Power Pack (1st series) # 33

Issue Date: 
November 1987
Story Title: 
Special Effects!

Louise Simonson (writer), Jon Bogdanove (penciler), Hilary Barta (inker), Joe Rosen (letterer), Petra Scotese (colorist), Carl Potts (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

Sunspot is feeling disappointed with himself as he has not exhibited aspects of true heroism following his and Warlock’s adventure with the Fallen Angels. He is reluctant to return to the New Mutants, so when he sees the Vulture rob an armored vehicle, they chase after him - but he escapes with the money. Meanwhile, Franklin Richards has a dream in which he thinks he sees a Snark ship. His dream form appears before Power Pack and he tells them this. Worried their foes are back to kidnap them, Power Pack pretend to go to bed so they can sneak out and investigate. They make their way to an abandoned building where they think the Snark has landed - but upon attacking, realize that it is Sunspot and Warlock of the New Mutants. Not wanting to confess who they are, Counterweight lies and explains they are beings from another planet, while Sunspot lies and claims that they are here from another dimension. Warlock and Sunspot discuss their lie, while Sunspot explains he did so because he doesn’t want Power Pack to tell the other New Mutants where they are. He then sees a car get a flat tyre and set upon by some thugs, so he and Warlock intervene. Power Pack scare the thugs away, while Sunspot and Warlock change the tyre - only the car was stolen, and police continue their pursuit. Sunspot feels bad that he has failed a second time. Warlock wants to go home, but Sunspot refuses. They fly away, and think they see a cat burglar on a rooftop, so they attack - only it turns out to be Spider-Man. Sunspot is frustrated with himself once again, and he leaves, with Julie suggesting to her siblings that Sunspot might have low self-esteem and they should help him. They send Franklin’s dream form to keep track of Sunspot, while they devise a plan, which consists of Julie increasing her mass to right feet, although Jack finds this hilarious, and they need to disguise her as a monster. Jack and Katie return home to get some supplies, and Katie worries that their parents might find out they have gone. They return to the alleyway and start to decorate the sheet which will cover the tall Julie. Franklin returns to them and instantly realizes that it is Julie in disguise. He and Katie then go after Sunspot and Warlock, informing them that there is a deadly super-villain and that they need their help to save them. Sunspot and Warlock follow them to the alley, where Julie appears. Sunspot fights her, and Julie has increased her molecules so that he passes through her, unable to harm her. Warlock realizes that something is up, and tries to get Sunspot’s attention, but Sunspot keeps attacking - eventually he throws a brick staircase at the “villain”, and Power Pack reveal themselves, concerned for Julie’s safety. Sunspot realizes he may have killed a little girl, but Julie appears, fine, after clouding away from the staircase just in time. Sunspot realizes he will never be a hero, while the Power kids argue about all the lies they have told. They inform Sunspot who they really are, and soon after, Warlock turns himself into a rocket and throws Sunspot inside, taking him back to the New Mutants. Power Pack are getting sleeping and after saying goodnight to Franklin’s dream form, they return home - but through the window to the boys’ bedroom, they see their frantic parents have discovered they aren’t there. The kids enter the apartment another way and come in through the front door - their parents rush into the kitchen and demand to know where they have been. They lie and explain that they tried to sleep up on the roof like they used to at the beach house. Their parents are angry and tell the older ones that they are too old now for that. Alex, Julie and Jack are then grounded, and the kids wonder if they did tell their parents the truth, whether they would be ready for it.

Full Summary: 

‘Self-friend Bobby, expression indicates emotion called sadness! Yet Self perceives that we have completed out adventure! We have learned many lessons!’ the alien New Mutant called Warlock tells his friend and teammate Bobby “Sunspot” DaCosta, who walks down a street, hands in pockets, slumped forward. Warlock points out that now it is time to return home to the New Mutants at Professor Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. ‘Query: Why so sad?’ Passing an armored vehicle where security guards are unloading some money, Sunspot asks Warlock if he is kidding. ‘The New Mutants are heroes! And look at us… or, at least, at me!’

One of the security guards notices Warlock, and asks his colleague ‘You see that? Guy looks like a robot! A rubber robot!’ The other guard suggests that he must be a shape-changing rubber robot from outer space.

Up above on one of the building rooftops, someone is perched on the edge of the roof and watches the security guards unload the cash, while Bobby tells Warlock that their time with the Fallen Angels taught him that to be a hero, he needn’t be one hundred percent heroic, but that he still must exhibit some heroism to be worthy of his teammates - and so far, he has exhibited nothing.

