Power Pack #33
Issue(s): Power Pack #33
But once you get past that, it's all about Power Pack working to cheer Sunspot up, while both Power Pack and Sunspot pretend that they don't know each other (they haven't met, but they've heard about each other through the other New Mutants that Power Pack did meet).
Things start with Franklin having a dream about Sunspot flying around in Warlock, and Power Pack misinterprets it as a return of the Snarks (cute Torgo poster).
So they sneak out of their apartment, and they find Sunspot and Warlock. Sunspot, meanwhile, is still trying to prove his worth, but this causes him to bungle a couple of crime-fighting attempts, including letting the Vulture get away...
...and accidentally attacking Spider-Man.
Julie has been reading psychology books (by Frederick Wertham!) in an attempt to understand her older brother Alex's weird behavior, and she identifies Sunspot's self-esteem issues. So the team try to cheer Sunspot up.
What's extra funny is that the pre-teen Power Packians consider Sunspot naive because they aren't experienced New Yorkers like they are.
They do so through a zany scheme. First, Julie tries a new power trick, showing that she can expand molecules enough to get bigger without dispersing into cloud form. This makes sense; it's the opposite of her shrinking ability. She's still essentially insubstantial in this form.
They then dress her up as a ridiculous monster...
...and tell Sunspot that there's a supervillain on the loose that he needs to attack. This of course doesn't work, but in the end Warlock says enough already and drags Sunspot home.
On a more serious note, the fact that the Power Pack kids have to continually deceive their parents to go on adventures keeps coming up. It's handled humorously when it's said that Franklin is lucky that he gets to stay in bed while going out...
...but at the end we see the poor Power parents traumatized again when they find their kids missing.
The kids (except Katie, who is considered too young to know better) are grounded after they are caught returning to the house.
Except for the question of how to deal with their parents, this is just an exercise in cuteness.
It's a lighter tone than most previous issues and runs the risk of feeling overly precious, but i find that it works pretty well. Sunspot is being written as overly immature, although we have heard in the New Mutants series that while he's more mature than, say, Sam in some respects - especially when it comes to girls - he's younger in others. That's why Sam and Dani are the team leaders and Bobby can still be infatuated with Magnum PI. But his behavior here combined with the fact that it's a regression from the lesson he learned in the Fallen Angels series is a little hard to take. It's nonetheless a fun story.
A minor point, but i also like that the Vulture gets away in this story. I like to see that villains are occasionally successful, even if it's just in robbing a couple of money bags from an armored car.
The crossovers and guest appearances in this series may have been helping sales; the book is moved to a six week schedule instead of being bi-monthly.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: For Spider-Man, the MCP place this between the Kraven's Last Hunt and the Maddog storylines that run through all his titles, but his appearance here is context free. Sunspot and Warlock appear after the end of Fallen Angels but before returning to the New Mutants in New Mutants #59. We're given the impression that Warlock takes Sunspot directly to the New Mutants after this, so i've pushed this forward in publication time a bit to sync up with New Mutants #59.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (5): showEnergizer, Franklin Richards, Gee, Jim Power, Lightspeed, Margaret Power, Mass Master, Spider-Man, Sunspot, Vulture, Warlock
Jon Bogdanove is just one of the best artists at drawing kids mainstream comics has ever had. They actually look like kids as opposed to miniature adults or the dwarfs John Byrne drew them to be.
Posted by: Robert | April 17, 2014 6:12 PM
Wow. He is so much better here than he was in Superman: Man of Steel!
Posted by: Luis Dantas | April 17, 2014 10:08 PM
Yeah you can thank Dennis Janke's inks for that.
Posted by: Robert | April 17, 2014 10:40 PM
The Robert Crumb reference is due to Warlock adopting Crumb's artistic "Keep On Truckin'" pose.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | April 19, 2014 6:02 PM
The parents reacting that way to their kids being gone is kinda getting ridicolous. I think after the third time or so they'd be more angry than afraid when finding the kids are gone.
Posted by: KombatGod | March 13, 2017 6:04 PM
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