I picked up the first ten or twelve issues of Power Pack back in the early Eighties. The grand concept was kid superheroes that acted like kids. The series was written by Louise Simonson, who must have actually met human children at some point. (My favorite Power Pack memory is from the letter column: a reader with too many Superbaby stories under his belt complained that Katie, the youngest, should speak more realistically. His suggestion of age-appropriate four-year old dialogue: “Me make pretty lights! Me shoot bad snakes!”) I don’t know much of what has happened with Power Pack since 1984, but a quick stroll through the internet indicates that they’ve been put through the inevitable continuity ringer as editorial visions come and go. Did they really try to make Power Pack “dark?”
If their kiddishness was the best thing about the Power Pack, their costumes were definitely the worst. The silver moon-booties made sense in the context of a decade that thought turquoise and black checks looked sharp, but body-hugging spandex on pre-pubescent children? Where’s Dr. Wertham when you need him?
What I like about these designs is that 1) they play up on the kiddishness, and 2) I’m not going to have to look at any delicately rendered drawings of eight-year old buttocks. The moon-boots are still there, but considerably played down. The age-appropriate personalities are painted in clear, if broad, strokes. By gawd, they look like kids! Kids who should have fun, slightly goofy adventures.
There is, of course, the continuity question of how, exactly, one turns an alien space suit into a pair of bib-overalls. I leave that to someone more informed in Power Pack lore.