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Original Origins

Power Pack have been sneaking an effectively ongoing series in the form of eight mini-series since 2005 (teaming up with X-Men, the Avengers, Spider-Man, the Hulk, the Fantastic Four and Iron Man in the process). And now they have announced the next mini-seriesPower Pack: Day One, in which they reveal their origin.

This series has one goal (and I quote): ‘Establishing a new continuity for the Pack’. And this got me thinking – why is this needed? Surely the Pack have one of the best origins around? Clean and simple – a family of kids are given special powers by an alien who crash-landed. It doesn’t need updating or revising. It doesn’t need a JM Straczynski reimagining so that they are linked to some alien elemental totem or something.

I understand that these comics aren’t anything to do with the original series, but it still seems a strange thing to do. I loved the original stories – the magical little niche Louise Simonson and June Brigman (then Jon Bogdanove) created for Alex, Julie, Jack and Katie Powers when they are given their powers by a dying Kymelian, as well as his old spaceship (powers and a spaceship? A child’s dream!), was utterly charming but also intelligent and mature. It doesn’t need an updating.

But then, should the Power Pack be exempt from the re-evaluation of origins that is almost de rigeur for all other super heroes? How many times have the origins of Superman or Batman or Spider-Man or the Fantastic Four been revisited? All writers search for an extra story nugget to wring out of the origin tale (some more than others; I’m looking at you, Batman) but shouldn’t there be some that are off limits? I don’t think this is my proprietary nature towards the Pack talking – all I’m saying is that why do they feel the need to improve on a classic? Leave the Powers to their first perfect story with Whitey.

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