Power Pack #44

Issue Date: 
March 1989
Story Title: 
Revenge of the Bogeyman, part 3: What Price Victory?

Jon Bogdanove (writer & penciler), Russ Heath, Jr (inker), Joe Rosen (letterer), Glynis Oliver (colorist), Carl Potts (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

As the Inferno rages, Power Pack engage demons in battle, despite the massive ordeal they have just been through themselves. They battle several forms of demons, until a portal opens in the sky, and all the demons are sucked into it. The kids return home, to find their parents, who now know about their powers, acting normal, with huge grins on their faces. As the kids head to bed, they realize their parents are acting strange - and don’t see how distraught Margaret and Jim have become. The next morning, Jim and Margaret are still putting on a brave face in front of their children, and announce that they think they should carry on as normal. Alex is confused by this, he wants to talk about it, but his parents won‘t. Katie goes to talk to her mother in the kitchen, but Margaret breaks down in tears when she realizes that she can tell her kids to be careful crossing the street, but has no say in whether they fight killers and space aliens. Jim is disappointed when the kids leave to go help with the clean up after the Inferno, but Alex points out that they have a responsibility to use their powers. As the city slowly returns to normal, some inanimate objects such as cars remain transformed by the Inferno. The young heroes do what they can to assist trapped civilians, including freeing some from a demonic bus. These civilians need medical attention, so Power Pack take them to a hospital, where they are reunited with Mirage, Sunspot, Warlock and Gosamyr. Mirage speaks with a doctor, as the hospital is in bad shape, and needs medical staff and construction workers. Mirage creates dozens of illusions to help with this, while Power Pack and the New Mutants make themselves useful around the hospital also. Afterwards, the young heroes grab some respite, and Alex and Julie explain how their parents now know about their secret lives as Power Pack, and how they aren’t taking it too well. The New Mutants wish they could help, and Power Pack realize that they must return home. But when they do, they find a deranged Margaret sitting in a corner holding a baby doll and singing to it, while Jim sits in the darkness, rambling over and over about not being able to protect his children. The kids try to comfort their parents, when suddenly, Mirage, Sunspot, Warlock and Gosamyr arrive. They explain to Margaret and Jim that there has been a misunderstanding, and that this was all part of their plan to protect their real children. Mirage explains that they learned about the Bogeyman who hated mutant children, and that he was obsessed with their children, so they created super-powered decoys of their children which they figured could stop Carmody while they kept their real children safe elsewhere. Suddenly, four kids identical to Power Pack rush in to the room and hug their parents. Gosamyr explains that these other kids are solid thought forms created by Mirage. Margaret doesn’t seem convinced, as they are so real. Gosamyr uses her ability to psychically influence Margaret and Jim so that they believe what they are being told. Alex plays along and tells his parents that it is time for them to leave as they are just the doubles. The kids start to cry, while Gosamyr influences Margaret and Jim to fall asleep, with the regular kids in their arms. Alex, Julie, Jack and Katie know that it is better this way, and wonder if they can check in on their parents some times - but Mirage holds up her dream spear, and the four regular kids vanish - they were just illusions. The real Power Pack revert to civilian clothing, and take the illusions’ place on the bed with their parents. Gosamyr influences them all to go to sleep, and Mirage thinks about the dark thinks that Power Pack have seen, and how it is now time to be children again.


Full Summary: 

‘Power Pack attack!’ shout Julie, Jack and Alex Power, along with Katie, the young super heroes drop down amongst a horde of demons who are attacking civilians in the transformed city. It is still Inferno, that fateful night when the veil between this world and the hellish dimension called Limbo was shredded. ‘Hang on, kid - I’ll take you to your parents!’ Katie a.k.a. Starstreak exclaims as she drops down and picks up girl up from the clutches of the demons. New York is still overrun by demons, and the streets themselves are twisted into a surreal nightmare as supernatural horror threatens to engulf reality. ‘Yow! Katie! Watch we’re your streaking - I almost hit you with a power ball!’ Alex a.k.a. Destroyer exclaims as he fires several power balls out into the horde of demons. ‘You watch it, Alex! She’s only five and a half years old!’ Jack a.k.a. Counterweight calls out as he punches several demons.

