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Puck - Marvel Comics - Alpha Flight - Eugene Judd

Category :

Comic Books

Subcategory :

Marvel Universe

Type :

Hero

Game System :

Dual-stats (MnM / DCH)

Notes :

Alpha Flight

Puck I (Classic) v2

By Sébastien Alexandre Andrivet

Source of Character: Alpha Flight books (Marvel Universe)

Helper(s): Dave Oak, Kansas Jim, Dwayne MacKinnon, Darci, Frank Murdock, Capita_Senyera, Roy Cowan, Pawsplay

Reasons (1): As noted above, this covers the “Classic” era. For Alpha Flight characters this means the first 28 issues (the Byrne run). We include later flashbacks and revelations, but they have to depict events occurring during or before Alpha Flight v1 #028.

Reasons (2): More context can be found in our Alpha Flight (Main article) entry.

Reasons (3): I’ve erred on the generous side when it came to Languages for Puck, as most are implied but not demonstrated.

Reasons (4): Further research may lead to additions to the “Time after time” subsection, which shouldn’t be considered definitive.

Writeups.org & Amazon.com recommend Alpha Flight Classic.

Quotes

Puck I

“Outta the way, eh ? I’m with Alpha Flight and I’m on a number one priority call.”

(As Mac opens the door and doesn’t see Judd) “Down here, eh ?”

(After being eviscerated, grimacing in pain) “My costume is tight enough that it should hold my guts together.”

Guy trying to hit Puck: “I don’t believe it ! A midget in a monkey suit ! What’s goin’ on here ?”
Puck “Hey, if you don’t mind, not a ’midget‘, eh ? First off, we’re called ’little people‘ these days. And second, I’m not a midget, I’m a dwarf. The condition is called achondroplasty. It involves lack of growth in all the long bones, eh ? Ah, but you probably knew that.” (THUNK !)

“Caught them ! And I considered my stint as catcher for the Flying Zambinis a waste of time !”

Puck - Marvel Comics - Alpha Flight - Eugene Judd

“Reminds me of that time in Afghanistan I played chicken with the Orient Express !”

“Mmm, you may be right. The Jatravi peoples of the Serengeti don’t believe a warrior is truly dead until his funeral is done.”

“Both these women need immediate hospitalisation, eh ? That one’s in deep trauma, and this one’s a code red. Call an ambulance and get some additional men down here. We’ll need to close off this dock.”

“S’long, Namor. Keep in touch, eh ?”

Heather Hudson: “I won’t ask where - or how - you [procured this plane].”
Puck: “Good.”

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

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Puck (Classic)
Dex: 06 Str: 04 Bod: 05 Motivation: Responsibility
Int: 06 Wil: 06 Min: 07 Occupation: Alphan, former adventurer and mercenary
Inf: 05 Aur: 06 Spi: 07 Resources {or Wealth}: 005
Init: 021 HP: 025

Powers: Mind field: 02, Shrinking: 01, Suspension: 01

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Mind shield is Self Only and is a Skilled Power
  • Shrinking is Always On and Already Factored In
  • Suspension is a Skilled Power, and will pass for death barring a serious medical examination (Medicine OV/RV 05/04 - 1 RAP is sufficient assuming a full examination with tools ; full RAPs needed for an attentive, minute-long check without tools)

Skills: Acrobatics: 06, Detective (Police procedure): 06, Gadget (Identify Gadget): 03, Occultist (Occult knowledge): 05, Martial Artist (incl. Techniques)*: 06, Thief (Stealth): 06, Vehicles (Air): 04, Weaponry: 05

Advantages: Area Knowledge (Earth), Expertise (Bull-fighting, Canadian Ice Hockey championships, Meditation), Familiarity (Construction work, Pharmacology, Order and Chaos mysticism), Immortal, Language (Spanish, Pashto, Central Tibetan, Russian and twelve others), Lightning Reflexes, Omni-Familiarity, Schtick (Fists of Fury, Pain Management (Low)), Sharp Eye

Connections: Alpha Flight (High),

Drawbacks: MPR (Chronic pain), MPR (Far-sighted - needs corrective glasses to read), MPR (Puck’s running speed is 1 AP because of his short legs - but he can move at his DEX-derived speed for brief periods via acrobatics), MPR (Puck swims very poorly due to his short limbs), SIA toward reacting violently to short jokes, Unluck

