As noted previously, 2014 marks 30 years since Power Pack #1 hit the shelves. I think that may be a more significant milestone to me than my own birthday next year. And, honestly, the more I thought about it, the more I realized Power Pack was the impetus for a huge number of comics-related firsts in my life.
The first issue of Power Pack I found was in the spinner rack at the local grocery store. It was #2, and I was ten years old.
Up until then, honestly, I’d not had much interest in comics. Super heroes, sure, but that was all cartoons and the odd movie. I’d read random comics before, borrowed from my cousins, mostly. But they were almost all running on high numbers, and I felt like I was missing story. And I liked Batman and Superman and Spider-Man and all that, but they were on Saturday morning, so why bother trying to track down dozens or hundreds of other comics?
But right there, on the cover in the spinner rack that day, were a bunch of kids. Super hero kids. I’d never seen that before. I had to have it.
I devoured that thing. There was bookworm-y Julie who liked fantasy books like me. And nerdy Alex who was awkward like me. And all four kids squabbled and picked on each other kind of like how my little sister and I did.
And unlike Robin or the Wonder Twins1, they weren’t teenagers I was still years away from being. They weren’t grown ups like Superman and Batman, whom I only vaguely imagined I might be. They were my age. They were like me. And they were changing the world right the heck now.
Right there was the moment a comic book became something than a rag I might read over if one looked neat, or if I was bored when visiting my cousins. There, with Power Pack, was the moment when I had to have comics. That’s what got me invested, what made me a collector, a fan.
From there I fell in love with the short-lived New Universe, and the New Warriors, and dozens of other series that fascinated me and captured my imagination.2
If I’m a comic book geek, it’s all because of that wonderful little pamphlet Louise Simonson and June Brigman created. And that’s only the first thing you can blame those incorrigible kid super heroes for.
1. Remember, my references were largely cartoons at that time. I had no idea The Wonder Twins only existed on television. Or Firestar, for that matter. I don’t want to throw all the love to DC. I loved me some Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends as a kid.↩
2. I have a fair track record of falling for series that just don’t make it in the long run. There was a point where I thought I might be a jinx, but whatever. You love what you love, and just because other folks aren’t paying attention, doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter. Power Pack is probably a part of that philosophy, too.↩