Hours ago, Power Pack fought and won their most desperate battle - to save their parents from the demonic, hate-crazed Bogeyman. It was a battle that cost them their secret identities - and more. ‘Take it easy, Jack! We’re all tired…’ Julie a.k.a. Molecula points out as she switches from cloud form to super-dense, and slams herself against one of the demons. ‘I know, Julie! I guess I’m just fed up with all these demons’ Jack mutters. But for the four heroic children of power, sworn to save their world, the fighting has never stopped. ‘Who isn’t? We’ve been pushing too hard! I’m getting dizzy from so much “Julie-hammering”!’ Julie adds. As Jack lifts a stunned demon overhead, he announces that he is worried about Katie, as she has been airlifting people to safety all night with no ant-grav assistance from him, so she must be pooped. Jack tells Julie that going from cloudy to dense too fast used to make him feel funny, too, as he used to have that power.

As Katie drops the girl on a nearby rooftop, where several others are, the girl calls out to her, informing he that her grandma is still down there. ‘All right…I’ll find her’ Katie calls back, wiping her tired brow. In her cloud form, Julie announces that everything is so crazy. ‘Don’t know half the time if we’re fighting goblins or just transformed people! Even the street lights are demonized!’ Julie calls out as he one of them fires a bolt of energy at her. Jack sees this and tells Julie to stay cloudy, as he will disintegrate it, he needs to power-up again, anyway. Katie drops down amongst the demons, ‘Are you a grandma?’ she asks an elderly woman as she pulls her from the demons. ‘Don’t worry, ma’am - I’ll save you from those monsters’. The old woman suddenly looks at Katie, ‘How’s this for a grand-maw, dearie? Hee hee hee hee hee!’ the demon laughs, revealing its monstrous form. Katie screams, and her siblings turn to the direction of her voice. ‘Hurry, Jack! She needs us!’ Alex exclaims. The demon, in the old lady form, has sprouted large wings to match its large mouth, and flies after Starstreak, who tries to fly away from it. ‘That old lady’s turned into a harpy!’ Molecula points out as she carries Jack and Alex along in her cloud form.

‘Katie’s flying tired! That thing’s gonna catch her! But it’s too far to be accurate with a power ball!’ Alex tells his siblings. ‘Come to granny, dearie!’ the harpy demon exclaims as it grabs Katie. ‘She’s got her! Gotta do it now!’ Alex calls out as he fires a power ball, which strikes the demon, separating it from Katie, who starts to plummet. ‘I can catch her in my molecular density field - made it!’ Julie exclaims as she catches Katie in the bubbles, while the demon lands safely on the ground. But as the other kids land, Jack rushes up to the demon, ‘And a super posi-gee punch takes care of the harpy!’ Jack exclaims as he punches the demon, sending it careening through the air. ‘Takje that, you old bat!’ Jack jokes. Alex pulls Katie from the bubbles and asks her if she is all right. He tells her that she needs to rest. ‘Maybe it’s time we all took a little - rest?’ Alex begins, but the four young heroes look around, as several demons rush towards them. ‘Alex - I’m scared!’ Katie calls out, while Jack tells everyone to brace themselves, ‘This is it!’

But, as the demons are just inches from the heroes, Power Pack go wide-eyed, ‘Wh -? Demons have stopped!’ Alex exclaims. ‘What are they doing? What are they scared of?’ Julie asks. ‘Look up there!’ Jack calls out, as a large hole has opened in the sky above them - where hundreds of demons are being sucked towards. ‘A giant hole - opening in the sky?’ Julie asks as the demons around them are sucked towards it, too. ‘A dimensional door, I think! It’s sucking all the demons away!’ Alex calls out, while Julie announces that it is over - finally - all over and everything is going to be okay again.

The young heroes start to return home, with Counterweight de-gravitating himself and Destroyer so that Starstreak can fly them, as Molecula floats above. ‘Cripes! It’s almost down! Mom and Dad are going to have a cow!’ Counterweight exclaims. Molecula reminds her siblings that their parents were so freaked by what happened tonight, finding out about their powers the way they did - and the Bogeyman - and then as soon as they was over, they rushed out to fight demons all night. ‘It’s so unfair to them. They must be worried sick’ Molecula adds, while Destroyer points out that their parents are going to be hysterical. And soon, as they young heroes climb through the window back into the Power apartment, ‘Mom Dad!’ Julie calls out. ‘Home at last - huh?’ Jim remarks as he and Margaret turn from where they are sitting at the dining table. He welcomes the kids home, and asks how it went. ‘Glad you’re not hurt. Want a snack?’ he asks. ‘Are you guys okay?’ Alex asks.

