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What does Nick Fury have to do with Peter Griffin?

May 28, 2010

So what is it that the grizzled, cigar-chomping elder of the Marvel Universe has in common with the stupid, bumbling patriarch of Family Guy?  The simple answer is “ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.”  But then you have the convoluted workings of my brain, where nothing is simple.  Here’s the three-step stream of consciousness that linked the two of them together for me.

First, on Tuesday I purchased this issue of Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos:

After I bought it I found out that it was a cover-and-all reprint of an earlier issue from the series.  Oh well.  Still, I really like Jack Kirby’s depiction of a harried and tattered Fury, beset and trapped by his enemies.  This dredged up another Kirby image in my mind, one from his later tenure at DC.  Here’s step two of my mental journey, New Gods #8:

There are some obvious similarities here.  Both Fury and Terrible Turpin are cornered, their postures are similar, both have seen better sartorial days, and both characters are apparently facing pretty long odds.  The big difference between the two is that Turpin is wearing a shirt, or rather what’s left of a shirt.  It was Turpin’s overall state of disheveledness that made a light go on in the dim recesses of my noggin, and brought me to the last stage of this brief trek.

If you’ve ever watched Family Guy — and I realize the show’s humor isn’t for everybody, though I think it’s geared pretty nicely to those in my demographic — you know that, every once in a while, out of nowhere, Peter squares off against a giant chicken.  They punch and kick and generally wail on each other through buildings, on planes, on boats, wherever, in colossal contretemps that parody big budget Hollywood smash ’em ups.  By the end Peter comes out on top, but after every donnybrook he’s bloodied and bruised with his shirt and pants ripped.  Here’s a couple of images to illustrate what I’m babbling about:

Terrible Turpin’s look on that New Gods cover made me think of this, and that’s how Nick Fury and Peter Griffin came together for me.  I guess that this is one of those weird mental crossovers that you get every once in a while.  Or that I get every once in a while.

Just thought that I’d share this with you folks.

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