X-Men and Power Pack #2

Issue Date: 
January 2006
Story Title: 
Mind Over Matter

Marc Sumerak (writer), GuriHiru (artist), Dave Sharpe (letterer), Brad Johansen (production), Aki Yangi (special thanks), Nathan Cosby (assistant editor), MacKenzie Cadenhead (editor), Mark Paniccia (consulting editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

The entire Power family go to the Annual Science Expo, as Mr Power has a booth there. Julie tries to feign disinterest in the science fair, but when the X-Men’s Beast is giving a speech, the Power children go to watch. During his speech, he reveals a new invention which will analyze a person’s cellular structure, determining their genetic potential of possessing super powers. When the Beast asks how people can gain super powers, aside from mutations and the usual spider-bites, Julie is quick to suggest that a dying alien could transfer its powers to another person to prevent a race of evil aliens from destroying the planet. Her siblings are annoyed that she almost gave their secret away, and the Beast brings her on stage to demonstrate the scanner. Julie is reluctant to do so, but obliges, however when the Beast users the scanner on her, it gives him strange readings. Jim Power finds himself the attention of a female scientist - unaware that she is Mystique, who soon shifts into his form. Julie sees a boy from school she likes, and admits that she does enjoy science. She sees her father storm past her with the Beast’s device, and he dismisses her. Shortly after, Jim and Margaret approach Julie, and the Beast accuses Jim of stealing his scanner. Jim is taken away by security, while the other Power children reveal that they saw their father change into a blue lady - and the Beast realizes he has a problem.
He does not want the Power children to get involved, but they soon reveal to him that they are in fact Power Pack, and together, they confront Mystique before she leaves the convention with the Beast’s scanner. They battle Mystique for some time, as she shifts into other forms, and eventually, their combined teamwork takes her down. Mystique is arrested, and the Beast realizes why his scanner reacted strangely to Julie - but doesn’t let on the children’s secret to their parents, and Julie admits to her father that she does enjoy science.

Full Summary: 

The Power family arrives at the Annual Science Expo. Numerous stalls are spread out throughout the convention, as scientists talk to each other and the expo attendees. ‘If my theory holds...’ one of them can be heard saying. ‘Space-age polymers...’ another remarks. ’15 years ahead of its time...’ a third states, while Jim Power extends his arms and declares ‘Isn’t this amazing?’ His children look at him confused. ‘The world’s greatest inventors and scientists all gathered under one roof! Can you imagine anything more exciting than this?’ he asks them. ‘I can think of a few things...’ young Katie replies, wide-eyed. ‘He’s kidding, right? Please tell me he’s kidding...’ Jack frowns, folding his arms. Margaret Power tells her children that she will get their father to his booth before he bursts with excitement, which reminds Jim that there is a seminar on spontaneous combustion at 3:30. As Margaret and Jim head off, Margaret tells the kids to look around, to try not to get into too much trouble, and to have fun.

‘I don’t think you need to worry about that, Mom!’ eldest child Alex calls out, waving goodbye to his mother. ‘Ugh, can you believe that we’re stuck at this nerd-fest all day?’ Julie mutters to her siblings. Jack grinds and asks his older sister who she is trying to kid. He tells her that her clothes may have gotten trendier, but that she is still the family bookworm. ‘Just because I’m acing chemistry class doesn’t mean I enjoy it, Jack’ Julie protests. Looking around at the stalls, she asks ‘When am I ever gonna need to use any of this stuff in... in our “line of work”...’
‘Look out!’ someone declares. ‘A monster!’ another shouts. Familiar energy signatures start to materialize around the Power children as they stand ready for any approaching danger, before a voice calls out ‘Excuse me! Coming through! Sorry folks! Running late! Don’t mind me!’ – and Katie looks up at the blue-furred Henry McCoy a.k.a. the Beast, leaping across the crowds, and suggests to Julie that she should ask him.

