For Lack of the Pack

Dangit, it’s been too long since I wrote something about comics, so we’re gonna remedy that RIGHT NOW.

Can we talk about the Power Pack? I know, the concept of a bunch of little kids with superpowers running around as superheroes in the Marvel Universe has long been something of a joke. They always seemed to be either lightened to the point where the kids were never in real danger from the supervillains, or grim-and-grittied up to try to make them more, well, grim and gritty.

But the various Power Pack miniseries that started in 2005 and ran to 2010 were really something else. They were definitely designed as all-ages comics, so the dark-and-dreary stuff got left out, thank goodness. They were made by various teams of creators, though they got their trademark clean-and-cartoony look from Gurihiru Studios, a couple of outstanding illustrators from Japan. They were great fun, teamed the Pack up with just about every major hero in the Marvel Universe, and embodied everything you’d want to introduce to younger readers about Marvel Comics. They had humor, action, great artwork, fun dialogue, characterization, and conflicts…

And nearly all of the miniseries are out of print right now. There are a few you can get for affordable prices on Amazon, but most of them can only be had by shelling out a lot of cash.

I think this is really unwise on Marvel’s part. They’re great stepping-on points for new readers, for one thing, and I really think they’re the kinds of books that could be, if not massive bestsellers, at least consistent movers in comic shops.

Let’s face it, kids who like comics want to read about Wolverine and Spider-Man and Iron Man and Thor and the Hulk and all their other favorite superheroes — and they were all guest stars in these wonderful, funny, endlessly enjoyable Power Pack comics.

So come on, Marvel, bring back the Power Pack, both for younger readers and for those of us old fogeys who enjoy these fun comics.

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