[WARNING: Spoilers for those who haven’t read Original Sins #5]
In August’s Original Sins #5 (or years ago, depending on your perspective), one of Marvel’s classic 1960s heroes died. “Dum Dum” Dugan, the ever-present right-hand man of Nick Fury, was killed in a story by Al Ewing and Butch Guice in this title released on August 20. One of the most interesting parts of it all was the surprise twist that Dugan had been dead for decades, with a series of LMDs – Life Model Decoys – in his place.
In this 10 page story, Dugan visits Fury during his interrogation of the Orb in Original Sin #6 and questions the torture tactics used by his former X.O. to obtain information about the Watcher’s death. Backed into a corner, Fury reveals a secret room in his orbiting space station showing an incomplete LMD of Dugan. Fury then goes on to explain that Dugan actually died in a mission with him in 1966, and his absence led to Fury replicating his friend and confidante as a series of near-perfect LMDs using technology acquired as part of his position as “Man on the Wall.” Confronted by the truth, Dugan – who retained the memories, emotions and conscious of his real-life self – debates the ethicacy of Fury’s deads and ultimately kills himself rather than live on as a duplicate.
The Boston-born former strongman was created in the 1963 inaugural issue of Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandoes, and after Fury segued from the military to being part of S.H.I.E.L.D. Dugan followed. It was previously believed that Dugan remained the same age due to sharing in the Infinity Formula that Fury was dosed with, but this story would retcon that notion as well as several other stories showing Dugan aging, going grey, and even having a heart attack.