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Julie Power/ Lightspeed

The Loners first appeared in the pages of Runaways (volume 2, #1 “True Believers”) as a group named Excelsior holding a support group in the basement of Los Angeles’ Holy Trinity Church for former child and teenaged superheroes. As Julie’s turn for introductions comes around, she mentions her former career under various names and talks about living in Hollywood and pursuing auditions and an agent.

Michiko Musashi (formerly Turbo) is the de facto leader. After receiving a mysterious phone call promising the allure of a million dollars, she persuades her friends to put on their costumes and make a stand against the Runaways before they can recruit Victor (a progeny of Ultron). Julie and Karolina Dean have an interesting exchange while their other teammates are fighting in issue #3. Both hover in the air, ready to face off. Julie says: “Don’t try anything funny, girlfriend, or I’ll –“ Karolina replies: “Wow. You are really, really pretty.” Caught off guard, Julie stammers. “Oh…thanks” I mean, you’re pretty, too.” Karolina: “Seriously?” Julie: “Yeah, I like how your hair glows and–” It’s interesting because this may be a hint that building up to both Julie and Karolina’s sexuality.

Their mysterious benefactor is revealed to be Rick Jones, Marvel’s first teenaged sidekick/ hero. While they’re unsuccessful in dealing with the Runaways. Jones persuades Excelsior to continue the mission to continue on as “peacekeepers” to take on what he deems as mounting threats in California. (Volume 2, #6)

Their debut proved popular enough to warrant a six issue mini series in 2007. Calling themselves the Loners and are now without any ties to Rick Jones. They’ve also resumed support group meetings to adjust to living non-powered adult lives. Julie has trouble accepting this and is first seen jumping from a hotel roof and then flying upward with a look of joy on her face. Later when confronted, Julie admits having trouble not using her powers.

A flashback scene in issue #3 reveals how Julie is gravely wounded during a fight with a clawed woman. Fellow Loner Ricochet (Johnny) rushes her to a hospital where a surgeon cares for her, and informs the friends that she’ll thankfully survive. Julie and Ricochet share a meal at a burger place after her release from the hospital. They talk about the fight she was in and gossip about “teammates” Michiko and Chris who’re “knocking boots.” Julie talks excitedly: “But she’s [Michiko] like smoking hot! I’d totally–” and then changes the subject when asked “totally what?” Julie and Johnny spend the rest of the day at a movie studio trying to find work. Julie does some fast talking with a producer and scores them work as stunt doubles even though or especially because it means using their powers. They spend the day doing stunts dressed as Black Cat and Iron Fist. Their career is extremely short-lived when the producer tries to seduce Julie and she uses her powers on him. Later at that week’s group meeting she reminisces about her early days with Power Pack. In a separate scene on page 11, Michiko and Chris have a disagreement about their relationship. He accuses Michiko of being jealous of Mattie (AKA Spider Woman) and asks why she isn’t jealous of Julie. Michiko replies: “No. Of course not. Come on. It’s Julie. She’s not into–” He asks, “Not into what?” and her evasive answer is “Uh, you know. The dating scene. She’s too focused on her career.”

Despite the interpersonal tensions, infighting, and a mediocre villain, the mini series ends on a high note.

Julie joined the Avengers Academy in #20 where she is both a student and teaching assistant under Quicksilver’s mentorship. She’s admitted her own attraction to both men and women, given advice to team mate Striker who’s accepted his homosexuality, and made a date with Karolina Dean after Avengers Academy and the Runaways met.

Julie Power has also been known as Molecula and Starstreak, and was a member of Power Pack, where she debuted in #1. Louise Simonson and Bob Wiacek are Julie’s creators.

Art by Karl Moline and Christina Straomn from The Loners #1.

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