is for Puck.
No, you saw that right...Puck. Not the Shakespeare character or some lunatic reality show bit player....this is Eugene Milton Judd.
Created by John Byrne, Puck debuted in Alpha Flight #1. At the time, this was one of my favorite comics out there and Puck was, as originally presented, one of it's most interesting characters. Alpha Flight was Canada's version of the Avengers, with each member having a decidedly Canadian flavor. Members having such names as "Snowbird", "Sasquatch", "Northstar", "Aurora", etc. A character named "Puck" fit right in.
Originally, he was just a dwarf, suffering from achondroplasia (or lack of growth in the long bones, as he put it) who had become an adventurer by relying on his quick wit, acrobatic skills, and background as a world traveler and ex-intelligence agent. It wasn't until writer Bill Mantlo took over the book did this character 'jump the shark'.
Under Mantlo's writing, Judd went from 'normal' human to turning into the storage vessel for a demon called Razer. While Razer inhabited Puck's body, he was trapped in a dwarf's stature. After a long and drawn out storyline, Razer was exorcised and Judd grew back to his normal height and age. Apparently, the demon housed inside Puck had slowed his aging down considerably.
Puck's "new" origin was so convoluted and hackneyed that it didn't make a whole lot of sense....keeping in mind, of course, that it was about a fictional character. A great example of a new writer really screwing up a great character.
Originally Puck didn't really have any "powers". He was a skilled athlete, hand to hand combatant and acrobat. He had run with the bulls in Pamplona, fished with Earnest Hemingway, and was a secret agent for the Canadian government. Also, and in true, Canadian, fashion, he said "eh", a lot.
As in, "I used to be a cool character, eh?"
Stop back tomorrow for another of Marvel's cosmos spanning heroes....