Killpower: The Early Years #1-4
Issue(s): Killpower: The Early Years #1, Killpower: The Early Years #2, Killpower: The Early Years #3, Killpower: The Early Years #4
Sadly, the character isn't handled as well as i would like in his regular appearances, and if you're not paying attention you might not even realize that he's meant to have a child's mind. So when i saw that this continuity insert existed, i had high hopes. This was an opportunity to really explore the character and have fun with him. Unfortunately this doesn't read like an "early years" story. It's a generic adventure, and it's cluttered with additional characters, including the Codename: Genetix team (making this their retroactive first appearance) as well as, thanks to a messy time travel plot, Rama-Tut and the Punisher.
The story is written by Mike Barr, an American comics creator that did more for DC than Marvel. Kind of interesting to see him on a Marvel UK book.
Killpower is almost incidental to the story, really. The plot is that a mid-level Mys-Tech scientist named Sideny Fishburne has developed a "chronifact", unaware that it threatens the existence of the mysterious Time Guardian that occasionally appears in the Marvel UK books. The Time Guardian was able to split the chronifact in half before it could destroy him, and the two pieces have now been scattered in time. Deciding that Killpower is "none too bright but... extremely resilient, and quite suggestible", the Time Guardian sends Killpower back in time to locate and destroy the pieces.
The first piece is in Egypt during the era of Rama-Tut.
Rama-Tut further manipulates Killpower, sending him after a rival sorceress named Samira. Meanwhile, Mys-Tech send Codename: Genetix to retrieve Killpower.
The Genetix team gets very little by way of introduction. Since it's a continuity insert, i read this out of sequence, before reading any other Codename: Genetix stories. And i can tell you just about nothing about these characters. One of them has the ability to pull weapons out of another dimension, and another seems to be a feral Nightcrawler clone without the teleporting ability, but beyond that the characters are blank slates to me. My first thought was that this was a kind of limitation of my project, but i think it's fair to expect that some readers might have bought this series without having read Codename: Genetix, and they'd be in the same boat as me. By contrast, Rama-Tut is introduced just fine, and so is Killpower, so i don't know why the time wasn't taken to introduce Codename: Genetix if they were going to be featured.
Anyway, Samira decides that she wants Killpower as a consort, and she creates a potion that will improve his mind to make it the equal of his body. But before he can drink it, Codename: Genetix show up. When the story was just focusing on Killpower, there were indeed some cute scenes, like those seen above, but once five additional characters are added to the mix, it's all just a bit of a mess.
A big fight breaks out between Codename: Genetix, Killpower, and Rama-Tut. But Killpower stumbles across the half of the chronifact and the Time Guardian immediately sends him back into the timestream, leaving Codename: Genetix behind. Codename: Genetix manage to defeat Rama-Tut, which i think is a humiliating chapter in the history of Kang, which is probably why we've never heard about it before.
But Samira tells them that Rama-Tut isn't the reason Killpower has been getting tossed around in time, and she helps them follow him. They next wind up somewhere in the time of cavemen. But the Time Guardian has also sent armored troops to collect the half of the chronifact that Killpower has retrieved, and they aren't diplomatic about it.
Killpower winds up allied with the cavemen.
Meanwhile, Codename: Genetix accidentally locate the second half of the chronifact. Then Fishburne tries to bring the half of the chronifact that Killpower has back to the present, but winds up pushing Killpower into 1993 instead. And that puts Killpower in the middle of a fight between two weird gangs. The Punisher is hunting the weapons dealer that is supplying the gangs.
There's no footnote, but the Punisher met/will meet Killpower in the regular Motormouth (and Killpower) series. Killpower was a bad guy in that story (still working for Mys-Tech), but in this story, Punisher talks like they were friends. Killpower has become amnesiac at this point, so he doesn't know that he shouldn't know the Punisher yet.
Killpower and Punisher get separated, and Killpower winds up the leader of one of the gangs when he beats up the old leader. The other gang, an all female group, is contacted by Fishburne, who supplies them with battlesuits in return for agreeing to capture Killpower and get the chronifact half.
A lot of chaos follows, especially when the Time Guardian sends Codename: Genetix into the picture so that the chronifact can be united.
When the chronifact halves are near each other, they are drawn to each other and the device re-forms. This allows Fishburne to pull it back to 1988. In the process, Killpower and Codename: Genetix get sent into the far future. The Time Guardian winds up stuck with them as well...
...and, since he's weakened by the re-unification of the chronifact, he forms an uneasy alliance with them against a hoard of mutates.
Killpower and Codename: Genetix are contacted by Samira from ancient Egypt. It turns out that the potion she created to enhance Killpower's mental capacity is still buried in the ground underneath the spot where they are currently standing. Killpower drinks it. It doesn't raise his intelligence but it does cure his amnesia.
Meanwhile, in 1988, Fishburne is discovered by the Mys-Tech executive board, and they aren't happy that he's been developing the chronifact to empower himself. So there's a stand-off between him and the board.
Fishburne reaches out to the Time Guardian for help against the Mys-Tech execs, and agrees to de-power the chronifact. The Time Guardian teleports Fishburne away from Mys-Tech. They had agreed to "share" the chronifact, but that works out to mean that the Time Guardian gets its energies while Fishburne gets the empty and useless shell. And he's then sent into the future to be eaten by the mutates. Killpower and Codename: Genetix are returned to 1988, and that's a wrap.
I was hoping to see Killpower growing up and developing. He does get a few fun moments, but this is still really just a generic random adventure with a tired "chase the Macguffin" plot.
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: This time-travel story was published in 1993 and the portion featuring the Punisher takes place in 1993. But the story is really from the perspective of Killpower and other Mys-Tech characters beginning in the year 1988, and i'm placing it based on that perspective. As with Killpower's origin from Motormouth #4, the reference to actual years should be taken with a grain of salt due to the Sliding Timescale, but i've placed this in the 1988 category. Killpower is said to be 18 months old at the start of this story, which is how old he was at the end of the origin story. So i've placed the origin, which was said to take place in 1987, at the end of my 1987 category, and i'm placing this early in 1988.
As always, i don't count the locals in time-travel stories, which is why Kang and the Punisher aren't listed as characters appearing.
Continuity Insert? Y
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showAlgernon Crowe, Base, Brendan Rathcoole, Bronwen Gryfnn, Gudrun Tyburn, Killpower, Oonagh Mullarkey, Ormond Wychwood, Ridge, Shift, Stinger (Genetix), Time Guardian, Vesper
Hmm, Rama-Tut is left-handed.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | June 23, 2016 8:22 PM
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