Katie hugs her mother, as both Jim and Margaret have large smiles on their faces - as if they are forcing themselves to smile. ‘Oh, sure, y’know… adjusting - listen, you kids think maybe you want to go to bed? You must be exhausted. It’s hours past your bedtime’ Jim points out. Jack tells his parents that they are pretty tired, but he thought they might like to talk, or something. ‘No no. We’re fine. Run along to bed, you hard working superheroes need your rest’ Jim adds. The parents continue to smile at the kids, as the four leave the living area and enter the hallway towards their bedrooms. ‘Mom and Dad are acting kinda funny - Mom’s hugs are all stuff!’ Katie tells the others. Julie remarks that something is wrong, as their parents are not reacting in a way that is at all real. ‘They’re just trying to act normal. They’ll adjust…we’ve all just gotta get some - sleep’ Alex replies. He tells his siblings not to worry about their Mom and Dad. ‘They’ll be fine’ he points out, while in the living room, an anguished Margaret wrings her hands together, and Jim is face down on the table.

The next morning, Margaret and Jim are all smiles once more, huge grins, as the kids sit around the table for breakfast. ‘Well…here we are at breakfast…things seem painfully normal around here - don’t you guys want to talk?’ Alex enquires. Jim sits at the head of the table while Margaret brings the cereal and milk over. ‘Last night - after your brought us home and took off again to go super heroing, your mother and I decided that - carrying on normally is the only option we could - afford’ Jim announces. He adds that in light of the face they can’t change what their kids are, and the fact that the kids worked so hard to keep it a secret, keep them out of their decisions, and considering that, as parents, they never even suspected what was going on, they think perhaps they don’t have the right to interfere. ‘But, guys…this has been a very traumatic experience for you. We should - we need to talk this out! And as you said, Pa, we’re a family! We can work this out together. Just because we have these powers doesn’t mean anything important has changed!’ Alex declares.

Jim hangs his head, ‘That’s just the point. We have to behave as if nothing has changed. please, son, for now…we have to, or, or…’ his voice trails off, before he smiles again, and asks ‘So! How did you guys get to be super heroes anyhow? Er - does it have anything to do with our friends the Kymellians?’ he asks. ‘Pa!’ one of the kids exclaims. Alex then tells his father that they will have it his way. ‘It’s kind of a long story - see, Whitey came from space and…’ Alex begins, as Margaret rubs her head and walks out of the living area. ‘Mommy?’ Katie calls out. Margaret goes into the kitchen and starts to pack the lunchboxes for the children, as Katie stands in the doorway she asks ‘Mama? Are you crying?’ to which Margaret does not look up from what she is doing, and replies ‘What? No, honey - just doing Mommy stuff’, she sniffs back the tears. Without looking at Katie still, Margaret hands her daughter the lunchbox, ‘P&J, apple, carrot sticks and milk money…and many you’d all better take your slickers, cause it looks like rain - and be careful crossing Columbus Avenue, cause - what am I saying! You can fly! Of course! I forgot!’ Margaret exclaims.

Tears fall down her face as Margaret declares ‘Here my babies are super heroes, and I’m telling them to be careful crossing the street! Ha-ha! Isn’t that silly? Ha-ha! You kids must have thought it was pretty stupid the way we used to fuss and worry over stuff like that when you were really out stopping killers and space aliens and - and we thought you were playing so happily - like, like - ha-ha!’ Margaret sniffs back the tears, as Katie tells her that she sounds funny. ‘What’s the matter?’ she asks. Margaret puts her face to the wall and replies that she is fine, really. ‘Try not to lose your homework if any more monsters come to -’ Margaret begins, as Katie tugs on her mother’s shirt, while Jim rushes into the kitchen, followed by the other kids. Jim tells them not to worry, as their Mom is just having a little hard time with all of this. ‘It takes time you know - it’s not every day your kids - turn out to be - run along to school now…try to have a normal day, okay? And we’ll sort this out some more when…’ Jim’s voice trails off, as Alex announces that there is no school today, the city is a mess and people need their help. ‘Oh, for crying out loud, kids - hasn’t this family been though enough for one week?’ Jim shouts, holding his wife. Alex calmly tells his parents not to worry, as the demons are gone, they won’t be in any real danger, but right now their powers can help save a lot of people -lives depend on them doing the jobs their powers have given them.

