Wolverine / Power Pack #4

Issue Date: 
April 2009
Story Title: 
Alex Power, Master Ninja

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

Brief Description: 

Alex, Julie and Katie Power are preparing for a training session on their apartment building rooftop, but are dismayed to learn that Jack is trying to video-tape them again. They remind him about the dangers of these tapes falling into the wrong hands, and their identities as Power Pack being revealed, when suddenly, their parents and the crew of a reality television show appear. Alex thinks that they have been outed as Power Pack, but as it turns out, Jack sent the reality show video footage of Alex training in his civilian clothing, and now the crew of the Ninja Master show is here to invite Alex to participate in the competition. Alex is reluctant to participate, until Jack convinces him how proud their parents are. Two days later, the Power family arrives in Japan, and Alex, unsure about using his gravity-defying powers, even though no-one except his siblings will know, completes the course in record time as part of a trial. But later, the Power children are on the rooftop of their hotel, Alex is depressed about cheating in the trial, while Katie is upset because this isn’t how she imagined Japan - where are the Pokemon? The children then see their ally Wolverine across on another rooftop fighting some ninjas. They fly over to assist him and fight alongside him. Wolverine reveals that he tried out for Ninja Master once before, and gives the young heroes some good advice about where real power comes from when the ninjas cast a spell that negates Power Pack’s abilities and Wolverine’s healing factor. Wolverine then leaps off the top of the building and the ninjas follow, but teleport away. The next day, the ninjas’ spell has worn off, and Alex’s powers have returned. Jack encourages him to use them in the competition, to make his family proud. Alex is unsure. Wolverine watches from the sidelines. Alex decides starts to leap off the starting platform - but falls straight into the mud, after not using his powers. His family are proud nonetheless, as is Wolverine.

Full Summary: 

On the rooftop of the apartment block where the Power family live, the four children, Alex, Julie, Jack and Katie - also known as the super heroes called Power Pack - Zero-G, Lightspeed, Mass Master and Energizer, respectively, are getting ready to practise their fighting. ‘All right, Power Pack. Defensive formation 12-A’ Alex tells his siblings, when Julie suddenly goes wide-eyed, ‘Come on, Jack!’ she calls out when she sees that Jack is filming them. ‘One sec, just gotta get the right angle and…action!’ Jack replies. ‘I thought Alex told you to stop brining the video camera to our training sessions’ Katie scolds her brother. Jack replies that he likes to stay at the opt of his game, and the tape helps, as he watches it back later to see what he did right, ‘And what you guys still need to work on’.

‘Try working on your common sense’ Julie suggests to her younger brother, reminding him that keeping their identities secret is already hard enough. ‘Can you imagine what could happen if those tapes fell into the wrong hands?’ she asks. ‘Define “wrong hands” Julie…’ Jack asks her. ‘Anyone’s hands!’ Alex exclaims, adding that the less the world knows about what they do, the better. ‘The second we lose our anonymity, we risk losing everything’ Alex points out. Suddenly, ‘Alex Power!’ a voice calls out. Alex turns, to see rents, James and Margaret, as well as a woman with a microphone, a man with a camera, and another man, standing on the rooftop. ‘There you are, Alex!’ Margaret Power calls out to her son. ‘I told you they would be on the roof again’ James remarks to Margaret, while the woman with the microphone holds it out to the surprised Alex and asks him how it feels to be recognized as one of the world’s youngest heroes?

‘What? I…I…this has to be a mistake. I’m not a hero. I’m just a normal kid’ a wide-eyed Alex replies, holding his hands up. ‘We all are, we swear!’ Julie adds. ‘So very humble. Befitting of a true warrior. But your actions betray your words. We know what you can do! We saw the video you submitted’ the woman smiles. ‘Video…?’ Alex asks, as he, Julie and an unimpressed Katie all turn to Jack. ‘What?’ Jack snaps, looking away from his siblings. ‘Could somebody please tell me what this is all about?’ Alex asks, confused. ‘Well…it’s kinda funny, really…’ Jack remarks, and as the cameraman still films, the other man informs Alex that he has been selected from thousands of contestants to represent his country in the world’s greatest test of skill and stamina - Ninja Master.

