Power Pack #1-4 (1984)

It’s really hard to introduce new characters.  It’s even harder to introduce them in a standalone book—without first hyping them as guests in a well-established comic.  And it’s even harder still to sell 12-year olds to teenagers.

Meet Power Pack—one of the most successful comic launches of the 1980s, and one that is still universally loved and remembered forty years later.

The story’s pretty simple: A dying alien gives four kids powers (much like Green Lantern) to help them save their parents and stave off an interstellar threat to the safety of Earth.  The story isn’t really what mattered.  It was the characterization.  Each of the Power siblings (Power is their last name) has a “typed” personality that makes it easy to recognize and relate to them (the brain, the tough guy, the leader, the baby), but none of them acted like stereotypes.

See what I mean?

And part of it was that the creators were both women, and both pretty new to the industry.  Louise had bene an editor, Brigman had been an illustrator but not in comics…It really made a difference.

By the end of the fourth issue, they’re coming back to Earth with powers, costumes, and a lost tooth.

These early issues also introduce a school bully named Doug Carmody, who will, in a year, become the Power Pack villain “The Bogeyman.”

Creators: Louise Simonson and June Brigman
Grade: B

For the complete history of the MU, year by year, go here.
And see my Ratings of Runs on comics here.


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