Porcupine (Marvel Comics)'s classic armor


(Profile #1 - Mk1 suit)

Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game


The Porcupine is one of the classic jobbers  from the early days of Marvel – a very minor but recurrent super-villain who always gets defeated, but has enough of a gimmick to be interesting. He fought a wide range of heroes, from Avengers to the X-Men.

This profile describes the Porcupine during the 1960s and 1970s. The rest of his career is described in the 2nd Porcupine profile as he upgrades his armour and gains a character arc.



  • Real Name: Alexander Gentry.
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed, presumed single.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: Former partner of Eel I, the Plantman, the Scarecrow and the Unicorn. Former employee of the Nefaria family of the Maggia. Former member of Batroc’s Brigade. Former employee of the Cowled Commander, and of Egghead. Former pawn of Nebulon and of the Celestial Mind Control movement. Former employee of Justin Hammer.
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile.
  • Height: 6’1” Weight: 255 lbs.
  • Eyes: Blue-grey. Hair: Apparently grey and dyed brown.

Powers and Abilities

Alex Gentry was a competent weapons designer, who came up with a simple but surprisingly effective design with the first Porcupine suit. He’s been described as an inventive genius, and could actually be pretty smart (if a bit oddball) in his plans and strategies. He was also able to think on his feet.

Equipment, part 1

The Porcupine Mark One suit is a bulky protective suit. It is fully enclosed and includes a gas mask protecting the wearer from the fumes emitted by some of the weapon systems.

The outer armour is actually made up of hundreds of robust tubes (“quills”). Using controls built into the belt, those tubes can rise into firing position and discharge their payload, before settling back. This allows the suit to carry a large number of different payloads to engage unconventional foes and situations.


Furthermore, there is a very efficient dorsal jetpack. Or rather, clusters of specialised “quills” emitting jet exhaust.

The suit looks like it can only be worn by a large person such as Gentry (though nowadays 6’1” is less impressive than it used to be). It isn’t initially powered, but an hydraulic exoskeleton  appeared in later evolutions.

Equipment, part 2

The jetpack can only be used in vigorous bursts, not as a continuous stream. In DC Heroes RPG terms this is Jumping, not Flight.

Manoeuvring is done through body English. To stop, Gentry shoots a suction cup quill at some nearby structure. The suction cup trails a steel cable, which Gentry swings on to slow down and stop, like a swingline. He’s surprisingly adept at this, and does not normally need to make a roll to perform this manoeuvre.

Whilst wearing the Mk1 suit, gas was by far Gentry’s preferred weapon. In a typical encounter the Porcupine would have time to use gas once or twice, and one or two other attacks before being defeated.


Alex Gentry was originally a weapons designer working for the US military during the Cold War. During the early 1960s, inspired by the porcupine, he designed and built a special protective suit. This bulky body armour could use its “quills” as highly versatile projectile weapons, combining offence and defence.

Though he was very proud of his special suit and of the power it gave its wearer, Gentry was embittered by his mediocre pay and status. He thought that his achievements, and in particular the porcupine-like body armour, deserved a much better reward than the paltry raise he might realistically get.

Ruminating over this, he decided he should become a super-villain instead – and forge his own lucrative destiny.

Crime wave !

Gentry debuted by attacking a new, supposedly robber-proof bank in broad daylight during the opening ceremony. Henry Pym, the designer of some of the security, couldn’t stop him, but he tracked the Porcupine down and confronted him at the Army ordnance centre where Gentry had made his base.

The Porcupine, using special anti-Ant-Man payloads, easily defeated the diminutive hero. He then threw him into a water-filled tub to die from exhaustion and suffocation.

Thankfully, Pym was rescued by the Wasp. The pair then ambushed the villain and clogged up most of his tubes using bags of cement. The Porcupine nevertheless escaped, using unclogged jet tubes to jump out of the building and more or less glide away.

Being the vengeful type, the Porcupine immediately started to work on getting back at Pym. During an acrobatics exhibition of Giant-Man and the Wasp, he shot Pym to make him fall from a building, but somehow Pym survived with just a broken ankle.


Undaunted, Gentry joined a club of young Giant-Man fans – basically 1960s nerdy Marvel cosplayers. He pretended to just happen to have a perfect Porcupine costume. Thus undercover, he ambushed the Wasp and Giant-Man, and captured the Wasp in a specially booby-trapped car.

Gentry then drove away, with the car giving off DDT fumes to prevent Pym’s ants from tracking him. Back to his base, he locked the Wasp up, telling her she’d be freed when she would tell him Giant-Man’s secret identity.

It was a ruse – Gentry let the Wasp escape then tracked her down, via a drone quill, to Giant-Man’s secret lab. Gentry followed her there and performed fairly well against the heroic duo.

Giant-Man eventually seized him, but the Porcupine unexpectedly swallowed several pills that he grabbed from Giant-Man’s belt. Gentry assumed that he would soon grow even larger than Pym.