‘Just unload the money and forget about the robot! I’m telling ya, bud, I didn’t see nothing and if you’re smart, you didn’t see nothing either!’ one of the guards remarks. ‘Last thing Pinkerton wants is agents who see -’ the guard begins, when suddenly, the person on the edge of the rooftop swoops down and grabs two sacks of the money - it is the Vulture. ‘Hey! Stop! Stop!’ one of the guards calls out as they start firing at the criminal who is already flying away from them.

Sunspot and Warlock see the commotion. ‘I heard about him on TV! He’s a super-villain! A famous super-villain! Here’s our chance to be real heroes, Warlock! After him!’ Sunspot exclaims as he powers up, and Warlock transforms into a small ship, taking flight, so that Sunspot can stand on him as they soar after the Vulture. Warlock admits that he doesn’t understand, and points out that Sunspot is now super-strong, and they are pursuing the villain, so doesn’t that make them real heroes? ‘You, maybe, but I have much to atone for! I must watch myself like a hawk! My every move must be suspect!’ Bobby explains, adding that back at the school he knocked Sam down in anger, and then read what their old teacher, Professor Xavier, wrote about him, that he feared Bobby should someday turn evil and so he ran away, like he was evil.

The Vulture looks back and notices Sunspot and Warlock following him, while Sunspot reminds Warlock that he made them miss school, days of school, with mid-terms coming up. ‘Perhaps we should remain here - test our suitability as heroes…until mid-terms are over’ Sunspot suggests, before noticing the run-down buildings ahead, and wonders where the Vulture can be going.

The Vulture flies through a window, and Sunspot instructs Warlock to follow him, quickly. Warlock replies that he can transform his size to accommodate the window’s small size, but that he must go slowly, unless his true-friend be damaged. And when they pass through the window, they find the Vulture is gone. ‘Darn it, Warlock! I could’ve scrunched down! Now you’ve lost him! If New York has to depend on us for its heroes, it might as well give up!’ Sunspot declares, while Warlock looks around, confused as to where the Vulture has disappeared to.

Several miles away in Mid-Town Manhattan, the son of Reed and Sue Richards of the Fantastic Four dreams - of Snarks! Suddenly, Franklin who sometimes goes by the name Tattletale, sits up in be and realizes that he better tell Power Pack. And so, his dream-self materializes in the apartment kitchen of the Power family, where Julie and Jack are unstacking the dishwasher. Julie has her nose in a book as she casually passes Jack one plate at a time, as Jack hangs from the roof, de-gravitized, and puts the plates in the cupboard. Reading the book, Julie tells Jack that it says here that teenagers sometimes suffer from low self-esteem, and she suggests that might be why Alex has turned into such a grouch. ‘Who cares why, Julie! I just wish he’d lighten up’ Jack replies. Suddenly, Franklin calls out to Jack, asking him if he isn’t scared his Mom and Dad will walk in and see him de-gravitized on the ceiling?

‘Nah! They’re watching Dad’s favorite -’ Jack begins, before both he and Julie turn to Franklin, ‘Whaddya mean they might see us, Frank? What’re you doing here?’ Jack asks. Franklin tells them that he isn’t, it’s just his dream self, he is really home in bed, but he is here because it’s important - he had a special dream, the kind that’s true. ‘There was this long, dark ship flying over the city and -’ Franklin begins. ‘Oh, no! Where?’ Julie asks. Franklin offers to show her, but as she closes the dishwasher, Julie explains that they might have trouble getting away. ‘Hey! That’s Frank!’ Katie exclaims as she and Alex walk into the kitchen. Jack gets down to the floor and tells Julie to get real, as Mom and Dad are no problem. He instructs Franklin to wait for them on the roof and they will be there in two minutes. ‘What’s up?’ Alex enquires, ‘SNARKS!’ Jack and Julie reply in unison.