And shortly, the young heroes take flight, as Julie tells Alex that she doesn’t feel right about leaving their parents like this. ‘I think they need us! Something’s really wrong’ she adds. Alex announces that their Mom and Dad are safe now, they are out of actual danger and they need to concentrate on the many who are still in serious trouble. ‘We’re supposed to save the world, aren’t we?’ Alex adds. ‘Besides, Dad says he wants us to carry on normally’ Alex reminds his siblings, assuring them that their parents just need time to work this out. Molecula solemnly wonders to herself why they are kidding themselves - as what their parents really nee is to have their babies back, the way they were before they got their powers. ‘Mom and Dad are in trouble. They can’t handle this alone, and we’re not dealing with it like a family’ Julie tells herself, wondering what they an do. ‘Are we too worn out - too scared to cope with this? Or is it just easier to go save the world and stuff than to just deal with a real crisis at home?’

As the young heroes drop down t the ground, the city is littered with transformed objects from the Inferno, and some buildings still have demonic gunk covering them. Alex suggests that they split up and help as many people as they can, but to stay within earshot. ‘What a mess! The streets are so quiet after last night - it’s creepy!’ Jack remarks as he waves goodbye to Julie and Katie, while only a few civilians are wandering the streets nearby. Alex sees an elderly man strapped in a large tyre from his car. Alex supposes that the car must have got demonized and be trying to kill him when the spell broke. He starts to disintegrate the tyres and tells them an to hold on. ‘We’ll have you free in a sec-’ Alex begins, adding that he doesn’t understand why the car is just frozen in place.

‘Why didn’t it revert to being a regular car? Unless there’s some residual magic left -’ he remarks, when suddenly, after freeing the man, the car bursts to life, and its large teeth move towards Counterweight, as Destroyer realizes that when he tried to disintegrate it, it must have release the leftover demon energy. ‘Stand back, bro - let’s see if It can stand up to the energy released by my positive-gravity super-punch!’ Counterweight calls out as he punches the demonic car, flattening it. ‘Way to go, Jack! It’s just a regular car again - er, sort of -’ Destroyer exclaims. ‘How do I explain this to my insurance?’ the old man asks himself, shocked. ‘Guess I - heh heh - knocked the “H.E Double Hocket Sticks” out of it. Get it?’ Jack exclaims. ‘No need to thank us, sir! Up, up and away!’ Alex tells the old man, before he and Counterweight take off.

Nearby, Starstreak flies up to a demonized lamppost which has trapped two people, wrapped itself around them. She has managed to free one of them, and tells the other to try to wriggle out, as she can lower them both to safety. ‘Holy cow! What is that?’ Julie gasps as she sees a large, transformed vehicle. ‘Looks like a bus that got demonized!’ Alex points out. ‘And then froze in place - like that car!’ Jack remarks. Starstreak drops the people she rescued from the lamppost on the ground, as Alex puts his head to the bus and announces that he can hear sobbing and people moving. ‘I’ll cloud through this crack and take a look!’ Julie calls out as she does just that, re-materializing in the bus, where over a dozen trapped passengers look very tired and afraid. ‘Smells like cat barf in here! And the walls look like ribs - only slimy…like they’re alive!’ Julie thinks to herself. She then tells everyone to stay calm, and introduces herself as a superhero, adding that she and her partners will get them all out of here safely. ‘She’s just a kid!’ a man calls out. ‘The bus - it tried to digest us - but then everything just stopped!’ a woman reveals.

Julie flies back out of the bus and tells Alex to hurry, as it is like an oven in there, and the people are all out of air. ‘They’ll suffocate!’ she exclaims. Alex puts his hands to the bus and starts to disintegrate it, announcing that there is no other way, he has to disintegrate some of the ribs. ‘No, Alex! Remember the car!’ Jack exclaims. ‘Too late!’ Julie calls out as the demon-bus roars into life, ‘It came alive!’ Starstreak exclaims as she leaps out of the way. ‘It’s charging! Gangway!’ Jack calls out as he pushes Alex out of the way. ‘I can  catch it - but what then?’ Katie asks as she streaks after the bus. Molecula follows, and Counterweight degravitizes himself and Destroyer to float after the bus also. Julie tells Katie that she will make a molecular density field and catch it in a giant airball cushion so no one inside will get hurt. Molecula uses her new power to create many bubbles of dense air, which cushion the bus and bring it to a stand still. Alex disintegrates some ribs and he and the others help the civilians from the bus. ‘Get those people off, fast! I can’t hold this thing for long!’ Julie exclaims, while Alex soon announces that everyone is out.

