Colonel RICK STONER
(at the top left)

Real NameRichard Andrew "Rick" Stoner

Identity/Class: Human soldier

Occupation: Director of SHIELD;
    former CIA investigator, soldier

Group Membership: CIA (Central Intelligence Agency), US Army Intelligence, SHIELD (Supreme Headquarters International Espionage Law-enforcement Division);

Affiliations: Tony Stark, Canadian Prime Minister at the time of SHIELD's formal founding, President of the United States at the time of SHIELD's formal founding;
    he successfully worked alongside Logan (James Howlett, aka Wolverine), but the two didn't like each other

Enemies: Jake Fury LMD, Nick Fury, HYDRA, Nazis

Known RelativesCaroline Stoner (wife/widow), Emily Stoner (daughter), Willie Stoner (son)

Aliases: Possibly Fallen Angel (see comments)
    Logan (James Howlett, later Wolverine) insultingly referred to him as "Grampa" and "Pops"

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
    formerly SHIELD headquarters;
    formerly lived in Decatur (presumably Decatur, Georgia; but possibly Illinois, Alabama, Texas, etc.)

First Appearance: (Referenced, unidentified) Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition#11 (October, 1986);
    (seen, identified) Fury#1 (1994)

Powers/Abilities: Rick Stoner was a skilled military leader and soldier. He was skilled in various forms of armed and unarmed combat, especially in the use of automatic weapons. Despite his age (see comments), he remained exceptionally fit and well built, accompanying and leading his men in combat operations. He was also a shrewd investigator.

    He was highly disciplined and eschewed vices such as alcohol, drugs, or tobacco, and he had little patience or tolerance for the use of any of these in others. He also could not tolerate disrespect, lack of proper military conduct, or failure to follow a plan or rules. He was known to smack cigars out of the mouths or hands of soldiers of lower rank. He sometimes could not control his inability to tolerate disrespect, at least once revealing his hidden presence to a group of enemies when he yelled out a response to an insult.

Height: Approximately 6'4" (see comments)
Weight: Approximately 250 lbs.
Eyes: Brown? (most images look brown, but at least one looks blue)
Hair: Dark brown (or black) with white sides and back

History:

    While working at the desk, he used strong coffee to help keep himself energized.

(Fury#1 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, Rick Stoner earned the Congressional Medal of Honor.

(Fury#1 (fb) - BTS) <1944> - Army Intelligence sent Colonel Rick Stoner to interrogate Sgt. Nick Fury regarding a confrontation with Baron (Wolfgang von) Strucker in Cherbeaux France, in which Fury had convinced Strucker to fight him one-on-one rather than engage in a full battle between the Howling Commandos and Strucker's Nazi soldiers, which could cost more lives.

(Fury#1 (fb) - BTS) - Stoner arrived at the London base of the First Strike Squad, aka the Howling Commandos, and Captain "Happy" Sam Sawyer had him wait in his office until Fury arrived.

(Fury#1 (fb)) - Despite warnings of potentially being in big trouble, Fury casually walked into Sawyer's office, asking if this was going to take long, because he wanted to listen to a ball game. Irritated by the lack of respect, Stoner reminded Fury that it was customary to salute a superior officer. Fury said he didn't feel like lifting his arm, and Stoner moved on, introducing himself and insisting on receiving answers. When Fury sat down, put his feet on Sawyer's desk, and lit a cigar, Stoner demanded he extinguish it. Fury told Stoner to give him a break as he had just gotten back from a mission, but Stoner swatted the cigar from his mouth (knocking over a picture and pencil case on Sawyer's desk in the process) and said, "Don't talk back to me, punk!" Stoner then accused Fury of gambling with the lives of the town to satisfy his personal vendetta against Strucker. Despite Fury's denial of this, Stoner accused Fury of never going by the book and of being a loose cannon with a flagrant disregard for rules, disrespect for authority, and a total lack of discipline. When Stoner criticized the Howling Commandos as a pathetic collection of misfits and losers, Fury lost his temper and punched out Stoner.

(Fury#1 (fb) - BTS) - Fury was thrown in the stockade for striking a superior officer, but President Franklin D. Roosevelt secured Fury's release.

(Fury#1 (fb) - BTS) - Stoner became part of the Central Intelligence Agency sometime after its founding in 1947.

(Fury#1 (fb) - BTS) <Approximately 14-15 years ago> - Stoner was sent to meet with the President of the United States (POTUS) and the Canadian Prime Minister in the Canadian capitol for a joint effort to recover the Weapon Alpha (see comments) armor, which had been stolen from Am/Can (a joint US/Canadian research facility located in Canada) by Hydra.

