Friday, April 27, 2018 • Morning Edition • "Something about hobo piss."

Your Top Marvel Heroes part 47

Written by Chris Mitchell on Monday, May 03 2010 and posted in Features
An Inhuman, a midget, and a Guardian {nomultithumb}

112. Crystal (26 points)

"crystal.jpgI always loved her, especially when she was the bride of Quicksilver. Though, I really thought she looks stupid in that Avengers bomber jacket. What the hell was that?"

Crystal, a member of the Inhuman Royal Family led a privileged life until the day her cousin Maximus led a coup and took control of the Inhuman people's from his brother the noble Black Bolt. Pushed into exile, the small band fled into the human world, ever cautious that they were different and therefore would be feared and hunted if their true bloodlines were ever revealed. For the Inhumans were different from humans. Exposure to the Terrigen Mists change them and in Crystal's case she developed the ability to control the elements.

Away in exile, Crystal's sister Medusa went missing. Together the close knit family made their ay to New York City where she had been spotted. Hiding in the slums, Crystal, still a teenager at heart would sneak off to enjoy the fresh air whenever she could. It was doing so one day that she first Johnny Storm, At first afraid, she rejoiced when Johnny displayed his flame powers. Crystal falsely assumed that Johnny was like her an Inhuman. Johnny, wanting to no more about this beautiful girl he just met played along.

Crystal led Johnny into their temporary home where he met Crystal's family. All were somewhat pleased until the recently found Medusa and Gorgon who had recently battled the Fantastic Four recognized Johnny. Storm was cast out much to Crystal's dismay (for she had fallen for him).

Soon the rest of the Fantastic Four became involved and during the inevitable battle, Crystal and Johnny fell in love. Alas, almost instantly, the Royal Family were swept off to their homeland. The FF followed.

Once back, Black Bolt regained control of the Inhumans and Crystal and Johnny swooned. But in an act of treachery, Maximus encased the entire hidden land of the Inhumans behind an impenetrable dome. Crystal and Johnny were torn apart as the FF escaped before the dome sealed.

The next few months, Crystal pined for Johnny. Eventually Black Bolt spoke and the barrier was destroyed - Crystal could finally be reunited with Johnny. When they did the two quickly fell into a full romance, with Crystal leaving her family to stay with the Fantastic Four.

Crystal helped the team on occasion and when member Sue Richards was forced to take a pregnancy leave Crystal became a full member of the team. Her ability to create and move winds, fire, water and air made her a valuable asset to the team for quite a while.

In time though, her long exposure to outside world made her ill. In Attlian, her birth home, the air was clean, but in the human world all its pollutants left her in a perilous state. She needed to return home and so she left the FF and Johnny with her teleporting dog Lockjaw to get better.

On her way home, Lockjaw took a side trip to Australia where Crystal found the deserted remains of a destroyed Sentinel, and beneath it, the crushed but still alive body of the Avenger called Quicksilver. Taking him with her to get medical treatment, Crystal quickly fell for the mutant speedster as he did for her. Crystal and Pietro had an affair and when Johnny visited she was forced to choose between the two. She choose Pietro. They were wed some months later and in time gave birth to a daughter Luna (who was neither Inhuman nor mutant).

Maximus began playing mind games with Quicksilver and once when the two visited Pietro's sister, she fell into bed with a real estate broker. Their marriage wouldn't last much longer. From there Crystal became a member of the FF again as her feelings for Johnny reawakened, but soon she left the team and went back home.

In need of aid, Crystal reached out to the Avengers for help (probably because she didn't want to face Johnny again). After the Avengers saved the day, Crystal joined them and quickly became a full member.

While on the team she fell for Dane Whitman the Black Knight but that never went anywhere because of fellow Avenger Sersi's would be involvement with Dane.

Some time later she hooked up again with Quicksilver (who had recently been depowered). Quicksilver was basically using her to get to the Terrigen Mists. Pietro exposed their daughter Luna to mists and once found out, any possibility of reuniting was dead.

The Inhumans around this time decided to move into the depths of space to explore their Kree heritage. Once there they were embroiled in a War of Kings and in order to restore peace Crystal was forced to marry the Kree Accuser named Ronan. She slowly appears to be growing fond of Ronan. Crystal is currently beloved by the Kree.

111. Puck (26 points)

puck.jpg"The bouncing and dwarfish dynamo of Alpha Flight, the good natured Puck is the heart of Alpha Flight."

