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Power Pack Issue Reviews: 7 / 15

Author: Dan Wilson and Brian Alan Smith
Created:
Updated: no later than 1998

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 Issue #30 Cover

Power Pack:
Issues 29-32


Cover, Issue #30, by Potts, Bogdanove and Barta, Copyright 1987, Marvel Entertainment Group.


29: Obsession! Written by Louise Simonson. Penciled by Jon Bogdanove. Inked by Dan Green.

Finally: Spider-Man gets to do something in an issue of "Power Pack"! Johnny Rival, Alex's nemesis for many issues (most notably issue 22), gets a gun and decides to kill Alex, believing him to be a mutant. The two kids run afoul of Spider-Man, monitoring a drug trade, and the Hobgoblin, who, as the partner of the Rose, is setting up this drug trade in a complicated gambit to destroy the Kingpin. Alex and Johnny become the Hobgoblin's hostages to lure Spider-Man away from the scene. In the course of the battle, Alex realizes he can't kill with his energy power, and Spider-Man supports his decision.
Rating: Two and 1/2 stars

30:
Crack-Up! Written by Louise Simonson. Penciled by Val Mayerik. Inked by Hilary Barta.

Painfully heavy-handed, but still a nice look at Alex's misstep onto the wrong side of the tracks. Johnny and Alex become friends at the end of their ordeal with Spider-Man and the Hobgoblin, and Johnny introduces his new friend to his world of crack, slums, and crime. People die, and the fledgling friendship is destroyed by issue's end. Not particularly entertaining, but noteworthy for the first portrayal of Alex as a young person becoming frustrated with his siblings, and eager to spend time with kids his own age. That becomes important in his incarnation as Powerhouse.
Rating: Two stars

31:
Crack Down! Written by Louise Simonson. Penciled by Jon Bogdanove. Inked by Hilary Barta.

Alex attempts to sneak away from the rest of the Powers and destroy a crack house. Naturally, though, there are evil mutants guarding the place: a not-destined-for-greatness team named Trash. The rest of the Powers figure out what's happened, and sneak out to help Alex. By the end, the issue has become a bizarre amalgam of Power Pack fantasy and the real-world criminal drug trade. Bogdanove has always been creative with his art, though, and this issue's "ice-cream cone flying away" is the start of his brand of picture-story telling.
Rating: Two and 1/2 stars

32:
Who's the Villain? Written by Louise Simonson. Penciled by Jon Bogdanove. Inked by Hilary Barta.

The whole crack storyline gets redeemed with a very entertaining finishing issue. Trash's leader, a cross between an ape and the Blob named The Garbage Man, brutalizes the team for the destruction of the crack house. When Trash sees Power Pack in action again, they go into battle one more time, beat the Powers, but turn good when The Garbage Man orders his team to give them all fatal overdoses of crack. The terrible backgrounds of the members of Trash get contrasted with the idyllic life of the Powers...most notably when Jim and Margaret, for the first time, display signs of the behavior that got them four kids in the first place.
Rating: Three stars

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