Power Pack: Day One

Power Pack art by Gurihiru (not from Day One)Yesterday rumors came of a Year One look at Power Pack by the same creative team as the recently concluded Fantastic Four & Power Pack mini-series, writer Fred Van Lente and art studio Gurihiru. Today, the NWCC has received confirmation. Power Pack: Day One by Van Lente and Gurihiru will debut in March as a 4-issue mini-series.

(Note: The image to the right by Gurihiru is not from Power Pack: Day One.)

The title Power Pack: Day One is a play on the familiar Year One term utilized by DC Comics when depicting the origins and early days of its heroes. “A full year is practically a lifetime for kids that young,” joked Van Lente.

Looking back to the original material by Louise Simonson and June Brigman, Van Lente felt it was time new Power Pack fans had their own origin story. “It’s just something I felt should be done, retelling the Simonson & Brigman origin for this new generation of PP fans, and in the ‘new continuity’ of the All-Ages version– That’s why I pitched it.”

After a half dozen mini-series, the modern All-Ages Power Pack has never had an origin of their own. Van Lente knew that simply repeating Simonson & Brigman’s version wouldn’t be enough. “Basically, our attitude is that this is Power Pack: The Movie, so it’s both an adaptation and a reinterpretation of the original material, although in broad strokes it’s basically the same story. I re-read most of the original first year of Power Pack, as well as 1992’s Power Pack Holiday Special, in which Simonson & Brigman, in a nice alpha and omega twist, brought to a close the series they started. Believe it or not, a lot of my reimagining of the Kymellian/Snark mythos comes from the Holiday Special… No one was more surprised by that than me…”

Having just completed his first PP mini-series Fantastic Four & Power Pack, Van Lente has already made his mark by introducing Franklin Richards as the fifth member of the team. “It builds on a lot of what happened in Fantastic Four & Power Pack — namely that it guest-stars Franklin Richards! I’m serious that Frank is the “honorary fifth Power kid” as of the end of FFPP and I plan to use him in any PP I’m lucky enough to write (although Marc Sumerak is still sheriff ’round these parts).” Sumerak has written previous installments and was largely responsible for bringing Power Pack back into regular publication.

As longtime PP fans know, Franklin Richards was never part of the Power Pack’s origin. Van Lente explains, “Those of you who may be scratching your heads as to how Franklin Richards fits into the Pack’s origin: The framing device of the book is that the kids are narrating their origin to Franklin during a sleepover. Each issue, in fact, is told from the point of view of a different Power kid.”

It turns out the inclusion of Franklin Richards was an incentive for Gurihiru agreeing to illustrate the mini-series. “The ‘behind the scenes’ story here is that I knew Gurihiru loves Franklin, and when a scheduling conflict at one point made it look like they might not be able to draw Day One, being the evil, evil man that I am, I hit on the idea of incorporating Frank into the story and thus making the ladies an offer they couldn’t refuse, and it worked… And thank God it did! I think most fans would agree with me that I couldn’t imagine a “New Origin” for Power Pack that wasn’t drawn by the Guri gals.”

Colleen Coover's cover to Local #1 from Oni PressAnother custom of All-Ages Power Pack is the frequent inclusion of back-up stories in each issue. Day One will include a special take on this format. “I do a ‘quick take’ in each issue focusing on each PP kid and his or her powers, drawn by the obscenely talented Colleen Coover! So, unusual for a Marvel comic, there’s 24, not 22 pages of story in each PP:D1 issue. Too cool!” A look at Coover’s work is included at left.

“I think the bottom line is there’s enough of the magic from the original tale to delight new readers as well as enough new stuff — and old stuff seen in a new light — that longtime PP fans should get a kick out of it. Being one of the latter myself, I humbly think so…”

Power Pack: Day One will ship in March as a 4-issue mini-series from Marvel Comics.

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