. Serpent Society, S.H.I.E.L.D., Captain America, even Deadpool gets into the action.
With the odds against Marcus, he contacts his Ranger buddy “Cheese” to come back from Afghanistan to help. Marcus and Cheese finally find out who is after him, and it turns out to be an old enemy of Nick Fury. But why would Nick Fury’s enemy want Marcus?
It’s because it is his son.
Marcus didn’t know the real truth about his mother. She was a C.I.A. agent and worked with Nick Fury. One thing lead to another and she became pregnant with Nick Fury’s child. To protect them, Nick had them go into hiding.
Being Nick Fury’s son isn’t the only thing that makes Marcus special. His blood is very special too. For years Nick Fury took the Infinity Formula to stay young and strong. Marcus’ blood naturally has the Infinity Formula in it. Making him almost super human (but not quite). This is what Nick Fury’s enemies want. Marcus’ blood.
Marcus and Nick are both tortured by the bad guys. Nick can withstand torture, Marcus can too until they cut his eye out (so they can see the family resemblance).
Marcus escapes his captors, grabs some weapons then goes on a bloody rampage against the bad guys.
Cheese leads some of the Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D. to where Nick and Marcus are being held. They are rescued and the Marvel Universe has its newest hero.
It is revealed that Marcus Johnson’s birth name is Nick Fury Jr. He adopts that name for his new life. Cheese joins S.H.I.E.L.D. as well. Of course they can’t call him Agent Cheese, so they have to use his real name, Phil Coulson.
Finally… Phil Coulson has made it into the Marvel Comics Universe.
On a previous Undervalued Spotlight, Walt talked about the importance of the new Nick Fury. Many people know Nick Fury as an African American character. The Nick Fury in the movies (Marvel Cinematic Universe) and the Ultimate Universe is black. But the Nick Fury in the Marvel Comics Universe had been the same character since the early 60’s.
Battle Scars is a way to introduce a more recognizable character to today’s reading audience. If you’ve watched the movies you recognize Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, not some white guy.
Battle Scars is also an important book too because of the introduction of Phil Coulson, another Marvel Cinematic Universe character. Agent Coulson is a hugely popular character from the movies. Clark Gregg was great at the role, which I think helped the popularity of the character. Now with Agent Coulson in the comics universe, I see some great stories about S.H.I.E.L.D. in the future.
I think Battle Scars will turn out to be one of those important comic book you just need to own. These two characters who are well known from the movies, should be in the comics universe. It helps the comics relate to the movies, and vice versa. Plus it gives the movies fans characters that they can relate to, and maybe they’ll jump into the comics universe.