Little is known about the early life of Dr, James Power before he married Margaret Power and fathered the group of pre-adolescent heroes known as Power Pack. Power finished college with a doctorate in Physics and shortly thereafter began work at a Research and Development facility near Munhiggin Island, Maine. There he began in-depth research into developing a new means of deriving large quantities of energy inexpensively for peaceful purposes. He discovered a method of converting matter to antimatter without impractically large expenditures of energy. Dr. Power designed a machine which could open a small portal into another universe which had different scientific laws from our own. The machine could then project a small amount of matter, held within a magnetic force field, into the other universe, where, through unknown processes, the charge and spin of the atoms matter would be changed, causing it to become antimatter. The machine would then withdraw the antimatter back into Power's own universe, and remove the magnetic field under controlled conditions. Matter and antimatter annihilate each other upon contact, each being converted into vast amounts of energy. Dr. Power called his machine, which was built under a government grant, a matter/antimatter converter.
Dr. Power's discovery came to the attention of an extraterrestrial, Aelfyre Whitemane, who was a Kymellian scientist and sorcerer, during his study of the planet Earth and humanity. Whitemane, who went by the nickname "Whitey," recognized the process of the converter as being similar to a device which had been developed on Kymellia in ages past. In testing the device before having fully mastered the physics involved, the Kymellians had unwittingly destroyed their planet in the ensuing chain-reaction. Seeking to save his newly beloved Earth from a similar fate, Whitemane sent a message, requesting permission to interfere, to the surviving Kymellian governors.
The message was intercepted by the Z'nrx, a warmongering reptilian race from another galaxy whom Whitey called "Sharks" after the monster in Lewis Carroll's The Hunting of the Snark, who subsequently jammed it. The Snarks disabled Whitemane, then captured Dr. Power and his wife, Margaret, intending to force him to reveal the formula for the matter/antimatter converter, for use by the Snarks as a weapon.
The Powers were rescued later by their own four children, now each possessed of one of four aspects of Whitemane's Kymellian powers to manipulate energy, mass, density, and speed. Power was returned to Earth with his wife, his memory of the formula for the matter/antimatter converter wiped clean by Snarks attempts to forcibly extract the information from his mind.
Subsequent to this, the entire Power family relocated to New York City, in the borough of Manhattan. Weeks after this move, Power suffered great trauma when all four of his children disappeared while claiming to be sledding in Central Park. The team, as Power Pack, had actually become embroiled in a second attack from the Sharks, the goal of the alien race this time being to steal the Kymellian powers which the children possessed. Power searched the streets of New York City alone searching for his children, and encountered the mutant super heroes, Cloak and Dagger, individually, in his search. The team promised to help Power recover his children.
Cloak and Dagger did manage to locate the children after they had escaped their captors and returned to Earth, with the children's Kymellian allies. However, anticipating that the Power parents would not be able to accept the truth about their children, and their association with aliens, the Kymellian Lord, Yrik Whitemane, altered the brain patterns of the Power parents. The reprogramming made the Powers highly susceptible to any suggestion from their children, allowing them to easily accept virtually any rationale presented by their children to the adult Powers. One side effect of the reprogramming was the chance of an emotional backlash which could emotionally cripple the parents if they were ever violently confronted with a truth which differed from the children's professed version.
Such a violent confrontation occurred during the period of chaos in Manhattan which was known as Inferno, when the Power parents were confronted with their children's identities as Power Pack. Unable to accept, under Whiteman's programming, that their children had lied to them, the Powers became emotional wrecks, breaking periodically into uncontrollable hysterics. The parents' belief in their children's infallibility was later restored with the aid of the New Mutants. Using the solid illusion-casting abilities of the mutant, Danielle Moonstar, the children convinced their parents that the New Mutants had replaced the children with realistic duplicates of themselves, and the Power children themselves had never possessed any extraordinary abilities. This reaffirmation of the status quo reestablished the parents' belief in their children, and restored the parents' emotional stability. However, it is unclear what the final result would be if the Powers are ever again violently confronted with the truth before this programming is removed or altered.
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- 39 Appearances of James Power (Earth-616)
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