Marvel’s Evil Batman Is Pushing Nick Fury Over the Edge
As the hunt for the Infinity Stones intensifies, Nick Fury finds himself subjected to brutal mental conditioning by the Marvel Universe’s dark knight.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for “Infinite Fury Part IV” by Jed MacKay, Juan Ferreyra and VC’s Joe Caramagna, from Amazing Spider-Man Annual #2, on sale now.
The Infinity Stones have steadily been resurfacing around the Marvel Universe, linked to several prominent characters, and Nick Fury has quietly led the investigation behind the reappearance of the cosmic gems. However, the master spy is not the only shadowy figure interested in the Infinity Stones, with the vigilante Nighthawk managing to stay one step ahead of Fury as the investigation escalates.
And with Fury now completely at Nighthawk’s mercy, the nocturnal member of the Squadron Supreme of America has subjected Fury to a battery of mental conditioning that may have converted the super-spy into an unwaveringly loyal ally for Nighthawk.
Learning that the figures connected to the Infinity Stones are associated with the cosmic superhero Adam Warlock, Fury was just starting to get to the bottom of the mystery of omnipotent proportions before he realized he was being hunted. This realization came just too late, with Fury’s hideout rocked by a massive explosion and the spymaster captured by Nighthawk. And with Fury bound and helpless, Nighthawk employs all the tricks he learned in the Heroes Reborn reality’s Ravencroft Institute to break his prisoner mentally and have him join him in his obsession to reshape the world as he sees fit.
As someone who has worked with S.H.I.E.L.D. for years, Nick Fury has trained his body and mind to peak of human performance for all manner of threats. And with the Marvel Universe rife with telepaths and all sorts of figures and technology that can read and rewrite minds, Fury is especially aware of how vulnerable his psyche is, particularly given the sheer amount of vitally confidential information that he holds. This makes Nighthawk being able to singlehandedly break through Fury’s mental defenses all the more impressive, subjecting him to a battery of timed light, overloading his senses before Nighthawk points out that Fury’s methodology in saving the world is flawed. As Fury’s mind starts to crack, Nighthawk offers his prisoner the means to truly change the world together, with the spy looking as if he is poised to accept.
Nighthawk briefly got to experience a world where he and his Squadron Supreme teammates were able to create a vision of the Marvel Universe where the Avengers never assembled in the first place in the crossover event Heroes Reborn. Nighthawk and his associates employed particularly brutal methodology to maintain their status as Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, empowered by the fiendish Mephisto. While the Avengers regained their memories of the old world and eventually restored reality, effectively overthrowing the Squadron Supreme, Mephisto managed to retain his power, with Nighthawk actively working to regain control of the world once more.
Nighthawk has not wasted any time in launching his plan to put himself and the Squadron Supreme back in control of the Marvel Universe, this time planning to use the Infinity Stones to gain an edge over the Avengers. With Nick Fury quickly and quietly taken off the board, Nighthawk has just gained access to the one man who holds the Marvel Universe’s greatest secrets. Fury may have endured much and trained himself to face the world’s most powerful telepaths but Nighthawk has used his experiences at Ravencroft to develop a way to break his mind, gaining one hell of a brainwashed accomplice.
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