Exiles #22 The Fearsome Porcupine

This is another character that I never really read in any comics.  In fact, I think the only time I’ve seen him in a book was in a recent reprint of part of the Korvac Saga where he made an extremely tertiary appearance.

I did see him in my Marvel Super Hero game and in the Handbook of the Marvel Universe.  I was fascinated by him and always felt like he seemed to get the short end of the stick.  So, here’s my chance to give him a redemption.

Porcupine

Alexander Gentry/Quincy McIver

Fighting:     EX/EX

Agility:      GD/EX

Strength:     EX/RM

Endurance: RM/EX

Reason:       GD/GD

Intuition:     GD/GD

Psyche:       TY/TY

Health:        80/90

Karma:       26/26

Resources:   EX(20)/GD(10)

Popularity: -5/0

Powers:

 Body Armor: Incredible protection from physical attacks. Remarkable protection against energy attacks. McIver employed his robotics expertise to add an exoskeleton to the suit to boost his strength and endurance. Without the armor, his physical abilities are as follows:

F: EX              A: EX              S: EX              E: GD

Helmet: Remarkable protection, including a 6-hour air supply. Night vision lenses give him perfect vision in the dark.

Spikes: When striking, the quills did Excellent Edged damage for Gentry and do Remarkable Edged damage due to the strength enhancement performed on the armor by McIver.

Concussion Bombs: Fires three per turn with Remarkable Agility at a range of 3 areas. Incredible Damage against a single target.

Knock-Out Gas-Bombs: Fires three per turn with Remarkable Agility at a range of 3 areas. Gas has Amazing potency.

Electricity: Incredible damage to a single target up to 3 areas away.

Rocket: Boot-jets allow Poor air-speed (3 areas per turn) for 10 minutes.

Talents: Remarkable Reason in the fields of armor and weapons design. McIver also has Excellent Reason in the field of robotics.

Contacts: Gentry was a former ally of Eel, Plantman, Scarecrow, and Unicorn; a former employee of Cowled Commander and Justin Hammer. McIver is a member of the Exiles.

Background: Alexander Gentry, a weapons designer for the United States Army, spent months working overtime to create his porcupine battlesuit. He was enormously proud of his achievement when the suit was finished, and believed his invention was worth a fortune. Yet Gentry also believed that the government would pay him, one of its employees, firtually nothing for his creation. Angrily, Gentry decided to keep the porcupine battlesuit and to use it to make himself wealthy through crime. Thus Gentry became the Porcupine, one of the first costumed criminals of his generation.

The Porcupine was soon defeated by Henry Pym, who was then the original Ant-Man and his partner, Janet van Dyne, the Wasp. A second defeat by Pym as Giant-Man came when the Porcupine took an overdose of Pym’s shrinking capsules, and shrank out of sight.

Eventually, however, the effect wore off, and the Porcupine, again at his normal size, was among the many costumed menaces assembled by Doctor Doom to disrupt the wedding of Reed Richards and Sue Storm.

His self-confidence still shaken by his failure in battling Giant-Man and the Wasp, the Porcupine eagerly accepted the invitation of Count Luchino Nefaria, a powerful figure in the criminal Maggia, to join his group of costumed agents. However, Nefaria and his agents were thwarted by the original X-Men. Once again, the Porcupine escaped being taken prisoner, and he blamed the failure of the blackmail scheme on Nefaria and the other agents. But Gentry suspected that, in fact, he himself was inadequate for the role of being a “super-Villain” battling superhuman opponents.

During coming months, the Porcupine enlisted as a member of Batroc’s Brigade and also worked with his allies the original Eel, the Plantman, and the Scarecrow, for the masked criminal mastermind who called himself the Cowled Commander. Again, the Porcupine clashed with Captain America but was defeated.

Convinced they were failures, Gentry and Leopold Stryke, who was the original Eel, sought guidance from the Celestial Mind Control movement, which was secretly masterminded by the alien Nebulon. Nebulon pitted the Porcupine and the Eel against his foes, the costumed adventurers called the Defenders, who defeated them both.