(Fury#1 (fb)) - Stoner was called in -- along with Logan, from Canadian Special Services, with whom he would be working -- to meet with the POTUS and Prime Minister. When Logan complained about missing a good hockey game, Stoner told him, "Shut your mouth, punk! Show some respect!" After the Prime Minister stressed the importance of the mission, Logan asked why he had to work with "Grampa," but Stoner told him to stop the back talk and put out his cigar.

(Fury#1 (fb) - BTS) - Aided by a tracer hidden in the armor, Stoner and Logan swiftly located the Hydra truck heading for the US-Canadian border.
    Stoner apparently instructed Logan to wait before hearing his signal to act.

(Fury#1 (fb)) - Disguised as Canadian border control agents, Stoner and Logan met the agents as they attempted to enter the USA. While Stoner followed protocol and questioned the man allegedly delivering furniture, Logan instead tore open the back of the truck, revealing a bunch of Hydra agents who began shooting him. The driver pulled a gun and tried to shoot Stoner, who knocked the man's gun arm upward and fired in return, telling the man, "You take a shot at me, you better not miss!" Stoner then joined Logan (whose healing factor allowed him to wade through the Hydra agents despite multiple gunshot wounds), chiding him as an idiot for not waiting for his signal, but Logan sarcastically told "Pops" he couldn't hear him over the gunfire.
    Despite their successfully defeating the Hydra agents, Stoner told Logan he would never be a team player with his attitude, which reminded him of Nick Fury. When Logan told Stoner the important thing was retrieving the armor and that they should get out of there, Stoner reluctantly agreed, telling Logan to drive and then insisting Logan put out the cigar he was lighting.

 

 

(Fury#1 (fb) - BTS) - These events having convinced the POTUS and other world leaders of the need for SHIELD (Supreme Headquarters International Espionage Law-enforcement Division), the POTUS met with Tony Stark, and the two discussed picking SHIELD's leader. Wanting someone with a lot of intelligence experiences and a military background, they narrowed the choice down to Stoner and Fury, and ultimately decided on Stoner, feeling he had done a great job in retrieving the Weapon X armor (see comments).

(Iron Man: Femmes Fatales (fb)) - When offered the position, as a field officer, Stoner was reluctant to accept the significant desk work needed and the enormous undertaking SHIELD's Executive Council laid out for him. However, they persisted, stressing the clear and present threat to freedom an a global scale, and informing Stoner he could run it as a military operation and could cull his team from the best armies throughout the free world, and he accepted.

(Fury#1 (fb)) - Stark met with Stoner (who saluted Stark before Stark told him it wasn't necessary as he wasn't an officer), congratulating him on being named head of SHIELD and telling him he thought Stoner was the right man for the job. After discussing how funding was progressing nicely, Stark told Stoner he was in charge of recruiting agents and handed him a folder which contained everything he needed to know. Stark then proposed a toast, but Stoner declined, telling Stark he didn't drink; Stark told him he had to learn to loosen up.

(Fury#1 (fb)) - Stoner performed well, selecting from the best agents from the world's top intelligence agencies. Stoner supervised the new agents' training personally (including sparring and running drills with them), determined to make them the toughest secret agents who ever lived.

(Iron Man: Femmes Fatales (fb)) - Using his seemingly unlimited budget, Stoner could have anything -- regardless of how exotic -- delivered within 24 hours.

(Iron Man: Femmes Fatales (fb)) - Priding himself on staying in shape, Stoner began every morning with calisthenics and weight-training, and he made time for target practice each week, sampling all the new ordinance that had been arriving from around the world. He was surprised to find that he preferred a Glock to a Colt.

(Iron Man: Femmes Fatales (fb)) - Knowing she had married a career military man, Stoner's wife, Emily, tried to be patient, but this new assignment meant longer and longer absences. She was starting to grumble, while his children, the teenage Emily and the younger Willie, were also making it known that their dad's presence was missed.

(Fury#1 (fb)) - Stoner soon presented his trained agents of SHIELD to Stark and the POTUS, proclaiming them "the greatest fighting force ever assembled."

(Fury#1 (fb) - BTS) - As word of SHIELD got around, large numbers of applications began arriving.

(Fury#1 (fb)) - Agent Felder showed Stoner applications from Timothy "Dum-Dum" Dugan, Gabriel Jones, and Eric Koenig. Recognizing them as part of Fury's Howling Commandos, Stoner tore up their applications, insisting that these losers would never be part of SHIELD as long as he was in charge.

(Fury#1 (fb)) - Stark informed Stoner that Hydra had arrived in the USA and they had to be crushed before they gained a foothold. Stoner agreed to the task with a swift salute.

