Wolverine / Power Pack #3

Issue Date: 
March 2009
Story Title: 
Jack and Frank’s Excellent Adventure

Mark Sumerak (writer), Scott Koblish (artist), Guri Hiru (colorist), Dave Sharpe (letterer), Irene Lee (production), Ralph Macchio (consulting editor), Nathan Cosby (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

Jack and Katie Power are visiting Franklin Richards at the Baxter Building. Jack and Franklin are getting into trouble in one of Reed’s labs, during the Fantastic Four’s absence. They find the time platform, and despite protests from Katie and HERBIE, use it to visit the past. Katie phones her sister to tell on them. Jack and Franklin are transported to the exact same location as the Baxter Building, but over 100 years ago. After examining their new surroundings, they come across a young boy who is being bullied. They scare the bullies away, and help the boy, who tells them his name is James Howlett, and that he is from Canada, but visiting New York with his father. Franklin and Jack take James with them as they start to explore the city, despite James’s reservations. However, the bullies have reported them to another man. Back in the present, Alex and Julie arrive at the Baxter Building, and are annoyed that the boys travelled into the past, so along with Katie and HERBIE, they go to the past to find them. But, Jack and Franklin can’t even find out where they are, as they become lost, and are then kidnapped by the man and the bullies. Franklin and Jack escape from their ropes as the man interrogates James, who earlier told the bullies that his father was rich, he plans to hold James for ransom. Franklin and Jack attack the bullies when the rest of Power Pack and HERBIE arrive to help them. HERBIE analyzes James and gets some interesting results. Jack and Franklin return James to his father, who was worried about him, before saying goodbye to their new friend. They then return to the present day, and are surprised to learn that James Howlett is actually Wolverine.

Full Summary: 

The Baxter Building, home of the Fantastic Four, where suddenly, ‘I am here, Katie Power! There is no need to panic!’ the small robot called HERBIE calls out as he flies into the kitchen, where Katie Power a.k.a. Energizer is standing, with a cookie in her mouth. ‘Umm…yeah. Clearly’ the girl utters. ‘But Franklin Richards and Jack Power said that you were in dire need of my assistance’ HERBIE explains. ‘Well, I could use a glass of milk’ Katie points out. Opening the refrigerator, HERBIE takes a carton of milk out and remarks ‘This does not compute’ and wonders if those boys are up to something again. ‘Duh, that’s why I’m in here, HERBIE. I may be the baby, but even I’m smart enough to know not to mess around with the super-gizmos in -’ Katie begins, interrupted by a loud explosion which rattles the building, and knocks her off her feet, along with her plate of cookies.

‘Dr Richards’ lab! We must hurry. Your brother could be in serious trouble’ HERBIE declares as he flies out of the room, ‘Well, if he’s not already…I bet he’s gonna be when Frankie’s parents get home from the Negative Zone!’ Katie points out as she runs after HERBIE, cookie in her hand.

At that moment, in one of the laboratories of Dr Reed Richards, the room is in a mess thanks to the explosion. Equipment lies scattered and broken. ‘That. Was. Fantastic!’ Jack Power a.k.a. Mass Master exclaims, while Franklin Richards lies on the floor, laughing hysterically, both boys surrounded by a force field. Franklin gets to his feet and high-fives Jack, while pressing a button on a device which causes the force field around them to collapse. Franklin tells Jack that he had no idea his father’s negatron reconflagulator would do that. ‘But now that you do, we totally gotta do it again, Franklin!’ Jack replies. ‘I strongly advise that you do not’ HERBIE announces, his monitor-face with a large scowl across it. ‘I agree with the robot. And you know how I feel about robots…’ Katie exclaims, arms folded and looking unimpressed.

Franklin tells Katie to chill, pointing out that HERBIE has plenty of time to clean the lab before his mom and dad get back. HERBIE and Jack start to move equipment about, as Jack tells his friend that means they have plenty of time to play with more sweet super hero stuff. ‘Uh…I think we already blew everything up, Jack’ Franklin remarks, looking at some broken equipment. ‘Not everything…’ Jack replies, motioning towards some undamaged equipment. ‘The time platform? Dad says that’s, like, the most forbidden thing in the whole lab’ Franklin announces. ‘I know’ Jack replies casually, before asking how they start it. Franklin stands on the platform, while Katie pulls Jack away from it, ‘You don’t! We’ve done the whole time travel thing before, Jack. The future is dark and dangerous, remember?’ she tells her brother.

