The Avengers Prelude: Fury's Big Week, or just Fury's Big Week, is a limited series comic book which serves as a prequel to The Avengers. It was written by Eric Pearson and Christopher Yost with art duties covered by Luke Ross & Daniel HDR.
In 1945, over the Arctic Circle, Captain America is fighting HYDRA agents aboard the Valkyrie. As one of the agents attempts to board one of the suicide drone bombs Captain America opens up the aircraft doors causing the bomb and the HYDRA agent to be sucked out. The agent tries to take back control of the bomb in free-fall but fails to do so and the bomb crashes into the ice.
Later, at the S.H.I.E.L.D. Base Camp on the northeast coast of Greenland, Coulson argues with Fury that they need to act fast before there is a glacial shift that could cause their operation to be in vain. Soon Fury is informed that the World Security Council has ordered that he is to cancel the expedition and return to New York. Angered by this, Fury reluctantly obliges.
12 hours later in New York, Fury speaks with the Council and they inform him that they are going to redirect all of S.H.I.E.L.D's funding to Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S. and that Fury is to stop wasting time on other "wasteful projects". Fury objects to this order until they tell him if he does not comply then they will fire him and replace him with someone who will. After the meeting Fury tells Coulson that they are to continue what they are doing as he believes it is the right thing to do. He then looks onto a monitor depicting various footage of Iron Man, Hulk and Thor.
One week earlier Fury is awakened by a phone call and learns that in 72 hours Tony Stark will be dead. As Fury arrives at S.H.I.E.L.D. Headquarters, Coulson informs him that he has picked up an atmospheric disturbance above New Mexico and requests to go and research it. Fury however does not believe in its credibility and instead orders Coulson to stay at Headquarters.
Fury is later informed by a S.H.I.E.L.D. scientist that Stark has high levels of Palladium in his blood stream which is causing his health to deteriorate. Fury is thus given lithium dioxide to delay the poisoning on the warning that it could kill him.
Fury contacts Natasha Romanoff who is in the middle of a duel between War Machine and Iron Man. He tells her he is going to be there soon and she is to not blow her cover. Soon after Stark flies away and Fury attempts to speak to the World Security Council; however, they are not available. Coulson attempts to show Fury the satellite readings he found but is ultimately denied by Fury again.
Soon afterwards a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent informs Fury that they have located Stark.
Fury meets up with Romanoff and they both go to confront Stark at Randy's Donuts.
In Tony Stark's Mansion Coulson investigates further into the atmospheric disturbances and realizes that they could signify an Einstein-Rosen Bridge. As Fury arrives he confronts him with this revelation which results in Fury reassigning him to New Mexico.
Later that night, Iron Man battles the Hammer Drones at the Stark Expo while Romanoff downloads data from the Hammer Industries mainframe and subsequently sets off an explosion which engulfs the facility.
Meanwhile Coulson arrives at the S.H.I.E.L.D. Outpost at Roswell, New Mexico where he preps the men on their mission objective.
Barton arrives at the site and shortly is tasked from stopping Thor from getting to Mjølnir. Coulson however tells him to stand down as he wants to see his motive. After Thor's capture, Barton suggests that they let him go so they can follow him and see where he leads to which Coulson agrees.
Loki meanwhile approaches Mjølnir seemingly unseen and attempts to wield it to no avail.
The next day, Romanoff arrives at S.H.I.E.L.D. Headquarters and is given a new assignment by Fury to go and monitor Bruce Banner at Culver University.
During the Battle at Culver University, Romanoff informs Fury that Banner had "changed" and is subsequently ordered by him to not let General Ross take Banner dead or alive. Romanoff later witnesses the enhanced Emil Blonsky.
Later that day, Fury makes a request to Stark to use him as a consultant on a mission to which Stark agrees. Soon afterwards, a disheveled Romanoff reports to Fury that Banner managed to escape and that Blonsky had been enhanced.
After they arrive at the scene they witness Thor rendering the Destroyer inactive and later decide to air-lift it away.
That night they arrive at a S.H.I.E.L.D. airbase in Roswell, New Mexico where they oversee the Destroyer being transported off the aircraft.
At the S.H.I.E.L.D. Headquarters, Fury is informed that General Ross has accessed their systems. Fury meets with Ross who refuses to stop his super soldier program and tells Fury he is going to catch Hulk. Fury, in response, once again sends Romanoff to Banner's location.