The Power kids go into the lounge, ‘I’m really sleepy, Mommy’ Katie claims, stretching her arms. ‘Me, too!’ Alex announces. ‘Night, Dad!’ Julie calls out as she kisses her father, Jim, while Jack kisses his mother, Margaret. They go into the girls’ bedroom, ‘Awright! Now the ole pillows under the covers trick@’ Jack calls out, as he helps Julie puts some pillows into her bed. ‘I dunno, Jack! It worked before, but -’ Julie begins, but Jack asks her if she wants to be the one to go in there and tell Mom and Dad that the aliens who kidnapped them are back, and that they have to stop them because they have super powers and are supposed to save the world? They go into the boys’ room and Alex starts shoving pillows into their bunk beds, ‘No! None of us do! But, Jack, I hate all this sneaking around and lying’ Alex remarks. ‘I don’t! I think it’s cool!’ Jack replies, before calling out ‘Costumes on!’ and the Power Pack’s costumes materialize.

Julie switches to her cloud form, and as Molecula, floats up to the rooftop, while as Starstreak, Katie is able to carry Jack who calls himself Counterweight, and he degravitizes Alex, known as Destroyer, so that Starstreak can carry them both. ‘Look, we’re doing them a favor! If they knew they’d only worry’ Counterweight tells his siblings. ‘But…’ Starstreak begins, to which Destroyer assures his youngest sibling that their parents won’t catch them, if that’s what is worrying her. ‘Why should they? They never have!’ he remarks. Destroyer sees some empty barrels on the rooftop and announces that he wants to disintegrate them and absorb their energy. ‘I darn well better be at full power if it is Snarks! They’re dangerous! I just wish…’ his voice trails off, before asking Franklin to show them where he saw the Snarkship. Molecula follows overhead as Starstreak flies after Franklin, pulling her brothers behind her. ‘You know what Frank, you’re lucky you don’t have to lie to your Mommy. You can go off on adventures and stay home in bed!’ Starstreak exclaims.

Up ahead, Power Pack see a strange figure through a broken window in a rundown old building. ‘Look! Through that window!’ Molecula calls out. ‘Frank’s right! It is a snark!’ Counterweight declares. ‘Get him!’ Starstreak shouts. But as they make their way into the building, they tackle what they think is a Snark, when in fact, it is Warlock and Sunspot, sitting back to back. ‘Alarm! Alarm! Self and Self-friend Sunspot are under attack!’ Warlock declares. ‘Super-villains, Warlock! They must’ve heard we were in town!’ Sunspot replies as Warlock tries to block the other open window, preventing everyone from falling out, until he announces that he can no longer hold on - and everyone, save for Molecula and Starstreak, falls to the rooftop below. ‘Uh-oh! Degravitize us, Counterweight! otherwise this is gonna hurt!’ Destroyer exclaims just before they hit the ground. Molecula switches from cloud-form to her small, dense form and drops downwards, ‘Now, Snark! Beware the super-dense impact of Molecula! Mistress of -’ she begins, before she falls into Warlock open mouth - and he swallows her!

Sunspot stands up and pushes Destroyer and Counterweight off of him. He grabs part of a brick wall and holds it up over them, as Counterweight exclaims ‘Hey, Destroyer! He’s no Snark!’ while Starstreak drops down beside Warlock, as Molecula can be seen inside his now large stomach. ‘Hey! You’re not a Snark! Let my sister go!’ she calls out. ‘Self will do so at earliest opportunity’ Warlock responds, while Destroyer fires a blast of energy at the brick wall, ‘He could clobber us anyway! Drop it!’ he shouts as the brick wall shatters, and Sunspot falls backwards as the bricks tumble around him. He lands upside down, ‘What the heck was that?’ Sunspot calls out, while Franklin’s dream form hovers over him and asks ‘How come you pretended to be a Snark?’ ‘What’s a Snark? I thought you were super-villains!’ Sunspot replies, adding that he can now see they are just kids. ‘Just kids…? HA!’ Counterweight exclaims.

Everyone gets to their feet and Counterweight boasts that they are strange beings from another planet who came to protect this backward world. ‘We’re what?’ Destroyer asks. ‘Oh, yeah? Well, we’re visitors from another dimension banished here and unable to return home until we prove our true heroism!’ Sunspot declares. ‘Self and Self-friend are what -?’ Warlock asks, before burping, and ejecting Molecula through a nozzle he creates in his head. Warlock leans into Sunspot and exclaims ‘Self does indeed come from another world, but -’, however before he can continue, Sunspot drags Warlock away, telling him he needs to talk to him. They stand on the edge of the rooftop and Sunspot informs Warlock that those kids are Power Pack. He reminds him that Cannonball, Mirage and Wolfsbane met them last Christmas. ‘We don’t want them to tell the New Mutants where we are’ Sunspot remarks. ‘Why not?’ Warlock asks.

