Power Pack #48-49
Issue(s): Power Pack #48, Power Pack #49
These issues are i guess in the tradition of Defenders #75, where the Hulk helped a beached whale, and it's worth noting that we saw that whale again in Defenders #88. That second part is relevant since while these issues have a very heavy environmental message, what's really weird is that at the same time they treat dolphins like mystical creatures with human-like intelligence. It's hard to make a legitimate case for environmental issues when your reasons are based on fantasy.
This arc also runs into a common trap for super-heroes addressing real world issues, which is that the super-heroes can't really solve the problem so you have to come up with a fake or symbolic victory.
The Power kids are excited to go on vacation...
...except Alex, who is upset about the environment.
But that's put on hold for the moment when they hear that dad has bought a car.
Although the kids don't really approve of the style.
With the new car, the kids go to Connecticut to pick up Franklin Richards...
...and then they all head to Maine for their trip.
When they get to the beach, they find it's closed due to beached dolphins.
So while the parents are eating lunch, they sneak out and de-beach them.
You can see Franklin talking to the dolphins. That's just the beginning.
Later, they go to the island where they'll actually be staying, and we see what i assume are some of Jon Bogdanove's friends.
None of those characters, not even the kids, factor into this story, though.
Instead, that night, Franklin starts having one of his special dreams, and thinks that he's become a dolphin.
It's stated as fact that the dolphins beach themselves to "plead with their tormentors".
When the dream turns to a nightmare and Franklin wakes up (and the parents are sent back to bed), the kids go out, with Franklin leading Power Pack to the dolphins.
Notice that Katie has arranged for Power Pack's costumes to have diving gear, thanks to the weird events of last issue.
Franklin brings them to the dolphins, who he refers to as people, and starts communicating with them in person.
And they start talking back, first just to Franklin...
...and then through him.
I'm with Jack. Too weird for me.
Bogdanove also uses the old "we only use 10% of our brain" fallacy.
The dolphins take Power Pack to where the massive amount of radioactive pollution off the shore of Maine is.
Alex starts trying to disintegrate it all while Jack watches over him to make sure he doesn't overload himself, while Julie and Katie find a ship that is in the process of dumping more waste right now.
Alex absorbs so much that, um, this happens.
But he survives it. And then Power Pack dump all the waste from the boat on the house of the guy that sent it.
Julie, at least, thinks that may not have been the right move.
Look, i love the intent behind the story, and i get the wish fulfillment aspect. And maybe we can write off the talking dolphins as something Franklin was doing. But it's a really weird way to deliver the message. Very cutesy art, magical anthropomorphism, and overly villainous polluters. And honestly just not a very entertaining two issues, continuing the decline of this book even apart from the environmental message. I really do like Bogdanove's art but at a time when the book is getting overly kiddie oriented, the fact that it's so cartoony is not helping.
Also in these issues, setting up what one hopes would be a more promising Snark storyline, Kofi can't stand the idea that the Smartship Friday might die, so he steals a ship and flies off.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: A footnote for Reed and Sue Richards says that "This story takes place before recent events in the Fantastic Four". This story can't take place before Avengers #300 since that was part of Inferno, which Power Pack was also involved in. And i haven't seen a scene in Fantastic Four where the Richardses are selling their house and moving their stuff to Avengers Island or Four Freedoms Plaza. So i don't see any reason why the Richardses can't still have their house when i place this arc at publication date, as long as it doesn't fall into the period where the FF are held in stasis by the rogue Watcher. I will note that the MCP does manage to squeeze a half-year's worth of Power Packs between Inferno and Avengers #301 to make this fit, so it is possible (if you ignore some temporal references, which isn't out of bounds) but i don't see a need to do it.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showEnergizer, Franklin Richards, Friday, Gee, Invisible Woman, Jim Power, Kofi, Lightspeed, Margaret Power, Mass Master, Mr. Fantastic, Yrik Whitemane
Comments are now closed.
|SuperMegaMonkey home | Comics Chronology home|