Power Pack Holiday Special #1
Issue(s): Power Pack Holiday Special #1
The downside of this is that the majority of the issue is devoted to elements introduced in later Power Pack issues in order to set up the continuity fix, rather than getting Power Pack back to Earth for a more traditional adventure once the fix is in place. There are two back-up stories that take place after the characters are back on Earth, but they are by other creators and not very good.
For the main story, we begin inside the spaceship Friday, with Jack, Julie, and Katie arguing while "mom", "dad", and "Alex" are sleeping. Julie says that she can't help think that things are all wrong. It might make sense for her mom to get upset to learn that her children have powers, but "not enough to go catatonic -- even with the Kymellian mind lock on her".
I gave credit to Simonson for picking up on the continuity threads from the end of the Power Pack series, but she seems to have only skimmed the issues, because it seems to be the case that the father, Jim Power, still has the super-powers that he displayed in those issues.
But the Jim Power that displayed those powers really turned out to be the Infant Terrible Elan in disguise. Maybe the "real" Jim Power developed these powers after we last saw him.
In any event, it turns out that Power Pack is being observed by the Snark Queen Maraud (spelled Meraud throughout the issue) and the Kymellian Technocrat, and by the real Alex Power.
Here's a full view of the Technocrat.
It turns out that horse-head Alex and mom and dad are really all "pseudoplasms" created by the Technocrat. Something went wrong with the Alex replacement, which is why it sprouted the horsehead. And now all three pseudoplasms expire, with grotesque results.
Seeing the pseudoplasms fail, the Technocrat teleports Julie away from Friday and the two younger Powers, thinking that the youngest children will be helpless. And when Friday approaches the space station (that's no moon!) where the Technocrat and Maraud are hiding out, s/he comes under attack. Friday pretends to be damaged and is pulled into the station, so that Jack and Katie can rescue the rest of their family.
The Technocrat tries to play on the idea that the Powers think that all Kymellians are their friends, but Alex and Julie manage to escape before he can capture Jack and Katie. So Power Pack is reunited and up against the Technocrat's army of pseudoplasm Kymellians. The power swapping that we've seen on past occasions is back in effect.
They actually switch powers a couple of times during the fighting and eventually wind up in their original configuration.
It turns out that even the Technocrat is a pseudoplasm, and then it turns out that he's really an artificial intelligence and the space station itself is his real body. Power Pack manage to recover their real parents and escape the station before it is destroyed thanks to infighting between the Technocrat and Maraud. From the space station, the Powers head to the Kymellians current planet (the natural planet that they moved to after leaving the Techno-World). They are checked out by the Kymellians, but the mind lock that Yrik put on Power Pack's parents is left in place.
Power Pack then try to switch powers again, but find that they can't. It's speculated that for some reason they can only switch powers when Maraud is around, since she's been around each time they've changed powers in the past.
They aren't really stuck this way forever, as we'll learn when Alex and the others start appearing in New Warriors. But for now, we're back to something close to the early status quo. The kids are back with their original powers, and the parents don't know that they have powers. And the mindlocks will cause their parents to accept unusual occurrences, although they apparently won't help them accept the fact that their kids have powers. We won't be seeing Power Pack again until the New Warriors issues, so it's kind of a moot point, anyway.
The first back-up focuses on Julie and some boy troubles.
And the second focuses on Jack at school and is partially a Calvin and Hobbes pastiche.
The back-ups are inconsequential. The main story doesn't capture the magic of the early Power Pack issues, but it's nice to give Power Pack a proper resolution to the nonsense that was going on at the end of their series, and it's extra nice that Louise Simonson and June Brigman got to do it.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Power Pack returns home around Christmas, and the third story takes place over the Christmas holiday break, so i'm placing this circa the other Christmas issues from 1992.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showAlex Power Clone, Energizer, Friday, Gee, Jim Power, Jim Power Clone, Kofi, Lightspeed, Maraud, Margaret Power, Margaret Power Clone, Mass Master, Yrik Whitemane
I really liked this Holiday Special. I was a fan of the early Power Pack issues by Louise Simonson & June Brigman, so it was great to have them back together and clearing things up after the monthly series imploded, telling a fun story.
I have a page of original artwork from this Special, the second I ever bought, which I got from June Brigman & Roy Richardson. It's the page where Katie is punching out one of the pseudoplasm Kymellians with a big old "WHACK."
Posted by: Ben Herman | January 15, 2016 11:46 AM
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