Soon, the Beast stands on a stage, a large audience before him, as an announcer introduces him. ‘Now this is science!’ Jack declares as he, Alex and the girls take seats at the back of the room. The Beast greets his “friends and colleagues”, and points out that they may know him better as the Beast. ‘Over the years, I’ve been a member of the X-Men, the Avengers, the Defenders – the list goes on and on. But today, I take the utmost pride in being a lifelong member of your team – the scientific community!’ he states, explaining that the worlds of science and super heroics find themselves once again intertwined, thanks to his newest invention, a device that can analyze a person’s cellular structure and determine their genetic potential of possessing super powers. He holds the green device up to show the audience.

The Beast continues, remarking that although his strength, agility and good looks are all a result of genetic mutation, the potential ways that a person could become “enhanced” are nearly unlimited. He asks the audience if anyone can give him another example, but gets no response. ‘Anyone? Come on, now – don’t be shy’ he calls out to them. Julie raises her hand, ‘Yes – you! With the red hair!’ the Beast remarks, and Alex, Jack and Katie go wide-eyed as Julie states ‘A dying alien could transfer its powers to another person – or a group of people – so that they could stop a race of evil aliens from destroying the planet’. She then sinks in her seat, ‘Ummm... hypothetically speaking, of course’ she adds, although of course she knows that is indeed true, as that is how she and her siblings gained their powers. ‘You just couldn’t resist, could you, Brainiac?’ Jack quietly snaps at Julie.

‘Very creative! I like the way you think, young lady!’ the Beast smiles, before leaping across the audience. He announces that since she was the only one to volunteer, she gets to be the lucky girl who helps him demonstrate his new invention. ‘No!’ Julie calls out, before adding ‘I mean, I can’t, I’m sorry. I... ummm... I have stage fright!’ she claims. ‘And she’s allergic to fur!’ Katie exclaims. The Beast takes Julie by the hand and leads her towards the stage, assuring her that she has nothing to fear. ‘But... but...’ Julie protests, looking back at her brothers and sister, while the Beast instructs the audience to give a round of applause for their little test subject. They do so, clapping, while Alex tells Jack and Katie that this can’t be good. Julie stands nervously on the stage, while the Beast holds the green device up, ‘Ready to find out if you’re going to be just like me when you grow up?’ the Beast asks. ‘If I say “no” can I go sit down?’ Julie asks quietly, but loud enough for some in the audience to hear, and they laugh, while the Beast declares that she has a sense of humor and is delightful!

The device starts to scan Julie, and the Beast tells her that they are almost done. ‘And according to my readings – wait! These readings! They can’t be –’ he begins, when suddenly, the device seems to short circuit. ‘Oh, no!’ the Beast gasps. ‘You can say that again...’ Julie mumbles. The Beast looks at the device while apologizing to the audience, explaining that, apparently, he still has some unexpected bugs to work out. ‘Either that, or our young friend here is secretly one of the world’s youngest super heroes!’ he suggests. ‘Heh’ Julie smiles sweetly, while the audience erupts into laughter.

Elsewhere, a woman with dark hair, wearing a lab coat, leans over a counter towards Jim Power and tells him that his theories are amazing, suggesting that they discuss them further over lunch. ‘You? Lunch? With me? Well, I...that would be...’ Jim stammers, before Margaret walks up to him and declares that the Professor already has lunch plans – with his wife. ‘Yes... of course he does...’ Jim replies, before asking the woman if there is anything else he can show her – any of his work, that is. ‘No thanks, handsome... I think I’ve seen everything I need’ the woman replies, smiling as she walks away. Margaret and Jim start arguing, and do not see that the woman shifts form – firstly into a blue-skinned woman with red hair, and then into Jim – she is Mystique!

