Written By Desi LaSalle
I have read comics for over 35 years (yes! I am kind of old!) and there are many titles that that have come and gone that have always left me wondering as to why the comic didn’t sell and ultimately led to the cancellation of the book. But saying this, there is one in particular that has always truly mystified me. I really believe that Marvel comics dropped the ball with the comic titled Power Pack. This comic burst on the scene in August of 1984 with issue #1 and it had all the elements to be a ‘Marvel Mainstay’ team comic book.
It was written beautifully by Louise Jones Simonson and penciled by June Bergman. Power Pack had all the elements to succeed for a long, long time. The characters were great, a bunch of young kids, all brothers with awesome powers, great costumes and wonderful adventures. They were collectively known as the Power children, (code names: Gee, Lightspeed, Mass Master and Energizer) not to mention they’re totally awesome spacecraft the Smartship Friday. Power Pack should have been to Marvel what John Cena is to the WWE, a flagship title, the face that runs the place! At the height of it’s popularity Power Pack was mentioned in the same breath as X-Men at Marvel. They were everywhere, teaming-up with the New Mutants, Cloak and Dagger, Fantastic Four and the X-Men. At one point Power Pack added another member unofficially…none other than Franklin Richards, aka Tattletale, due to his ability to perceive possible futures.
Power Pack had some good villains such as “The Snarks” and “The Bogeyman” and were involved in great Marvel story-lines such as “The Fall of the Mutants” and “Mutant Massacre” and even teamed up with “The New Warriors” later on. At a certain point Power Pack was everywhere at Marvel, including various promotions that they appeared on. In 1991 a Power Pack animated series pilot episode was made by NBC but was never picked up. Sadly Power Pack finished it’s run after only 62 issues!!! This left many plot-lines unfinished. Marvel Comics, for reasons that till this day I can’t understand, really missed out on a great opportunity with this book. I always fantasized that this comic, with John Byrne writing and drawing it, could have been epic! The possibilities would have been endless and yet something happened along the way that hurt this book. The constant change in creative teams, boring story-lines and the fact that Power Pack stopped being a priority for Marvel led to poor sales and the titles demise.
I have been waiting since 1991 hoping for Marvel to reboot and restart this series once again, with a top notch writer and artist. This team deserves another chance as it has all the elements to succeed for the long term and it already has enough backstory and history to make many great new stories and take this title to another level. I would also love to see a Power Pack movie! Now that’s an idea!!! (Marvel are you listening!?) As for me I guess reading some more back issues is the best I can do to not dwell on the fact that Power Pack is truly one of Marvel’s biggest missed opportunities!