• Wrahastika Runtia P.

Myth of Self-Efficacy as Reflected in Nick Fury and the Mythical Cyclops

Greek mythology has become root for the pop culture, especially for western culture. The example of pop culture who influenced by Greek Myth is superhero culture in America. Superhero is the heroic character who possesses supernatural or superhuman powers and who dedicated to fighting the villains for justice. There are many similarities between superhero and Greek God. In comic universe, a superhero is idolized by the people. Superhero has many appeals to modern society especially American. The same case happened in Greek myth, Gods are worshiped by the human. Greek God are believed to be special and divine. The writer argues that the original superhero is a Greek god. It happened because the comic creator are influenced by Greek Gods and there are many patterns that connected the Greek gods and superheroes. Nick Fury and Cyclops are one of the characters that can be parallel to each other. They have some similarity which the writer will discuss. According to Nachbar and Lause in the book Popular Culture: an Introductory Text (1992 ) myth is the belief or values that are significant and long lasting, vital to the mindset of the culture which holds it and that is widely accepted as being true. The writer will compare the similarity between Nick Fury and Cyclops in myth perspective. Eventually, these similarity will lead us to produce a myth that depicted on both of their characters.

Nick Fury is fictional character appearing in the American comic book published by Marvel. The creator of Nick Fury is Jack Kirby and Stan Lee. Nicholas Joseph “Nick” Fury made his first appearance in comic book Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos. It was published by Marvel comic from 1963 to 1981. Nick Fury served in World War II as Leader of Howling Commandos. He has great physical strength and fighting technique. He has great skill in armed and unarmed combat. He later becomes an agent, then eventually become director of S.H.I.E.L.D. Nick fury’s left eye injured when he was served during WWII. His eye was hit by Shrapnel and it caused damage that slowly deteriorates his left eye. Nick Fury has drunk the Infinity Formula. It was a serum that makes him aging slowly. He has to drink it annually or the effect could be reversed.

Nick Fury wears a black zipper jumpsuit with S.H.I.E.L.D agents logo. It was standard S.H.I.E.L.D agents uniform. This uniform is made of kevlar, a synthetic fiber, and Beta cloth. Kevlar fiber was able to withstand ballistic impact up to 45 caliber bullets. The beta cloth is fire resistant material. He wears white boots and white gauntlet to protect his legs and hands. He wears an eyepatch on his left eye socket. He wears a white utility belt, some harnesses, and leg straps. This tool is intended for carrying his weapons such as ammunition and firearms. Nick Fury is exceptionally skillful on a weapon. He also has access to a wide variety of equipment and weaponry made by S.H.I.E.L.D. His weapons include 15 caliber needle gun, plasma beam handgun, Automatic Machine His costume function as protection and tool for carrying his weapon.

Cyclops is Greek mythology legend, a one-eyed giant. Cyclops is a member of a primordial race of giants, each with a single eye in the center of the forehead. The word cyclops in Greek means round-eyed or circle eye. Cyclop has appeared in works by Homer, Virgil, and Euripides.

Cyclops pose a powerful physical build. Cyclops have sharp claws, pointy ears, and fat or muscular body. In some pictures, he wears leather sandals but there also picture portrayed he wearing nothing but barefoot. He also wears short pants and a simple brown belt around his waist. He wears a brown wristband in his wrist.He also wears two gold earring. Cyclops is shown to have tough skin and because of that, he does not need many clothes to protect his body. His skin is strong and able to protect Cyclops from the divine weapon such as Greek bronze weapons and arrows. He usually carrying a hammer or a large stick for their weapon. They also have divine weapons such as thunderbolts, Poseidon trident, Hades’s helmet of darkness, Artemis’s bow and arrows

As reflected in the description above, Nick Fury and Cyclops have some similarity. They both have costume and skin which protect them from danger. Nick Fury have the S.H.I.E.L.D costume that made from synthetic fiber and Beta cloth. This material protects him from bullets and fire. As for Cyclops, he does not have a costume but he has tough skin that protect him physically. Nick Fury and Cyclops also have a distinctive trait, they both have only one eye. Nick Fury wearing eyed patch in his left eye and Cyclops originally have only one eye. Their eyes also are their weaknesses. Nick Fury’s left eyes are blind so his vision is not perfect. Cyclops weaknesses are their eyes. If his eye hurt he became vulnerable and easily to defeat.