Game Stats — DC Adventures RPG

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Puck — Averaged PL 8.4

STRSTAAGLDEXFGTINTAWEPRE
03 03 04 02 06 02 03 02
Powers

Pain-deadening meditation ● 1 point ● Descriptor: Skill, meditation
Immunity 2 (Pain) (Limited 1 - Partial)

Combat Advantages

Agile Feint, Close attack 1, Defensive attack, Defensive roll 3, Evasion 1, Improved trip, Instant Up, Power attack, Ranged attack 5, Takedown 1

Other Advantages

Assessment, Benefit 1 (Puck doesn’t age), Connected, Improved Initiative, Jack-of-all-trades, Languages 5 (Spanish, Pashto, Central Tibetan, Russian and twelve others), Trance, Well-Informed

Skills

Acrobatics 6 (+10), Close combat (Unarmed) 3 (+10), Deception 4 (+6), Insight 5 (+8), Perception 5 (+8), Persuasion 5 (+7), Stealth 5 (+9), Technology 3 (+5), Vehicles 6 (+8) (Limited 2 to common and older airplanes)
Puck also demonstrated the following Expertises: Bull-fighting 6 (+8), Sports 6 (+8) (Limited 2 - to Canadian Ice Hockey), Construction Work 3 (+5), Meditation & Mysticism 6 (+8), Pharmacology 4 (+6)

Offense
Initiative +8
Unarmed +10, Close, Damage 3
Defense
Dodge10 Fortitude9
Parry10 Toughness5/3*
Will12
* Without Defensive Roll
Complications

Disability Puck is a dwarf - he cannot use his STR for Athleticism rolls or get Ranks in it, and numerous situations can get complicated on a physical or social level due to his condition.

Disability Puck is in constant pain, which seems to influence his ability to concentrate on some days

Disability Far-sighted, though that usually just means wearing glasses to read

Hatred Puck tends to react violently to short jokes

Quirk Judd’s luck just sucks

Power levels

Trade-off areas Attack/Effect PL 7, Dodge/Toughness PL 8, Parry/Toughness PL 8, Fort/Will PL 10

Point total 133 Abilities 50, Defences 25, Skills 29, Powers 1, Devices 0, Advantages 28. Equiv. PL 9.

Notes

This entry is done in the usual “just the facts” writeups.org style, and sticks to what was actually demonstrated during this era though Puck’s actual capabilities are probably broader.
 

Background

Real Name: Eugene Milton Judd
Marital Status: Unrevealed
Known Relatives: Zuzha Yu (aka Puck II, daughter, possibly deceased)
Group affiliation: Alpha Flight
Base Of Operations: Toronto
Height: 3’6” Weight: 225 lbs
Eyes: Brown Hair: Bald (black moustache and black, bushy eyebrows)
Other distinguishing features: Puck’s right ear is a cauliflower ear

Powers & Abilities

Puck is a veteran global adventurer. Though he has become very short, he’s unusually stocky and muscular, and has mastered numerous skills. Even before the Baghdad incident, he was remarkably acrobatic and mobile - and his fighting style has gotten even more acrobatic, with well-placed and very quick tumbling moves, to compensate for his size.

Judd is a competent, experienced, smart adventurer - a professional. He has solid detection and deductive skills, and fine empathic and people skills. He should be a major figure, but he’s restrained by his rotten luck, surprisingly low Hero Points total and a certain lassitude. He’s aware of thse drawbacks and tends to spend Hero Points conservatively, especially if the situation is likely to involve superhumans and/or monsters.

Puck - Marvel Comics - Alpha Flight - Eugene Judd

Though he’s highly acrobatic and relies on tumbling for combat mobility, Judd is not a defensive fighter - his normal techniques are aggressive and intended to maul the opposition ASAP. An early profile listed Judd as being able to lift 500lbs., and his listed body weight is much higher than it should. In game terms it is possible that his strength is indeed one AP/Rank higher, and some scenes do hint that way, but the level of proof is not quite sufficient - especially since his combat skills sufficient to model the considerable strength of his blows.