Suddenly: ‘Uh-oh! I can’t hold it! It’s breaking away! Look out, Alex!’ Julie screams as she is forced to release the demon bus, which moves towards Alex, who tells Julie to chill, as he has it covered. Alex then fires a large power ball, flattening the bus. And, shortly after the smoke clears, Counterweight has depravities the now flattened bus, using it to transport all of the rescued civilians. Alex stands on the flattened bus with the civilians, while Starstreak flies the de-gravitized Counterweight, keeping him steady, and Molecula floats alongside. Alex declares that the demon effect must wear off slowly, as the city is gradually becoming more recognizable. He adds that he is pretty sure they will find Roosevelt Hospital over this way, pointing north. Counterweight tells his brother that it was nice of him to leave such a neat hunk of debris when he blasted that bus-monster to bits, as this piece of roof is just great for de-gravitizing all of the people at once.

And shortly, the young heroes arrive at the hospital, where medical staff and emergency personnel are tending to injured civilians under tents on the road outside. ‘What hit this place - a bomb? They’ve got their patients lying in the street!’ Counterweight. A doctor approaches the heroes and reveals that the hospital went crazy last night. ‘Never have I beheld such demons in a first-class hospital, no!’ the doctor calls out. Alex tells him that he is sorry to add to their troubles, but they have some more patients for him. ‘Can you tell me who is in charge?’ Alex asks. Dr Ahjay Bhatnagar introduces himself, adding that he is the closest to anyone that is being “in charge”. Dr Bhatnagar tells Alex that they will do what they can for his people, but that he is very sorry, all of the serious cases will have to wait to be treated. ‘And as you can see, we haven’t beds enough for half of those’ he adds.

Dr Bhatnagar reveals that an x-ray machine came to life last night, roamed the halls attacking people with powerful x-ray blasts, and three patients and many staff received significant radiation burns, before Doctor Gary Campbell and he pushed it down the elevator shaft. ‘Oh, Kali is laughing today, you can be sure’ the doctor remarks. ‘Holy cow!’ Alex exclaims. ‘Yes, in my country they are - but that is another story…aren’t you children too young to be super heroes? Who are you?’ the doctor enquires. ‘Er - ah…’ Alex’s voice trails off, as suddenly, a voice calls out ‘They’re with us!’ Everyone looks up to see Dani “Mirage” Moonstar and Roberto “Sunspot” DaCosta, two of the New Mutants, standing on their shape shifting alien teammate Warlock, who has morphed himself into a hoverpad. With them and clinging to Sunspot is the New Mutants’ ally, Gosamyr. Mirage tells Dr Bhatnagar that she is sorry, but the New Mutants had to make a short detour through outer space, and neglected to introduce him to their younger teammates.

The New Mutants land, and Warlock and Starstreak hug, as Warlock declares ‘Self is happy to see you again, self-friend Starstreak / Katie-Bear!’ Katie tells Warlock that he is her “Self-friend”, too. Gosamyr and Molecula stand near each other as Jack exclaims ‘Yo, Sunspot - how’s it going, Bobby, m’man!’ ‘Er - give me five, Counterweight’ Sunspot replies as he and Jack slap their hands together. ‘Mirage - what -?’ Alex asks, confused, as he and Mirage stand near Dr Bhatnagar, Dani explains that they have met briefly before, and she wanted to help him. ‘Tell me, what is your greatest wish at this time?’ she asks Dr Bhatnagar. ‘Do you mean other than that this whole mess had never happened to start with?’ the doctor replies, adding that he appreciates her help, but what he needs most is a small army of well-trained medical specialists and supplies to care for all these people - not to mention perhaps a construction crew to rebuild the hospital.

‘You mean like these people?’ Dani asks, motioning to two long lines of medical staff and construction workers who materialize before them. The doctor is stunned, as Dani informs him that her mutant power lets her pull his greatest fear and desire from his mind and make it real for a while. She adds that these “solid-thought-forms” are at his service - only - they will have to use his supplies, as they can’t have the bandages and sutures they apply disappearing when she has to recall everything else. ‘But can they do it? Are they any good?’ Dr Bhatnagar asks. ‘The best you could imagine - since they are drawn from your mind’s own quintessential archetype!’ Mirage explains. Wide-eyed, Dr Bhatnagar announces that there are more bed and supplies back in the building, if only they could get to them. Mirage tells Dr Bhantagar not to worry, as they can find them. ‘And we’ll get the place patched up so that it’s at least partially usable and safe enough for the duration…get your patients off the street’ Dani adds. The doctor tells her that he doesn’t know how, but that if she can at least get the ER restored, that would be most helpful. ‘C’mon, mutants! Let’s do it!’ Mirage exclaims, and everyone follows her, with Starstreak calling out ‘But we’re not…’.