Jack looks thoughtful for a moment, ‘Good call, Katie-bear. No chance I’m going back there till I have to’ he decides, before getting onto the platform, and instructing “First Mate Frank” to chart a course for the past instead. ‘Aye, aye, Cap’n Jack!’ Franklin replies. ‘Ugh’ Katie mutters as Franklin taps some buttons on the control panel attached to the time platform. HERBIE explains that visiting the past is potentially far more dangerous, and that the Space-Time Continuum is extremely fragile, that even the smallest action could potentially cause unspeakable damage to the very fabric of reality - but there is a blinding light and a FWASH, and Jack and Franklin vanish. ‘They’re already gone, HERBIE’ Katie points out. ‘Of course they are’ HERBIE replies, before flying over to a console and announcing that he shall alert the Fantastic Four immediately.

‘Oh, no you won’t!’ Katie tells HERBIE, asking ‘Do you have any idea how much trouble we’ll be in if you tell Frankie’s family, tattletale? I’ll be grounded ‘til I’m thirty!’ she calls out. HERBIE is about to press a button ‘The revoking of your social privileges is no longer my primary concern, young lady’ HERBIE responds. ‘Maybe not…but if the FF finds out you just watched while Frankie and Jack used their time machine, they’re gonna convert you into a food processor!’ Katie warns HERBIE, who hesitates, and replies ‘I suppose you are correct’ while pointing out that this is not the kind of dilemma he was designed to handle. Pulling out her mobile phone, Katie tells him that is no problem. ‘I know people…’ she smiles as she presses a button and an image of her sister is displayed on the phone screen.

At that moment, over 100 years ago, a portal opens in the air, and from it, Jack and Franklin fall. ‘I thought you said the past would be safer than the future…’ Franklin calls out as they fall towards the ground. ‘It woulda been if you didn’t land us 300 feet above the city!’ Jack replies. ‘It’s not my fault! The time platform shoulda dropped us off in the exact same place where we left’ Franklin explains. ‘It did - but the Baxter Building hasn’t been built yet, dummy’ Jack points out as they continue to fall. Jack switches to his Mass Master form, and in his cloud-like state remarks that it is a good thing he can spread out his molecules and float down safely, when suddenly, Franklin falls through Jack, while screaming out for him. ‘Oh crud’ Jack mumbles as Franklin lands on the ground with a loud thud.

‘Franklin?’ Jack calls out as he drops to the ground and resumes his regular human form. ‘Please, please, please be okay…’ Jack prays, when he finds Franklin in the force field, a crater has formed in the ground from the impact of the fall. ‘Dude…my dad designed this force field to withstand a punch from Terrax the Tamer. A little fall is nothing special!’ Franklin grins, before turning the force field off as he climbs out of the crater, as Jack motions to their surroundings, people in old fashioned clothing walking past or being pulled on horse-drawn carts. ‘Yeah, well neither is old school NYC from the looks of it. What kinda cool things did kids do back here?’ Jack complains. Franklin holds up a small electronic device which he calls his HERBook, and tells Jack ‘Now much. Unless you lick kicking cans’. He suggests that they should head back to their time, but Jack tells him not to give up so easy. ‘This era might not be as action packed as ours…but I bet it still needs heroes’ he points out as they start to walk down one of the streets.

Passing an alleyway, a voice calls out ‘Look at what we got here, boys…some little rich kid who thinks he can play on our turf’ a large kid calls out as he and his friends have cornered a well-dressed smaller boy against the wall. Wide-eyed, the small boy holds his hands up and announces that he doesn’t want to cause any trouble. ‘Then you came to the wrong neighborhood, boy’ one of the other bullies tells him. Jack and Franklin sees the boy in trouble, and Jack exclaims ‘See? Dr Doom may not be alive yet, but the world is still full of jerks! That’s where we come in’. Franklin reminds Jack that HERBIE said that anything they do could damage the “space-time whatchamacallit”. Jack carries on walking down the street, ‘Fine. we’ll just leave the poor guy to fend for himself…but I’ll have to take back your honorary Power Pack membership’ Jack announces, calling Franklin Scaredy Pants.

