Characters Appearing: Arcade, Black Raazer, Puck
Marvel Comics Presents #99 (Puck)
Issue(s): Marvel Comics Presents #99 (Puck story only)
Honestly, the whole issue should have just been Puck grinning maniacally while in bar fights, as illustrated by Joe Madureira.
Puck is working as a bouncer. On his way home, he's approached by a young girl claiming that her mother is in danger, but she really leads him into one of Arcade's deathtraps.
Puck comes to believe that Heather Hudson has been killed, and that causes him to lose control of the magic sword demon in his head, which escapes, transforming Puck into a tall old man.
Arcade tries to capture Razer/Raazer, but that's not really feasible, so Arcade is forced to tell Puck that Heather isn't really dead so that Puck will help him.
Arcade escapes after Puck re-draws the demon into his head.
Arcade's motivation in this story doesn't really sound like the character. He's supposed to be an assassin for hire that just happens to use crazy deathtraps to kill people. I can see him developing grudges against heroes that have thwarted him and going after them. But going after Puck to steal the demon in his head to transfer the world into a true Murderworld makes it seem like Arcade has gone off the deep end in a way that doesn't really fit with other appearances of the character. And while, yes, we must accept that Puck has a magic sword demon in his head that makes him an immortal dwarf, that's such a dumb idea that it should be mentioned as little as possible. We certainly shouldn't be establishing that Puck can actually lose control of the demon and turn into an old man during times of stress.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: The MCP place this circa publication date, but i think that's an oversight. This takes place while Black Raazer is still in Puck's head. The Raazer situation seemed to be resolved by Alpha Flight #50, and Raazer even appeared as an independent character in the back-ups beginning in New Mutants annual #7. So this should take place before all of that. Furthermore, while talking to the bartender, Puck says, "with Heather's husband gone, I want to take care of her and tell her how I feel, but I sure can't offer her much, eh?". That makes it sound like it takes place relatively soon after the death of Guardian in Alpha Flight #12. The use of Stayin' Alive (the movie came out in 1983) and Pac-Man also suggest that this was meant to take place during the early-mid 80s. Puck also says that Heather is "interested in becoming a leader Alpha Flight will respect" meaning this should take place after she's made team leader in Alpha Flight #17, but probably while that role is relatively new to her.
I did wonder if i should have to place this after Alpha Flight #32, since Arcade is aware of Raazer. But i suppose since Arcade is meant to have been monitoring Alpha Flight, he could have heard Puck talking to himself about it or something. Puck's "can't offer her much" line in this story is along the lines of thinking that causes Puck to release Raazer in issue #32, so it does seem to make sense for this to take place prior to that.
Continuity Insert? Y
My Reprint: N/A
I don't feel very strongly about this, but doesn't predating this story before Raazer's first appearance(let alone before he acquired the "Black" part of his name) kind of elevate this story higher than it should be? I agree that Puck shouldn't be losing control of Raazer, but if he was going to start, if this was closer to issue 50, then it would be a mediocre story foreshadowing a really bad, but important story, instead of Raazer's first appearance. I mean, Marvel Comics Presents didn't go into production until 1987. It's fair that it should be backdated, but unless it was specifically meant to be flashback story, it undercuts the reveal of that the first Raazer story had. Anyway, just my 2 cents.
Posted by: Brian C. Saunders | May 17, 2016 1:06 AM
Haven't read this but I think Puck and Pip need to team up.
Posted by: david banes | May 17, 2016 1:54 AM
For what it's worth, Puck said he was born in 1914 in Alpha Flight 32, and he's said to be 71 in this story, so...
Posted by: Michael | May 17, 2016 7:59 AM
@Brian, unfortunately i believe the story was meant to be a continuity insert, for the reasons i describe in the Considerations. I can't help that a continuity insert undercuts a first appearance or other dramatic revelation, as much as i may like to.
One clarifications, in case i wasn't clear on something: He's only called Razer, not Black Raazer, in this story (although i think one of his powers is the ability to have his named spelled differently with each appearance).
@Michael, he also says that he's 71 in issue #32. I've pushed this forward a bit so that it's closer to issue #32 (although with the sliding timescale it probably doesn't need to be that close). But the age does confirm it's meant to take place somewhere relatively near to issue #32. The debate for me is whether it goes before or after, and since Puck talks about the death of Guardian and Heather taking on the leadership role as if they were relatively new, i think it should go before.
Posted by: fnord12 | May 17, 2016 8:21 AM
Comments are now closed.
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