A super-hero team created by Louise Simonson
and June Brigman
published by Marvel Comics
. Power Pack first appeared in Power Pack #1
in August 1984.
In the mid-80's, Marvel Comics was enjoying a time as the predominant comics
publishing house in the United States. With most of their readership being
above the age of thirteen, Marvel sought to extend their sales of super-hero
comics into the pre-teen market. To this end, Marvel began to publish a new
Louise Simonson-Julie Brigman project called Power Pack.
Power Pack was made up of the four children of Jim and Margret Power. Jim was
a research scientist who had created a new power source. An alien group called
the Znarx (or Snarks as they were referred by the Power children) got wind
of this invention and made plans steal it, to use it as a weapon, and to kill its inventor and his
family. The Snarks were opposed by a Kymellian named Aelfyre Whitemane.
Whitemane looked like a really big version of a My Little Pony, but he had
superpowers. When Whitemane, aboard his sentient ship Friday, came into
conflict with the reptilian Snarks, he was mortally wounded.
Knowing that he would die from his injuries, Whitemane passed his abilites on
to the four Powers children. The eldest, a twelve year old boy named Alex,
received the ability to negate or increase gravity on himself or anything he touched.
He adopted the name Gee. His ten year old sister Julie received the ability
to fly at super-speed followed by a rainbow like trail. She adopted the name
Lightspeed. Eight year old Jack received the ability to control his mass, either
condensing it and becoming very small and heavy or by expanding it and becoming
mist-like and intangible. Jack called himself Mass Master. Finally, five year old Katie received the ability to
shoot destructive balls of energy and took the name Energizer. The four
used their newfound powers and destroyed the Snark ship, saving their parents
who were unaware of the attack. The four decided to use their new powers
and fight evil as the Power Pack.
Power Pack was not an overwhelming critical success, with many diehard
fans believing that it was too juvenile. But for many, the title was a refreshing
break from many kiddie comics, with the characters confronting real life issues
like drugs and bullies and finding that their powers did not always fix the issue.
Power Pack as a title became a crossover haven, with appearances from the
Punisher, Cloak and Dagger, the New Mutants, and the X-Men nearly every other
issue. The group even acquired a fifth member in Franklin Richards, son of Reed and Susan Richards of the Fantastic Four. Franklin possesses awesome reality shifting powers, but had imposed self-limiting dampers on his powers after he realized he could be a danger to others until he was old enough to use them. They did somewhat manifest when he was asleep, giving him the ability to send an intangible form of himself to any place while he was asleep. He adopted the name Tattletale and was part of the Power Pack for a time.
When sales began to wane, the group were kidnapped and taken back
to the Snark homeworld, where they were stripped of their powers. Their
powers returned, but with each member gaining a power he had not had before.
This round robin helped boost sales for a time, but eventually the writing staff
was resorting to more and more extreme measures to keep the readership. Eventually,
the book was cancelled and the Power Pack was seldom heard from.
At last report, the eldest Power, Alex, possesses all of the powers and calls
himself Powerhouse. An attempt to recruit him to join the newest incarnation
of the teen superhero team the New Warriors was his last appearance to date.
My deepest thanks to Quizro
for reminding me of Franklin Richards
involvement in the group.