He holds up a poster advertising the competition, and Katie points to it, explaining that she knows that show, as it is on weekdays at 4:00. ‘Jack is always hogging the TV and I can never watch Pretty Pony Playhouse’ she explains. Jack grins and declares that Ninja Master is so much better than any lame ponies. ‘There’s this crazy obstacle course…and each season, the winner gets a million Yen! A million!’ he shouts. Julie asks Jack if he realizes that is not nearly as much ion a million dollars, but gets no response. The man with the poster tells Alex that he has shown them the grace and agility it takes to be the next Ninja Master. ‘In your video, it looked almost as if you were walking on air’ the woman smiles. ‘Yeah…almost’ Alex mumbles as he grabs Jack and pulls him along by his t-shirt, telling everyone to excuse him for a moment, as he needs to discuss something with his - ‘Manager! I’m his - ow!’ Jack calls out.

‘How could you, Jack? You outed me as a super hero so I could be on a stupid game show!’ Alex exclaims, pointing at Jack, who leans backwards, and tells Alex that, for starters, it is not a stupid game show, but the best game show ever. ‘But give me a little credit here…I didn’t include any footage of Julie, Katie or me, because you powers are pretty easy to see. Yours aren’t’ Jack explains, adding that he only used footage where Alex was in his street clothes and were using his gravity powers on his own body - not lifting cars or anything. ‘So really, all they know is that you can jump high and do cool flips and stuff’ Jack assures Alex, while looking away and rubbing the back of his head, ‘Plus…I was too young to enter the contest myself’ he mumbles.

Alex tells his brother that he is not too young to tell all these people that they wasted a trip to New York, ‘Come on, Alex! Why do you always have to ruin everyone’s fun?’ Jack asks, pointing to their parents, he tells Alex to look at how proud and excited they are. ‘Are you really gonna take that away from them?’ he asks, adding that sometimes being a real hero means you gotta take one for the team. Julie and Katie look at each other confused, while Alex puts a hand to his head, ‘Maybe you’re right’ he tells his brother, and adds that if he has his say, this is a team that Jack is going to be suspended from real soon. ‘Let’s worry about that later. Right now… we’ve got a whole new continent to conquer!’ Jack smiles.

Two days later, in Japan, Alex is on the set of Ninja Master, and sees all the obstacles before him. ‘- and all you must do is make it from the platform to the opposite one in less than two minutes’ Jack explains as he strands with his brother. ‘That’s not nearly as hard as you make it sound, Jack’ Alex replies. ‘Actually, dude…it’s waaay worse’ Jack admits, and they watch as other contestants fall from various parts of the obstacle course. ‘Nooo!’ one of them shouts. Another screams, while a third calls out for help. Alex turns to one of the crew and asks what happens if he doesn’t make it across. ‘You bring your family and your country great dishonor’ he replies. ‘Oh. Is that all?’ Alex mutters. The man tells Alex that it is his turn to practice. ‘Best of luck, Alex-san’ he remarks. ‘Arigato. I’m gonna need it…’ Alex mutters as he stands at the start line.

‘You don’t need any luck, dude. You just need to lower the pull of gravity on your body a teeny bit and -’ Jack tells his older brother, who quickly points out that that is cheating. ‘How many times do we have to tell you that heroes don’t use their powers for personal gain?’ Alex asks. ‘whatever. You wanna come all the way to Japan just to get wet and muddy, it’s your call’ Jack tells Alex, before suggesting he take a good look at the rest of the gamily over there, and try to smile big for the camera while he dishonors them all. Margaret and James look encouraging towards Alex, who just frowns as Jack turns away.

Alex sighs and rubs the back of his neck. ‘So much for my dreams of being an Avenger someday…’ he tells himself, before slightly altering the gravity around his body, enabling him to leap across the stepping stones with ease, and similarly, over a pit of spikes, before continuing on through the obstacle course, so that when he reaches the platform at the end, he slams his hand on the red button, and a monitor reports that his time was one minute and thirty-seven seconds. ‘Unbelievable! Keep up that pace during the actual competition and you will have a new record!’ the producer calls out. ‘That was amazing, son’ James tells Alex as the family go over to meet him. ‘You should be so proud’ Margaret calls out. ‘Yeah…you would think so…’ Alex mutters.