Born in the early 1900's, Eugene Milton Judd, or just "Judd" to his friends, was a soldier of fortune who traveled the world, having adventures. On one of these early adventures, he attempted to attain the 'Black Blade of Raazer", a mystical blade which, unbeknownst to Judd, contained the spirit of an evil being named Raazer. Upon accidentally releasing Raazer, Judd found the only way to defeat him was to absorb the spirit of Raazer into his body. This had the effect of changing the seven-foot Judd into a 3'6" dwarf, although he retained the full strength and agility of the formerly giant bullfighter and athlete; the demon's presence also stopped him from aging. Containing the evil being also caused Judd great pain on a constant basis.

Judd had a long life of adventuring, as both a soldier of fortune and a spy and has dealt with many costumed operatives during World War II and since. He became close friends with Wolverine during the war, and the two have remained close to this day.

When James MacDonald Hudson, who would become the costumed hero known as Guardian, was starting up the first Alpha Flight, Judd was asked to join the team, where he took the code name "Puck". The name was both an allusion to his speed and size, as well as a reference to the Shakespearean dwarf in "A Midsummer Night's Dream". Puck has served in a number of incarnations of Alpha Flight, and also served as a mentor in Beta Flight for the younger heroes.

Raazer has been released from Puck on a number of occasions, although Puck has managed to reabsorb the spirit again. Each time Raazer was released, Puck would return to his regular size and age. As this happened at an advanced age, Puck would revert to an elderly man during these separations. Upon recapturing Raazer, Puck would regress to his smaller size, and return to the age he was when he first absorbed the spirit.

However, the last time that Raazer was released, it was done by Loki, the Norse God of Mischief, and upon separation, Judd again became full sized again and elderly, although he was not able to recapture the spirit. Judd traveled to Tibet, once again planning on seeing the world, but was brought into the dimension of the Dreamqueen to aid his former Alpha Flight teammates. When the rest of the team was able to escape, Puck was stranded in this dimension, in which the Dreamqueen would torture him daily. Every night she would restore him to health, and begin again. While there, Judd used the methods he had learned in Tibet to aid him in retaining his youth and healing his wounds.

When Judd was finally released from the Dreamqueen's clutches, he found all the restoration he had accomplished was wearing off, and every wound he had received returned. He was captured by the Alphan villain the Master, who experimented on Judd, in order to reconfigure his genetics and transform him into a mate for fellow Alphan Marrina. When Alpha Flight finally found Judd, he had been transformed into a genetic mass with little resemblance his human self. Sasquatch, aka Dr. Walter Langowski, was unable to restore Puck to his previous state, but, through using the Master's technology, he was able to compress Judd back into his dwarf size. The process compressed Puck to the density of hard rubber, making him more durable and stronger than before. Puck, recovered and re-powered, rejoined Alpha Flight.

Recently, Puck, along with the rest of Alpha Flight, left Earth with a star ship full of Plodex eggs, intent on seeing the eggs home to their planet of origin. In the meantime, a past version of Alpha Flight time-traveled to the present, and took up the mantle of Alpha Flight while the original Flight was in space.

During a battle with the Collective, it appeared all the members of Alpha Flight were either seriously hurt, or killed. It is unknown if Puck is alive or dead, or if the Puck that was killed was the original or the time-displaced Puck. This could mean that the original Puck may return from space eventually, and take up his place in Alpha Flight.

110. Jack Flag (26 points)

jackflagg.jpg"Love it how he hates cosmic."

Jack Harrison and his brother Drake are big Captain America fans and active supporters of the Cap Hotline. One day the Serpent Society came to his small Arizona town and through guile and bribery the local authorities refused to do anything.

After Drake had been beaten, Jack decided take matters into his own hands and armed only with some martial arts experience, donned a costume and became Jack Flag. Flag had some small successes but his big play was to try and infiltrate the Serpent Society. As a test to deem his worthiness, he was told steal a painting from Mister Hyde. He failed horribly and was savagely beaten by Hyde. All was not lost though as Flag was doused with many of Hyde's chemicals and formulas. They seeped into Jack's body and he acquired enhanced strength, speed and endurance. Jack turned the tables on Hyde and amazingly passed the initiation.

Using Cap's hotline, Flag was able to get Cap involved and together they beat the Society. Impressed, Cap asked Jack Flag to continue on and with another of Cap's associates (Free Spirit), the three adventured for a short time.

Jack Flag was semi retired when he stopped a mugging one night. At this point an time, stopping a mugging was illegal if you wore a mask so Jack Flag was pursued by the Osborn's Thunderbolts. Jack beats nearly all of them when his spine is punctured by Bullseye. Jack is left paralyzed and imprisoned in the Negative Zone. From his wheelchair, Jack leads his fellow prisoners (most of whom are heroes like him) against an invasion from Blaastar's army. He escaped with the new Guardians of the Galaxy and his spine is repaired. Faced with a choice of going back home and being a fugitive or joining the GotG, he opts to hang with his new pals as a member.


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