(Fury#1 (fb)) - Stoner led a series of aggressive and successful raids against Hydra bases. When Agent Nelson noted that they were cutting off Hydra's limbs before any could grow back (mocking Hydra's motto, cut off one limb and two more grow in it's place...or something like that), Stoner told him not to pat himself on the back yet, as this was just the beginning of what was sure to be a long and bloody war. He then ordered his agents to gather up everything from the warehouse they had just taken; all weapons were to be confiscated, all survivors taken into custody, and "no speck of dust unturned." Checking around himself, Stoner found a Roxxon Oil Corporation business card; uncertain of its significance, he elected to keep this to himself for the moment.

(Iron Man: Enter the Mandarin#1 (fb) - BTS) - Seeking intelligence on the Mandarin in China, Stoner reluctantly agreed to have Iron Man (he was unaware Stark was Iron Man) sent. Frustrated that this was necessary, Stoner delegated the recruiting of Iron Man to other agents and did not attend the meeting.

 (Fury#1 (fb)) - Stark showed Stoner the progression of the development of SHIELD flying cars and the helicarrier (all designed with the joint efforts of Stark, Reed Richards (aka Mr. Fantastic), and Forge). Stoner felt things were coming along, though Stark noted a couple incidents of sabotage were delaying them a bit. Showing Stoner around, Stark introduced him to Jake Fury (secretly a Life Model Decoy/LMD of Jake Fury); Stoner immediately questioned whether Jake was related to Nick, but their mutual dislike of Nick warmed over Stoner. "Jake" then showed Stoner the test of their flying car, but it went out of control -- another sabotage -- and its crash was cushioned by Richards.

(Fury/Agent 13#2 (fb) - BTS) - The man who would become "Fallen Angel" (allegedly Fury's predecessor) launched the top-secret Project Backslide in the SHIELD headquarters' sub-basement, attempting to create a working time-tunnel with energies siphoned from a home-made cosmic cube.

(Fury#1 (fb)) - Stark assigned Stoner to find the traitor within SHIELD. Following his suspicions, Stoner sneaked aboard a Roxxon Oil tanker that had just docked. After finding weapons within some crates, he sough evidence to tie Roxxon directly to Hydra. He soon found some Hydra agents aboard and was preparing to take them out when the Jake Fury LMD arrived, prepared to show them some new blueprints. "Jake" commented that Stark didn't have a clue, that SHIELD would crumble before them, and that "that bumbling Stoner is no threat at all!" Unwilling to let that affront go unanswered, Stoner blurted out, "I heard that!," leading "Jake" and the Hydra agents to turn and draw their weapons on him. Stoner furiously fired on them, but though he took out a few agents, he was forced to retreat under their superior firepower. Despite taking a couple bullets in the back (they looked to be deep flesh wounds), Stoner made it over the side of the tanker and landed in the water far below; but the Hydra agents spotted him as he reached the pier, and another bullet hit him in the back (this one looked to go into his chest). Desperate to reach Stark, Stoner took off in his car, wishing they had worked out the bugs on the flying car.

(Fury#1 (fb) - BTS) - "Jake" and the other Hydra agents pursued Stoner in their cars, but he finally managed to lose them before approaching Stark's home.

(Fury#1 (fb)) - Stoner crashed through Stark's fence and then into his pool. As he crawled out of the pool, he noted he had finally lost the Hydra goons, and -- with his dying breath -- he told Stark to lay off the booze, "That stuff will kill you!" (see comments).

(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition#11: SHIELD entry) - Nick Fury's predecessor died from the Hydra assassins' bullets, and his name was classified for an extended period of time.

(Fury/Agent 13#2 (fb) - BTS) - According to "Fallen Angel," he did not die but was instead kidnapped (presumably by Hydra). As SHIELD was unaware of this alleged occurrence, they made no effort to recover the predecessor, who felt SHIELD had abandoned him (see comments).

(Fury#1 (fb) - BTS) - After Hydra sabotaged and destroyed SHIELD's helicarrier on its first launch, Stark recruited Nick Fury as the new leader of SHIELD.

(Fury/Agent 13#2 (fb) - BTS) <Years before the main story> - Fury shut down Project Backslide after one too many good agents died trying to contain and control the cube's impossible forces, leaving behind nothing but a failed, empty pocket dimension.

(Fury#1 - BTS) - Fury related Stoner's and SHIELD's earlier history.

