Born in Boston, Massachusetts, the young Dum Dum Dugan sought employment with a circus during World War II, finding work as a strongman. During his time with the circus he helped Nick Fury and Sam "Happy" Sawyer escape from Nazis. Following this encounter he joined the British Army, and soon after was seconded to work with Fury's newly-formed Howling Commandos. He transferred to the US Army and became Fury's second-in-command.
Dum Dum Dugan was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and first appeared in Sgt. Fury (and his Howling Commandos) issue 1 (1963).
In his early appearances Dugan was a British national. This was later retconned and he was established as an American citizen. In the events of Original Sin, it was apparently revealed that Dum Dum had died in the 1950's while on a mission. His persona had been installed in a Life Model Decoy (L.M.D.). If this is true, it would mean that every appearance of Dum Dum after his adventures in World War II, have been those of the android.
Major Story Arcs
Soldier and SHIELD
Dugan participates in numerous missions as a member of the Howling Commandos. He remains with the US Army until sometime before the breakout of the Korean War. Partway through that conflict he is drawn back in, and works with Fury as part of the reformed Howling Commandos through both Korea and Vietnam. During this time he starts to become involved in SHIELD, and he is eventually placed in charge of security for the SHIELD Helicarrier. He is also given command of the Godzilla Squad, a group specifically created to hunt and contain the Godzilla monster; during their numerous confrontations, he comes to bear a grudging respect for the monster. He is elevated to Deputy Director, and briefly placed in charge of SHIELD following Fury's death. When his death is revealed to be a ruse, Dugan gladly gives up his new position.
Nick Fury vs SHIELD
Dugan is apparently killed in what is later revealed to be an effort by the mysterious controlling council to instigate a survival of the fitness amongst the leaders of SHIELD and HYDRA. Dugan is briefly replaced by a Life Model Decoy during this time. He later resigns from SHIELD, but his resignation is short-lived. Shortly after Fury recreates SHIELD, Dugan rejoins the organization. When Nick Fury leaves for a time, Dugan operates as second-in-command to Maria Hill, and is the head of mutant affairs.
Under orders from SHIELD leadership, Dugan and several of his colleagues attempt to capture Captain America. Their efforts fail, and Dugan expresses discomfort at being asked to turn against his friend, and distaste for the side that SHIELD has taken in the war. At the conclusion of the war, when SHIELD is taken over by Tony Stark, Dugan attempts to resign due to his disagreement with Stark and Stark's policies. His resignation is not accepted, and he is kept on as a leader at SHIELD and given control of a weapon capable of trapping huge areas of land in the Negative Zone. Later, despite working with Stark and for SHIELD against his will, Dugan aids Stark by convincing Hill to shut down the UN to allow Stark to pursue the Mandarin.
During the Skrull invasion known as the "Secret Invasion", Dugan is ambushed and apparently killed by a Skrull who has taken the identity of Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine. He is however impersonated by the Skrulls, like many other heroes, and spends the remainder of the Invasion held in stasis. After its conclusion and the Skrull defeat, Dum Dum is rescued by Iron Man, alongside the other Skrull victims. He is later convinced to attend a support group meeting for the victims of the Skrulls.
After S.H.I.E.L.D. was decommissioned and turned into H.A.M.M.E.R. under the leadership of Norman Osborn, Dugan and many of his old war buddies quit the organization and formed a new private military company called the Howling Commandos, after their old war group. Nick Fury later calls on Dugan to aid him and his Secret Warriors following a difficult confrontation with The Gorgon. Dugan accepts and soon discovers the SHIELD has again fallen under the control of HYDRA. He and his group join Fury in attempting to bring down HYDRA and the Russian LEVIATHAN. These efforts took a huge impact, since many of the old Howlers where killed in the ensuing battle. It whittled down his group to himself and Jasper Sitwell. He and Sitwell are arrested by the UN, and later released following the conclusion of the Secret Warriors event.
Marvel Zombies Destroy!
Although initially hesitant, Dum Dum is convinced by Howard the Duck to help him lead the A.R.M.O.R. funded squad known as the Ducky Dozen, to deal with the threat of trans-dimensional Nazi-zombies. Once crossing dimensions, their carrier is attacked by the Hulk, who Dugan dispatches with an advanced S.H.I.E.L.D. grenade launcher at the cost of the plane. The Ducky Dozen is then attacked by the zombified Nazi Invaders. With a few causalities and the help of the Suffragists, the all-female human resistance, they manage to defeat the horde and move on to their headquarter. Miss America introduces them to Professor Zog who enlightens them as to the origins of the virus, a mystic lotus flower. While leaving, Dugan encounters a zombified version of himself. Narrowly escaping to the train, they are attacked by zombie Valkyrie and a group of Asgardians. They're then approached by Loki, who explains that Odin banned interaction with mortals, so he jumpstarted the apocalypse to upset Thor and in an unseen outcome, indirectly led to Odin contracting the disease, which immediately made all other Asgardians zombies and that he believes he can fix the mistake he's made if he's able to destroy the flower. Dugan disguises himself as his zombie counter part to infiltrate the base holding the flower, but before he can open the gate, he's accidentally starts up a conversation with Baron Strucker and Zola who take him to a speech given by undead Red Skull. The group discovers that the Nazi zombies transdimensional power source is the undead goat gods Toothgrinder and Toothgnasher. Zombie Thor and Dugan confront the Ducky Dozen, with Dugan killing his own zombie counterpart, Loki being bitten and Mrs.America turning on a bomb to destroy the base, sacrificing herself in the process. In a final act of kindness, Loki teleports them away, saving their lives.