Nick Fury and Cyclops also have similarity in their power. They both also have great physical power. Nick Fury had served in WWII and he was a skilled and experienced soldier. He has physical strength, speed, and agility. Cyclops is a giant and he has great physical strength.

A name always has meaning behind it. The real name of Nick Fury is Nicholas Joseph Fury. The origin of the name Nicholas is from Greek. It was the Greek name “Nikolaos”. It has two words on it, first is “Nike” which mean victory and “Laos” which mean people. The meaning of the name is a victory of the people. Joseph is the name which came from Hebrew. “Yosef” meaning is he will add. Fury is Nick Fury Surname. It was derived from Latin “Furia” which mean rage. It was derived from medieval given name “Fleuri” and Middle English flour, flower. Fury is an uncommon surname for men because the name is usually for a girls name. According to Dictionary.com, the meaning of Fury is unrestraint anger, passion, and fierceness. The meaning of the name of Nick Fury really suited his character. Nicholas meaning the victory of people, it was connected that Nick Fury is a world war II hero. He already won a war. Nick Fury is the epitome of victory. He is people’s hero who brings victory to people who worshiped him. The creator of Nick Fury gave him uncommon named “Fury”. It added the uniqueness of his character. It's connected with his personality. Nick Fury is fierceness man and passionate about his works. Cyclops name origin is from Greek which means round eye. It derived from word Cyclops which means circle, wheel or eye. In another word, Cyclops’s name is related to his unique trait, one-eyed. Nick Fury name suited his personality in contrast with Cyclops which named suited his character trait. But the similarity is that their names are connected to them either from personality or trait.

According to Merriam Webster catchphrase is a word of expression that is used repeatedly and conveniently to represents or characterize a person, group, idea, or point of view. Many superheroes have their own catchphrase. Nick Fury do not have any specific catchphrase but he has some good quotes. The quote is “I still believe in heroes”. This quote was taken from the trailer of The Avengers movie. The quote emphasizes the good character of Nick Fury. He is someone who trusted and respect his team. He is someone who willingly to sacrifice for the greater good. On Nick Fury’s line, we can assume that he has self-efficacy in his character. He is the person who confident and believed on the superhero. He believes that the Avengers will able to protect the world from their enemies. As for Cyclops, the writer can not find a specific catchphrase for Cyclops but the writer did find a quote from Odyssey. The Odyssey is one of two major ancient Greek epic poems written by Homer. In this works, there are a Cyclops named Polyphemus. He was a man-eating giant that first appeared in the ninth book of Odyssey. The writer used Polyphemus’s quote as a representation for Cyclops. In the ninth book of Odyssey Polyphemus quote “Stranger, you are a simple fool, or come from far off, when you tell me to avoid the wrath of the gods or fear them. The Cyclops do not concern themselves over Zeus of the Aegis, nor any of the rest of the blessed gods since we are far better than they. ” On this line, we can assume that Cyclop has self-efficacy in his characters. He is very confident about his power and he does not feel inferior toward gods like Zeus.

As hero lived in 21st-century era Nick Fury does not have any sacred ritual to worship him. Nick Fury hardcore fans will undoubtedly buy any kind of books, games, merchandisers and action figures of him. They will also watch any Nick Fury’s movies. They will also talk and discuss about him in the internet forum. As for Cyclops, he is not particularly popular like some Greek god or goddess. There his worshiper is less than them. He also not possessed any kind of beauty or charisma, therefore, people might be less drawn to him. This is the reason that Cyclops does not have any ritual to worship him. Generally, people saw him as a dangerous, ugly and dim-witted creature. Nevertheless, some people might admire his physical power.