And so, deep within the ruined edifice, Power Pack and the New Mutants go to work, side by side, clearing rubble from the cave-in, like Destroyer does by blasting it with power balls, and hoisting and haling massive debris to shore up and support surviving structure, like Counterweight and Sunspot do. Pooling their efforts and energies to salvage, repair and restore. Combining their great powers to forge a haven for the innocent refuges of the Inferno. Mirage keeps the dream-workers alive, as others care for the sick and wounded, like Gosamyr, who leans over the makeshift beds of several smiling patients. ‘This is it on the percoset, Doctor! Codeine and morphine are hone! We are virtually out of pain meds!’ a medical staff informs a doctor, who is watching Gosamyr and tells her colleague that this may not be necessary, as that mutant seems to have the ability to make these patients believe anything - including that they feel no pain. ‘The effect seems to be most pronounced in the male subjects’ the doctor adds. Nearby, Molecula holds patients up on beds of density bubbles, as Starstreak flies towards her, carrying a mattress. ‘Hang in their, Julie - we just found tons of mattresses!’ Starstreak calls out. Julie asks one of the patients how the bed is, and the boy replies ‘Like sleeping on air!’

Long hours pass in ceaseless labor, until, at day’s end, the New Mutants and Power Pack take rest against a table. ‘You kids have got to rest! Would anyone like some juice?’ a nurse calls out as she walks towards them. ‘Yeah…’ Counterweight replies, while Sunspot announces that he is actually sore. Starstreak and Warlock are propped up against each other, both sleeping, while Molecula suggests to Alex that they should try to phone home again. Before Alex can answer, someone rushes in and announces that the National Guard is here. Indeed, outside, a soldier salutes Dr Bhatnagar and announces that he has MASH units, full personnel and equipment, plus food, water, clothing and blankets which are 100% US government issued. He adds that he is happy to report that the corps of engineers are flying in to restore all essential facilities ASAP. Dr Bhatnagar smiles, and soon waves goodbye to the New Mutants and Power Pack who take flight.

Later, on a rooftop, lit by the last bronze rays of sunlight, the young heroes sit along the ledge, side by side - Sunspot, then Gosamyr, followed by Counterweight, then Mirage, Destroyer, Molecula, and finally Starstreak and Warlock who lean against each other to sleep. ‘So, handsome, how old are you?’ Gosamyr enquires as she leans into Counterweight. ‘Yeesh! Get your cooties away from me! Cripes! Girls. Phooey. Ick!’ Jack retorts. Mirage is relating recent events to Alex and Julie: ‘…and when Colossus tore open the armor, there was Illyana - but changed into a six-year-old’ she reveals, adding that Illyana had been tricked into opening the portal to Limbo in the first place, and sacrificed herself to close it off again and save the Earth. ‘But now she’s a kid! She has the chance to grow up all over again, only differently this time!’ Julie points out, before asking who is going to take care of her. Mirage reports that Cannonball and Wolfsbane are with her now, as Alex remarks ‘- so, the demons came from Limbo through that portal, and all the other stuff - the craziness last night and before - was all because the “wall” between us and Limbo got gradually thinner as Illyana lost control over it’… that explains about Carmody coming back as a monster - and everything’.

Mirage tells Power Pack that it sounds like they handled the Bogeyman like pros, before asking ‘What about your folks? How are they reacting to all this…and finding out about your powers?’ she enquires. ‘Oh, fine! I - I mean we all used to really worry about what would happen if they found out about us…but, hey - they’re acting perfectly normal…just like nothing ever happened…’ Alex’s voice trails off, as he tells Mirage ‘That’s a lie! I’m sorry Dani…I’ve been lying to myself, ‘cause I - haven’t the guts to face the truth!’ Alex announces. He tells Dani that they have destroyed their parents, that they are totally freaked out and getting worse. ‘They were okay at first - in the clinch with Carmody, but they can’t handle it! Deep down I knew they would never be able to…’ Alex’s voice trails off. He starts to cry as he remarks that their parents were always great - the best, and that all they ever wanted was to be a real family, a great, big, happy family, with happy, normal kids. ‘And we were until we - until… curse Carmody. I think he’s won after all!’

