27 January 2007

The Many Foes of Spider-Man - Puma

We are under 100 days to go. This week, its Spidey's orangeiest foe, Puma

Puma's real name is Thomas Fireheart, and he is of Native American descent. The tribe he belongs to has had an ancient prophesy of the coming of a powerful being who might destroy the world for generations. Long ago, they began making preparations for this coming doom. They used mystic ceremonies and selective breeding to create a perfect warrior. Thomas Fireheart is the latest in this line of men. Though he never believed in the prophesy, he took his duties as protector of his tribe seriously, and has strived his whole life to be the best he could be, mastering his ability to turn into a powerful humanoid mountain lion werecat. He also trained in Martial Arts in Japan under a man named Master Muramoto.

Very intelligent, and with a good business sense, he became owner and CEO of Fireheart Enterprises. Headquartered near his tribe in Hartsdale, Arizona, it is a multinational corporation involved in many different endeavors, with regional offices around the world. Becoming bored with corporate life, he began to seek greater challenges, and offered his skills as Puma for sale.

When he originally appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #256, he was operating as a mercenary and had been hired by The Rose to kill Spider-Man, but was thwarted by the Black Cat. In the following issue, he again attempted to attack Spider-Man, but changed his mind when he witnessed Spider-Man save an innocent bystander.

He was able to learn Spider-Man's secret identity, Peter Parker, thanks to his enhanced senses, and now felt he owed him a debt of honor. He offered him a job at his company, which Parker declined, and later attempted to clear Spider-Man's name of a crime he didn't commit.

At one point, Fireheart actually purchased 51% of the Daily Bugle, made Robbie Robertson publisher, and began a pro-Spider-Man campaign in the publication. During this time, he was nearly killed in an attack by the Hobgoblin, but was saved by Spider-Man.

Fireheart agreed to join Spider-Man's rag-tag superhero group called The Outlaws, along with several other Spider-Man adversaries-turn-allies (including Sandman, Rocket Racer, and the Prowler). The group clashed with the Avengers, until it was revealed that both groups were actually being manipulated by the shape-changing Space Phantom.

He eventually sold the Daily Bugle back to J. Jonah Jameson for $1, and he and Spider-Man settled their debt of honor on a vision quest in New Mexico.

Villain Profiles:

the Beetle
Black Cat
the Chameleon
Doctor Octopus
the Green Goblin
J. Jonah Jameson
Jack O' Lantern
the Kingpin
Kraven the Hunter
the Lizard

Spider-Man 3 debuts in 97 days!

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