It was apparently revealed during the events of Original Sin that Dum Dum had actually died during a mission in the 1950's. Nick had his friends persona installed into an almost lifelike Life Model Decoy, a robot which has been often used by many officials in S.H.I.E.L.D. If true, it would mean that the Dugan whom has been working for S.H.I.E.L.D. and interacted with the heroes has been a Life Model Decoy this whole time. After Dum Dum was told the truth by Nick Fury, he was greatly angered. He felt as if Nick Fury had been lying to him his whole life. Eventually, seeing that he was already actually dead, Dugan took a gun to his head, asking Nick, if he ever really was his friend, to leave him to rest in peace. He then pulled the trigger.
The Howling Commandos of S.H.I.E.L.D. and STAKE
Many months later, Dum Dum Dugan is revived by S.H.I.E.L.D. commandor Maria Hill and is asked to joing the organization once more. At first, Dum Dum is furious, telling Maria that he is not the real Dugan, but a shadow of the real man. It is revealed to Dugan that his spirit is in fact the real him, as it had been uploaded in a computer and put into the LMD bodies. Still, Dugan wants to die again, but this all changes when he hears why he had been revived. Maria asks him to become the leader of a new team of Howling Commandos, which roster includes Warwolf, Hit-Monkey, Orrgo, Vampire By Night, Man-Thing, the zombiefied Jasper Sitwell (one of Dugan's old friends), Manphibian, and Teen Abomination. He reluncantly agrees to become their leader. The team becomes known as STAKE.
Powers and Abilities
Originally, Dugan was believed to have been given a blood transfusion from Nick Fury to transfer the age reducing effects of the Infinity Formula. This was later shown to be false, and that he was in fact, an android.
Dugan possesses immense physical strength, as evidenced by his time spent as a strongman. He is gifted in armed and unarmed combat due to his time in the army and working for S.H.I.E.L.D. Dugan has mastered the art of judo along with the skillful utilization of explosives and rifles of all magnitudes. He is a capable leader and skilled tactician, having commanded over all of S.H.I.E.L.D. for some time and leading various teams of soldiers. Dugan has been stated to have over 5 decades of active on duty experience.
A soldier named Dougan is the commander of Sir Nicholas Fury's soldiers. He later becomes a defender of the Roanoke Colony.
Having been killed by the Hydra entity, a ghostly Dugan joins numerous heroes and members of the Howling Commandos in fighting against the forces of Mephisto.
Dugan appears briefly alongside Nick Fury, Peter Parker, and Joe Robertson.
As a member of the army, Dugan was involved in Project: Rebirth. Later, aging but still active, he becomes SHIELD's Director of Mutant Affairs, displaying a mysterious knowledge of Wolverine's past. He returns as part of Nick Fury's Howling Commandos with Hercules, Punisher, Abigail Brand, Statue and Falcon.
X-Men: the Animated Series
Dugan makes a cameo appearance in the episode "Old Soldiers". He does not speak.
Iron Man: the Animated Series
Dugan appears in the episodes "Cell of Iron" and "Not Far From the Tree". He is voiced by W. Morgan Sheppard.
The Super Hero Squad Show
Dugan appears in the episode "Wrath of the Red Skull" alongside Howling Commandos compatriots Gabe Jones and Izzy Cohen. He does not speak in this appearance.
The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes
Dugan appears in the episodes "Meet Captain America" and "The Fall of Asgard". He is voiced by John DiMaggio.
Captain America: The First Avenger
Dugan appears as a soldier who is taken captive by Nazis and later rallied by Captain America to stage an assault on the HYDRA bases. He is portrayed by Neal McDonough.
Marvel One Shot: Agent Carter
Neal McDonough reprises the role in a cameo in this short, sitting next to Howard Stark at his mansion.
Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD
Dugan appears in this live-action TV movie. Physically he does not resemble his comic counterpart. He is portrayed by Gary Chalk.
Marvel: Ultimate Alliance
Dugan appears as a non-playable character in this game. He is voiced by Scott MacDonald.
Captain America: Super Soldier
Dugan appears in this video game based on the Captain America movie. Neal McDonough reprises his role.