James Power (comics)

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For the Canadian hockey player (1883–1920), see James Power (ice hockey).
Dr. James "Jim" Power
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Power Pack #1 (Aug 1984)
Created by Louise Simonson and June Brigman
In-story information
Alter ego James Power

Dr. James "Jim" Power is a fictional character in the Marvel Universe. He is the husband of Margaret Power, and with her the father of Alex, Julie, Jack, and Katie Power.

Publication history[edit]

James Power was created by Louise Simonson and June Brigman, and first appeared in Power Pack #1 (Aug 1984).

Fictional character biography[edit]

James Power was a physicist working at a Research and Development facility in Virginia, researching into developing a new means of delivering large quantities of energy inexpensively for peaceful purposes. In the course of his research, Dr. Power developed a machine he called a matter/anti-matter converter. While Dr. Power intended to use his invention for peaceful means, his boss, Mr. Carmody, had secret plans to use it for military purposes.

Dr. Power's discovery came to the attention of a Kymellian scholar named Aelfyre Whitemane, who realized that a similar device had inadvertently destroyed his own home planet. Another race of aliens, called the Snarks, discovered Whitemane's plans and capture Dr. Power and his wife to force him to reveal the formula for his matter/anti-matter converter to use as a weapon. Whitemane granted each of the Powers' four children an aspect of his powers to manipulate energy, mass, density, and speed, in a desperate bid to help them save their parents. With their new powers and the help of the Kymellian smartship Friday, the children were able to destroy the converter and rescue their parents. In the process, they were spotted by Carmody. From that point on, he considered the entire Power family to be personal enemies.[1]

Following their return to Earth, the Power family relocated to Manhattan, where James was hired as a professor at Columbia University and Margaret obtained a new agent and continued her art career. The Power children formed a superhero team called Power Pack. They went to great lengths to conceal the existence of their superhuman abilities from their parents.[2]

During the Inferno storyline, a demonized Carmody told Margaret and James about Power Pack's existence. The revelation caused them both to have nervous breakdowns (and the covers hinted that the kids would go to Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters);[3] the situation was not ameliorated until Mirage & Gosamyr of the New Mutants stepped in to convince the Power parents that their children were actually completely normal[4] (a move which was highly criticised in the readers' letters column).

The bout of madness was explained later in the series, when Lord Yrik revealed that he had placed mental blocks on both the Power parents, in order to help the children hide their superhero identities. The blocks caused James and Maggie to accept any suggestions and deny any evidence of Power Pack's existence. However, they also caused the parents to go mad when confronted with indisputable proof of Power Pack's existence.[5] The members of Power Pack were understandably upset when they discovered the blocks placed on their parents' minds and requested that they be removed, however, Yrik was unable to do so.[6][7]

Later in the series, James inexplicably developed super powers during the time that Alex was gradually turning into a Kymellian.[volume & issue needed] At some point, the Technocrat switched James, Maggie, and Alex with protoplasm duplicates. The protoplasm started to revert to its original state, causing the duplicates to manifest the breakdown in odd ways (Maggie lapsing into catatonia, Alex to change into a Kymellian, and James to develop super powers). Eventually, the protoplasm completely broke down.[volume & issue needed] Power Pack rescued their parents from the clutches of the Technocrat and Snark Queen Maraud.[volume & issue needed]

During Alex's time with the New Warriors {in which he used his siblings' powers during the Warriors' missions}; it's been hinted {but not confirmed during the Warriors' first series} that Alex eventually revealed to his parents the truth about Power Pack, since the 2000 Power Pack miniseries has both James and Margaret calmly seeing them using their powers, but warning them to be cautious.[8]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Power Pack #1-4
  2. ^ Power Pack #5
  3. ^ Power Pack #42-44
  4. ^ Power Pack #44
  5. ^ Power Pack #50
  6. ^ Power Pack #52
  7. ^ Power Pack Holiday Special
  8. ^ Power Pack (Vol 2) #1