The mate was a mighty sailin’ man, the Skipper brave and sure.

X-Men Noir #3
Feb 2009

X-Men Noir, a.k.a. X Men Noir (sans dash), is a re-imagining of the Uncanny X-Men in the film noir style, featuring alternate versions of familiar characters in what is essentially a murder mystery set in the 1930s. Puck appears in this issue in a few panels as a first mate to Wolverine, who is a ship’s captain/smuggler in this world.

Thinking Logan murdered Jean Grey, Cyclops shows up at a Chinatown bar and shoots him in the shoulder right before The Angel (no, not that Angel, the Golden Age one) drops in, literally, to break up the fight. While The Angel and Logan discuss the murder, Puck tends to the bullet wound over the course of a few panels. He’s identified as “Eugene” only in this issue, and shown wearing some drab civilian clothing.

Dennis Calero’s art is significantly dark in this issue, with many panels just showing the shaded edges of people’s faces, making characters somewhat hard to identify and difficult for the reader to follow the story. After a few readings, one can figure it out, but with the exception of Cyclops, who wears the ruby quartz glasses, the rest of the characters are a challenge to get right on the first pass.

You can tell Fred van Lente had a lot of fun with the dialogue of these noir characters: after Puck is introduced, he asks The Angel:

Great, so I’m a suspect now, eh?

To which The Angel responds:

I’m not the cops. I don’t have “suspects.” Every crime is just the visible corner of a much larger picture. Once all the other parts get filled in, there are no “suspects.” Just the guilty.

What a line! Good job on the characters and dialogue in this little scene, and much thanks to Fred van Lente for including Puck, who was never a member of the 616 X-Men, in the cast.

Note: there is a variant cover for this issue, also by Dennis Calero.

X-Men Noir #3 – Dennis Calero variant
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2 Responses to “The mate was a mighty sailin’ man, the Skipper brave and sure.”

  1. Suzene Says:

    Fred van Lente tends to be pretty good to the Flight. I’ve really enjoyed their cameos in his all-ages work on Iron Man Adventures and Wolverine: First Class.

    • rplass Says:

      Yes, I agree and hello Suzene. Those issues were more than cameos for Alpha Flight… more like featured superstars! When I get around to those issues on this site, it’s going to be great fun.

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