Soon, the Power children are walking out of the room where the Beast’s lecture was held, and Jack is angry at Julie. ‘I said I was sorry. I didn’t expect him to put me on stage’ Julie points out. ‘Yeah, well, we didn’t expect you to reveal our secret origin. So, hooray! Everyone got a surprise!’ Jack mutters. Alex tells Jack to cool it, and states that all that matters is that no one caught on. ‘Alex is right. Even the best of us totally screw up every now and then. Trust me... I know...’ Katie remarks. ‘Katie, I didn’t –’ Julie begins, when suddenly, a boy with dark hair calls out to her, ‘Julie? Hey, Julie!’ he waves at Julie, who smiles, ‘Greg! What are you –’ she begins, as Greg walks over to her and tells Julie that he saw her on stage, and it was so cool. ‘You got to meet a real live X-Man! I mean, how often does that happen?’ he grins. ‘More often than you’d think...’ Julie replies quietly, while Alex tells his sister that they are going to get some lunch, and asks her if she is coming. Katie frowns at Julie, while Jack scowls at her, and Julie tells her siblings to go ahead, and that she will catch up in a few minutes. ‘If I ever get like that around a boy, I expect you to put me out of my misery’ Katie tells Jack, who grins and asks if he has to wait that long.

Greg tells Julie that it is good to see her outside of school, to which Julie tells him that it is good to see him, too, but that it is too bad it had to be at this lame place. ‘Are you kidding? The guy I work for – Dr Essex – he said this was like the Super Bowl of science!’ Greg exclaims, adding that he has been looking forward to this for months. Julie smiles, ‘Yeah, ummm – me too! I was totally kidding! I would never let my Dad come here without me!’ she adds. ‘And speaking of my Dad...’ Julie remarks as she sees her father stride down the corridor, carrying the Beast’s device. ‘Hey, Dad! I want you to meet –’ Julie calls out to him, but Jim interrupts, ‘Out of my way, kid! “Daddy” has more important things to do!’ he shouts back. Julie looks hurt, and assures Greg that her father isn’t usually like that. Greg smiles and tells Julie not to worry, as these conventions can get really stressful, with so much to do in such a short time. ‘Which reminds me – if I don’t head to the lab soon, I’m gonna lose my internship!’ he remarks, smiling and waving goodbye to Julie, he tells her that he will see her on a Monday.

Julie doesn’t reply, she just stands in the corridor, arms folded, wondering where her Dad is going in such a hurry. ‘Hey there, sweetie!’ a voice calls out, and Julie turns around to see her Mom and Dad standing behind her. She looks confused, before Margaret asks Julie what happened to her sister and brothers. ‘You didn’t have to see them in order to buy one of the convention center’s overpriced hot dogs, did you?’ Jim smiles. ‘How are you – I – I just say you – didn’t you just run that way?’ Julie asks. ‘Run?’ Jim replies, while Margaret asks Julie what she is talking about. Suddenly, ‘That’s him, officers! That’s the man who stole my invention!’ the Beast announces, pointing at Jim Power. ‘WHAT?’ the Professor gasps, as he is surrounded by security guards. ‘Please come with us, Sir’ one of the officers asks, while Jim protests, announcing that this must be some kind of mistake. ‘No! I just saw – it wasn’t him!’ Julie calls out, while Margaret assures her daughter that it is okay, that they will stay put and figure this out.

Julie turns to the Beast, ‘Dr McCoy... you’ve got the wrong man!’ she exclaims. The Beast tells Julie that he is sorry, but he saw the culprit with his own eyes. Julie explains that she thinks she did too, and that another guy that look just like her Dad ran by here a few minutes ago. ‘Well, unless your father’s area of expertise involves cloning or alternate reality doppelgangers, I’m afraid he’s out of luck’ the Beast replies. At that moment, Alex, Jack and Katie rush towards their sister, ‘You’re not going to believe this!’ Alex shouts out. ‘We just saw Dad and he –’ Jack begins, before Julie interrupts: ‘I know. He’s been arrested for stealing Dr McCoy’s scanner’ she concludes. ‘Seriously? I was gonna say that we just saw Dad transform into a lady’ Jack explains. ‘A blue lady’ Katie adds. ‘The Beast looks thoughtful, ‘Intriguing... perhaps your father may be innocent after all’ he realizes.