(Fury/Agent 13#2 (fb) - BTS) <Around a decade after Stoner's apparent death> "Fallen Angel" (whose true identity Fury seemed to not know as it was classified) sent a series of messages over a few weeks to Nick Fury, telling how he had been shot by Hydra but had not died and had instead been kidnapped and allegedly abandoned by SHIELD. Fallen Angel claimed to have become trapped in the pocket dimension on the other side of the portal accessed via Project Backslide, and his messages told Fury that only Fury's bio-codes could unlock the portal now. However, Fallen Angel secretly sought to dupe Fury into reactivating what he hoped might now be a functioning time machine, intending to go through the time portal and undo his connection to SHIELD, or possibly even prevent the formation of SHIELD itself.

    Believing this could have happened -- as Fury had sort of done something similar to Agent 13/Sharon Carter during his tenure (actually, he just mistakenly believed she had died and didn't investigate enough) -- and knowing he couldn't verify with anyone else (due to the classified nature of even the codename "Fallen Angel"), Fury commissioned Tony Stark to construct a high-tech LMD that could make even those with enhanced perceptions think it was really Fury. With the LMD acting in his place, the real Fury followed Fallen Angel's instructions to the sub-basement of the old SHIELD headquarters (which had been demolished in the Deltite Affair).

(Fury/Agent 13#2 (fb)) - Fury located and activated Project Backslide, at which point Fallen Angel, having been hiding in the shadows (that's him behind Fury's left shoulder), announced his presence and tackled Fury through the portal into the pocket dimension. Fury tried to explain to Fallen Angel that there was nothing in the void but what anyone entering would bring with them.

(Fury/Agent 13#2 (fb) - BTS) - Fury and Fallen Angel fell into a world shaped by their strongest thoughts and memories and found themselves in an instant battle for control of the environment. They finally settled into a common ground on a World War II reality.

    However, five minutes after arriving in that reality, Fallen Angel -- realizing that Fury had been telling him the truth, that this was just another corner of space and not some magic tunnel through time -- fatally shot himself through the forehead.

    Over the succeeding months (time may have passed differently in the pocket reality), rats and other creatures devoured Fallen Angel's flesh, leaving behind only a skeleton and the remnants of his clothing.

(Fury/Agent 13#2 (fb) - BTS) - In the meantime, Fury's LMD was slain by a brainwashed Punisher (Frank Castle), and Sharon Carter returned to action.

(Fury/Agent 13#2 - BTS) - Seeking vengeance on Fury for having abandoned her, and suspecting Fury was alive, Carter uncovered evidence of Fury's search for Fallen Angel.

(Fury/Agent 13#2) - Using the Fury LMD, Carter accessed project Backslide, met with Fury, and saw Fallen Angel's skeleton.

(Fury/Agent 13#2 - BTS) - Fury and Sharon Carter returned to Earth with apparent aid from Tony Stark and SHIELD on the other end of the portal.

Comments: Vague concept of Fury having a predecessor as director of SHIELD (whose identify remained classified) who was killed by Hydra assassins created by Mark Gruenwald, presumably.
    Rick Stoner created by Barry Dutter, M.C. Wyman, Chris Ivy & Greg Adams.

    Having Stoner be tied to World War II is certainly problematic with the sliding scale. If we are placing Stoner's involvement with SHIELD as right around the start of the modern era (just a little bit after Fantastic Four#1), we could consider that to be nearly 15 years ago. When he first encountered Fury in 1944, Stoner already was gray/white at the bottom of the sides and back of his hair, though he could be prematurely gray. Assuming he was only 30 years old (his face looked closer to 40, but he could have just had a hard life; and he was already a Colonel) at that time, that would give him a birth date of 1914. Even with those generous estimations, that would make him 86 years at the start of the modern era as of 2015...and a year older with each year that passed. Lacking Fury's Infinity Formula, even in great shape, it's hard to believe he could be considered for such an important position as director of SHIELD at that age.
    Now, the Fury story came out in 1994, which would have made Stoner perhaps as young as 65, which is a little more reasonable, but that's the sliding timescale for you.
    Maybe Stoner was an LMD, or he had some other means of maintaining such a strong physical frame and sharp mental wit as he closed in on 90. I'm not saying it's not possible...some people age very well, but it just keeps getting harder to buy the older he gets.

    Stoner was tall.

    Certainly he towers over the 5'3" or so Wolverine (even taking account that Logan is somewhat hunched over)...

...but he and Fury are in a similar stance, but Stoner is leaning forward while Fury is standing up straight, and he looks to have a few inches on the 6'1" Fury.

 

    ...Similarly, decades later, Stoners is much taller than the 6'1" Tony Stark.

 

    Some of the revelations from Fury#1 just didn't stick, and were ret-conned back to the previous status quo or changed further in subsequent stories. None of that affects Stoner that much except that the most recent revision in Jake Fury's history makes the Jake Fury from this story an LMD.