Heroes are nothing without their enemies. They must have someone who opposite their ideas to claimed the title as heroes. Nick Fury’s arch enemies are Baron Van Strucker. He was former Nazi officer and one of the leaders of HYDRA, the terrorist organization led by him. HYDRA is a fictional terrorist organization that is a reference to Lernaean Hydra. It was serpentine water monster in Greek and Roman mythology. Baron Van Strucker goal is world domination. As for Cyclop his arch enemy is Titan. Titan banished The Elders Cyclops Brontes, Steropes, and Arges. ancestors to Tartarus. Eventually, Zeus released them.In return, Cyclops forged weapons to help Gods in Titan Wars. The similarity of the enemies of Nick Fury and Cyclops is that both of their enemies are planned for world domination. Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D wanted to defeat HYDRA and Baron because of their plan for world domination. Similar with Nick Fury, Cyclops also helped Zeus and other Gods in Titan Wars. They also planned to hold a domination over the universe.

According to Nachbar and Lause in the book Popular Culture: an Introductory Text (1992 ) popular beliefs and value are the meaning which lies behind the artifacts and events which are their visible expression; they are the truth which explains the facts and thus weave existence into a pattern which we can all recognize and share. The comparative between Nick Fury and Cyclops have a pattern that reflected on their name, costume, weapons, worshiper, enemy, power, and ability. In the blink of eyes Nick Fury and Cyclops seem to have different spectrums on each other but in fact, they are comparable. These comparative will produced myth narrative. Their superiority is not defined by who they are but what they can do to themselves. The similarity of Nick Fury and Cyclops belief is called Self-efficacy. Self -efficacy is defined as people's belief about their capabilities to produce designated levels of performance that exercise influence over events that affect their lives. Self-efficacy belief determines how people feel, think, motivate themselves and behave (Bandura, 1994). The psychologist Albert Bandura also stated that one’s sense of self-efficacy can play a major role in how one approaches the goal, task, and challenges. People who have self-efficacy increase the person accomplishment and personal well-being in many ways. Nick Fury was a black but he able to gain respect from his Ultimate Team. The Ultimate is a group of superhero that appeared in American comic book Marvel Comic. They respect Nick Fury because of what he was done. They allowed Nick Fury become their leader because they know that Nick has skill in leadership. He made himself a leader to them. Nick Fury is also a genius level strategist and it helps him to defeat his opponent. Therefore, the writer argues that even if Nick Fury was black but it does not matter to him. He made himself useful and respected by people. Nick Fury can use his weapon at a full function because he is an intelligent person. He also had access to S.H.I.E.L.D weapons which added to his advantage. Nick Fury’s self-efficacy comes from his hard work on his mission. He earned a respect and position through his hard work. As for Cyclops, he is known as a dim witted giant. He is not a thinker creature and has no depth perception about something. Ironically he has divine God level weapons. He has Thunderbolt which is a weapon that feared by many gods. He also has Trident which commonly associated for Poseidon. Cyclops can not use any of that weapon at full function due to his lack of intellegence. He is not a smart creature but Cyclops has other traits that made him stand-out with his self-efficacy. Cyclops is a practical creature and he will not waste his time to think deeply about his weapons. He is practical giant and will strike and use his weapon when he fights with his enemies. Cyclops’s self-efficacy comes from his confident about himself and his power. Therefore self-efficacy played a major role on how Nick Fury and Cyclops approached their goals and challenges.

In conclusion, the superhero which represented by Nick Fury and Greek myth creature which represented by Cyclops has similarities and connected with myth narrative. The myth narrative produce values of both of their characters. Both of their names are reflected on their trait or their personality. Their costume also served as their protection. Both of their enemies are planned about the domination of the world. They both have a strong physical ability. The similarity between Nick Fury and Cyclops are reflected on their name, costume, weapons, worshiper, enemy, power, and ability. These similarities between Nick Fury and Cyclops lead to self-efficacy


Nachbar, J. G. , & Lause K, (1992). Popular Culture : an Introductory text. Bowling Green, OH: Bowling Green State University Popular Press


















#myth #cyclops #nickfury #mythselfefficacy #selfefficacy #theavengers #theodyssey #sastrainggris #mythology #superhero #marvelcomics #marvel #giant #greekmythology #popularculture

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