Judd’s knowledge of the mystical, and even the otherdimensional, is striking - he knows tons of obscure occult stuff and is even kept informed of the major occult events through the grapevine. Presumably he had been working on these skills ever since the Raazer encounter.

History

The dates used in the History section are NOT official ones - Marvel having a sliding time scale - and are just used out of convenience. See the Alpha Flight main article on writeups.org for more about this timeline.

Eugene Judd was reportedly born in 1914 in Saskatoon - though some annecdotes he tells make it more likely that he was born circa 1910 or a bit before that. Little is known about his early life, but he soon became an adventurer and soldier of fortune (and occasional thief), roaming the world. One might assume that he was a pulps-style adventurer ; his schtick was that he was a very tall and powerful man. Judd was apparently 6’6” or more - a giant by 1930s standards.

In 1939, Judd was in Iraq to “acquire” the Black Blade of Baghdad. This ancient scimitar was well-guarded, but certain dealers in antiquities had offered a large sum for the artefact. Judd was further motivated by his own considerable curiosity, as he had heard that the blade was of supernatural origin. He didn’t consider these rumours to be necessarily hogwash, for he had already encountered some strange things during his travels.

Judd reached the sinister blade and touched it, which freed Raazer - an evil sorcerer reduced to a wraith-like state. The spectral Raazer could drain life force, his touch making his victims weaker and physically smaller. Understanding what he had unleashed, Judd sacrificed himself to imprison Raazer into “the light of his living soul”.

Somehow, it worked, but Judd ended up a good three feet shorter, and wracked with chronic physical and spiritual pain caused by the trapped Raazer. Still, Judd’s soul was strong enough to resist corruption - and he seemingly gained immortality from hosting the wraith.

Judd managed to get out of Baghdad, and learned to operate at his new size. He would also learn meditative techniques to help him cope with the physical pain and spiritual suffering that came with having an evil wraith-like sorcerer locked away in his soul. The most useful such training took place in a Tibetan lamasery, as was the style of the day.

Time after time

At this point, we only get scattered flashbacks into Judd’s life. In probable chronological order, those are:

  • Judd was a friend of Ernest Hemingway, and practised bullfighting with him in Spain ; best guess would be that they did so in the late 1920s. Though other apprentices mocked Judd, he came highly recommended by Hemingway and the corrida instructor saw his resolve. Judd did perform live as a torero at least once.
Puck - Marvel Comics - Alpha Flight - Eugene Judd
  • Puck extensively travelled throughout “the Orient”, as it was called back then. He visited Afghanistan in unrevealed circumstances (which reportedly involved the Orient Express) and learned advanced meditative and yogic techniques in Tibet and Northern India.
    Obviously, the Afghanistan and Orient Express bit is impossible - there are practically no railroads in Afghanistan, and the Orient Express never went past Turkey. This was presumably as an authorial mistake, but having Puck play chicken with the Trans-Siberian in Mongolia instead is a suitable replacement for the geographically-minded. Or you could mention the Khyber Pass if you want to keep Afghanistan - the Khyber always seems involved in pulp adventures.
  • Judd served as an international mercenary for years if not decades, and clashed several times with Logan during that phase of his life. The two short, hairy men never actually met before the 1980s, though. They are known to have indirectly clashed in Venezuela, in the city of Maracaibo — perhaps in the late 1950s during the fall of the Jimenez regime.
  • Eugene worked in an unclear capacity at the Hull House orphanage in Orloo, Ontario - presumably circa 1968. He seemed to have been an educator, and possibly served as security and/or as the director ; he certainly felt that the kids there were under his responsibility. Among his charges were Jared and Adrian Corbo, later Radius and Flex.
    The Hull House had been used by Canadian Intelligence as a place to raise potential superhumans such as the Corbo brothers, as part of the Weapon Plus-related activities that precede, and are separate from, Department H work. How much Judd knows about Weapon Plus is unrevealed. 
  • During his stay at Hull, Judd also worked on a nearby construction job, helping build a high-tech government project. Though he obviously worked as a secret agent for Canada at that point, he was on that site as an ordinary worker - maybe he was undercover. The project went wrong, and a destructive energy buildup occurred.
    Department H (at that point, James Hudson and Wolverine) intervened, soon joined by retired wartime hero Chinook, then Judd. The overconfident Chinook was mutated into a monster and the other three had to destroy him so they could contain the incident. Judd then discreetly returned to the orphanage to avoid attention.
  • Puck worked as a catcher for the Flying Zambinis at some point, presumably as a circus employee.
  • Puck met the mercenary Taskmaster in Rhodesia - presumably during that war that raged there from 1964 to 1979.
  • Judd somehow adventured in the dimension of Crystallium, a place of conflict between Order and Chaos, best known for the subsequent adventures of Crystar the Crystal Warrior. This might be where Puck gained some of his surprisingly extensive knowledge of magic.
Puck - Marvel Comics - Alpha Flight - Eugene Judd
  • At… some point, Puck allied with Modred the Mystic and they foiled the Brass Bishop. It presumably occurred in the late 1970s (when Modred wakes up from his suspended animation). The references are contradictory, though - one says that it occurred decades ago, one (the original) that it occurred between Alpha Flight v1 #5 and #12 and thus in 1984.
    Perhaps time travel was involved, with the Judd of 1984 being hurled into the past and teaming up with Modred before the latter went into suspended animation. Whilst Judd mentions he had never time-travelled before 1985, perhaps he did and never realised it.
  • Puck had a daughter with one Ms. Yu, though practically nothing is know about the context. Apparently the birth was surrounded by violent events, and Puck had to abandon the baby and the mother, possibly for their own safety. The child, Zuzha Yu, never learned who her father was but was, for some undisclosed reason, a superhuman. Assuming that Zuzha aged normally before young adulthood, this presumably took place circa 1983.
  • At an unclear point Judd met with Dr. Twoyoungmen (aka Shaman). This friendship is likely what led to Judd being recruited into Department H.
Taking flight

