Characters Appearing: Energizer, Franklin Richards, Gee, Invisible Woman, Jim Power, Lightspeed, Mad Thinker, Margaret Power, Mass Master, Mr. Fantastic
Power Pack #54
Issue(s): Power Pack #54
The issue starts off with poor Franklin Richards having a Freudian dream.
After that, Margaret Power, who has gotten a perm arranges for Jack, who has been bored around the house, to take a train to Connecticut for a play date with Franklin.
The Richards family is back in Connecticut to pick up some stuff at their house there that they'd left behind when they moved back into Four Freedoms Plaza.
The Richardses drop Jack and Frank off at the mall where there's also a new dinosaur exhibit. Part of the story is that Reed would rather they went to a library.
Jack was 7 years old at the start of Power Pack #1. I'm not sure how much he's meant to have aged at this point. But all i could think is how if parents dropped a (let's say) nine year old and a five year old off at the mall alone today, they'd probably be arrested for neglect.
A good portion of the issue is just devoted to Jack and Frank having fun at the mall, but when they get to the dinosaur exhibit we have a super-villain plot. It's a very poor use of the Mad Thinker, who, posing as a mechanic, has tampered with the animatronic dinosaurs so that he can steal from the exhibit's till. Calvin and Hobbes cameo.
Franklin recognizes the Mad Thinker and goes to the control booth to reprogram the dinosaurs.
He uses a pteranodon to deposit the Thinker in front of the police.
Like i said, a terrible use of the Thinker. But only Jack Power could deliver the line, "I calculate that there is a 110% probability that I am a raving jerrrk-face!!!" and that is a great line.
The Richardses have no idea that Jack and Frank were involved in anything when they pick them up, and Franklin convinces his dad that the dinosaur experience was educational and that they should go back as a family some other time.
A dedication at the end is made to "the real-life super heroes of SCU at PBMC and to the loving memory of Birdee Rose Kurtz". I was annoyed by the obtrusive real life cameos, something we also saw on Bogdanove's Power Pack #48-49, but i guess they're related to the dedication.
I've had mixed feelings about Jon Bogdanove's art all along. He's a good artist, but his very cartoony style undermines the fact that Power Pack can be a perfectly serious book despite the fact that it's about kids. I think his art works best when the story is serious, and this is a very unserious story. That said, next issue is a oneshot by Dwayne McDuffie and then the book begins its final descent. The book has really been in "why won't you let it die?!" territory for a long time, but after Bogdanove leaves there's absolutely nothing to recommend it.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: The MCP have this issue before the Fantastic Four's time travel adventure that begins in Fantastic Four #337 (during which Franklin is left with the Power family).
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
I suppose the Thinker has access to the same excuse for bad characterizations that Doom does - malfunctioning robot doubles. Also it would not be too untoward for the Thinker to play-act the archvillain as part of a larger Xanatos Gambit, but I don't think that excuse helps here.
Posted by: Erik Robbins | May 6, 2015 12:56 AM
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