Shortly, the Power children and the Beast make their way through the crowds at the convention, ‘There she is!’ one of them calls out when they see the woman with dark hair, wearing a lab coat and carrying the Beast’s scanner. ‘I thought you said she was blue’ Julie reminds her siblings. Alex explains that she was for a second, but then she morphed again to look like this. ‘And who can blame her? Hubba hubba!’ Jack remarks. The Beast tells the children that he appreciates their help, but that the time has come for them to go their separate ways. ‘With all due respect, Doctor – not a chance! This guy...or lady...whatever! She framed our Dad! This is personal now!’ Julie announces. ‘Perhaps’ the Beast replies, but points out that if this mystery woman is who he believes she is, then things are about to get very dangerous in here. Alex and Julie just smile, while Jack flexes his arms and boasts that “Dangerous” is his middle name. ‘Mine is Margaret’ Katie smiles.

The Beast tells the children that their enthusiasm is duly noted, but that this situation requires a more “super-heroic” touch. ‘See, that’s the thing...Remember when your machine freaked our earlier? I think I may have overloaded it’ Julie explains. The Beast tells her that that is virtually impossible. ‘The only way that you could have triggered the malfunction is if you already had – super powers?’ he goes wide-eyed, as the Power children’s super hero Power Pack costumes materialize before him. ‘Oh, my stars and garters’ the Beast gasps as Julie – Lightspeed, Jack – Mass Master, Alex – Zero-G, and Katie – Energizer, stand ready for action.

‘Excuse me, Ma’am...but that exist is for emergency use only!’ Zero-G calls out to the raven-haired woman as she approaches a door marked “emergency exit”. She turns to see the Beast and Power Pack standing behind her, as Mass Master declares that if she would like an emergency, they are always happy to help. ‘What’s going on? What do you people want from me? I’ve done nothing –’ the woman claims innocently. ‘Simply astounding!’ the Beast declares. ‘All these years, and your acting still hasn’t gotten any better...Mystique!’ and with her cover blown, the shape-shifter switches to her default form, ‘Neither has your smell, Beast’ Mystique smirks, while still holding the scanner in her possession. The Beast tells Mystique that they don’t have to resort to violence. ‘Just return my genetic analyzer and you can –’ the Beast begins, but Mystique tells him that she is sorry, but she has been offered a lot of money to steal this hunk of junk. ‘And you and your little play pals aren’t going to stop me!’ she declares, before shifting into the Juggernaut and boasting that nothing can stop her. ‘Yikes!’ Katie gasps, while some convention attendees nearby start to run away.

‘We’ll see about that’ the Beast declares as he leaps into the air and kicks Mystique-Juggernaut in the chest, knocking her back. ‘Look out!’ someone calls out as more people start to run away as a convention stand falls over. From the rubble, a scientist sits up, ‘What just happened?’ he asks rubbing his head. ‘Yeah, right! You can’t fool the Mass Master, lady! Now why don’t you just drop the stupid geek disguise and change back to normal blue self so we can get this –’ Mass Master suggests to the surprised scientist, when suddenly, Mystique, now with demon-like wings, suddenly flies out of the rubble and into the air. ‘Listen, about that stupid geek thing...’ Jack bashfully tells the scientist. Lightspeed follows Mystique, ‘You can’t stop me, girl’ Mystique snarls. ‘Maybe not, but I can stall you’ Lightspeed replies. ‘“Stall me?” For what?’ Mystique asks. ‘My brother. We call him Zero-G. Care to find out why’ Julie announces, as Zero-G thanks his sister, then cancels the gravity around Mystique, sending her plummeting to the ground, where she lands right on top of Jack. ‘Oof!’ Jack mutters, before getting to his feet – and staring back at him, is Mystique – now shifted into his form.