Judd was eventually brought to Hudson’s attention, and recruited by Department H during the mid- or late 1970s. Back then, H was building a roster of three teams of superhuman operatives ranked by readiness.

Perhaps because of his lack of super-human powers, Judd became a Beta Flight operative (which, as one would guess, was the ’B‘ team). However, he eventually was cleared to join Alpha. During this recruitment process, Judd promised to Hudson that he would never fight to kill once made a Department H operative.

Judd was still officially a Beta Flight operative (along with Marrina, Box and Flashback) when the government disbanded Department H. For a while, he just hung out in one of his favourite dives in Toronto, working as a bouncer.

However, there existed an emergency procedure to re-assemble the team - and the two Alpha-cleared Betans, Judd and Marrina, were on this on-call list. When the Great Beast Tundra was summoned, threatening all of Canada, both were thus paged. While Alpha Flight did stop the enormous menace, Puck could only arrive after the fight was over.

After the battle, the Hudsons discussed with the other team members and decided to carry on even without government support. When they tried to decide on a name, Puck made it clear that, given how hard he had worked to join the Alpha Flight, the group would be called Alpha Flight no matter what. When Walter Langkowski jokingly suggested that Puck be made the mascot, Puck punched him out. The two men soon reconciled, though.

Puck - Marvel Comics - Alpha Flight - Eugene Judd

The suck that’s Puck luck soon struck, though. Marrina was undergoing painful mutations, and as Puck tried to help her she reflexively lashed out, eviscerating him in one swipe. Shaman had Judd rushed to a hospital and operated on him, saving his life.

Having lost a lot of blood and tissue, Puck found himself facing a long post-surgery recovery and was benched. During this convalescence, Puck nevertheless defeated a drug smuggling ring operating in the hospital. He not only had all known members arrested, but further deduced that one of the doctors was the leader and apprehended him.

However, despite Puck’s efforts and good spirits, Alpha Flight was not doing well. The team dynamics were poor and tense, and disaster soon struck as a man hating Hudson with a passion, Jerry Jaxon, tried to destroy the team. Jaxon turned another ex-Betan, Flashback, and most members of Gamma Flight against the Alphans. Things went poorly, and James Hudson was seemingly killed in the detonation of his suit.