As it turned out, Gentry actually swallowed a handful of shrinking capsules, and shrank out of sight. How the Porcupine escaped this misadventure is unrevealed, but from then on he would seek safety in numbers and operate along with teams.

From Nefaria to Egghead

The Porcupine was next seen as an agent of Count Nefaria. The ambitious mobster famously captured the whole of Washington, D.C. and tried to have the X-Men bear the brunt of the blame. Gentry helped by capturing the Beast.

However one of the henchmen, the Unicorn, convinced the rest to betray their employer and escape with the ransom. Though they lost the loot, the Porcupine and his colleagues escaped from the military.

Porcupine (Alexander Gentry) and henchmen robbing a fashion show

When he appeared anew, the Porcupine was again part of a band of super-villains working as henchmen for a mastermind with a major plan. Egghead built a nuclear ballistic missile, and he and his mercenaries blackmailed the US from somewhere in the Canadian countryside, threatening to nuke New York City.

Egghead had chosen Canada for its absence of super-heroes. But a fledgling super-team, the Flight, responded. Though this very early version of Canada’s super-team shouldn’t have been in the field, they prevented a nuclear detonation thanks to the sacrifice of Flight member Saint Elmo.

Porcupine was defeated when Wolverine slashed the front of his costume open.

The 1970s, part 1

In 1970, Porcupine next joined one of the early iterations of Batroc’s Brigade, along with the Whirlwind. The two Americans and the Frenchman leapt into action too soon, and against no less than Captain America. Having never trained together, the three villains kept getting in each other’s way and were defeated.

Cap failed to capture them, but they gave up working together.

In 1973, the Cowled Commander hired the same crew as Nefaria did a few years before – minus the Unicorn, of course. The Porcupine, the Plantman, the Scarecrow and the Eel (Leopold Stryke), joined by the Viper (Jordan Dixon), were to launch a major crime wave in New York City. They were stopped by Captain America and the Falcon, and arrested.

The 1970s, part 2

With his two colleagues Plantman and the Eel, Gentry became a member of the Celestial Mind Control movement, a weird cult organised by the alien Nebulon.

They went through a number of “self-confidence development” sessions, which included gunning down their “bozo selves”. These were automatons wearing replicas of their costumes and symbolising their failures and inadequacies.

More or less brainwashed and full of new-found confidence, the Eel and the Porcupine were sent to take down the Defenders. The Porcupine gassed the heroes by surprise, and stood triumphant. However, despite all their talk about self-confidence and leaving their bozo selves behind, the two villains were then defeated by Nighthawk.

By 1977, the Porcupine had returned to planning and leading his own operations. He thus hired a crew to rob a swank New York City hotel. The operation went well until they robbed one of the ballrooms, where a high-end fashion show was taking place.

Unfortunately for Gentry and his men, the show was the debut of Janet van Dyne as a fashion designer. In short order, the criminals were defeated by the Wasp, Yellowjacket and Nighthawk.

Along with an embarrassingly large number of heroes and villains, Gentry was later involved in the “Defender for a Day” fiasco. The less said, the better.

Hammer time

At some unrevealed point of the 1970s, Porcupine had come to work for Justin Hammer. This association with Hammer may be how an exoskeleton became a part of the Porcupine suit. Gentry was occasionally part of the security detail guarding Hammer’s famous floating villa.

Porcupine was present during the 1979 battle royale between Iron Man and an army of Hammer lackeys. Hammer’s mercenaries were defeated, with Iron Man destroying the Porcupine’ suit during the fight.

Could this be… the end of the Porcupine ?


See illustration.


It never played much of a role.

The Porcupine used to be an ambitious, prideful, fairly smart super-villain who gradually downgraded his ambitions. Over the years he simply became a generic mercenary criminal, albeit one with a good technical education.


“All my life I’ve been just another unknown, unsung scientist ! But I’m too brilliant to remain that way ! By sundown the name of the Porcupine will be known throughout the world !”

“But of course I, the Porcupine, belong here ! Where else does a bank robber belong but in a bank ?” (knocks out guards)

“Did you hear of my deadly little quills ? If not — here’s a special demonstration !” (TIKATIKKATIK !)

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats


Dex: 03 Str: 03 Bod: 03 Motivation: Power
Int: 05 Wil: 05 Min: 03 Occupation: Criminal
Inf: 03 Aur: 03 Spi: 03 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 011 HP: 020

Gadgetry: 05, Scientist (Drawing plans): 05, Vehicles (Land): 03, Weaponry (Porcupine ’quills’): 06

Expertise (Weapon systems design). Will usually have some sort of Headquarters with a Lab.

Underworld (Low).



