|icon_uk (icon_uk) wrote in scans_daily,|
@ 2011-12-03 08:58 pm UTC
|Entry tags:||char: energizer/katie power, char: gee/alex power, char: lightspeed/julie power, char: mass master/jack power, creator: june brigman, creator: louise simonson, group: power pack, title: power pack|
From 1984, and a longbox it took me a while to find, comes, issue 1 of...
(Approximately 12 pages from a 36 page issue, and three panels from #3)
This credits Louise Simonson as scripter, June Brigman as penciller and both are listed as creators. My apologies for the quality of some of the scans, but this IS from the copy I bought when it first came out.
And though I may have... issues with her later work on New Mutants the reason I kept giving her more of a chance was the happy memories of Power Pack (Well, until issue 60 of the New Mutants at any rate.)
We start with a battle in space high over Earth where an unseen alien pilot, and his seemingly self-aware "Smartship" (named Friday), are under attack from a swarm of "Snark fighters". They are seriously outgunned, but the pilot expresses concern over the actions of a "Doctor Power" from Earth, who may well be about to destroy the Earth.
As it turns out, that's not a codename, and he's not a supervillain, Power really is the family surnam.
And so we meet the Power family at their beach house.
And so we immediately get snapshots of these kids. Alex, the oldest at 12 1/2, is constructing his own telescope (from a kit one imagines), Julie (10) is managing the neat trick of washing dishes and reading at the same time, Jack (71/2) is a sports nut, and Katie, the baby of the family at 5, is staring out the window.
(An interview with Amazing Heroes has Simonsons mention the following basic outlines to their characters;
Alex - Extremely intelligent and responsible. The way people make their eldest children be, if they've done it right. He's going to grow up to be a scientist like his daddy. he's not very athletic and is small for his age
Julie - The dreamer of the group (and named for the Louise Simonson's own daughter), an inveterate reader of science fiction and fantasy. Avoids conflict where possible, but is protective of her siblings.
Jack - The "rough and tumble" kid, cynical and nothing is ever right for him. Sgt Belker from "Hill St Blues" is his hero, though he shouldn't be up watching TV that late. Knows what he doesn't want more than what he does. (There's a part of me that feels Jack would get on GREAT with Jason from Batman and Sons)
Katie - The baby of the family, and doesn't she hate being called that, but is used to getting her own way through charm, or temper tantrums if that doesn't work. Smarter than you'd think, and once she learns to read could beat them all, but for now, knows that cute is the way to go.
Margaret Power is a painter, who sells covers for science fiction magazines and books.
Jim Power is a physicist, and a good one, if he weren't as good as he is, this whole story would never have happened. He's working on the final stages of a matter/anti-matter energy device which should bring cheap energy to all.... and we all know how well THAT sort of project pans out...
Back in the dogfight in space, Friday is trying to convince the pilot to leave Earth to it's own devices, they're a nasty aggressive species. The pilot (Now identified as "Whitey") counters with the fact that humans can also produce remarkable works of great beauty, imagination and insight.
Dewn below... reports of a UFO sighting are now coming in over the radio...
Julie cites Jules Verne and submarines, but no one other than Katie sees the flashes and sparkles in the air which indicate that there really IS something going on, however her siblings think she's just wanting attention.
Alex tries his powers of persuasion on his Dad to get to sleep on the porch with his new telecope so he can stargaze (and on the offchance that he MIGHT see a UFO if Katie was right)
I should add that I LOVE Brigman's body language on the kids, not only do they look like kids, and have the build of kids, but they stand like kids. I swear I've seen Alex's stance on my own nephews when they're asking for something.
Hours later the kids have fallen asleep, even Alex the stargazer, but Julie fell asleep reading and her flashlight wakes Katie up, who notices something new....
She wakes her siblings, and after a brief debate they decide to go see what it is before the tide washes it back out to see (the reason they also use for not going to tell their parents the way Katie wanted to).
They find it IS a real UFO and a big one, and go in for a closer look....
However, as Jack and Julie head for the house, something else beats them too it... (I like the Snark ship design, sort of insectoid)
Alex and Katie spot the lights of the ship arriving and are about to head over to see what's going on when....
Yay!! it's magical space horsey time!! (As it turns out Whitey was going to be a rabbit derived alien, to keep the whole Lewis Carroll theme going (Since he'd be a "White Rabbit"), but somewhere along the way he became a sort of bipedal sea horse). His species is Kymellian, BTW.
Margaret and Jim have finally been woken up with the arrival of the Snark ship, but can do little to stop the advance of the hostile aliens we now see for the first time...
Another awesome alien design IMHO.
They hit Margaret and Jim with a sort of cocoon gun, which wraps them up like mummies.
Jack has his faults, buy picking on his parents? NOT cool.... He launches himself at the aliens!
Oops! And then....
Whitey creates a molecular density shield (basically he messes with the air moecules density, condensing them so they act like a solid)
The Snark's don't care, they have Dr Power (and his wife as leverage) and the protective field won't protect Whitey or the aliens from the downblast of the main engines of the ship.
