Puck Part 1: Alpha Flight #1
Puck is (un)officially promoted from Beta Flight to Alpha Flight just in time to miss all the action.
Eugene Milton Judd is introduced to us working as a bouncer at a somewhat seedy bar. Despite his size, he’s able to make short work of a few unsavory types causing trouble when the microscopic implant located behind his left ear receives the Alpha Flight call to arms. He’s so excited, he cartwheels away.
Judd makes it to Mansfield Airbase in full costume and tells the guard at the gate to let him in, using his Alpha Flight clearance. The guard doesn’t recognize him as a member of Alpha, and denies him access. Judd takes the guard down in one swift move, but is told that he needs written clearance before he can enter the base.
Judd finally arrives at the residence in to meet the other members only to find out they’re deciding on a new name for the group. Judd demands that they keep the name Alpha Flight, Walter Langkowski picks a fight, and Judd obliges.
Notes of Interest:
1) It’s explained here that Judd was officially in Beta Flight, and was about to be promoted to Alpha, when the funding for Department H was pulled.
2) Heather McNeil Hudson found Judd’s computer card (containing his unique signal code) and activated Judd’s signal, essentially promoting him.
3) It seems that up to this point the only member of Alpha Flight, and most of the Canadian Government, who knew about Judd at all, was James MacDonald Hudson.
4) According to Byrne’s letter at the end of the issue, this story takes place right after X-Men #140 (December, 1980), published just over two and a half years earlier.
WTF? Moment: Creator John Byrne made one heck of a Canadian stereotype with this character. A short, hairy guy (*cough* Wolverine *cough*) with a black rubbery-looking costume who cartwheels around and says “Eh?” every ten seconds? I know Byrne grew up in Canada, but my only other exposure to Canadian life (until I went to college) was “Strange Brew” with the McKenzie brothers, so I actually thought Canada was full of people like this, and it took me quite a while to clear my mind of all that. It also got me into a bit of trouble…(did I mention my wife is French-Canadian?)