Puck in X-Men Noir: Mark of Cain #3

X-Men Noir: Mark of Cain #3
Apr 2010 (FEB on cover)

Don’t bother trying to understand what’s going on in this issue unless you’ve read issue #2, specifically the last panel, and even after that, it’s not fully explained. The element of mystery, key to the noir style, is the major strength of this book and the reader is sure to be twisted and turned even more in the next issue. Puck appears in this book as the first mate of the Mariko and as an adventurer/thief searching for the gem of Cyttorak which was stolen and lost in issue #1 of this series.

Puck finally gets the call on the radio from, uh, well, let’s call him “The Angel” while aboard Cap’n Logan’s ship, the junk Mariko in Genosha Bay. The brothers Halloway, both playing “The Angel” character, appear to have swapped places last issue by unknown means, distinguished to the reader from one another by the presence or absence of the familiar “M over the eye” facial mark usually sported by Bishop and other DoFN citizenry. Once aboard, Puck and Logan discern that the Halloway they have aboard is not Tommy, but Robert. It doesn’t seem to make much difference to them nor Cyclops that they have the other brother aboard as they continue their plan to recover the gem. Meanwhile, Tommy is off plotting to double-cross everyone and steal the gem during which he insults the group as “One-Eye, the Drunk and the Midget.”

They get a tip that the Blackbird, a ship carrying the gem is about to dock in New York Harbor. They see its listing in the New York Times (right below Freedom’s Lady, a reference to the Guardians of the Galaxy’s ship and the Admiral Akbar, a ship named for the fish-like alien from Return of the Jedi famous for uttering “It’s a trap!”, and above the Oracle, the icebreaker captained by Namor’s father Leonard MacKenzie, and an uncaptioned picture of Edward Smith, captain of the Titanic). The Blackbird is named after the 616 X-Men’s supersonic Lockheed SR-71 of course. In New York, they climb aboard the Blackbird and take out the guards and Puck serves a nice kick in the you-know-whats to one of them!

Unfortunately, Puck is later taken out by an elbow to the face by Noir Nightcrawler as they obtain the gem. Ouch! A nice touch by writer Fred van Lente: during the battle with Nightcrawler, who only speaks German, Puck calls him “Leibchen”, which means “sweetie” in German, showing his polyglot background. I’m glad Fred van Lente took the time to research that Puck speaks many, many languages and he tossed in that word to show it, thanks Fred!

Note: this issue has a variant cover, also by Dennis Calero.

X-Men Noir: Mark of Cain #3 – Dennis Calero variant

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