With Avengers: Endgame damage control now behind him, Nick Fury needs to shift his focus to cleaning up a different mess within the MCU. Since the very beginning, Col. Fury has been one of the cornerstone figures of the MCU franchise, appearing in Iron Man‘s post-credits scene to chat with Tony Stark about the Avengers Initiative. While Fury has not, and may well never, get his own MCU starring vehicle, he’s a welcome presence in many different movies and TV shows, expertly played by Samuel L. Jackson.
For the MCU’s early years, Fury spent his time running SHIELD, a high-level government organization that sought to keep track of and defend against potential threats, while also using espionage to stay one step ahead of evildoers. At least in theory, as Captain America: The Winter Soldier would reveal that SHIELD had been secretly infiltrated by Hydra agents decades prior, who had been working within the purportedly benevolent group to further decidedly more malevolent ends.
Following Hydra’s exposure within SHIELD, the once-powerful and respected organization crumbled, leaving Fury as a leader without followers to command. While the start of Phase 4 will likely see Fury finish handling Endgame‘s fallout, it shouldn’t be long before he moves on to getting the house he once ran back into order.
When last seen at the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home – following the revelation that Talos had been posing as him back on Earth – Nick Fury was shown in space, on a ship most fans assumed was connected to the formation of SWORD. That organization’s presence in WandaVision has contradicted that theory, but Fury will no doubt reemerge sooner or later in Phase 4, likely revealing what exactly he had been up to off-world. Now that humanity seems to be largely moving on from “The Blip,” Fury is clear to put his focus in Phase 4 on something he should’ve already began doing: rebuilding SHIELD.
Every impression was given at the end of The Winter Soldier that Hydra had been destroyed along with SHIELD, and with that evil influence stamped out, Fury would be wise to design a new SHIELD from the ground up, in his own image. This is especially true after seeing WandaVision‘s clearly corrupt version of SWORD, which looks to have been damaged following the death of former boss Maria Rambeau. If Hayward’s SWORD is what’s filling the void of shadowy government operatives monitoring threats now, that makes it all the more vital that Fury get SHIELD back in the mix. Fury may not be a perfect leader, but he’s a decent man deep down, and the post-Blip MCU world needs him back in a position of real authority.