At the same time, Tattletale asks Counterweight why he lied about them. ‘Whaddya mean we’re aliens?’ Starstreak exclaims, while Destroyer tells his brother that he is nuts, and Molecula asks ‘What was wrong with the truth?’ Sunspot reminds Warlock that they saw the Vulture steal stuff and two against one, they still couldn’t stop him. ‘Do you want the New Mutants to learn what failures we really are?’ he asks his friend. Suddenly, the car ramp on a nearby building, a car screeches and slams into the side railing, popping a tyre. Thugs armed with makeshift weapons approach the car, ‘Well, well, well. Car trouble, dude?’ one of them calls out. Sunspot sees the thugs circle around the car, and exclaims ‘Quick, Warlock - to the rescue!’ so Warlock flies himself and Sunspot down towards the trouble.

Power Pack sees the commotion and make their way across to the ramp also. ‘We gotta help!’ Counterweight tells everyone, while Starstreak tells him to stop changing the subject, and asks him why he lied. Counterweight announces that the other two lied as well, and asks his siblings if they didn’t recognize them. ‘Sure! They’re Sunspot and Warlock from the New Mutants! The others told us about them! So what?’ Destroyer replies. ‘So we’ve done some dopey things in our past, but we’ve never attacked friends. Do you want the New Mutants to find out what we did?’ Counterweight asks his siblings. Sunspot and Warlock have set down in front of the car, ‘Back, villains! Get back I say!’ Sunspot calls out, while Warlock boasts that he will be forced to exert inconsiderable strength as he leans into one of the thugs. ‘They aren’t human!’ ‘Run!’ some of the thugs shout as they start to flee, while Starstreak and Molecula fly around them. ‘Get lost!’ Starstreak calls out. ‘Yeah! Beat it!’ Molecula agrees.

Sunspot tells the car driver not to fear, as his companions and he will have them under way soon. He lifts the back of the car up and instructs Warlock to change the tyre, while Warlock informs Sunspot that he perceives that the driver and his companion fear them more than the thugs. ‘They’re overawed, Warlock. Who wouldn’t be?’ Sunspot replies. When Warlock finishes changing the tyre, Sunspot puts the car on the ground, and the driver speeds away. ‘He didn’t even thank you’ Destroyer points out. ‘No need. Wee do good for the sheer joy of it’ Sunspot replies, and as Warlock asks if this means they can go home now, a police car speeds past them, after the car that Sunspot and Warlock just repaired. ‘Oh, no! What have we done!’ Sunspot laments.

‘Cops! They must be crooks!’ Molecula declares as she takes to the air in cloud-form, while Warlock changes into a jet for Sunspot to stand on as he flies after them too. Counterweight de-gravitizes Destroyer once more so that Starstreak can pull them after her, and Tattletale’s dream form runs along Starstreak’s rainbow effect. ‘And we set ‘em free!’ Starstreak exclaims. ‘Mad, did we blow it’ Destroyer mutters, while Starstreak announces that she wished they hadn’t snuck out at all. Destroyer fires a blast of energy at the road in front of the escaping car, which comes to a stop when it falls part way into the hole in the road. The police officers stop and apprehend the crooks, while Power Pack, Sunspot and Warlock watch from a ramp overhead. Julie tells Jack that they have to reveal to Sunspot and Warlock who they are. ‘No! We told a lie!’ Jack replies. ‘You told a lie’ Alex points out. ‘But you guys went along with it and we’re stuck with it’ Jack declares, remarking that they are doing good - they helped the police stop those crooks, which cancels out their lying.

Julie notices Sunspot and Warlock start to walk away from them and declares ‘Good grief! Jack, I bet my psychology book would say you’re just rationalizing your desire for adventure…and the fun - for you - of living a fiction. In other words, you like lying!’ Sunspot complains to Warlock that it is worse than ever. ‘I’m no her no matter how hard I try’. He tells his friend that they should get out of here, and Warlock transforms into a small one-person plane, and takes flight, asking his one occupant, Sunspot, if he can take them home. ‘No! At this rate, we’ll never see our home again!’ Sunspot declares, while Molecula tells her siblings that Sunspot seems pretty upset, so they should go after him. But up ahead, Sunspot sees a figure lurking across a rooftop. ‘Warlock, look! There on the roof! A cat burglar!’ Sunspot exclaims, announcing that this is their chance to redeem themselves. ‘And then Self and Self-friend Bobby can go home?’ Warlock asks.

