Thursday, April 18, 2013

P: Puck!



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....

35 comments:

A Daft Scots Lass said...

What the Puck?

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Puck is definitely of a different sort.

Adriana Dascalu said...

he knew hemingway - he was cool! :)

Nicki Elson said...

I love it when the heroes can stand on their own w/ no super powers. Too bad someone Pucked up his character.

I'm not a comic book person, but I really like these glimpses inside the mind of a true fan. :)

Shell Flower said...

Fascinating how the writing obscured this character in the end. Also interesting that they had the whole Canadian angle going on with such stereotypical names. I knew a short dude in high school that everyone called Puck and I finally know why.

Jeremy [Retro] said...

he is awesome, i don't remember him that well... does need a make over for sure.

Julie Flanders said...

Love the Canadian themed names, how fun.

Regina Gort said...

What a great character! I really like this guy ;)

Mark Means said...

@Daft: LOL...that's what I thought, too! :)

@Sheena: For sure!

@Adriana: A cool character, definitely!

@Nicki: "Pucked up"....haha...I love that!! And, it's true.

@Shell: It was a pretty fun book, for a while.

@Jeremy: He could use a makeover, for sure.

@Julie: The team first appeared in a few issues of X-Men and I was thrilled when they got their own series.

@Regina: Me too! :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

What a cool character, at least at the beginning - special combat and acrobatic skills, a secret agent, and he knew Hemingway - totally awesome. He didn't need the demon storyline, he just needed to be given a story to shine in.

I know this may sound terribly American, but I didn't know there were separate Canadian comic books - like to rival Avengers and stuff.

Your posts have been really informative and interesting.

All of these comic book heroes are good fodder for story heroes.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Another new one. I'm learning so much! Pretty cool, eh?

Manzanita said...

So you're saying if we put a demon named Razen inside of us, it will slow the aging process....uuummmm?
Just thinking.

Elise Fallson said...

It's so frustrating when a good character gets messed up by new writers that want to "improve" or "change things up a bit."

Mark Means said...

@Tyrean: Alpha Flight was done by Marvel comics, just the book was based in Canada and had that flavor to it so it wasn't really 'separate' :) Thank you, I'm glad you've been liking the theme!

@Elizabeth: Heh...yes, it is cool! :)

@Manzanita: Haha...not sure if it'd be a fair trade off, but... :)

@Elise: I know and it happens all too often in the comics :(

C. Lee McKenzie said...

Now this is a new one for me. He's a scruffy guy for sure.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

The demon idea was a little before its time, wasn't it? Might fit better today with Supernatural paving the way for that mythology.

Robin said...

Eeeks. Bad writers are everywhere screwing up all the good things. Why would anyone want to mess with a character who knew Hemingway? What was that man thinking???

Hart Johnson said...

He looks really hairy, as superheroes go!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

He was a hairy little dude.

Sue McPeak said...

As I read over some of the comments, I see I'm not the only one that is clueless about Puck. He's really been through the writing wringer, but still impressive that he fished with Ernest. You have made Puck an interesting character, and possibly given him a new life. Well done!

My Letter 'P'...Prolific Patchwork Pattern Piecer
Sue CollectInTexasGal
AtoZ LoneStar Quilting Bee

Al Diaz said...

And here my dwarves thought they were the first to show their hairy legs. I'm going to show them Puck.

Christine Rains said...

I know Puck and Alpha Flight! I had no idea they messed around with his character like that. I always thought he was just a normal guy, eh.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Possessed by a demon? That's a weird twist.

John Wiswell said...

I'm sure Hemingway would have been overjoyed that he was part of a D-list hero's backstory.

John at The Bathroom Monologues

Allison said...

We don't ALL say "eh"! All right, maybe SOMETIMES...

Allison (Geek Banter)

storytreasury said...

He fished with Hemingway? Cool. And I am pretty sure this is the first time I've heard about a superhero possessed be a demon.


Sonia Lal

klahanie said...

The Puck he's Canadian, eh!

And to the Canadians on here, eh. Check the spelling of Canada, eh.

C eh N eh D eh!

Have a good day, eh, you hoser, Mark.

Gary :)

Cynthia said...

I wonder what he and Hemingway talked about during their fishing trips.

S.P. Bowers said...

Too bad the new writer had to take him in a different direction. He sounded pretty cool.

Bob Sanchez said...

Stopping by to say hi on the A-Z Challenge!

Valerie said...

This one is a new one to me!!

Hugs!

Valerie

Mark Means said...

@Lee: Yeah, just a bit...lol :)

@Susan: I'm not sure just how innovative it was..just that I didn't like it, in this case.

@Robin: Good question. I guess, for some, he wasn't 'superheroey' enough?

@Hart: LOL...yep, him and Wolverine! :)

@Diane: He sure was!

@Sue: He sure has been through the writing wringer...no doubt! :)

@Al: Heh, I think your dwarves would get a kick out of Puck :)

@Christine: Oh, very cool, that you know of Puck and Alpha...just goes to show that you have great taste! :)

@Alex: I always thought the same thing!

@John: LOL....well, you never know...he might have! :)

@Allison: Haha...my mom's cousin, who lived in northern Michigan all her life, did the same thing. She always said "eh".....

@Sonia: It might have been a first, yes :)

@Gary: LOL...one of my favorite SCTV skits was Bob and Doug MacKenzie and I would always crack up when they'd say "Take off, eh, hoser!" :) Take care!

@Cynthia: Hmmm...I'll bet it would have been a very interesting conversation :)

@S.P.: I know...they ruined a good thing (in my opinion)

@Bob: Thank you for stopping by and happy A to Z'ing to you, as well :)

@Valerie: I'm sure, you're not alone! :)

Lisa said...

What a Pucky character! lol. Don't remember him much... But sounds like he got the raw end of the deal and could have been really cool.

Jenny said...

Canada's Avengers, eh? I'm learning something new every day!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Mark .. I saw the photo and thought of Asterix ... just the image!

Cheers Hilary

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