    The Fury story refers to Logan and Stoner retrieving the Guardian armor.
    This occurs after Hudson left the armor but took the helmet in the second story of Alpha Flight I#2, but before AF Special Edition when Sean Bernard used the armor as Groundhog.
    Regardless, Hudson's first costumed alias was Weapon Alpha, then Vindicator (after feeling he needed to vindicate himself following accidentally hurting an innocent (Moira MacTaggert) while trying to retrieve Logan (now Wolverine) for Department H), and not Guardian until Alpha Flight I#2.

    It's not 100% clear from the discussion between Stark and the POTUS which of the two chose Stoner, as both Stark and the POTUS were off panel. After Stark notes what they'd be looking for in a leader, one of the two discussed Fury and Stoner as two solid candidates, then the other decides on Stoner based on his performance in the "Guardian affair," and then the other finalizes it, noting it was time to get an executive action together.
    Based on the direction of the arrows from the word balloons, the positions of the two men in the previous panels, and the discussion of executive order seeming to be something the POTUS would have said, I believe the POTUS proposed the two candidates, Stark voted on Stoner, and the POTUS agreed and finalized it.

    From the story, it looks like Stoner spent his last breath warning Stark to stop drinking rather than telling him about the involvement of Jake Fury and Roxxon. What a maroon...

    Iíve got it in my notes that Stoner is in Wolverine minus 1 there, which takes place after Wolverine got his Adamantium and linked up with the Hudsons. I donít see any reference to Stoner in there...and, according to Wolverine's handbook entry, this took place well before the encounter between Wolverine and Stoner, which also means it was before Stoner was recruited for SHIELD...so Stoner was just in the CIA at that point. Fury and the CIA are in this issue, too, but no Stoner that I see.
    Not on the Marvel Chronology Project, either.
    Anyone? Bueller?

    Right off the bat, the history with Fallen Angel makes me really scratch my head. Fury tells the whole tale of Stoner in the Fury one-shot (which came out 4 years before the Fury/Agent 13 series), and so he clearly knows his identity. If they hadn't worked the kinks out of the flying cars yet, it's hard to believe there would have been a lot of progress on a time tunnel or a cosmic cube. I donít recall it ever being specifically ret-conned, but it just seems out of character, far-fetched, and...wrong somehow...but, for now, I'm including it.
    Then again, we donít see how Stoner lost his pursuers, so maybe they did catch up to him and send a high-tech LMD to Starkís mansion...

    The Femmes Fatale novel is not consistent with Reality-616 for a few reasons. In this story:

    Nonetheless, I don't see any reason for the information on Stoner's past history (such as his real name, his wife and kids' names, etc. to be excluded). For now, I've included that information in italics.

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Rick Stoner
should be distinguished from:


images: (without ads)
Fury#1, pg. 6, panel 5 (face, looking old);
        pg. 8, panel 1 (face, less old);
            panel 2 (standing by Fury);
        pg. 18, panel 3 (walking next to Wolverine);
        pg. 19, panel 1 (Canadian border patrol);
        pg. 21 (with Wolverine vs. Hydra);
        pg. 23, panel 5 (photograph/headshot in uniform);
        pg. 24, panel 1 (standing next to Stark);
        pg. 27 (with SHIELD vs. Hydra);
        pg. 34, panel 4 (firing on Jake Fury and Hydra);
Fury/Agent 13#2, pg. 9, panel 6 (Fallen Angel in shadows behind Fury);
            panel 7 (Fallen Angel knocking Fury through the Project Backslide portal);
        pg. 11, panel 1 (Fallen Angel skeleton)


Appearances:
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition#11 (November, 1986): SHIELD entry - Mark Gruenwald (writer/producer), Peter Sanderson (writer/researcher), Howard Mackie (assistant editor)
Fury#1 (1994) - Barry Dutter (writer), M.C. Wyman (penciler), Chris Ivy & Greg Adams (inkers), Pat Garrahy (assistant editor), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Wolverine minus 1 (July, 1997) - Larry Hama (writer), Cary Nord (penciler), Scott Hanna (inker), Mark Powers (associate editor)
Fury/Agent 13#1-2 (June-July, 1998) - Terry Cavanaugh (writer), Ramon Bernado (penciler), Ian Aiken (inker), Matt Idelson (editor)
Iron Man: Enter the Mandarin#1 (November, 2007) - Joe Casey (writer), Eric Canete (artist), Stephen Wacker (editor)
Iron Man: Femmes Fatales novel (2009) - Robert Greenberger (writer)


Last updated: 03/21/15

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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