‘It’s “Smarty Pants”. And I’m not gonna leave anyone in danger. I’m a hero!’ Franklin declares as he costume materializes over his regular clothing. ‘I know. Glad you’re finally acting like it’ Jack smiles as he follows Franklin, his costume appearing also, before asking Franklin what high-tech goodies are in those pockets of his today? Franklin holds up some sort of device, while the boy down the alley has fallen to the ground, ‘Please…this doesn’t have to happen’ he sniffs, announcing that his father has a lot of money, as he holds his hands up to protect his face. ‘Then he’ll be able to afford a good doctor’ the large bully remarks, when suddenly, ‘Hey! Why don’t you goons pick on someone your own size…or better yet, TWICE your size!’ a voice calls out, and turning, the boys see a hulking figure down the alley, smoke billowing around him.

The bullies look scared, ‘Run!’ one of them shouts, as they turn and rush away. Franklin returns to his true form, and he and Jack press their fists together, ‘Wicked smoke effect, Jack!’ Franklin tells his friend, who replies ‘True’ and points out the plan would never have worked without Franklin’s image inducer. The boy on the ground peers up, ‘What just happened?’ he sniffs, before asking ‘Who are you?’ Jack smiles and tells the boy that they are the guys who just saved his butt, and as Franklin extends a hand to help the boy up, tells him that he can call them Franklin and Jack. The boy introduces himself as James Howlett. ‘Of the Canadian Howletts’ he adds. ‘We’re not from around here either. Yet’ Franklin remarks.

Jack tells James that they were going to do some sight-seeing. ‘Since you’re a tourist too, you should come with!’ he suggests, but James replies that he and motions to a building with the sign Van Dyne Investments on the window, and tells his new friends that his papa is inside discussing matters of their estate. John Howlett Jr can be seen through the window, talking to another man, while James explains that his papa brought him along because he thought that getting out of the house would do him some good. He sniffs and points out that his allergies have been even worse since they got to this city. Jack and Franklin take James across the road, while the bullies rush over to an older man and start pointing at them.

‘I told him I was only stepping out for some fresh air…’ James explains to Jack and Franklin. ‘And as far as he’ll know, that’ll be all you did’ Jack assures James, who starts to protest, but Franklin, calling him “Jimmy” tells him not to worry, and that they will have him back before anyone even notices that he is gone. But, back across the road, the older man the large bully is speaking to does not look happy.

Meanwhile, in the present day, ‘They did WHAT?’ Alex and Julie Power a.k.a. Zero-G and Lightspeed respectively exclaim in unison as they stand with Katie in the ruined laboratory. All three are wearing their Power Pack costumes, while Katie mumbles ‘Wow, the whole thing really does sound a lot worse when you say it out loud’. A frustrated Alex clenches his fists and declares that it never ends with Jack, that he can’t be left alone for two seconds without causing some kind of mega-disaster. ‘If we left him in the past, we wouldn’t have to worry about that anymore’ Julie points out. ‘Julie!’ Alex scolds his sister. Julie assures him that she is kidding, ‘But you know you thought it too’ she adds.

HERBIE reports that the time platform is calibrated, and tells the Power family that once they arrive in the designated time period, his sensors should be able to located the boys’ genetic signatures and lead them directly to Franklin and Jack. ‘Let’s go, Power Pack’ Alex tells his sisters as they stand on the time platform. ‘Awesome! Time for a real live history lesson!’ Julie smiles. ‘You would be excited…’ Katie scowls, while HERBIE taps away at the control panel.

Way back when, ‘Excuse me… but are we lost?’ James Howlett sniffs as he, Franklin and Jack look around. ‘Not quite. I know exactly where we are’ Jack replies, to which Franklin adds that it is just that nothing else is where it is supposed to be. Jack asks if there should be a subway station around here somewhere, but looking at his HERBook, Franklin reports that there won’t be for another decade or so. The man from across the road earlier approaches the boys and asks if he can offer them some assistance. ‘Uh-oh. Stranger danger!’ Franklin calls out. Jack tells his friend to relax, and that no matter what his parents say, not everyone is out to get them. ‘You gotta remember… this was a more innocent time…’ Jack begins, before the three bullies comes up behind Jack, Franklin and James and throw sacks over their heads.

