The events of ‘Secret Invasion’ marked the return of Nick Fury to the MCU as this was the first time he went back to action after the conclusion of ‘Avengers: Endgame.’ We learned in ‘Secret Invasion’ that he spent a long time in space, specifically inside the S.A.B.E.R. space station that the government was building. However, he suddenly returned to Earth during the events of ‘Secret Invasion.’ So why was Nick Fury in space?
Nick Fury spent years in space because he felt useless and pointless against a powerful force like Thanos. Ever since he was Blipped back into reality in the events of ‘Avengers: Endgame,’ he spent most of his time in space, specifically to work on S.A.B.E.R. to oversee its development.
Even though Fury had a really good excuse for staying away from the planet, the truth was that he felt that he had lost his touch and that he wasn’t the same old secret agent that was three steps ahead of everyone else. That was why he spent a long time in space instead of staying on Earth, where he spent most of his time before the incident with Thanos.
Fury oversaw S.A.B.E.R.
One thing that was always clear regarding the MCU is that the Earth is always in trouble from outside and inside threats. Regarding inside threats, the planet has countermeasures that allow different countries to resolve internal attacks.
But the planet was helpless when it came to attacks from extraterrestrial sources. One case in point was Thanos, who seemingly found it easy to attack the planet during the events of ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ as there was no way for the planet to defend itself when his ship arrived.
That is where S.A.B.E.R. comes in as a defensive countermeasure that the government decided to work on. The purpose of S.A.B.E.R. was to act as the planet’s first defense against any threats coming from extraterrestrial origins. In that case, one can only imagine how the planet wouldn’t have been so defenseless when Thanos’ forces attacked during the ‘Infinity War.’
The one leading S.A.B.E.R. is Nick Fury, who had been assigned to be the one to oversee the development of the organization and the S.A.B.E.R. space station just outside the planet’s orbit.
This is one of the reasons why Nick Fury was mostly in space and has been off-planet since he returned from the Blip during the events of ‘Avengers: Endgame.’ The government placed him in charge of developing this project because of his track record and experience.
Fury felt helpless
It can be quite easy to say that Fury was away from the planet because he oversaw the development of S.A.B.E.R., but it was revealed during the events of ‘Secret Invasion’ that there’s something deeper going on in his psyche of Fury.
When an MI6 agent named Sonya Falsworth captured Fury in episode 1 of ‘Secret Invasion,’ she suggested that Fury “ran” away from his responsibilities on Earth. Even the Skrulls, that relied on Fury’s word that he would find a home for them, felt that Fury abandoned them. That was one of the reasons why the Skrulls rebelled and formed a coalition that sought to take over Earth and make it their new home.
That means that Nick Fury was battling inner problems that stemmed from the events in ‘Infinity War.’ As Sonya said, Fury had lost his step and was now an old man that appeared to be a shell of his former self. It might be true that Fury is now old and no longer the same spry man he used to be. But it was his inner problems that were affecting him.
In Sonya’s words, Fury lost a part of himself when he was snapped away by Thanos, along with half of the entire universe. Fury used to be always several steps ahead of everyone else because he had countermeasures on top of countermeasures for everything that could possibly pose a threat to the planet. But he was completely helpless in ‘Infinity War.’
Nick Fury couldn’t do anything during the ‘Infinity War’ events because he didn’t even see the coming of Thanos and his army coming. We only saw him during the post-credits scene, wherein he contacted Captain Marvel before he was turned to dust by Thanos’ snap. But before he disappeared, he had no countermeasure to Thanos, especially when you look at the fact that the Children of Thanos and their ships could attack the planet without resistance from any governments.
To that end, Fury felt helpless ever since he returned from the Blip in ‘Avengers: Endgame.’ He felt that he failed to help the planet when it needed him most against such a powerful threat as Thanos. And we all know that the world didn’t return to normal after the events of the Blip, as we saw in ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ that there were terrorist organizations that were born due to the problems that arose when Bruce Banner brought half of the entire universe back using the Infinity Stones.
For someone who was always known to be strong and in control of most of the situations he found himself in, Fury felt broken and useless in a situation that he had no control over. That was why he decided to stay away from the planet ever since he returned from the Blip as he drowned himself in a new project called S.A.B.E.R. He felt that this was the only way for him to make up for the fact that he couldn’t do anything against Thanos back in ‘Infinity War’ and ‘Endgame.’
But while Fury may have focused his attention on his new project, the thing is that he still didn’t feel like he was mentally and emotionally ready. Sonya said as much when she declined Fury’s offer to team up together against the Skrulls. Fury was clearly out of shape in his mind as he was still recovering from his setbacks and failures years ago when Thanos won.
Fury returned for Talos
Even though Fury was not mentally and emotionally ready to protect the planet from the threat of the Skrulls, he still decided to return to Earth during the events of ‘Secret Invasion’ for the sake of his friend, Talos.
Talos and Nick Fury go way back because they have been friends since the events of ‘Captain Marvel,’ which happened decades ago. When Talos told Maria Hill to contact Fury and tell him to return to Earth, he obliged because he wanted to do a favor for an old friend with a personal stake in the rebellion of the Skrulls.
As such, the events of ‘Secret Invasion’ and Fury’s involvement in the entire mess seem quite personal to him. As seen during the events of episode 1, his return to the planet was unsanctioned, as the president of the U.S. was surprised that Fury would abandon his post on S.A.B.E.R. to return to Earth. And it is possible that he wanted to help regarding the Skrulls because he understood that this was one of the situations he knew he had control over due to his experience with handling the Skrulls.
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