Power Pack #19
Issue(s): Power Pack #19
Julie, second oldest, trying to be a little adult while her father is leaving them to be with their mother at the hospital.
And the unrealistic optimism of Katie, the youngest, who has latched onto the "better to be miserable together" message about the Morlocks, and so has arranged a surprise party inviting all of her super-powered friends, including Franklin Richards, Beta Ray Bill, the Morlocks, Cloak & Dagger, and Kitty Pryde and Wolverine. Spider-Man was also invited but didn't get the message, and Professor Gilbert and Dragon Man are off on the west coast and can't attend.
When Alex finds out about Katie's surprise, he takes it as her being frivolous in the face of the seriousness of their mother's injury, and he flies off the handle.
The other thing Katie has latched onto is something her mother once said to her, which was that the Macy's Thanksgiving parade's giant balloons always made her troubles seem small by comparison, so before the party Katie gets the outlandish idea to hijack a runaway balloon and ride it to her mom's hospital, where it nearly crashes into the building and injures everyone on that side of the hospital...
...before Beta Ray Bill stops it.
Of the Morlocks, only Annalee and Leech attend the party. In fact, Annalee initially tries to attend without Leech, and she locks him in a box. But the Morlock Ape unwittingly lets him out, and Leech rushes after his "momma", Annalee.
She then uses her emotional manipulation powers to get the parade-goers to stop Leech, which is how the balloon that Katie rides to the hospital gets free.
Worth noting that Cloak & Dagger's powers, when they step in to help, are unaffected by Leech's powers, "perhaps" because they are not mutants (although it's worth noting that he's been shown to cancel Power Pack's powers, and they're not mutants either).
After the disruption at the parade and a discussion that gets Annalee accepting Leech, Alex agrees that everyone might as well go back to their apartment for the "party", and it turns out to be what everyone needed.
Wolverine is looking festive with that kerchief. His appearance here is the most unusual. It's worth remembering that Kitty's parents are divorced and she's still mad at them, so that's why she's here. Wolverine just seems to be keeping her company. There's no saying what the rest of the X-Men are doing, but Magneto is visiting with the Scarlet Witch per Vision and the Scarlet Witch #6.
The rest of the characters are all misfits in some way, and also have more of an immediate connection with Power Pack, and it makes sense for them to get something out of attending a Thanksgiving run by a bunch of young kids with super-powers. What's funny is thanks to me getting this issue in real time - a real bargain; a double-sized book chock-full of guest stars - for a long time i considered characters like Beta Ray Bill and Erg as A-List as Wolverine.
I love these scenes at the end - Alex, old enough to be "aware" of Dagger, getting a kiss from her...
...and Leech's sheer delight at getting out of the gown he's been wearing and into some real boy clothes.
It's frankly a beautiful story, all around. A lot of really good emotion here.
Some other developments. The beginning of this issue shows the Morlock Erg delivering Annalee's RSVP, and shows that Katie is learning to control her powers better.
And an interlude showing the Queen Mother Snark, Maraud, wondering what the heck is delaying her son, who we know has been defeated by Power Pack and dumped in the Arctic to hibernate.
Quality Rating: A+
Chronological Placement Considerations: The Fantastic Four are still away, as mentioned in Power Pack #18 (see the Considerations there for more, but the short of it is that this takes place before Fantastic Four #286). The MCP place this between Cloak & Dagger #4-5 but it's context free for them. Beta Ray Bill appears here after Thor #363 but before he returns to Asgard in Thor #364. Wolverine and Kitty Pryde mention Xavier's departure and Magneto's takeover of the school's leadership, but also that "Scott's betrayed Madelyn". Definitely after Uncanny X-Men #201, then, but i'm not sure if the "betray[al]" suggests that it's also after X-Factor #1. Vision and the Scarlet Witch #6 also takes place on Thanksgiving, so i'm keeping the issues adjacent, especially due to the Magneto connection.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showAnnalee, Ape (Morlock), Beta Ray Bill, Cloak, Dagger, Energizer, Erg, Franklin Richards, Friday, Gee, Jim Power, Kofi, Leech, Lightspeed, Maraud, Margaret Power, Mass Master, Professor Gilbert, Shadowcat (Kitty Pryde), Wolverine
This issue has to take place before the X-Men learn that Scott left Maddie. In Uncanny X-Men 206, the X-Men receive a postcard from Maddie that was sent before Scott left, in Uncanny 210 Magneto sees that Scott and a redhead are members of X-Factor and assumes it must be Maddie, and it's not until Uncanny X-Men 221 that the X-Men learn Scott left Maddie.
Posted by: Michael | October 14, 2013 7:59 PM
When I bought this way then, I wasn't a regular reader and my first thought was "When did Legion start wearing a spike collar and an eyepatch?"
Posted by: Mark Drummond | October 15, 2013 6:04 PM
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