Soon, in a warehouse, barrels are stacked high, while the man stands near James who is tied to a chair and blindfolded. The three bullies are standing nearby, while Jack and Franklin are tied to chairs and back-to-back, also blindfolded. “A more innocent time” Franklin quotes Jack, who replies ‘Hey, I got a “C” in history for a reason’. Franklin reminds Jack that he got super powers for a reason, too, and suggests that he uses them to get them out of these ropes already. ‘Not yet. First we gotta find out what Fatty McHatty is after’ Jack replies, adding that this is standard super hero procedure. ‘Zip it and listen’ he tells Franklin. They fall silent as “Fatty McHatty” moves closer to the captive James and remarks ‘My boys tell me that your father is a very wealthy man, son. One that would pay a handsome fee to make sure you are returned to him safely. We plan to make certain that he does so… or you be the one that pays the price’ the large man warns James, who sniffs and frowns.

‘You might wanna rethink your plan, fella’ Jack calls out as he and Franklin free themselves from the ropes. ‘He’s Canadian. I’m pretty sure their money isn’t even real!’ Jack declares, while Franklin remarks that he thinks these bullies have a lot in common with the Canadian dollar. ‘If they think they can take us, they’re all a bunch of loonies!’ Franklin remarks. The large man instructs his boys to get them, so the big bully goes over and tries to punch Jack, who shifts to a smaller size. ‘You heard the boss’ the big bully shouts. ‘Always hating on the little guy, huh? Is that how your get your kicks, Kingpin Jr?’ Jack asks. ‘No. This is, freak!’ the bully shouts as he kicks Jack, knocking him backwards.

At the same time, Franklin has erected the force field around himself, while the other two bullies press against it, trying to break through. ‘Let. Me. Hit. You!’ one of them exclaims. ‘No way! I -’ Franklin begins, when suddenly, Jack’s small body falls in front of him. He loses his concentration and the force field vanishes. ‘Worry about yourself, kid’ one of the bullies suggests as he grabs Franklin. Still tied up, James sniffs again and tells the large man that he better not hurt them. ‘And who is going to stop us? Surely not some pampered, rich little weakling!’ he exclaims.

As if on cue, ‘Nope’ Lightspeed declares as she, Zero-G, Energizer and HERBIE enter the warehouse. ‘We are!’ Energizer calls out. ‘POWER PACK ATTACK!’ Zero-G shouts as he and his sisters rush forward, as does HERBIE, and one of the bullies sees the robot and shouts ‘Monster!’ HERBIE states that the search and rescue protocol is initiated, and identifies the genetic signatures of the boys. Lightspeed slams the large bully into some barrels, while HERBIE confirms that Franklin Richards is indeed Franklin. ‘Bye-bye, bad boys!’ Katie calls out as she chases the other two bullies and fires bursts of energy at them. HERBIE confirms Jack Power is really Jack, while Zero-G uses his control over gravity to cause several barrels that are stacked high to topple over onto the fat man. ‘Donkey Kong, eat your heart out’ Alex remarks to himself.

HERBIE turns his attention to James, still tied up, and is shocked when he discovers who the boy is. ‘Designate - oh my. That cannot be correct…’ he remarks without revealing who James is. ‘Hey, guys. Fancy seeing you in this century…’ Jack calls out. ‘What were you thinking?’ Alex asks him. ‘I’m gonna go with “wasn’t”’ Jack admits. Franklin ribs the back of his neck and tells HERBIE that he is sorry if they destroyed the fabric of time and space. HERBIE replies that he believes he can excuse it this time. ‘After all, had you not been here, who knows what could have happened to your young companion’ he points out. Franklin rushes over to James and unties jim from the chair. ‘I almost forgot!’ he admits. ‘Franklin? Those ruffians…are they gone?’ James asks. ‘Yup…thanks to the help of some friends from back home’ Franklin smiles as he removes James’s blindfold. ‘James Howlett, I want you to meet -’ Franklin begins, but upon seeing HERBIE, James screams, then faints.

