Power Pack (1984 Series) #19
Title: Gues Who’s Coming to Dinner?
Writer: Louise Simonson
Pencils: Brent Anderson & Scott Williams
Inks: Terry Austin, Scott Williams & Sam De La Rosa
Colorist: Janet Jackson
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Cover Artist: Brent Anderson
Editor: Carl Potts
Publisher: Marvel Comics
It’s Thanksgiving, but the Power Pack kids don’t have a lot to be thankful for. Their mother is in the hospital, victim of one of their battles with the monster named Kurse, and Alex Power is blaming himself. Unbeknownst to her siblings, Katie is planning a Thanksgiving party whether they like it or not – with some very special guests.
At this point in the title, Franklin Richards was pretty much a regular member of the cast, but throwing in Beta Ray Bill, Wolverine, Shadowcat, and Cloak and Dagger (who apparently didn’t merit showing up on the cover with the rest of them) made for an interesting dynamic in this story. At first, it seems like a sort of random group of characters, but when Katie explains her rationale behind who gets a Thanksgiving invite, it makes sense in a six-year-old kind of way. That was one of the great things about Louise Simonson’s writing on this title – she understood and encapsulated the minds of these young characters extremely well. This issue in particular shows a lot about her understanding of child development – Alex and Jule, the oldest, are most aware of the danger their mother is in and find it hardest to enjoy the celebration. Julie is trying to play mother for the two younger kids, while Alex is shouldering the blame himself. Katie, the youngest and most innocent, is just looking for a way to make everyone happy again. And Jack, as usual, is pure id – which is completely appropriate for a boy of his age.
The strange assembly of characters works well and gives the book an odd sort of balance, while also helping to show just how far and where the finders of this title reached back in the 80s – from the pages of Thor and Fantastic Four to the X-Men to a pair of Marvel’s most obscure heroes, these kids were very much a part of the world around them.
Brent Anderson and Scott Williams, both of whom would go on to do amazing work on more notable books, do a fine job of depicting the Power kids and their friends this issue. The scene with Katie and Franklin riding the Mighty Mouse balloon from the Thanksgiving parade is in and of itself worth reading the comic.
It’s a good book, a very good book, and I’m glad these kids are finally starting to be noticed in Marvel proper again.