Alexander Gentry, was originally a scientist who worked as a weapons designer for the United States Army, conceived the idea of designing a battle-suit in imitation of a porcupine: the suit would be covered with quill-like projections for defense. The suit would be able to shoot its quills, or gases, flames, chemicals, paralysis-inducing pellets, or weapons from quill-like tubes, at an opponent. Gentry spends months working overtime to create his porcupine battle-suit. He is proud of his achievement when the suit was finished, and believes his invention is worth a fortune. Yet Gentry also believes that the government would pay him, one of its employees, virtually nothing for his creation. Angrily, Gentry decides to keep the porcupine battle-suit and to use it to become wealthy through crime. Thus, Gentry became the Porcupine, one of the first costumed professional criminals of his generation.
Porcupine was created by Stan Lee and Don Heck
Alex Gentry was one of the first generation Marvel villains of the silver age who appeared in the early 60's fighting Hank Pym. His many other opponents included the X-men where he teamed up with the Eel, the Scarecrow, the Plantman, and the Unicorn. Captain America where he teamed up with Batroc the Leaper and the Whirlwind. He fought Cap again with his former partners the Eel, Plantman, and Scarecrow. He also fought Iron Man and the Defenders on two separate occasions. Gentry even went up against the Wasp, Hank Pym, and Nighthawk in a blotched fashion show heist.
The original Porcupine died a hero and was honored in Avengers Mansion as an Avenger even though that is a fact that has long since been forgotten and neglected since Marvel. Cap did him mighty proud by honoring him as a fallen hero."I will point out that the Porcupine had a few victories in his time even though it has always been written that he never won. He did beat Ant-Man. He did beat Giant-Man. He did beat the Beast. He beat Doctor Strange. He basically won the battles, but they won the wars. The same could be said for every super villain". The legacy of the original Porcupine Alex Gentry lives on with Roger Gocking.
Major Story Arcs
The Death of Alex Gentry
During a fight with Iron Man as part of Justin Hammer's army of armored supervillains, Gentry's original armor was destroyed by his own concussion grenades . He completely revamped his armor and streamlined it. He tested it against Cap and was soundly defeated by the hero, and though he win a battle against the Nomad with the new armor, the sidekick had only recently been awoken from decades in suspended animation. After many defeats, Gentry decided to retire and sell his new armor to the highest bidder. While attempting to sell the armor to AIM, Gentry encountered the Serpent Society, who had no interest in his armor, either. After no one would take it off his hands, Captain America offered to buy it if he helped him find the Serpent Society. Reluctantly Gentry did. Unfortunately for him, he was drawn into the battle with four members of the Serpent Society, and his opponent was Diamondback, who wanted to avoid fighting Cap. When he decided to flee he accidentally fell on one of his own quills and it allegedly punctured his heart [in the image above, the quill is embedded on the right of Gentry's chest].
After Cap defeated the Rattler, Death Adder, and Copperhead, he found Gentry dying. Gentry told Cap he was going to die as he lived, like one big loser. Cap reassured him that he was no loser and indeed was a hero for helping Cap defeat the Serpent Society. No one knows if he even heard this because he died there on the spot. Cap honored him and buried him in a grave reserved for fallen Avengers. His armor was also placed on the second floor of Avengers Mansion above a plaque reading "Armor of The Porcupine. Honored Avenger." During the attack on Avengers Mansion by the Masters of Evil, Piledriver of the Wrecking Crew briefly regarded the armor.
Aren't you supposed to be dead?
Porcupine and a number of costumed criminals appear as witnesses in court when the Trapster decides to sue the Tinkerer for consumer fraud. Some criminals like Porcupine and the Taskmaster appear on behalf of the Tinkerer, and a brawl ensues when Taskmaster tells the court that the problem is with the users and not the weapons. A huge melee ensues and She-Hulk is forced to intervene when the brawl crashes into her case in court. During the fight, She-Hulk asks the Porcupine "Aren't you supposed to be dead?" Porcupine replies "You're right; I am" and collapses dead on the floor. Whether or not this occurred on Earth-616 is a matter of debate.
You Only Die Twice?
Doctor Faustus used holograms of the Porcupine, along with ULTIMATUM agent Vladimir Korda, the original Scourge of the Underworld, and MODOK against Captain America in Skull House. Faustus is apparently attacked by the ghost of the Red Skull, then believed to be deceased.
Arnim Zola created numerous proto-husks from DNA samples of deceased heroes and villains including Porcupine whom he called his Corpse Corps. It is unknown how he obtained a sample of Gentry's DNA. These resurrected husks would secure riches to fund his genetic experiments but come into conflict with Deadpool after Animus steals some files from him. The merc with a mouth shoots the Turner D. Century proto-husk in the knee, who in turn accidentally sets the Porcupine on fire with his umbrella flamethrower. Deadpool destroys most of the proto-husks and defeats Arnim Zola.
Powers and Abilities
Power Armor Suit
His original Porcupine armor was bulky and very unusual looking. It was based on a porcupine's natural defenses, using quills for protection. Gentry also had an array of weapons he used. His main mode of attack was to fire his quills from multiple plastic tubes on his armor. He did this by pressing studs on his belt buckle. Other weapons included an array of gases, smoke screens, hypnotic disks, an acetyline torch, electrical bolts, lasers, rockets, and concussion grenades. His original armor also had an exoskeleton that augmented his strength, but the extent of his strength was never determined. His armor also had a gas mask for protection against his own weapons, as well a limited oxygen supply. He also had limited flight. He would actually fire his boot jets, and would use quills launched into nearby surfaces for guidance.
The more streamlined armor contained boot jets that allowed flight without the need for guide wires. While its offensive systems seemed as formidable as the original suit, this armor lacked the protection afforded by his original suit. In Captain America #285 - Letting Go, Captain America easily smashes the Porcupine's faceplate, and thirty issues later in Captain America #315 - The Hard Sell, Gentry is killed when he falls and is impaled by one of his own quills. However, it could also be argued that the integrity of the armor was damaged when Gentry's battlesuit was struck by the acid-filled "throwing diamonds" of Rachel Leighton, Diamondback, then a member of the Serpent Society.
According to Civil War Files, Gentry managed to sell the armor to the Secret Empire before his death, the rationale for his successor, Roger Gocking, obtaining the armor.
In Other Media
In the Ultimate Spider-Man animated series, there is an image on a SHIELD Helicarrier monitor of "Lady Porcupine." While there are no details regarding this apparent criminal, her costume appears to be covered with quills as well, though her faceplate reveals her mouth, perhaps making this an even more vulnerable point of attack than Gentry's armor.
Actor Chris Stewart voices the Porcupine in a Tumblr podcast titled Super-Villain Team-Up, in which Gentry and the original Eel interview low-tier super-villains scouting for talent on behalf of the Tinkerer. The non-profit podcast, which is used strictly for parody and is not endorsed by Marvel Entertainment, gives multiple explanations as to how Gentry and Stryke were resurrected. It is insinuated that their escape from Death's realm was an unforeseen byproduct of One More Day.