Growing up a child of the '70's and '80's, my version of Nick Fury wasn't Samuel L. Jackson. All apologies to Mr. Jackson (who is an incredibly talented actor and I consider myself a fan of his work), the Nick Fury I grew up with was a somewhat middle-aged white guy re-invented by Jack Kirby and Jim Steranko (who really ran with the character). The character itself is a pastiche of the 1960's spy/adventure set, which makes sense since it's when he debuted.
Marvel comics universes, but not in popular culture. Case in point: check out the latest Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes cartoon. The character is an amalgam of both versions of the character.
Maybe someday I'll see my favorite version of Nick Fury done justice. I still shudder at the horribly bad Hasselhoff debacle that was on Fox tv.
And so, this is my small tribute to the character, via a little gallery of images I cobbled from Deviantart.com.