In Harlem, that night, Romanoff witnesses Banner being taken into custody by General Ross' men and instead resorts to finding Dr. Samuel Sterns. As she attempts to enter the building, the Abomination goes on a rampage causing her phone to be broken. As she enters the lab, she discovers a mutated Sterns lying on the floor.
Romanoff confronts Sterns and finds that as a result of his mutation, he has an increased mental capacity and has also turned delirious. When Sterns approaches her for servitude, she nonchalantly shoots him in the leg neutralizing him in the process. She uses the lab phone to call for extraction on the roof where she witnesses the Duel of Harlem.
Back at S.H.I.E.L.D. Headquarters she expresses her concerns to Fury that they may not be able to uphold order in a world of super heroes. In response Fury contacts the council and requests a new prospectus for S.H.I.E.L.D. The council questions whether he has made any headway on the Tesseract. Fury tells them he has saved Stark's life, encountered and formed an alliance with Thor, helped stop Ross and his super soldier experiments and kept a team out looking for Captain America. He also states the Destroyer armor, Tony Stark's New Element and Captain America, being the only living person to have come into contact with the Tesseract, could be a help during Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S. Due to his reasons, the council agreed to his new prospectus.
One year later a researcher comes upon the HYDRA insignia underneath the ice of the Arctic.
At S.H.I.E.L.D. Headquarters, Coulson makes his way to the room the Destroyer is located in, walking past a room where they are studying the Whiplash Armor: Mark I, atmospheric disturbances, and Project Mr. Blue.
When he arrives at the room with the Destroyer he witnesses the first time they are able to reactivate it calling it a "success". He tells the scientist in charge to make it into a handheld weapon.
As he leaves the room he is informed by Nick Fury that they have uncovered Steve Rogers and he is to report there immediately.
- Steve Rogers/Captain America
- Nick Fury
- Phil Coulson
- Tony Stark/Iron Man
- Bruce Banner/Hulk
- Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow
- Clint Barton/Hawkeye
- James Rhodes/War Machine
- Ivan Vanko/Whiplash
- Jane Foster
- Darcy Lewis
- Erik Selvig
- Jasper Sitwell
- Thaddeus Ross
- Emil Blonsky/Abomination
- Samuel Sterns
- Betty Ross
- Agent Jackson
- Agent Delancey
- Convenience Store Clerk
- Justin Hammer (mentioned)
- Senator Stern (mentioned)
- Howard Stark (mentioned)
- Arctic Region
- New York City, New York
- Malibu, California
- Inglewood, California
- Mojave Desert
- Roxxon Gas Station, New Mexico
- Puente Antiguo, New Mexico
- Roswell, New Mexico
- Willowdale, Virginia
- Rocinha, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- Chicago, Illinois (mentioned)
- Stalingrad, Russia (mentioned)
- Asia (mentioned)
- Duel at Tony Stark's Mansion
- Battle at Stark Expo
- Infiltration into Hammer Industries Headquarters
- Infiltration into the S.H.I.E.L.D. Crater Investigation Site
- Battle at Culver University
- Battle of Puente Antiguo
- Duel of Harlem
- Capture of Samuel Sterns
- Battle in the Valkyrie (flashback)
- Robbery of the Roxxon Gas Station (mentioned)
- Infinity Stones
- Captain America's Shield
- Captain America's Uniform
- Iron Man Armor: Mark II
- Iron Man Armor: Mark IV
- Iron Man Armor: Mark VI
- War Machine Armor: Mark I
- Whiplash Armor: Mark I
- Whiplash Armor: Mark II
- Arc Reactor
- Hawkeye's Bow and Quiver
- Black Widow's Bite
- Hammer Drones
- Pingo Doce
- S.H.I.E.L.D. Satellite
- Lithium Dioxide
- Bifrost Bridge
- Destroyer Armor Prototype Gun (mentioned)
- World Security Council
- WHiH World News
- WFON TV
- Roxxon Corporation
- United States Armed Forces
- New York City Police Department
- Hammer Industries
- HYDRA (flashback)
- United States Department of Defense (mentioned)
- The first issue shows "1943" as the year when Captain America was frozen in the Arctic. The movie Captain America: The Winter Soldier confirms this to be a mistake, and this was corrected to "1945" for the trade paperback edition.
- The song that Hawkeye listens to as he drives to New Mexico is "Hit Me with Your Best Shot" by Pat Benatar.