They make it out, just before the engine blast hits.
Friday is very much alive, with a sort of living metal comprising his/her structure (It's left deliberately ambiguous what gender Friday is, if such a thing even has any relevance to a Smartship, the boys assume Friday to be a "he", the girls a "she")
Whilst Whitey rests he explains his reasons for coming. The process which Dr Power has devised is (coincidentally) identical to one that the Kymellians developed millennia ago, and in it's first test, an unexpected reaction led to the destruction of the entire Kymellian homeworld. Luckily they were already a space-faring race by this point, or they'd have gone the way of Krypton (sorry, wrong company), but even then, the deathtoll was incalculable. The process was refined and is now both a closely guarded secret throughout the galaxy, and the source of almost all the Kymellians energy needs.
Whitey is an explorer, something of a dilettante in his way, who was originally researching our literary history, but when he identified the first signs of the same device that blew up his planet had radioed home for approval to intercede, but the Snarks jammed the signal, and blew Friday out of the sky.
Alex grabs the plans and Friday takes off...
The kids try to get some sleep but are interruped by a tractor beam from the Snark ship grabbing hold of Friday...
Seeing no other choice, Whitey outlines a desperate plan to the children.
And people say Batman puts kids in harms way, at least he doesn't put his Robin's through dangerous processes in an effort to give them powers... though perhaps we'd best not mention it near him, in case it gives him ideas ("Say, Damian, could you go and collect that lightning conductor I left on the roof, the one next to the cabinet of experimental chemicals? Yes I know there's a thunderstorm at the moment, that's... ummm... why i want the lighting conductor! And take your time..., admire the view bit"... ahem, but I digress, sorry)
I love Jack's little breaking of the fourth wall in the second panel...
He's Aelfyre Whitemane, DISCO Jedi!
After that, the kids try to manifest the powers Whitey did, with no siccess. Jack doesn't get energy blasts, Julie can't create a density field... or anything like that.
Alex and Jack tell their sisters to hide behind the seats where they'll be safer when the Snarks arrive. Again, I love the body language of the kids in the second panel.
I LOVE Jack, he's 7 years old, but about 47 in terms of cynicism.
The tractor beam finally pops the roof off of friday's cockpit and the kids are dragged out by it, but halfway towards the ship, something strange happens....
Alas, Alex doesn't get a chance to try that as Julie loses her grip on Katie who's hands are understandably a little sweaty with fear, so Julie is sucked up into the ship.
The light trail effect for Julie was always a cute idea, I've never been sure that the more sophisticated colour palettes that colouists can use now have ever improved on the simple, striking cyan/pink/yellow effect.
Outside Jack is hanging on like grim death to Katie, but suddenly he lets go, because her ankle just burned his hand.
The Snarks decide that this one CAN'T be as bad as the last one... BAD move....
Scared, she hides under a handy bit of equipment and....
Gotta respect that Snark for speaking from the heart, even if it's likely to cost him any chances of promotion! And Katie now discovers that her power has a secondary aspect.
As the ship now tumbles, she falls out one of the holes she's just punched in the hull, and is falling back down to Earth.
Awww, poor Jack... if you don't believe, then you don't get the magic!
I like that there is an attempt made to separate the notions of gravity and momentum. Alex can affect one, but not the other, so he can float, but he can't actually fly, and his power seems to be limited to touch (Later writers would amend that so his powers work long distance)
Luckily rather than simply hanging there for long enough for the Snarks to manage to get their ship under control and come after them, a rainbow appears!
Actually, no it's not Julie, but remember that, because it might make for a good name.
Alas, the Snark ship is still heavily armed and they can fire manually, and Friday can't manage high speeds... Jack wishes that there were some clouds or fog that would hide them from view when suddenly a cloud of fog DOES engulf them.
Whilst Katie managed to not disintegrate her nightie (and on the grounds of general good taste I can see why that never felt the need even to be addressed), Jack's clothes don't fog out with him, so it's a good thing Julie was keep an eye on things...
Being the aggressive little scrapper of the bunch, Jack got a little depressed though, when he realised his power to become a cloud would be of little or no use in actual combat, until he discovered the INVERSE power in issue #3
And since we get a nice shot of Jack's costume above, I thought I'd end with pics of the costumes they get in issue #2, which remain some of my all time favourite hero costumes, with the power-descriptive symbols being absolutely beautiful.
(Despite being a bit older than Alex, I really wanted the Gee design as a t-shirt, but alas...)
A small, but vaguely interesting, geeky sidenote, the inspiration for those powers are E=MC^2 and Gravity
Oh, and here, just because it's the weekend, is the never-made-it-to-series pilot that Marvel made, about which even a Marvel Marketing exec said at a convention I attended "If you have a friend who makes a copy of this for you to watch, they're not a very good friend":
If you want to watch the rest of it, that's up to you, but the low budget really kills it.