2020 has been a year of comebacks — Crash Bandicoot got a fourth game, the Animaniacs burst back onto the television scene and now, Power Pack has gotten a new miniseries from Ryan North and Nico Leon. And, just like the other aforementioned reboots, Power Pack #1 is great.
The book’s opening segment is adorable, featuring Katie Power retelling the Power kids’ origin story in the form of a comic she wrote and drew. There’s plenty of humor in the way Katie has written and drawn her comic, one that makes it clear from the start Ryan North knows how to have fun with this premise. It’s singlehandedly one of the funniest comics Marvel has published in years, but the humor is never mean-spirited nor does it have to try too hard to crack a joke. The opening panels serve both as a great introduction to the Power kids for new fans and an enjoyable reintroduction for old fans. North isn’t trying to reinvent the concept of Power Pack, but rather, he’s breathing new life into the premise and showing why it works so well.
In many ways, reading Power Pack #1 feels like the Power kids never went anywhere at all. North completely understands the family dynamic and has a lot of fun with the kids, creating several interactions between the kids that instantly put a smile on the reader’s face. Leon’s pencils are the perfect fit for this story, providing something that’s equally cartoony as it is charming. North and Leon truly are the dream team for this book.
Every once in a while, a writer takes over a book and it’s clear they have a lot of love for the lore. Ryan North is that writer on Power Pack. From the main villain of the title being Boogeyman to the little segments of the Power kids going “hey, remember when we did that thing?” Power Pack #1 is jam-packed with references to its past stories. It’s clear North did his research, and it certainly paid off. Even the kids’ solo adventures like Alex’s stint with the Future Foundation and Julie’s relationship with Rikki Barnes get referenced, providing a sense of relevancy to this story.
Power Pack returning for Outlawed is the perfect backdrop, bringing one of Marvel’s earliest set of child heroes into the modern era seamlessly. Reading Power Pack #1 feels like returning home after a long trip away and there’s a sweet familiarity to everything surrounding the Power kids. The story is charming and light, a highlight for a story as heavy as Outlawed.
Power Pack #1 strikes the coveted balance of being completely accessible to new readers while providing enough references to past lore to overjoy even the most seasoned fan. Endearing, funny, and relevant to current Marvel events, Power Pack #1 is a must-read.