‘Beware, villain!’ Sunspot shouts, while the “cat-burglar”, none other than the Spectacular Spider-Man, looks up, ‘What now?’ he utters, as Sunspot and Warlock pounce at him. ‘Don’t let him get away!’ Sunspot calls out. They tussle on the rooftop, with everyone throwing a lot of punches, as Power Pack arrive on scene, Molecula sees that Sunspot and Warlock have grabbed Spider-Man. ‘Oh no! Now what?’ Destroyer mutters. And soon, Power Pack have ended the battle. Warlock throws his hands to his head, while Sunspot sits slumped over on the rooftop, webbing stuck around him. Tattletale pats Warlock’s leg, while Counterweight and Destroyer stand with Spider-Man and Molecula and Energizer tend to Sunspot. ‘What’s the matter, you guys couldn’t even recognize our pal Spider-Man? He’s a good guy, you dopes!’ Counterweight calls out.

‘Exclamation: Self pounce-attacked hero Spidey-Person! Oh, Self-shame-embarrassment-chagrin! Oh, woe!’ Warlock laments. Destroyer suggests to Spider-Man that they must have thought he was a villain, as they are new in town. ‘It’s okay, Destroyer. Happens to everybody on occasion’ Spider-Man remarks. Molecula tells Sunspot not to feel too bad, as they screw up sometimes, too. ‘I know a guy doesn’t have to be one hundred percent heroic to be a hero. I’d settle for five percent!’ Sunspot mutters. Spider-Man puts a hand on Sunspot and tells him not to sweat it, as they all make mistakes. He then apologizes about the sticky tuff, and assures Sunspot in about an hour it will just fall off by itself. Spider-Man then fires some webbing and swings off the building, bidding everyone goodnight, Power Pack and Warlock all shout ‘Night, Spider-Man!’

Warlock them imitates Spider-Man firing webbing and exclaims ‘Is Friend-Spidey-Person not wonderful hero?’, while Molecula goes over to Sunspot and tells him that it is not his fault. ‘You and Warlock just aren’t city heroes, like us and Spider-Man’ she suggests. Sunspot goes over to the edge of the rooftop, while Warlock tells him ‘Friend-Molecula-Mistress-of-Density is right, Friend-Sunspot! May Self not fly Self-Friend home?’ he asks. Bobby tells Warlock to forget it, for such miserable failures as they are don’t deserve a home. Warlock waves goodbye as he transforms into another vehicle to transport Sunspot through the air. ‘We should be outcasts. Everybody - just leave us alone’ Sunspot declares. ‘Well, that’s that! We better get home ourselves’ Destroyer remarks. But Molecula pulls her adolescent psychology book out from a pocket and announces that they can’t leave it like that. ‘They don’t know their way around. They’re naïve. They might get hurt’ she points out, suggesting that they have to do something heroic to justify their sneaking out. ‘It says in here that teenagers sometimes get low self-esteem’ Julie adds, pointing at her book.

‘Well, what if we help him redeem himself?’ Counterweight suggests. ‘Convince him that he is a hero, and it’s okay for him to go home. That would be heroic of us, right?’ Destroyer offers. Molecula agrees and instructs Franklin to keep an eye on Sunspot and Warlock in his ghost for, while they think up a plan. Tattletale waves goodbye as Power Pack take off in another direction by their usual means of moving about. ‘I don’t like this part of the city. It’s all bombed out and yucky’ Starstreak exclaims as they fly over the abandoned and run-down buildings. Counterweight admits that it gives him the creeps, too, as Destroyer announces that it gives him an idea, and instructs his siblings to land down in the alleyway beneath. ‘So what’s the brilliant idea?’ Counterweight asks, as Destroyer points out that Sunspot needs to win against a super-villain, so they can pretend to be a super-villain so he can fight them and defeat them.

‘Us? He knows us!’ Counterweight points out. Molecula suggests that they could be in disguise, and she switches to cloud form, increasing her size over the others. Counterweight bursts into laughter, ‘Man you don’t look anything like a super-villain! You look like a eight-foot tall little girl!’ he exclaims, clutching his stomach he is laughing so hard. Jack collapses to the ground, tears run down his face he is in hysterics. Julie stands over him, arms folded, unimpressed. Alex tells Julie not to mind Jack, as he is just jealous he never thought to do that when he had her power. ‘How’s she doing it?’ Katie asks, as Alex explains that she is keeping her molecules just a little more apart than usual so it looks like she is bigger. ‘Yeah, I’m just not as dense as normal’ Julie explains. Alex suggests that they cover her in a big cloak or a sheet or something. ‘And it is night…but he is strong! If he hits you, you’re a pancake!’ Katie points out.