Mac’s dead

In the wake of this tragedy, Alpha Flight was obviously headed toward a break-up and experienced a number of interpersonal clashes. At this point Marrina was captured by the Collector, one of the Elders of the Universe. Despite their poor chemistry, the rest of the team managed to rescue her with Spider-Man’s help. Puck was instrumental in this, being the only person who stayed focused on rescuing Marrina, and giving her some crucial moral support when the Collector presented Marrina with repugnant specimen of her alien species - the Plodex.

As Alpha more or less dispersed, Judd and Twoyoungmen remained with Hudson’s widow, Heather, to help her cope with her loss and precarious personal situation. Still, Alpha would continue to respond to threats against Canada. When a chaos giant showed up in the countryside, Puck and Shaman could only reach fellow Alphan Northstar for reinforcement. Puck identified the creature, and the three heroes brought it down. The trio was then accidentally drawn into the dimension of Crystallium, from whence the giant originated, by the wizard Ogeode.

Judd already knew of Crystallium and even remembered the father of Prince Crystar, a warrior working on reconquering his throne from the forces of Chaos. Puck encouraged his two fellow Alphans to side with Order, and the Canadians soon found themselves fighting magma men and other Chaotic warriors alongside the crystal men. They thus took part in the restoration of Crystar to the throne before they returned to Earth.

Judd, who was secretly pining over Heather Hudson, continued to provide her with moral support, taking her to Ontario Place to relax and cope with her loss. They stumbled upon a monstrous serial killer, who nearly destroyed Heather’s leg. Investigating with the help of the police, Judd came to the conclusion the serial killer was probably a Plodex, and contacted Marrina for help. Marrina was then living as Prince Namor’s consort in Atlantis, but came ASAP to investigate.

Puck - Marvel Comics - Alpha Flight - Eugene Judd

However, when Marrina arrived, contact with a potential mate unexpectedly reverted her to a feral state. Though Judd managed to hold her off using bullfighting techniques, Namor intervened without knowing what was going on and knocked Puck out. All three heroes were thus easily captured by the Master of the World.

Puck escaped by using Yogic techniques to feign death. After accidentally disfiging the Master and sinking his submarine, Puck freed Namor and escaped with him, though Marrina seemingly disappeared. Puck helped Namor overcome his distress following Marrina’s disappearance, then helped Marrina (whom he knew had been nearby, hiding from Namor in shame over her physical transformation) to feel a bit better before she exiled herself.

Reviving Alpha

Returning to Hudson’s bedside, Judd then saved Alpha Flight by convincing the grieving and wounded widow that she should become the leader of the team. Judd and Hudson then worked on reassembling Alpha.

Contacting Shaman to gauge his interest in rejoining involved Puck in Shaman’s work to repulse the Great Beast Ranaq, which Dr. Twoyoungmen had just exorcised from one Lucas Stang. The pair was joined by two of Shaman’s allies - the demigoddess Snowbird and his daughter Elizabeth, who was revealed to be the prophesied Talisman. The team travelled back in the past to visit Stang’s youth, and foiled Ranaq there.

Hudson then worked on convincing Sasquatch and Aurora to rejoin ; meanwhile Shaman, who had noticed Judd’s suppressed feelings toward Heather, gave Puck a cryptic prophecy about the two of them.

After much work Alpha Flight was more or less reborn, with Puck, Shaman, Sasquatch, Aurora, Talisman and occasionally Snowbird being coordinated by Mrs. Hudson. Northstar even returned for personal reasons. The team was soon embroiled in a joint case with the X-Men, as Snowbird became ill and the X-Men mistakenly thought that Shaman was responsible for the disappearance of Cyclops and his wife, Madelyne.

The investigation led the two teams to a strange citadel over a magical fire fountain. Madelyne, who had gained healing powers as Anodyne, used her touch on Puck, freeing him from Raazer’s possession and restoring his full size. However, the magic of the fire fountain was revealed to be tied to Loki and to come with a terrible price. The heroes - starting with Puck - thus rejected its blessings. All those who had been made better by the fire fountain saw the effects reversed, and Raazer returned to Judd, who came to suffer from his pain and dwarfism again.

Mo’ problems

This new version of the Flight continued informal operations, with Puck training newbie Talisman in hand-to-hand combat. When the armoured villain Caliber attacked Vancouver, the new team flattened him, but then got into much more serious trouble as Snowbird realised that Sasquatch was actually a Great Beast.

