Power Pack #29
Issue(s): Power Pack #29
This is a more down to Earth issue after Power Pack's recent space adventures and their involvement with the Mutant Massacre and meeting the Avengers and the Fantastic Four. Although the issue does continue the string of guest stars in the title, featuring Spider-Man and (a) Hobgoblin. It picks up on the rivalry between Johnny, er, Rival and Alex Power. In their last encounter, Alex used his gravity power to throw Johnny during a fight, and Johnny is now convinced that Alex is a mutant. To that ends, he's gotten himself a gun and is looking to provoke a second conflict. Alex, meanwhile, has lost his gravity power and now has his sister Katie's Destroyer power.
We find him on the roof of the Powers' apartment, trying to trigger a scenario where he can steal back his gravity power from his brother Jack.
That doesn't work, though. However, it's worth remembering this scene for when we get to his New Warriors days.
Meanwhile, i want to focus on Johnny's friends. They have very sensible views about gun ownership (it's "wac")...
...and they'd really like to do something to stop Johnny from shooting Alex. However, despite their good intentions, they are terrible diplomats.
"Wac" by the way, is the word of the day.
Johnny and Alex wind up in a fight after school, and Johnny pulls the gun on Alex despite Alex not demonstrating any mutant abilities. At the same time, Spider-Man is tracing drug money up the rungs of organized crime in what turns out to be part of a scheme by the Hobgoblin and the Rose to frame the Kingpin.
Johnny's gun goes off during their fight, attracting the attention of the Hobgoblin, who doesn't want his machinations spoiled. Spider-Man notices the Hobgoblin and follows, and the Hobgoblin takes both kids as hostages.
Jon Bogdanove's splash panel here is a mirror image of the cover art.
Alex doesn't want to use his powers while he's with Johnny, but he does try to disrupt the Hobgoblin's steering. That unfortunately just results in Johnny falling to his seeming death.
Jon Bogdanove does a great job making the Hobgoblin look goblin-y.
Spider-Man actually saves Johnny, though.
"Wac" is the word of the day, but you can also add the proper usage of the words "crush" and "treacherous" to your vocabulary, if you like. And "fresh" of course, but you probably knew that one.
Alex does use his powers to disintegrate part of Hobgoblin's purse, causing him to drop his weapons. And he even disintegrates a pumpkin bomb that Hobgoblin shoves down his shirt.
But he can't bring himself to powerball the Hobgoblin, which confirms to himself that he's a chicken.
Spider-Man arrives, chases the Hobgblin away, and confirms that Johnny is still alive, and even that "Hobby knew I would" catch him. And he also explains to Alex that not wanting to kill villains doesn't make you a chicken. He uses the example of the original Green Goblin killing Gwen Stacy, saying that even though he wanted to kill the Green Goblin after that, he knew that he didn't have the right to do so. It's a nicely written scene; a nice use of something from Spider-Man's past that's relevant to Alex.
After that, Spider-Man reunites Alex with Johnny, and their rivalry seems to be resolved.
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: This definitely takes place before the Hobgoblin breaks ties with the Rose, and seemingly before the Rose forges an alliance with the Arranger, since Hobgoblin and the Rose are trying to frame the Kingpin for the crack drug trade in the country. The MCP have this Hobgoblin as the brainwashed Ned Leeds, and they've placed it during the gap in Gang War in Amazing Spider-Man. Based on these dependencies, though, it seems less complicated to push this just prior to Gang War.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showAllison McCourt, Energizer, Gee, John Rival, Lightspeed, Mass Master, Ned Leeds, Spider-Man
Um... don't you mean: "Spider-Man makes reference to the death of Uncle Ben from Amazing Fantasy #15"?
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | March 7, 2014 1:16 AM
You didn't know that Kraven the Hunter killed Uncle Ben? Thanks Jay; fixed it.
Posted by: fnord12 | March 7, 2014 8:03 AM
In my opinion, this was the last really good issue of Power Pack. Although, she wasn’t the best artist, June Brigman was the perfect artist for this title, so that hurt when she left. Bogdanove was ok, but a little too cartoony.
Posted by: Mquinn1976 | April 5, 2018 5:03 PM
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