‘If he hits me!’ Julie replies while Jack is still laughing, kicking his feet around on the ground. Julie announces that she figured out how to do something else with this power, and calls out to Jack, who is banging his fists on the ground, she tells him to try and sock her. ‘Oh, boy! I can’t believe it! My sister actually wants me ta sock her!’ Jack grins as he readies his punch then runs towards Julie’s enlarged form - but screams as he falls through her and falls flat on his face. ‘See? The only problem is we’d be lying to them even more than before’ Julie points out. ‘Who cares! Ya know…it might just work’ Jack agrees. Alex announces that he and Julie will stay here and practice, while Jack and Katie will go for the disguise. ‘We’ll need sheets…and something to make a scary face…oh yeah…and something to disguise her voice!’ Alex instructs his siblings.

Soon, Jack and Katie sneak into the window to the boys’ bedroom back at the Power apartment. ‘Quiet, Jack!’ Katie utters. ‘I’m not the one making all the racket’ Jack snaps back. Katie puts her head to the door and tells Jack to shush, as their Mommy and Daddy are getting ready for bed. ‘We don’t dare hit the linen closet! Then we’ll take these sheets’ Jack replies as he removes some bedding from the top bunk. Katie points out that they are Alex’s sheets, and that will spoil the illusion that their parents think he is in bed. ‘Good grief, Katie, why would they come in here, anyway?’ Jack asks. They start rummaging through the closet, and Jack reminds Katie that they are doing a good deed. ‘The muties saved Mom’s life once, and if we can get Bobby to go home, we might be saving his’ Jack adds, declaring that it is worth the risk. ‘Jack… you like sneaking around, don’t you?’ Katie asks as they pile some items into a box.

Soon, Starstreak and Counterweight return to the alleyway. ‘We’re back!’ Jack calls down to Alex and Julie. They start getting things out of the box, and Katie informs Alex that Jack took the sheet off his bed. ‘Green slime?’ Katie asks, looking at a can of the gunk. ‘Look, markers! We can draw an awesomely disgusting face!’ Jack exclaims proudly. They put the sheet over Katie, and Alex disintegrates some eye-holes, assisted by Jack who degravitizes his brother and holds him up so that he can reach the extra-tall Julie’s eyes. They attach Julie’s Hawaiian grass skirt as hair, and Jack’s Viking helmet for a hat. Jack adds that they should flip the skirt back over Julie’s face so it hides the eye-holes. Katie holds up Julie’s Statue of Liberty hat and explains that upside down it makes green fangs. She then holds up one of their diving masks for an eye-ball. ‘Uh…I dunno about this, guys’ Julie calls out.

Beneath where the grass skirt hangs over Julie’s eye-holes in the sheet, Alex draws a huge hairy eyeball to go under the mask. ‘Wait’ll I draw the mouth - hee hee - she’s gonna be uglier than ole Carmody!’ As he draws the eye, Julie inhales some of the marker’s fumes and tells Alex that they stink. Jack tells his sister to hold still and not to mess up the artiste. ‘More veins, Alex! And drippy blood and stuff!’ Jack calls out, while Julie points out that their Mom is going to kill them dor drawing on this sheet. ‘Good grief, Julie, it was your idea!’ Jack reminds his sister, while Katie holds up a large mailing tube and tells Julie to make noises through it, as they come out real loud. Jack suggests that she try breathing through it like Darth Vader, and make gross squishy noises. He then asks Alex what he thinks - ‘Maybe we oughta dump a can of slime on her, too?’ Jack asks.

‘No! No slime! Forget it! Bag the slime!’ Julie declares. ‘Wow! Is that gross or what?’ Jack declares, looking at their masterpiece of a monster before them. Julie asks her siblings if they really think this is going to work. ‘Sure! Here comes Frank! Go on, Julie, try it out on him!’ Katie grins. Frank stands before the “monster” who makes strange noises and tries to frighten him. ‘Hi, Julie. You look tall’ Franklin smiles. ‘FRAAAANK!’ Power Pack shout in unison, hanging their heads. ‘Oh well. We’re as ready as we’ll ever be. Katie, you and Frank go get Bobby! Act like scared little kids. We’ll do the rest’ one of the older siblings instructs Katie.

