Power Pack becomes a lot less powerful when Taskmaster comes to town, and their choices regarding Kamala’s law are beginning to come back to haunt them.
With the passage of Kamala’s Law (as part of Marvel’s Outlawed event banner), the young heroes of the Marvel Universe face the choice of arrest for being a hero or registering with a mentor to remain one. While the team over in Champions has chosen the underground and fight back method, the family quartet that makes up the Power Pack has decided to take another path regarding this unjust law.
Facing arrest, they ended up accepting the offer of a mysterious hero known as Agent Aether, to not only mentor them but allow them to use their power to do grand tangible good for the world. Unfortunately, this turn of events has had some potentially deadly consequences in Power Pack #3.
Right away it is clear that Ryan North gets the characters in this series, not just the foursome and their family but the various guest star characters including Taskmaster in this issue, and the switching narration from sibling to sibling puts that on full display. Each of their personalities are shown as are their feelings and ideas about what is happening with themselves, their family, and the world right now.
Having the more pragmatic but still optimistic Julie as the narrator of this issue is perfect because she’s hopeful, but still questioning everything about what is going down with Agent Aether. What North really excels at alongside the character/world stuff is being able to pack so much into a standard issue, yet never feeling like it is too much.
There is time for the kids to work with Aether, be with family, talk about their issues and their wants, take on Taskmaster, discover issues with their abilities, and confront the force that is behind this apparent issue with their powers, all within the space of a standard issue.
This is accompanied by the staller work of Nico Leon, Rachelle Rosenberg, and Travis Lanham who present a colorful, fun, and heavily detailed world that they maintain even when the issues take a turn to the more dramatic or serious. The cliffhanger page is both sad, but amazingly beautiful at the same time and that is a pretty great way to end an issue.
An element of the art that is done so well, that has seemed to crop up more in a lot of books, is foregoing background details instead to frame the characters or moment in different colors. Honestly, it makes things pop a bit more and fully puts focus on the moment rather than what might be behind the characters.
Lanham easily follows the lead of the art in the sense that the lettering at times starts off a bit more like what you would think of in a kids cartoon style-wise and ramps up in urgency and seriousness as the tone changes. There is not a thing fun about the lettering with the final pages and that’s great because things take that aforementioned deadly turn.
Also, first someone needs to create and put out that all corners pan used for lasagna in the issue, and secondly whoever dreamed up the Katie Power-drawn recap pages is fantastic. Those child-like drawn pages and story bits bring a smile every single time an issue is opened.
Power Pack #3 is now available at local comic shops and digitally through ComiXology.