Suddenly, Alex declares ‘No! It’s out fault - my fault! Instead of trying to help Mom and Dad adjust, we just turned around and left when they needed us most! We never gave them two minutes of reassurance!’ Alex adds that the strongest, closest family in the world can fall apart if you let it. He informs the New Mutants that they have to go home, and bids them so long. ‘I wish we could help…’ Mirage calls out as she, Sunspot, Warlock and Gosamyr watch the young heroes take flight.

Shortly, ‘Mom! Dad! We’re home -?’ Alex calls out as he and his siblings enter the Power apartment through the living room window. ‘Why’s the place so quiet? Where are they?’ Jack wonders as he and the others start to search for their parents. ‘I don’t like this…’ Julie calls out, while Katie shouts ‘Mommy! Daddy! We’re sorry to be so late!’ Alex tells his siblings to be quiet, as he thinks he hears something. ‘Bhahm’s lullabye…someone singing -?’ Alex remarks, before the kids step into a darkened room, ‘MOM!’ Alex gasps as they see their mother slumped over on the floor, hair a mess, clutching a doll, she sings: ‘…lullabye… and good night… go to sleep, little baby…’. Jim tells the kids to leave their mother be, as she is at peace now, she just needs some peace is all. ‘Dad! We’re sorry we’re late, Dad! We -’ Alex begins, but as Jim stares off into the darkness, Jack tells his brother that he doesn’t think their Dad hears them.

‘…don’t know when you’re going out to play, if you’ll get involved in some space war and get killed by “super-villains” we can’t do anything about it…what right do we have to tell “super heroes” what to do? You can do anything. Why not…? We’re not fit parents - not for you - you deserve good parents…you are super heroes…deserve “super parents”…but we never knew…not fit parents…but you’re super heroes…don’t need parents…can do what you want…except - you have no childhood…no childhood for super heroes…everybody needs childhood…not for you though…sob…you are super heroes…no more childhood…we never even knew…’ Jim rambles. ‘Dad…don’t talk like this! We’re still children, Dad… we’re still your -’ one of the kids begins, as Jim continues, adding that they are not fit parents, can’t protect the kids anymore. ‘But there are schools, they say… up north… can help mutant children… protect them… help with powers…like yours…you could go there…’ Jim announces. ‘They could take care of you… better than we -’ Jim begins.

‘Dad! No! That’s a lame idea, Dad! We love you guys! We want to stay here! We want it to be like it was!’ Alex assures his father as he and Jack rush over to Jim, while Julie and Katie go over to Margaret, who turns away from them. Suddenly, ‘Knock knock!’ a voice calls out - it’s Gosamyr, who enters the room with Mirage, Sunspot and Warlock. Mirage calls out to Mr and Mrs Power and tells them that they are sorry to barge in like this, but there has been a terrible misunderstanding. ‘We really should have come sooner, but we’ve been extremely busy’ Mirage adds as the New Mutants enter the room. Power Pack look a little confused, while Warlock assist Margaret over to the bed where Jim is sitting, Sunspot announces that they should have let them in on the plan before it started, and adds that they are sorry for the deception, but they felt it necessary to protect their real children. ‘Self entreats Dear-Mama-Power to come sit with Husband-True-Love and listen’ Warlock tells Margaret, as Jim looks at Gosamyr and asks ‘Deception? Real children? Who are you?’

‘We’re the New Mutants!’ Mirage declares, adding that they are super heroes, and last night, this while mess, was all their fault, in a way. Mirage smiles and begins a lengthy explanation: Mirage informs the Powers that one of their team was the reluctant mistress of Limbo, and that she lost control over that dimension when demons there rebelled - the Bogeyman, Carmody, was really a part of that. She tells them that the New Mutants learned Carmody hated mutant children during their fight with the Right, a group of anti-mutant terrorists, and for some reason, Carmody had the delusion that the Power children were mutants too, and that they were responsible for some losing money on some broken invention. Then, after they tossed him into Limbo for safe keeping, the demons changed him into the monster that they saw, so when Carmody escaped during the Limbo revolt, they knew he would try to kill the kids, but they were tied up with fighting the rebellion.