She savagely killed him, but Puck noticed that Snowbird’s explanations implied that Sasquatch’s death was but physical. Snowbird soon agreed to a quest to rescue their comrade’s soul from the Great Beasts.

As Hudson watched them leave, Alpha Flight (Puck, Aurora, Shaman, Snowbird, Talisman - plus a mystically compelled Northstar) entered the Realm of the Beasts, a ruined dimension, bringing the mineralised corpse of Langkowski to the entrance. Though the mission was a close call, they recovered the soul of Langkowski, and temporarily housed it into a Box robot.

Box’s engineer, Roger Bochs, then joined the team. An ally of Jerry Jaxon, the android “Delphine Courtney”, then passed itself for a resurrected James MacDonald Hudson, fooling everyone for a while. ”Hudson” soon sprung its trap at the West Edmonton Mall, leading Alpha right into a trap laid by its Omega Flight accomplices. Team members who were not present during the ambush intervened and saved the day.

The team continued to work on procuring an organic body for Langkowski, and unknowingly ended up fishing the Hulk (literally) from another dimension. Oh dear.

Description

See illustrations.

Personality

When he gets in the zone, Puck is a very experienced and competent adventurer, evidencing formidable courage and decisiveness. He is, however, curious and impulsive, and both these can get him into hot water where he gets sidetracked, never enters the zone and under-performs.

Sometime, Puck under-performs by painting himself into a corner due to rash actions, strong passions and low-key frustration. In particular he has a tendency to strongly consider solving situations with his fists even when it’s stupid and counter-productive. This might be tied to how much pain he’s experiencing that given day, lowering his frustration tolerance level and making him rasher and less prone to consider the consequences of his actions.

There is thus no clear level of intellectual competence and cunning at which to portray Puck - it largely depends on the circumstances. Sometimes he rocks, sometimes he sucks.

Puck - Marvel Comics - Alpha Flight - Eugene Judd

Puck is generally a straightforward, salt of the earth type and makes no attempt to appear sophisticated. He likes simple, old-fashioned Canadian pastimes such as watching ice hockey and/or having a beer at the pub, and he’s not averse to a good brawl from time to time. Other rough-and-tumble types will find that Judd easily becomes a friend.

He might be intended to be a Hemingway-esque character, a tough and simple fighter and man of action who can be at odds with the hypocrisy and supposed cowardice of modern society.

Given his age, Puck tends to act nice, supportive and fatherly toward youths, especially females. He’s generally charming and genial, and has an unlimited collection of anecdotes about his past deeds. He always refers to some exotic adventures of his that sound like they were made up after reading a pile of pulp fiction stories, but are almost certainly genuine.

Judd has heard all the short jokes hundreds of time, if not more, and he’s really, really fed up with this crap. Short jokes, especially delivered in a tough guy tone, are likely to be met with physical violence - usually a throw (which come naturally to Puck by grabbing the person’s leg) but possibly a punch if the situation is already tense.

As might be inferred, Puck has never accepted his short size and feels that he’s diminished and but a part of a man. These feelings can easily lead to a partial depressive state when he’s attracted toward a woman, as he feels unworthy and unlovable. In particular he’s obviously interested in attractive young women, but since he thinks his physique ruins his chances, he’ll just sublimate his attraction into fatherly, well-meaning interest with a slight protective aspect.

Judd tends to divide the world between people he doesn’t like (who may very well end up getting punched in the face) and friends (toward whom he never holds grudges, and is very supportive and loyal).

Puck - Marvel Comics - Alpha Flight - Eugene Judd

Puck famously has the cliché Canadian tic of ending most of his sentences with a “eh ?” — as can be seen in the quotes. He prefers to be called “Judd” rather than “Eugene”, especially by his friends - almost nobody calls him “Eugene”.

Puck’s name is not based on any fancy Shakespearian thingie - he’s just named after a ice hockey puck. Go Oilers !

DC Universe History

There’s very, very little happening in Canada in the DCU - the only Canadian hero coming to mind right now is Centrix (and Flying Fox during WWII). Puck might thus serve as a seed for a small Canadian super-team operating in your version of the DCU, since his story is not really dependent on Alpha Flight being around.

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