And, shortly, Starstreak flies towards an abounded building where Sunspot and Warlock are sitting on the roof. Franklin rides on Starstreak’s rainbow effect, and he calls out to Bobby and Warlock for help. ‘A giant, horrible super-villain is smashing stuff up!’ Katie announces. They land on the roof, and Franklin declares that it is a big, big, big monster. ‘You’ve got to save us, please! You’re our only hope!’ Katie pleads, dropping to her knees.

Sunspot and Warlock can be seen approaching the alleyway, accompanied by Starstreak and Tattletale. ‘Awright! Here they come! Get ready…’ Destroyer tells Julie as he peers around the corner. Counterweight pushes Julie into the alley, ‘Go on! Tell him you’re gonna destroy the city and remember keep your voice deep and low’. As Alex and Jack start clanging trash cans together and making a lot of noise, Jack tells Alex to power-ball something, as they need light and noise. Alex disintegrates some rubbish and lights the area up, as Julie shouts ‘Destroy! Destroy! I’m gonna destroy the city!’ ‘Ah-ha! There he is!’ Sunspot exclaims as he rides on Warlock’s rocket-form. They drop to the ground, and Warlock tells Sunspot that the villain is not what he expected. ‘I don’t blame you for your nervousness, Warlock! Stand back! The creature is fearsome indeed…and he is mine!’ Sunspot declares as he lunges at the “monster”, who moves to one side. ‘He is also faster than he -’ Sunspot begins, as he falls to the ground.

‘Looks like you managed to dodge that blow, monster, but you cannot evade them all!’ Sunspot declares as he gets to his feet and repeatedly starts to punch the “monster”, but with no effect, as his punches just go through Julie’s form. Warlock grabs Sunspot and tells him that he thinks there is something odd about this monster. ‘You bet it’s odd! Each time I hit him, it feels like I’m punching air!’ Julie is a bit dazed, and Jack calls out to her, asking her if she is okay. Julie replies that she is a little dizzy, as going dense and going cloudy over and over wears her out. ‘So disintegrate! Cloud away out the back, leaving the sheet! That’s the plan’ Alex whispers at her. But Julie tells him that she can’t make it too easy. ‘You’re only a heavy-duty hero if you best a heavy-duty villain!’ she points out. Warlock narrows his eyes and asks Sunspot if he has noticed the feet of the monster. ‘I noticed his foot-work!’ Sunspot replies, warning the monster that he has evaded his blows so far, but that right will prevail.

‘Awright, Julie, that’s your cue! Get out there and knock ‘em dead!’ Jack exclaims as he pushes Julie back out towards Sunspot, who once again starts to punch her over and over. ‘Friend-Bobby…’ an anxious Warlock calls out. ‘What is it, Warlock? Can’t you see I’m busy!’ Sunspot calls back, suddenly getting tangled in the sheet. ‘But Self-Friend-Sunspot, monster is not what you think! Monster is only…’ Warlock begins, while Sunspot suddenly frees himself from the sheet and grabs the steps that Warlock is standing on, knocking Warlock to the ground, he tells his friend to be quiet. ‘You distract me when my best energies should be put toward -vanquishing our foe!’ He then throws the set of brick steps into Julie with a powerful force, and Power Pack look on in horror, ‘JULIE!’ they shout in unison. ‘That was Julie…?’ Bobby asks, confused, as he sees Power Pack start to search through the steps.

‘But Self-Friend-Bobby, Self attempted to clearly elucidate facts concerning…’ Warlock begins, as Alex calls out to Julie, asking her where she is. ‘Alex…she’s…she’s gone!’ Jack announces. Sunspot starts to search through the steps, too, ‘I killed her? A little girl?’ Sunspot utters, as the Power children and Franklin embrace each other. ‘It’s all my fault! I thought it was fun… a big joke… and now… she’s… she’s…’ Jack stammers, while Alex supposes that this is what they get for lying. Katie worries about how they will ever explain this to their Mommy and Daddy, when suddenly Julie materializes and announces that her timing was off, that’s all. ‘I barely made it, but - look… I was supposed to cloud away!’ Julie tells everyone as they race over and hug her. ‘Julie! You’re here!’ Alex calls out. ‘You’re alive!’ Jack exclaims. ‘You’re okay!’ Franklin adds.