  • PORCUPINE SUIT Mk1 [/BODY/ 06, Claws being: 02, EV 10, Jumping: 06, Range: 02, Sealed systems: 07, Skin armour: 02, Drawback: Real Armour. Bonus: Jumping can be used even while in the air. Note: Range represents the ’quills’ and is used to propel any payload that can be fitted within a ’quill‘ ; EV can only be used as the EV to break a Grappling or Wrestling manoeuvre, and represents pneumatically-powered quills rapidly hammering against whatever is in contact with the suit].
  • Here is a list of payloads (“quills”) that can be used with the Range of the SUIT. If there is just a name and no stats, it is a payload that was mentioned but never seen in action.
    • Stun-pellets.
    • Ammonia.
    • Liquid fire.
    • Detector mine tubes.
    • Atomic pellets.
    • Gas pellets [Fog: 04, Sleep: 05, Bonuses : Fog and Sleep are Combined and Sleep is active throughout Fog ; the Phases of Sleep are followed by normal sleep]. A later variant is a double cluster of ten quills directly discharging gas – there is no Range, but the APs of Sleep are increased to 07, and there is a Special +5 Volume Bonus to Fog. Sleep gas seems to be the Porcupine’s favourite payload.
    • Fog pellets [Fog: 06].
    • Liquid cement [Glue: 05, Advantage: Scattershot]. Liquid Cements can be used to clog weapons such as handguns fairly easily – treat as a Take Away using Glue as the EV and Weaponry as the AV, without penalties.
    • Acetylene payload [Heat vision: 13, Limitation: Heat Vision has No Range, and only can be used with 7 APs of power – however, for each successive Phase spent attacking an unresisting target with Heat Vision, APs rise by one up to 13. Each such quill can run for ten Phases.]
    • Paralysing pellets.
    • Hypnotic wheels [Mental freeze (Area of effect 3 APs, Must be seen to work): 05]. Those strange contraptions are lighter-than-air wheels that float around, whirling, and trap onlookers into an hypnotic trance. The Porcupine also used a single, larger, more powerful wheel with Mental freeze: 06 but no Area of Effect.
    • Phosphorescent micro-pellets [AV 08, Cling: 05, Detect (Specific metal alloy): 02, Flash (Steady illumination only): 01]. These tiny, specialised ammunition are glowing miniature pellets which are attracted toward Ant-Man’s helmet, clinging to it and making the diminutive hero clearly visible. Their Detect negates Shrinking OV bonuses when they use their AV, and the Flash negates the penalties from Shrinking to Perception rolls as long as it is active.
    • Micro-nets [AV 08, BODY 05, Snare: 06]. Miniature nets which are attracted by a magnetic field set up by the Phosphorescent Micro-Pellets (they can only use their AV this way — but said AV ignores Shrinking OV bonuses)]. The Micro-nets can only be used against insect-sized targets. They are fired in clusters of four or five, hence their good Snare.
    • Lethal radiation gas.
    • Electrified half-sized truncheon-like projectiles [Projectile weapon (Scattershot): 05, Lightning: 07, Bonus: Projectile weapon and Lightning can be Combined]. Those are fired in volleys of four, which is Already Factored In.
    • Drone quill [BODY 01, Miniaturisation: 10, Flight: 06, Radio coms: 10, Thermal vision: 05. This flying quill uses its Thermal Vision to track a specific heat signature, and its Radio coms to report its location every few seconds to the console in Porcupine’s base.] This was used to track the Wasp back to her lair, after the Porcupine analysed her heat signature and fed it to the quill’s embedded computer.
    • Concussion ray [Mental blast (Diminishing): 09, no Range but can use the base Range of the quills]. Chiefly use to blow obstacles up, such as reinforced doors.
    • Fly-paper pellet [AV 10, Body 05, Snare: 06. The AV ignores the Shrinking Bonus of the opponent, but is reduced to 06 if the target does not have active APs of Flight (Winged). The Fly-paper pellets can only be used against small-bird-sized, or smaller, targets.]
    • Tear gas streams [Fog: 03, Chemical attack: 05, Bonus: Chemical attack is Combined With and Active Throughout the Fog.
    • Burst of needle-like quills [Projectile weapon: 06, Range: 04, Advantage: Multi-Attack 01, Limitation: Projectile Weapon has No Range, use the Range listed instead].
    • Lasers [Laser beam: 06].
    • Mini-rockets.
    • Concussion mini grenades [Bomb: 10].

Hero Points

The listed HPs are for Porcupine’s earliest career as a solo Giant-Man opponent. After that, he started operating as a part of groups that did not perform very well, and only had 15 HPs. When he started wearing the second Porcupine armour he was flush with confidence in his design, and had a respectable 40 HPs – but only during his first outing.

Exoskeleton upgrade

In 1973, the Porcupine demonstrated an unprecedented ability. His suit now included an exo (or an “hydraulic skeleton”, in his words).

The apparent effects of this generation of exo were /STR/ 07 and a MPR (the land speed of the wearer is diminished by one AP when running).

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Helper(s): Adam Fuqua, Capita_Senyera.

Source of Character: Marvel Universe.