‘Hey! Watch it!’ the real Mass Master exclaims. ‘You watch it!’ Mystique-Mass Master replies. ‘Wait a minute! You look just like...me!’ they both say in unison. ‘Oh, man, she’s trying to trick you guys’ Mass Master calls out. ‘Yeah she totally is! I’m the real deal!’ the Mystique-Mass Master claims. ‘No way! I am!’ Mass Master declares, while Katie turns to the Beast and asks him how they are supposed to tell them apart. The Beast explains that Mystique can replicate a person’s appearance, but not their super powers. He asks Katie if there is any way she can force her brother to activate his abilities. ‘I’m sure I can figure something out’ Katie smiles, before releasing bursts of energy towards Mass Master and Mystique-Mass Master. ‘Hey! Watch it, Energizer!’ Mass Master exclaims as he switches to his cloud form so that Katie’s energy blasts don’t harm him. He returns to his human form and goes over to his siblings, asking Katie what she thinks she was doing. ‘Oh, I don’t know...maybe saving the day?’ Katie replies. Alex and Julie look up, and they look worried. ‘Hey, guys...I think we have much bigger things to worry about’ he tells his siblings as they turn and look at the large purple demon that Mystique has shifted to, looming over them.

The Beast turns to Mass Master, ‘Your codename suggests that you understand the key to defeating our oversized opponent!’ he tells the young hero. ‘I do’ Jack asks. ‘The Law of Conservation? Antoine Lavoisier? 1785? Ring any bells?’ the Beast asks. ‘Dude – I’m only ten’ Jack replies as he switches to his cloud form. ‘For future reference, the law states that –’ the Beast begins before the oversized Mystique-demon knocks over some equipment, which crashes into the Beast, knocking him out. ‘What are we gonna do now?’ Energizer asks, concerned. ‘I think I know!’ Lightspeed exclaims as she takes flight. ‘You do?’ Katie asks, calling out after her sister, as Lightspeed approaches the Mystique-demon and explains that the Law of Conservation, she learned about it in school, and that it says “mass is neither created nor destroyed”. Lightspeed states that she thinks the Beast was trying to tell them that Mystique always has the same mass – no matter what size she becomes. ‘In other words, she only looks big...’ Lightspeed announces as she punches the Mystique-demon hard in the face.

The punch reverts Mystique to her default form, and she falls back against a wall, knocking herself unconscious, she drops to the ground. ‘...but luckily, she still falls hard!’ Lightspeed smiles, while standing over the Beast’s scanner. ‘Indubitably!’ the Beast remarks as he and Zero-G approach Lightspeed.

Later, Mystique is seen being led away by security guards, her hands in some sort of dampening cuffs. The Power children have returned to their civilian clothing, and the Beast sits Katie on his shoulders, while Jim and Margaret Power stand with their children and the Beast outside of the convention. Jim announces that he is glad all of this is over, and suggests they pack up the booth and head home. ‘Just when I was starting to have some fun...’ Jack mutters. Jim shakes the Beast’s hand and thanks him, ‘Without you, I’d probably be behind bars’ he points out. ‘Don’t thank me! It’s these amazing children of yours that deserve the credit’ the Beast replies, while Katie starts to whisper in his ear ‘Shh! They don’t –’, so the Beast explains that it was the children that alerted him to Mystique’s presence. ‘Whew! Thanks!’ Katie whispers. The Beast puts a hand on Julie’s shoulder and tells Margaret and Jim that their eldest daughter is going to make quite the scientist someday. ‘You should be very proud’ he adds. ‘Julie – that’s wonderful! I never thought you liked any of this! What changed your mind?’ Jim smiles. Julie replies that she has finally realized that sometimes, the Laws of Matter really do matter!

Characters Involved: 


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

Jim & Margaret Power



Convention attendees

Story Notes: 

This mini-series is out of continuity, although it is part of its own “universe” that includes Power Pack (3rd series) #1-4, and several other min-series like Wolverine and Power Pack.

Issue Information: 

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