If you had to choose one thing to criticize about Captain America: Civil War, it probably wouldn't be something along the lines of the cast being too small, or there not being enough characters in the massive superhero ensemble.
But though Civil War managed to fit in a hell of a lot of characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe — the Captain America and Avengers films, specifically — there were still a few key characters missing from the roster. One of whom is not a superhero, but the man who brought the Avengers together in the first place.
Yes, we speak of course of Nick Fury, whose Ultimate comics version was actually designed to look like the man who would later go on to portray his on-screen counterpart, Samuel L. Jackson.
Now, it might not seem immediately strange for Fury to be absent during Civil War. He went AWOL following his supposed death during the previous Captain America movie, The Winter Soldier, and was only present in a cameo role during [The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](tag:293035), which you can view below:
But still, even though S.H.I.E.L.D. was pretty much wiped out as a governmental organization during The Winter Soldier, Fury did set up the Avengers Initiative in the first place. And we did wonder why neither Nick Fury nor Commander Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) showed up to sort out the kids' fight in the playground at any point.
There is a solid answer to this, though it's sadly logistical. According to Civil War co-writer Christopher Markus, bringing Fury into the conflict would've raised more questions than his presence would've resolved:
"We called him, but he let the line blink. Primarily it felt like one too many possible opinions. We didn't want him to take one side or the other, because that's not his place in the universe. And then we didn't want another, 'Is he still with the government? Is he opposed to the government but supporting the government?' It got to be the potential for a lot more polemic discussion that the movie did not have room for."
They're not wrong — exactly where Fury stands both in political terms and in regard to the Avengers is still a very fuzzy gray area. He went underground at the end of The Winter Soldier to continue exposing covert HYDRA agents, but we haven't heard much from him since.
While S.H.I.E.L.D. is now officially good and dead in the wider MCU, in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series is still alive as a covert, off the books operation. Fury makes a few appearances in Season 1 of the show to hand over the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. mantle to Agent Phil Coulson, but he's far from being officially back in the field.
However, he popped up again at the conclusion of Age of Ultron at the New Avengers Facility, presumably to assist Black Widow and Captain America in the training of the new recruits. What he's been up to between Age of Ultron and Civil War though is still a matter of much mystery.
According to other screenwriter Stephen McFeely, we might find out the answers to those questions soon enough though, as it's pretty likely that we'll see Nick Fury returning for Avengers: Infinity Wars in some way or another.
Maybe it's a good thing that he wasn't there during Civil War though — likely the conflict would've been over much faster if he'd been there to wrangle the "kids," as Markus says:
"[Fury's] the guy who put it together. He's been the sort of parent figure to the Avengers. Let the parent go away, and see if the kids can handle this. See if the kids can be who they're supposed to be without that governing voice. Um... and they didn't do that good of a job."
And that there is what we like to call an understatement.
Where do you think Nick Fury has been? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!
Source: LA Times