Earlier this week, Marvel’s Power Pack returned to headlining status for Power Pack: Grow Up!, a one-shot that also reunited the Power kids’ creators Louise Simonson and June Brigman to tell a story set in their heyday.
35 years to the month after Power Pack‘s debut, Newsarama spoke to Brigman about returning to her classic creations, how Wolverine and Kitty Pryde fit into the adventure at hand, and what it’s like to be part of Marvel’s 80 year history.
And yeah – Brigmans says she and ‘Weezie’ may just be more Power Pack in their future.
Newsarama: June, you and Louise Simonson created the Power Pack 35 years ago – their first issue debuted in August 1984. How does it feel going all the way back to their heyday for Power Pack: Grow Up?
June Brigman: It’s great to play with the kids again. It’s like they haven’t aged a bit. Wish I could say the same!
Nrama: This tale takes place in the Power kids’ younger days. What are they up against here, and how does it tie back to those classic stories?
Brigman: We basically pick up right where we left off. The story takes place one year after they got their powers. They meet up with some old friends and new enemies. And the story takes place in their old neighborhood, which just happens to be where Walt and Weezie lived.
Nrama: What’s it like getting the band back together, so to speak? How have things evolved in your working relationship with Louise since those early Power Pack stories?
Brigman: It’s always been easy to work with Weezie. She has a great visual sense. And she knows how to work in wonderful scenes that tell so much about a character. Her stories are always challenging, but fun too.
Nrama: On that note, how has the overall process of making comics evolved for you?
Brigman: I’ve learned a few things since I drew that first issue 35 years ago. So even though drawing a superhero group book is still a challenge, I’m more relaxed in my style now. Although I still have the occasional freak out over how I’m gonna fit everything in.
Nrama: While the Power kids are embarking on a story set in the old days, some of them – namely Alex and Julie – are about to appear in the new Future Foundation series. How does it feel seeing the Power Pack not just live on in the Marvel Universe, but be allowed to grow and evolve in ways many superheroes don’t?
Brigman: I’m really pleased that Alex and Julie are still active in the Marvel Universe. But if it were up to me, they would never grow up. I think their young age is part of what makes them unique.
Nrama: The Power Pack have a babysitter in this story in the form of Wolverine. What makes him so fun to pair with the Power kids?
Brigman: I’m sure the kids would beg to differ with you. Jack would certainly say that he doesn’t need a babysitter, he can take care of himself. And Katie would say she’s not a baby! But yeah, I don’t often get the chance to draw Wolverine. And his über tough guy persona is a fun contrast with the innocent enthusiasm of the kids.
Nrama: And how does Kitty Pryde – just a bit older than the Power Pack around this era – fit in?
Brigman: Kitty is kind of the cool kid they all look up to, especially Katie, who idolizes her. It was fun getting to draw Kitty as a teenager. I really like drawing an age that’s not a child, but not quite a grown-up. And I gave her leg warmers, the perfect accessory for an 80’s teen.
Nrama: 35 years on, how have your perspectives on the Power kids changed? Do you see different things in them now than you did then?
Brigman: I am more appreciative of what a special book Power Pack is, and what an amazing opportunity it was to work with Weezie and create a part of the Marvel Universe.
Nrama: What was your favorite part of this to draw?
Brigman: My favorite part is a little scene where Alex gets up the nerve to hold Alison’s hand. I love drawing those subtle character bits.
Nrama: The Power Pack have plenty of fans who are always awaiting their return. Is there more time with the Power kids in your future?
Brigman: Oh, for sure, Weezie and I will get to play with the kids again soon.
Nrama: What can fans look for next from you?
Brigman: My next project is another series of Captain Ginger comics, a cats in space book I co-created with writer Stuart Moore. It’s pretty awesome.
Nrama: This story is hitting right around the time of Marvel’s 80th anniversary. Having contributed so much to the Marvel Universe over the years, what’s your perspective on this milestone?
Brigman: Marvel’s come a long way from the days of Stan and Jack kicking around ideas. I do wish Kirby could have lived to see the Marvel movies, especially Captain America. The movies have turned Marvel into a powerhouse, and made it cool to be a comics geek. But none of this would have happened if not for Stan, Kirby, Ditko, Buscema, Romita, Wood, Severin, and so many other creators whose names most moviegoers will never know.
Nrama: Bottom line, what can you tell fans about why Power Pack: Grow Up! is a must-read story?
Brigman: Grow Up is a classic Power Pack story. It has all the elements that made the original series something special and unique. But most of all, it’s just plain fun. What else can I say but, “Costumes On!”