Later, the Porcupine and a small group of confederates invaded a major Manhattan hotel to steal the valuables in its safe. This time the Porcupine erred by deciding to rob the wealthy audience at a fashion show in one of the hotel’s ballrooms. The Wasp, Yellowjacket and Nighthawk quickly defeated the criminals, and the Porcupine left, humiliated at being overpowered by the Wasp and Yellojacket when they were both the size of insects.

Perhaps believing there was safety in number, the Porcupine next turned up as one of a large assemblage of costumed criminals organized by the original versions of Libra and Sagittarius of the android Zodiac. This time the Porcupine was defeated by the Hellcat during a battle between a number of the criminals and a group of adventurers operating under the auspices of the Defenders.

The Porcupine went to prison but was soon released by minions of billionaire Justin Hammer. Than venture didn’t last long either because the Porcupine and his allies failed to defeat Iron Man for Hammer.

Tired of his long string of defeats, Gentry decided to give up his career as a costumed criminal and live off the millions of dollars he expected to receive by selling his battlesuit. Gentry totatlly redesigned his porcupine battlesuit, making it far deadlier than before. He entered into negotiations with the subversive organization called the Secret Empire. But Captain America and his ally Nomad defeated the Porcupine, and Gentry was returned to jail.

In prison, Gentry vowed never to put on the Porcupine battlesuit again. He was soon released from prison, apparently legally, and he set about once more to try to sell the battlesuit. But by now Porcupine was universally regarded as a laughable failure.

In despair, Gentry came upon the idea of selling the battlesuit to the Avengers to prevent it from falling into the hands of their enemies. Captain America agreed to have the Avengers buy the battlesuit if Gentry helped get him to members of the Serpent Society. Gentry accepted Captain America’s terms.

Captain America’s plan was for Gentry to pretend to have captured him and to offer the Serpent Society the opportunity to kill him. Gentry contacted the Society’s leader and arranged to have some of the Society members meet him at a Lower Manhattan construction site. Gentry, having reluctantly donned his Porcupine costume once more as part of the plan, pretended to guard Captain America, who was seemingly bound in chains. Four Society members soon appeared but Captain America took them by surprise.

In the ensuing battle, the Porcupine aided Captain America, at one point, narrowly avoiding being impaled on one o his own quills. The pair defeated all four members of the Society. This started a war of retribution with the other members of the Society that eventually included all the Avengers. In the end, all the members of the Society were captured and Porcupine took a position as part of the West Coast Avengers.

Though he performed well at the side of his old foe, Henry Pym, Gentry always felt like he could not overcome his previous failures and feared that he was viewed as a loser and without respect.

During one of their adventures, the West Coast Avengers fought alongside the Exiles. Seeing that interdimensional group as a way of escaping his past, he asked to join them. Impressed by his abilities, they agreed. Gentry proves his worth several times in the following months. During a mission facing an alternate version of the Zodiac Cartel, Gentry sacrificed his life to save the rest of the team and foil the villains’ plot.

His armor, though heavily damaged, was not destroyed and the Exiles took it and Gentry’s body back to their home dimension for proper burial. The armor was put on display in a place of honor for several months with a holovid that told the story of Gentry’s life. During the invasion of Otherworld by an elite squad of Nth Commandoes, most of the Exiles were defeated and Quincy McIver, who had escaped their attentions and was desperate to save his wife and her teammates donned the armor as a last resort.

Taking the Nth Commandoes by surprise, he managed to free the Exiles who had been captured and joined them in defeating the invaders.  As he had long sought to prove himself a hero due to the preponderance of villainous alternate versions of himself throughout the multiverse, he repaired and upgraded the armor after this encounter. Given the story of Gentry’s life, McIver felt that he was only furthering the other man’s redemption while claiming his own as he joined the Exiles as the new Porcupine.

And as usual…you can buy my novels and games at Black Guard Press.

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