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Power Pack Issue Reviews: 8 / 15

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

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 Issue #36 Cover

Power Pack:
Issues 33-36


Cover, Issue #36, by Bogdanove and Barta, Copyright 1986, Marvel Entertainment Group.


33: Special Effects! Written by Louise Simonson. Penciled by Jon Bogdanove. Inked by Hilary Barta.

Bogdanove seems to have had almost too much fun penciling this issue, which is little more than a romp. Franklin, safe from the whole crack storyline, finally returns. New Mutants Sunspot and the techno-organic shapeshifter Warlock are roaming New York, though Sunspot is tormented by a drive to prove himself a hero. He never does, though it's not for want of trying. In a nice twist, none of the main players in this lighthearted issue (except maybe Franklin) leaves on a lighthearted note. Did I mention Spider-Man appears...again?
Rating: Three and 1/2 stars (BAS)
This issue has a special place in my collection. This was the first issue that ran Pix of the Pack, readers' illustrated comments on the book. Mine was the first one... drw

34:
Child's Play. Written by Howard Mackie. Penciled by Larry Alexander and Louis Williams. Inked by Tony DeZuniga.

This issue just seems to try too hard, and, unfortunately, does it with one of the stupidest villains in recent Marvel history. Madcap, an indestructible lunatic, teams up with Katie and Franklin to go out and have fun. The issue has its moments, but by and large, it reads like a book for preschoolers. I'm still not sure what to make of a bank robber who says, "We never should have stopped selling Grit for fun and profit!"
Rating: One and 1/2 stars

35:
Life or Death! Written by Louise Simonson. Penciled by Jon Bogdanove. Inked by Hilary Barta.

This issue is intimately tied in with the events of "X-Factor" 25 (and why not? Simonson was writing that, too.) The kids do some old-fashioned city saving and still behave like kids. This issue is, at its heart, a showcase for the Powers' child-like heroics in the midst of one of the most memorable storylines in X-Factor history.
Rating: Three and 1/2 stars

36:
The Twelfth. Written and penciled by Jon Bogdanove. Inked by Hilary Barta.

Credit is given to Louise Simonson and others for helping with this story, which is only partially about Master Mold, who figures so prominently on the cover. This issue is nothing less than a perfect fusion of the kids' home lives and superhero lives, and stands as one of the great masterpieces of the entire run of the series.

As "The Twelfth" of the twelve mutants destined to lead mutantkind to eventual greatness, Franklin becomes the target of the rebuilt Master Mold (this issue happens between his appearance against Cyclops in "X-Factor" and against the post-Fall X-Men in "Uncanny X-Men".) But before Master Mold can attack, Franklin first gets to visit the Powers (and he brings the Fantastic Four with him!) We see the kids' nightly routine, their day in the park, and their battle against their most destructive foe to date. Almost every member of the team has at least one great, heroic moment. Of all 62 issues, this is my favorite.
Rating: Four stars

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