Power Pack (2020-) #2 by Ryan North

Power Pack (2020-) #2 (of 5)Power Pack (2020-) #2 by Ryan North
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Look, I’ll be honest, I was going to give this four stars, but gave it five after reading another review in which the reviewer just banged on about continuity for the entire review, repeating everything they’d said in their review of #1.

Review a comic for what it is, not what it isn’t, you know? And this comic is light hearted and fun. Sure, it may be ridiculous that the Power kids ask a succession of absurd heroes to be their mentor rather than people they actually know…but, that wouldn’t be fun. That said, they can’t ask the X-Men because they’re on Krakoa, and they can’t ask the New Warriors because they don’t exist anymore…and they discussed asking Spider-Man in the comic! I mean, if you’re going to bang on about continuity…but, wait, this is supposed to be a review of a comic, not of someone else’s review.

Basically, the Power kids need to find a mentor, else they’ll have to give up being heroes, at least until Alex turns eighteen and can be their mentor. They try asking Captain Marvel (because Julie has a crush on her) but she’s off planet, they try asking Thor but he’s busy (and also they don’t know where Frog Thor is), they try asking Hulk but…yeah…that’s not going to work. And they try asking Tony Stark but all he can offer them is a fruit basket. So they end up with Agent Aether, who just kinda pops up out of nowhere, and he suggests they use their powers to supply people with cheap and safe electricity and gives them a quick lesson on how power stations work…and…yeah, he’s totally not what he seems and is up to no good…because of course he is.

This series continues to be delightful and the artwork continues to be excellent. Hey, I even like the cover this time!

I’d recommend this comic to anyone who likes good comics, and would maybe suggest that continuity obsessed weirdos avoid it. Long live Power Pack!

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Power Pack (2020-) #1 by Ryan North

Power Pack (2020-) #1 (of 5)Power Pack (2020-) #1 by Ryan North
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well, this was wonderful.

As a long time Power Pack fan I was a little concerned that this would be a total reset, ignoring Alex’s time with the Future Foundation and Julie’s coming out as gay, but was pleasantly surprised that these are both covered. Sure, it doesn’t cover every minute detail in Power Pack history, but I’m a great believer that continuity exists to serve the story and not the other way around. You take what you need and what works from a character or team’s history and you can just quietly forget the rest…don’t contradict it if you can avoid that, so future writers are free to pick up on it…but don’t limit the story you’re trying to tell by slavishly staying true to an obscure comic from twenty years ago that hardly anyone read or remembers.

Anyway, the kids get back together for their parents’ wedding anniversary, when the Boogeyman attacks an orphanage because he just wants to eat some orphans…but this is all ultimately a pretext for getting the Power kids caught up in the whole Outlawed storyline, and they all wind up getting arrested at the end. Because of course they do.

This is charmingly written, with Ryan North perfectly capturing the spirit of the original book, and the characters are spot on. What please me most, however, is the art, which is superb, and while not really like June Brigman’s art from the classic series, seems to capture the same feel. I was concerned going in because the cover art very much does not do that, but thankfully Nico Leon’s internal art is a much better fit for the book.

All in all a great return for what are, for me at least, some much loved characters.

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Power Pack (1984-1991) #8 by Louise Simonson

Power Pack (1984-1991) #8Power Pack (1984-1991) #8 by Louise Simonson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Surprising nobody who’s read my other Power Pack reviews, I thought this was wonderful.

Power Pack team up with Cloak & Dagger to take down a drug cartel in New York city. And the kids teach Cloak & Dagger to be merciful and not, you know, just kill all the bad guys. Because doing that would have robbed the Power kids of their innocence in much the same way that the drug cartel robbed Cloak & Dagger of their humanity…and Cloak & Dagger are better than that.

And that’s when this series is at its best, when the innocence of these children is juxtaposed with the darkness of New York and the heroes that police its underworld.

Oh, and Katie prancing around at the end pretending to be Dagger is simply adorable!

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Power Pack (1984-1991) #7 by Louise Simonson

Power Pack (1984-1991) #7Power Pack (1984-1991) #7 by Louise Simonson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The kids start school in New York, with all the inherent challenges of starting at a new school in a new city, and for Katie it’s her very first day at kindergarten…but she’s not afraid (she totally is) because she’s been to space and fought Snarks, so what does she have to be afraid of?

But it’s after school when the real adventures begin, as the boys and girls head off, separately, to try and save Professor Gilbert, which not only brings them all together but leads them to cross paths with Cloak & Dagger. Now, if you’ve read any Cloak & Dagger you’ll know that they’re a very dark pair of characters, their background intertwined with gang culture and drugs. So, an interesting choice for such a light and kid friendly book…but, I think, a very good one. This is just one reason why, when reading these stories as a kid, it never felt like the kids just went on inconsequential adventures for little kids. Theses stories mattered, there was genuine peril and their actions had real consequences.

Once again this is, of course, brilliant work, which is just as enjoyable and rewarding to read as an adult as it was as a child.

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Power Pack (1984-1991) #6 by Louise Simonson

Power Pack (1984-1991) #6Power Pack (1984-1991) #6 by Louise Simonson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was lovely. I mean, I’m probably going to say that about every issue of Power Pack, but still, this was lovely.

Brigman’s back this issue, and her art is simply sublime. It’s not flashy, but it is…perfect. just beautiful. And Wiacek’s line work is stunning.

And Louise Simonson’s writing is, of course, exquisite. In this issue the Power family have just moved to New York and have one day of freedom before school starts…and so, naturally, they go looking for Spider-Man. They find Spider-Man…and Cloak & Dagger…and, more importantly, Dragon Man. Who the girls end up adopting, hiding in their basement and renaming “Baby,” because of course they do.

The whole thing is jut adorable and wonderful and I love it.

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