Later, night has fallen, and the Power children stand on the rooftop of the Hachiko Hotel in Shibuya, Tokyo. ‘Okay, I know why Mr Hero is getting all emo on us…but why do you look so bummed, Katie?’ Jack asks, as he and Julie turn to Alex, whose head hangs, and Katie, who is leaning on the banister, also frowning. ‘It’s Japan’ Katie replies, looking down at the bustling city, brilliant lights shining in the night, she explains that she thought it was going to be way different from home. ‘But look at it! It’s just like Times Square, except I can’t read the billboards’ she points out, adding that they made it look so cool on TV. ‘But where’s Godzilla? Where are all the Pokemon?’ she enquires. ‘Just your imagination, sweetie’ Julie explains.

‘The baby’s got a point. Under the surface, Tokyo really is just like New York. The restaurants. The crowds. The traffic’ Jack remarks. ‘Wolverine’ Alex adds. ‘Well, no, not that much like home, but -’ Jack begins, until Alex motions across to another rooftop, ‘No, look!’ he tells his siblings, and they look across, seeing Wolverine facing off against a dozen or so ninjas. ‘Whoa. Is there anywhere that guy doesn’t hang out?’ Jack asks, before Julie asks Alex ‘How about a little international super heroics to cheer you up?’ ‘Well, at least I won’t have to feel guilty about using my powers’ Alex replies, as they switch to their Power Pack costumes with a simple thought. Lightspeed picks up Katie and flies across to the other rooftop, while Mass Master moves across in cloud form, and Zero-G negates the gravity around his body to fly over.

‘See! This is the Japan I was hoping for!’ Energizer calls out. ‘Power Pack?’ Wolverine a.k.a. Logan asks, surprised. ‘Is there anywhere you kids don’t hang out?’ he asks as he kicks a ninja backwards. ‘We were wondering the same thing about you, Jimmy!’ Jack calls out. ‘What’d you call me, short-stuff?’ Wolverine asks. ‘Ummm…nothing’ Jack replies. ‘I thought so’ Logan tells him. Lightspeed moves into action, and flies towards a ninja, knocking him backwards as she tells Wolvie that he looks like he could use a hand. ‘Heh. Good one, darling’ Katie fires a beam of energy at one of the ninjas and tells Wolverine that she doesn’t get it. “Hand” Wolverine quotes Lightspeed, informing Power Pack that this is who he is fighting - the Hand, Japan’s old clan of ninjas. ‘That’s what ya meant, ain’t it, Lightspeed?’ Wolverine smiles at Julie, who replies ‘Yeah… totally’.

As Wolverine and Power Pack move across to another rooftop, Lightspeed asks Wolverine what brings him to the land of the rising sun. ‘Ancient samurai curse. You?’ he replies. ‘Wacky Japanese game show’ Katie tells him as she fires two blasts of energy, knocking back two of the Hand ninjas. ‘Love those’ Wolverine remarks, before asking the young heroes if he ever told them that he almost made it onto “Ninja Master” once. ‘“Almost”? what happened?’ Alex asks as he lifts two ninjas up by altering the gravity around them and slams them together. ‘I’m the best there is at what I do, kid…but that wasn’t it’ Logan replies. ‘This is!’ he smiles as he kicks backwards, slamming his foot into one ninja, while lunging forward to take out two in front of him.

‘Careful over there, Mass Master’ Wolverine calls out to Jack, while kicking a ninja in the back of the head. ‘Ninja, please! I’ve fought the baddest baddies out there. A bunch of guys in red pajamas are no match for me!’ Jack boasts. Wolverine tells him that the Hand is more dangerous than they look, and explains that over the centuries they have developed a few tricks that set them apart from the standard ninja. ‘Like what?’ Katie enquires as she blasts some more energy. ‘Magic’ Wolverine announces, as symbols appear in the air, with one ninja concentrating hard - and Power Pack suddenly all fall to the rooftop. ‘My powers aren’t working!’ Katie calls out, looking at her hands. ‘That spell must have cancelled them out!’ Alex tells everyone, while instructing them to get into defensive formation 12-A. ‘Which one is that?’ Jack asks.