‘So, we came up with a scheme to save your children by replacing them with these super powered decoys. We figured the decoys would stop Carmody, while we kept your kids in hiding…now it’s safe to return them!’ Dani announces, and suddenly, ‘We’re back! We’re safe!’ Julie calls out as she rushes into the roo. ‘Dad!’ Jack shouts. ‘Mommy!’ Katie exclaims, as they run to their parents, Alex is with them, and they are dressed in regular kids clothing, while the kids in the costumes look on, confused. Jim and Margaret are knocked backwards on the bed as the kids lunge onto them. The other, costumed, Power Pack continue to look on, shocked, as Mirage tells Mr and Mrs Power that their biggest mistake, and regret, was not seeing that that they would be in danger, too, as time was short, and they were stupid, but they never meant them any harm. ‘I just hope having your true family restored will be consolation’ she adds.

Gosamyr informs Mr and Mrs Power that Mirage has the ability to create solid thought-forms. ‘That’s what these four characters in the costumes were all along - illusions!’ Margaret holds Jack and Katie and looks up at Gosamyr, asking her ‘How can they be? They were so real?’ Mirage explains that they were drawn from her own mental images, so they could be no less - but for the super powers, they are identical to their real children. Gosamyr’s voice changes, as she uses her powers on Jim and Margaret, stating: ‘…except they are not your kids! Your true and only children are now in your arms! They are not mutants. They are normal. Got it?’ Playing along, the costumed Alex tells Mr and Mrs Power that they are sorry to have tricked them, but they are only figments, and have no right to their affections. ‘So it is time for us to leave’ he adds. ‘But - you saved our lives! And you’re so like our children - we can’t help but love you, too’ Margaret calls out.

The real, costumed Power children begin to cry, and Alex tells their parents ‘No, your love belongs to your rightful children they are with you now. And your happy lives can return to normal’. He asks them not to be sad for them, as soon they will be gone from this plane as though they never were. “We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep” Julie quotes. Gosamyr speaks to Jim and Margaret with her hypnotic voice once more, ‘Now - you all must be ever so tired…and it’s only right that you should sleep as a family…’ she calls out. Jim, Margaret and their kids all lie back on the bed, and fall asleep, while the New Mutants and the real kids stand and watch. ‘I guess it’s better this way…’ Julie cries. ‘At least Mom and Dad won’t miss us’ Alex points out, also crying. Katie announces that she is lonely for Mama and Papa, to which Jack suggests they can maybe peek in the window sometimes, just to look at them.

Mirage tells the young heroes that they are not finished yet. ‘You’ll notice as soon as I wish for my dream spear back, that bed quickly has four vacancies to fill!’ Mirage points out, holding her dream spear, revealing Jim and Margaret only on the bed - their “real” children have vanished. Mirage tells Alex, Julie, Jack and Katie to hop in where they belong, as their Mom and Dad are sound asleep. The kids’ Power Pack costumes vanish, replaced by their regular clothing, as they climb in around their parents. Warlock and Sunspot look on as Gosamyr once again steps forward and uses her powers, she puts the children to sleep. ‘I want everyone to snuggle in for a long, deep, cleansing sleep. And you’re not to wake up until you’re fully rested and nicely refreshed. Sweet dreams and -’ she remarks, as the kids fall asleep, too.

The New Mutants leave the room, as Mirage looks back on the family, she closes the door and thinks to herself ‘They’ve seen some dark, terrible times, these kids…they’ve fought as hard and well as any team of grown-up super heroes’. Mirage decides that for all their wondrous abilities, she thinks that their greatest wonder is here - a family like this is too rare a gift not to be cherished and protected - for as long as it can last. ‘So sleep tight, Power Pack. The dark times are over…it’s time to be children again’.

Characters Involved: 

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

Mirage, Sunspot, Warlock (all New Mutants)



Jim & Margaret Power




Dr Ahjay Bhatnagar

Emergency workers

Medical staff

National Guard


Story Notes: 

This issue ties into the “Inferno” crossover.

Julianna Jones is listed as scripter, June Brigman as penciler and Hilary Barta as inker. This is al incorrect. Issue #47 of Power Pack (1st series) identifies this error and lists the correct creative team. Jones, Brigman and Barta are the creative team of Power Pack (1st series) #45. Julianna Jones is the daughter of Louise Simonson and also wrote Power Pack (1st series) #38.

The Bogeyman is incorrectly spelt “Boogyman” on the cover of this issue. 

The detour that Mirage refers to can be seen in Cloak & Dagger (3rd series) #4.

Illyana’s sacrifice took place in New Mutants (1st series) #73.

The Bogeyman was sent to Limbo in New Mutants (1st series) #40, and returned, transformed, in #42.

Although Power Pack (1st series) lasts another 18 issues, there are no further appearances by the X-Men or New Mutants in this series.


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