Nick Fury holds the military rank of colonel in the original canon of the Marvel universe. In the new Marvel Movie Universe, is Fury still Colonel Fury? I only remember him being referred to as "Director Fury" in the Avengers film.

  • It isn’t mentioned below that I can see, but in the Captain Marvel movie he says he reached the rank of full blown colenel in the army. After that, presumably he left the military.
    – Darren
    Commented Jun 16, 2020 at 9:54

4 Answers 4


Short Answer: probably not.

Long Answer: The cinematic version (Earth 199999) of Nick Fury has not had his past fully revealed as of yet. The Earth 616 Fury is the one who is a colonel, having served in WW2.

The Ultimate Nick Fury, whom the cinematic version is largely based on, is a colonel and a war hero, having participated in the Cold and Gulf wars in some capacity.

It's important to remember that S.H.I.E.L.D is not a military division despite having access to equipment and assets otherwise only available to military. The Earth 616 version was originally a law-enforcement version (which might have ranks such as colonels), but has since been updated to being a government agency, which typically do not have those ranks. Similarly, Ultimate SHIELD was a military organization. The Earth 199999 version, however, was founded by Howard Stark and possibly Fury - implying that it has never been a military organization.

  • 3
    Additional proof toward your assertion: General Ross treats Fury as an equal and goes to his bosses, rather than just ordering him to turn over the things Ross wants. Commented Feb 6, 2013 at 8:27
  • General Talbot treats Coulson somewhat differently :)
    – OrangeDog
    Commented Jun 16, 2020 at 9:45

In Captain America: Civil War during the ending scene if you observe Fury's grave you will see that "Col. Nicholas J. Fury" is written.

Gravestone marked with the flag of the USA, with the text: Col. Nicholas J. Fury | "The path of the righteous man..." Ezekiel 25:17

  • 3
    As seen in Winter Soldier; reddit.com/r/MovieDetails/comments/72udq6/…
    – Valorum
    Commented Apr 11, 2020 at 10:50
  • I took the liberty of adding in a similar picture to the one Valorum referenced. This evidence really takes this answer to the next level.
    – Skooba
    Commented Apr 11, 2020 at 16:48

My guesstimate is that Colonel was his highest rank before joining S.H.I.E.L.D., and though it is unclear what he was referred to as before becoming its Director, both titles may now be applicable.

In all of the official MCU comics up until at least about the end of Hulk and Iron Man 2, he is almost exclusively referred to as Colonel Fury, even by Coulson:

Agent Coulson addresses "Director" Fury, with the words "What do you think, Colonel Fury?"

  • -MCU Fury, that is. Hah: These down arrows resemble Iron Man 2’s chest reactor :p Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 21:50
  • 1
    That's certainly the case with Nick Fury, Sr. in the comics. But, are you aware of any MCU reference to him as a Colonel? I believe that's what the question asks for.
    – RDFozz
    Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 22:02
  • -Actually yes, as that's what confused me enough to look this up: In all of the official MCU comics up until at least about the the end of hulk and iron man 2, he is almost exclusively referred to as Colonel Fury, even by Coulson :o![Agent Coulson addresses "Director" Fury ](i.sstatic.net/s2378.png) Commented Feb 24, 2018 at 23:39
  • One of the problems here is that these early tie-in comics had a lot of continuity problems. One of the early Iron Man tie-in comics had a scene where Coulson mentions the name "SHIELD" instead of the longer full name, and Fury says that they'd never thought of using the abbreviated name before. This fits with the gag "we're working on a shorter name" from IM1, but doesn't fit at all when you consider the rest of the MCU history.
    – phantom42
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 18:53
  • 1
    Whereas I have not yet encountered that comic, as I’m assuming it is not considered cannon (and frankly that was a pretty dumb joke in Iron Man since they had been around for some time and surely came up with the acronym first, as joked at in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s 1st episode), the name Colonel Fury comes up in any number of offically canon issues. I’ve neither encountered any other continuity concerns. Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 16:24

I'm pretty sure that the organization in the movies is not a military organization, and is similar to some of the three-letter agencies in the US. Since his authority is at least as high as a general, I think Director is the best title that fits.

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