‘Maybe you’d know if you paid more attention during training instead of always -’ Julie begins, before Logan interrupts, and tells the young heroes that defense won’t do them much good against the Hand - at least not for long. ‘These punks only speak one language…and luckily I’m fluent’ Wolverine declares as he pops his claws and leaps back into the battle. ‘We have to help him!’ Katie tells Alex, but he asks how, pointing out that they don’t have any super powers. ‘Wait…if we don’t...that means Wolvie probably doesn’t either!’ Julie declares. As his claws cut the Hand’s weapons, Wolverine tells Power Pack that he doesn’t need his healing factor or enhanced senses, as his claws will be enough. ‘Besides, real power don’t come from mutant genes or magic spells’ Logan adds. ‘Duh, it comes from alien horses!’ Katie grins, referring to the means by which Power Pack received their powers. Logan smiles and presses against his chest, ‘Naw, honey. It comes from in here’ he tells her, while kicking another ninja away.

The ninjas start to surround Power Pack, ‘Hate to break it to ya, but it’s gonna take more than “heart” to save us from this’ Jack calls out. ‘Don’t be so sure about that, son’ Logan replies, before rushing towards the edge of the rooftop, he tells Power Pack that it is always a pleasure to team up with them, but that this battle is his from here on out. ‘Enjoy the rest of your visit to Japan… and fly safe’ he smiles, before leaping off the rooftop. ‘Wolvie!’ Jack calls out. ‘No!’ Katie exclaims, while the ninjas suddenly rush past Power Pack and follow Wolverine off the rooftop.

‘You boys wanted to finish me off, eh? Well, I’m taking you with me. Seems like the honorable thing to do…’ Logan explains. However, the ninjas vanish in puffs of smoke, ‘Or ya could just have yer mystic teleport us to safety like I thought ya would. Lousy cowards’ Wolverine mutters, as he continues to fall, so he pops his claws, and pushes them against the windows of the building, creating a grating scraping noise, but it slows his fall. ‘This one’s done’ he calls out. Power Pack rush to the edge of the rooftop, ‘I can’t look…’ Julie remarks. ‘He’s okay! He actually made it!’ Alex calls out. ‘Sweet!’ Jack exclaims, while Katie announces that she has changed her mind ‘I love Japan!’ she declares. Logan lands safely on the ground to the amazement of some civilians who stare at him. ‘Konichiwa, bub’ Logan smiles at one of them.

The next day, at the Master Ninja obstacle course, Jack tells Alex that it looks like the ninja voodoo has worn off, and asks him if he is ready to crush this thing. Alex looks at his hands and tells Jack that he has been thinking about what Wolverine said. ‘Maybe I don’t need super powers to win this. Maybe I’ve already for the strength inside of me’ he suggests. Jack bursts into laughter, ‘That’s classic, man. Now starting bending gravity and win us some yen!’ he exclaims. ‘But…’ Alex replies, before looking over to his family, seated nearby, they smile at him. The producer also smiles at Alex, who sees Wolverine standing nearby.

Alex takes his position at the starting line. ‘Here goes nothing…’ he remarks quietly to himself, before running forward - ‘Uh oh’ Alex mumbles, as he falls off the starting platform into the mud below, with a large splash. The Power family go over to Alex and help him out, he looks up sheepishly. ‘Eww’ Katie calls out as she steps back, while Alex remarks that he is sorry to disappoint everyone, but he is not cut out to be the world’s newest hero. ‘You tried your best, Alex’ James tells his son. ‘That will always be enough to make us proud’ Margaret adds. Speak for yourself’ Jack scowls, turning away from his family, while Wolverine stands nearby, smiling.

Characters Involved: 


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

Margaret & James Power
Ninja Master crew and contestants

Hand ninjas


Story Notes: 

This mini series is set out of continuity.

Jack refers to Wolverine as Jimmy because Power Pack learnt that he is James Howlett, whom Jack met in the past, in Wolverine & Power Pack #3.

Issue Information: 
Written By: