The Small Lebowski:
Characters Appearing: Awf, Black Knight (Dane Whitman), Energizer, Franklin Richards, Gee, Geik, Hercules, Human Torch, Invisible Woman, Jarvis, Jim Power, John Rival, Kofi, Lightspeed, Maraud, Margaret Power, Mass Master, Mr. Fantastic, She-Hulk, Yrik Whitemane
Power Pack #28
Issue(s): Power Pack #28
At the end of the Massacre, seeing Leech upset over the death of Annalee got Franklin upset and made him decide that he wanted to try to find his parents. So the group heads to the Mansion. They peek in the windows and don't see the Richardses, so they decide to sneak in to leave a note (it is very early in the morning and the kids are still supposed to be in bed at the Powers' place). However, they set off an alarm, and Hercules and the Black Knight (Franklin says they are the only two that live in the Mansion at this time, although Cap has technically been keeping a room there as well) come charging in in their undies.
Soon parents are called (initially nearly causing a nervous breakdown when they realize the kids are missing again)...
...and children are spinning lies to explain why they were out of the house at the crack of dawn (Franklin missed his parents, so we tried to take him home!).
Meanwhile, Franklin's parents, along with She-Hulk and the Human Torch, are heading to Snark space. They are attacked on the outskirts by Maraud, who has become a scavenging pirate.
The FF tear righteous retribution into the Snarks (even though it's only by coincidence that these Snarks are the one that kidnapped the Power kids, and none of the Snarks kidnapped Franklin; he went into space himself with Friday, as his note clearly indicated!).
But then Yrik and Kofi show up to stop the fight and explain that Franklin is now back on Earth.
The FF return home using the secret subspace method that Friday used with Franklin that allows for near instantaneous travel, and they land on the roof of the Avengers' building, invisibly since the Avengers lost their right to land ships in the city when they lost their government clearance.
Mr. Fantastic throws Jim Power a bone and tells him that he's impressed with his anti-matter theories, and Margaret Power offers to host Franklin whenever the team need to travel (earlier, Katie expressed fear that her mom loved Franklin more than her, but we don't see a reaction to this). The kids are excited to meet the FF, "why does it have to be in our pajamas!", and they continue to worry about their parents finding out about their powers, analyzing the Richardses reaction to Franklin's.
All the action in this issue is on the Fantastic Four's side of the story, with Power Pack's side focused on both the fun of meeting the Avengers and the FF and the drama surrounding the web of lies that they are weaving about their powers.
Terry Shoemaker's art isn't as cute as Jon Bogdanove's, and it's a little sketchy, but this is a fun shift in pace after last issue's Mutant Massacre tie-in.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: This begins the same morning as the end of last issue, and therefore likely occurs simultaneously with the latter Mutant Massacre issues. Since Avengers Mansion is still standing and Hercules and Jarvis are uninjured, this has to take place before the Siege on Avengers Mansion, but that requires ignoring a footnote during the Siege that says that Thor's appearance there takes place at the beginning of Thor #373, which happens before Thor gets involved in the Mutant Massacre. The Fantastic Four return from space this issue and we'll assume that it's very soon after this (maybe even inspired by Franklin's feelings of abandonment) that they fully move out of the Mansion and into their own building. To help grease the works on some continuity issues, i've allowed that the FF have been moving into their new building in stages, and that's backed-up this issue when Jarvis explains that the reason that calls to the FF have gone unanswered was because the number was just recently reinstated at the new building.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
In reference to the "sketchy" art, it's worth remembering that Marvel was using really cheap paper at the time. Thin lines disappeared and colors looked blotchy because of the coarseness of the surface. Pull these comics now and you'll find they've yellowed, while silver age comics are still white if they were stored properly.
Posted by: Andrew | April 15, 2017 9:13 AM
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