‘James?’ Franklin calls out as everyone gathers around him. ‘Way to go, HERBIE. You scared him to death’ Katie points out. Julie announces that she thinks he just fainted. ‘Poor little guy’ Alex remarks, while Jack throws a hand into the air and announces that not everyone is cut out to live the life of a super hero.

Soon, Jack and Franklin return to the street where they met James, and James rushes over to his father, who asks him where he has been. ‘I’m so sorry, father. I shouldn’t have wandered off’ James calls out as he and his father hugs him. ‘No. it’s my fault for forcing you to come to this city with me. A boy like you belongs at home, where it’s safe’ John Howlett announces. James goes over and hugs Franklin, who explains that they need to get back to their parents too, and asks his new friend if he is going to be okay. ‘Yes…I think so…’ James sniffs, before thanking Franklin for saving him, twice. ‘Is there anything I can do to return the favor?’ James asks. ‘Yeah, just try toi stay out of trouble. Preferably, for the rest of your life. Trust me, you’ll be better off that way’ Jack tells James as they shake hands. Franklin and Jack turn to go down the alleyway, where Alex gives Katie a signal to be quiet, as Julie pulls her back away from where she cold be seen. ‘Who were those children, James?’ John Howlett asks. ‘My friends’ James replies as he waves goodbye. ‘Friends? Well, maybe this trip wasn’t such a bad idea, after all’ John smiles.

New York City, in the present time, Franklin and Jack are starting to tidy up the lab, as Franklin remarks that it is too bad they couldn’t bring James back to the future with them, as they could have made him an honorary member of the Pack, just like he is. ‘He was a nice kid, Frank, but Power Pack has a very exclusive membership. We had to take Katie because she was family’ Jack replies. ‘HEY!’ Katie exclaims, before HERBIE informs the young heroes that, despite appearances, the young man they encountered would have made an excellent addition to Power Pack’s roster. ‘Sorry, but “passing out” is not a super power, HERB’ Jack replies. HERBIE goes over to a monitor, ‘Perhaps not’ he replies, but reveals that, to his surprise, his sensors identified the boy as a perfect genetic match for one of the greatest heroes of all time. ‘That doesn’t make sense’ Franklin remarks. ‘My mom and dad have met every hero ever. How come I’ve never heard of him before?’ Franklin asks. Motioning to an image on the monitor which displays James Howlett, and Wolverine, HERBIE tells the children that they know him by a different name. ‘No’ Jack utters. ‘Way’ Franklin concludes.

Meantime, in Canada, back in the past, James Howlett and his companions Dog and Rose are outside playing. James and Dog hold up sticks, pretending to sword fight. ‘I’ll get you, you dastardly villain!’ James calls out. ‘Never!’ Dog replies, while Rose laughs. However, watching from a window, James’s grandfather tells his son, John, that his boy is a fool. ‘Just look at him out here, frolicking with the hired help. It’s embarrassing’ the old man mutters. John tells his father that he thinks it is refreshing. ‘Ever since we got back from New York, James seems so full of life’ he explains. ‘Bah! He’s too old for these childish games. If you want him to grow up to be a proper young man, you need to make him act like one’ the old man scowls. ‘Let him be a child a while longer, father. James has plenty of time to grow up. And when he does, no matter what, I’m certain he’ll make us proud’ John declares, while outside, Rose throws her arms into the air, as James has defeated Dog, who laughs on the ground, and James smiles, hands on hips, as he puts a foot on Dog’s body, and an image of the hero James will grow up to be appears in the clouds….

Characters Involved: 

James Howlett

Energizer (Katie), Lightspeed (Julie), Mass Master (Jack), Zero-G (Alex) (all Power Pack)

Franklin Richards

John Howlett Jr

John Howlett



“Fatty McHatty”



Story Notes: 

This mini series is set out of continuity.

Katie mentions doing the whole time travel thing before - this took place in Avengers & Power Pack Assemble, another out-of-continuity mini series.

Katie calls HERBIE a tattletale when he is about to call the Fantastic Four. Tattletale was the name that Katie gave Franklin when he joined Power Pack in the true 616 reality. [Power Pack (1st series) #17]

Issue Information: 
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