Favorite Fictional Characters, #177: Puck
John Byrne and Chris Claremont's joint tenure on the X-Men from 1977 to 1981 produced some of the best comic books of all time, including the Dark Phoenix Saga, Days of Future Past, and the Proteus storyline. During that explosively creative era (one that saw the introduction, among others, of Kitty Pryde and Mystique), Byrne used the pages of the X-Men to launch Alpha Flight, a Canadian super-team. The team grew into their own book in 1983, with memorable characters such as Guardian, Shaman, Sasquatch, and Northstar (who would much later become Marvel's first openly gay superhero). My favorite, of course, was Puck.
Three and a half feet tall, Eugene Milton Judd was an acrobatic adventurer with a talent for fisticuffs despite his abbreviated stature. He hadn't always been so short - a mystical encounter decades before had trapped an evil wizard in his soul, both truncating his height and arresting his aging process. If the foregoing sentence gives you pause, I suggest the universe of comic books might not be for you. Anyway, Puck bounced around throughout the twentieth century, bullfighting with Hemingway in Spain, partnering at times with his fellow slow-roasting Canadian, Wolverine, among other adventures yet unknown. Eventually he hooked up with Alpha Flight, where he rapidly became a mainstay. Following Guardian's death, Puck grew into the role of moral steward and team stalwart, supporting Guardian's widow, Vindicator, as she assumed the mantle of leadership.