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Tuesday, August 02, 2005

My Collection - POWER PACK [1984 Series]

Power Pack [1984 series]
43 issues [1984 - 1989]
1 - 40, 47 - 48, 50

POWER PACK was a Fairly long-running child super-hero book from Marvel, created by Louise Simonson and June Brigman, featuring the four young Power siblings who gain super-powers (and a ship) from an alien horse and use them in a variety of adventures, including many battles against the lizard-like alien Snarks. It lasted to #62, and has been revived a few times since.

I didn't start reading the book until around the time that it was cancelled, when I heard some good things about the early run from some people (and heard the actual issues being released then weren't so good). Back issues were pretty cheap, so I picked up the first half-dozen, liked them, and kept going forward. Got as far as #40, at that point it wasnt quite as good, and I couldn't find some of the following issues as easily or cheaply, and Brigman wasn't drawing any more and Simonson was only occasionally writing, so I didn't make too much of an effort to pick them up. I suppose at some point I'll pick up the seven issues I need to have it complete up to #50 and maybe a few after (looking at the credits on the GCD it looks like I can go up to #55 safely). While the issues in that run aren't as good as the early stuff, they seem pretty good on an objective measure.

Surprisingly, one of the things I liked most about the book was its frequent use of the rest of the Marvel universe in the stories. Normally a series with a unique voice is ruined by excessive guest-stars and crossovers, but in this series there was a great sense of wonder about the kids discovering their powers and the greater super-hero world around them that it opened up. Simonson also showed more of an understanding of the fundamentals of the Marvel universe than most writers, and it was great to get her take on characters like Spider-Man, if only for a few pages at a time. I also thought the addition of Franklin Richards as a recurring cast member was inspired. A few times the guests were tied in to other storylines I know (or care) nothing about, but Simonson did a better than average job of not letting that get in the way of the main story.

Recommended issues, anything from the first dozen issues. A great origin story to open, some Spider-Man, Dragon-Man, great art by Brigman with a few solid fill-ins by Brent Anderson. Doubt we'll ever see it, but that would make a nice solid 300-page collection or two digest sized volumes.

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