Sunspot sees this, and shouts ‘It was a trick! A lie! I was fighting a little kid… and a girl! That proves it! I’m a fool! I’ll never be a hero! I should go away forever! Change my name!’ He puts a hand to his head, while Alex tells the rest of Power Pack that they really blew it. ‘Every lie we told just got us in deeper. And this one turned out worst of all’ Julie points out ‘What’re ya telling at me for? It was your dumb idea!’ Jack replies. Katie announces that she has another idea - telling the truth. Katie and Franklin look away, nervously, as Jack adds ‘Big deal! When all else fails, you gotta fall back on the truth’.

And soon, Power Pack stand before Sunspot, ‘…so you see, we just did it ‘cause we know the New Mutants are really heroes… and we know if you’re one of them, you’re a hero, too. And oughta go home and be with them. So we figured we’d help you…’ Jack explains. ‘And help me you did! To realize what an insensitive brute I am. How lacking in human values, in true heroism… in all those little things that make life worth -’ Sunspot begins as he starts to walk away, before Warlock shifts his form into a rocket, and extends a hand, he grabs Sunspot, ‘Exclamation: enough!’ he shouts as he pulls Sunspot into his rocket body ‘If Self-Friends-Power-Pack would go to all this trouble to convince you…then you must be truly worthy, indeed!’ Warlock declares, before he “blasts off” into the air, telling his friends that they are going home. ‘It has been Self’s pleasure to know you’ Warlock adds, as Power Pack call out ‘Bye!’

Katie rubs her eyes and announces that she is tired and wants to go home. ‘Yeah, me, too’ Jack agrees, while Alex tells everyone that they better now forget the sheet and tuff. Julie tells Frank that he better quit dreaming and go to sleep for real. In their usual fashion Power Pack take to the skies, with Katie bidding Franklin goodnight. ‘G’night, Power Pack! I love you!’ Franklin replies. ‘And you guys were so worried things would turn out terrible. Ha!’ Jack laughs. They approach their apartment, and Jack tells his siblings that a little white lie never hurt anybody. ‘Uh…Jack, did you and Katie leave the lights on when you brought the stuff?’ Julie asks when she sees the light on in the boys’ room. They hover outside the window and stare into the room, where Margaret and Jim are in their dressing gowns, and Jim has his arm around a clearly distraught Margaret who utters ‘Oh, dear Lord, not again! They can’t be gone again!’ Power Pack move away from the window so they can’t be seen. ‘We’re doomed!’ Jack declares. ‘I can’t believe it! They think we’ve been kidnapped by aliens again’ Alex gasps, while Julie asks him what they will do.

Soon, the kids are dressed in their nightclothes and sneak into the kitchen. The door creaks, and Margaret and Jim rush into the kitchen. ‘Alex! You’re here! What’s that kitchen door doping open? Where in Heaven’s name were you?’ Jim demands to know. ‘We…went out’ Alex replies as the kids all hang their heads. ‘Yeah…we…uh…thought maybe we’d try sleeping on the roof…like back at the beach house…but it was kinda cold up there and…’ Jack lies as Margaret goes over to him and Katie. Jim goes over to Alex and Julie and asks them if they have lost their minds? ‘You’re too old for that kind of nonsense’ he remarks, while Margaret declares that they were worried sick. ‘We were ready to call the police! Katie’s just a baby, but you others…’ her voice trails off. Alex carries the box of their things with him, as the children march to their rooms, with Jim informing them that the older three are grounded for two weeks - no visitors, no television, no telephone. ‘Spend the time thinking about what you’ve done…and how you’ve disappointed us’ he announces. ‘What was it Jack said? When all else fails, fall back on the truth?’ Julie whispers. ‘Yeah, but are we ready for that? And are they…?’ Alex replies solemnly.

Characters Involved: 

Counterweight (Jack), Destroyer VI (Alex), Molecula (Julie), Starstreak (Katie) (all Power Pack)

Jim & Margaret Power

Tattletale / Franklin Richards



Security Guards
Police officers
Car thieves

Story Notes: 

This issue takes place between Fallen Angels #8 and New Mutants (1st series) #59.

The Snarks previously kidnapped Power Pack in Power Pack (1st series) #22-26.

Cannonball, Mirage and Wolfsbane previously met Power Pack in Power Pack (1st series) #20.

There is a reference to being uglier than ole Carmody, who is Power Pack’s enemy, the Boogeyman.

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