It’s almost here! The very first issue of the new on-going Mighty Morphin Power Rangers comic book, published by BOOM! Studios, releases on January 13th, 2016. We were fortunate enough to be given a special preview of this monumental first issue and have written up a review!
It’s the first day back at school for our heroes and more importantly it’s the first day back at school for the recently freed-from-mind-control Tommy, aka the Green Ranger. But as our green hero quickly learns, one can never just walk away from the Rita Repulsa without some serious side effects. Can Tommy overcome the visions he’s having and focus on saving the world? Or will his hangover from being the evil Green Ranger eventually doom him, his friends, and innocent civilians? The answer may surprise you…
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Before we begin on the review of this first issue, let’s take a moment to reflect on the history of Power Rangers comic books. To sum it up … it hasn’t been very good. We got Power Rangers Zeo by Marvel Comics back in the day, briefly, and a smattering here or there of other series by other publishers that never really got past a first issue. The closest we got was when PapercutZ acquired the license and released a couple of issues … and to be honest, they were pretty awful. The artwork was forgettable, the writing was atrocious, and the amount of errors (especially in the “factoid” section) was laughable. In short – it seems like every creator that has ever touched this property has aimed it towards a “little kids comic book”, failing to recognize that a silent majority of comic book readers are now adults.
I am confident in saying that after only a single issue that does not appear to be the case with BOOM! Studios and their Mighty Morphin Power Rangers on-going comic. Before I get on with my thoughts on the issue, let’s recap what happens. Please be warned – there are SPOILERS for the issue below! This is NOT a spoiler free review! Again – SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #00 – Summary
The very first panel of the comic – I repeat, the very first panel of the comic – is the hand of the Blue Ranger laying lifelessly on the ground. The words “My Green Ranger” are shown. The second panel? The Yellow Ranger, laying lifelessly on the floor, visor shattered. The third? The triumphant Evil Green Ranger stands in front of his Empress, Rita Repulsa, with the Sword of Darkness firmly planted in the ground like a battle standard, as the remaining Mighty Morphin Power Rangers lay lifeless on the ground. It’s over – he has defeated them and Rita Repulsa is now free to remake the world in her image.
The words fade and Tommy is actually passenger to Jason, the Red Ranger, as they drive towards Angel Grove High. It’s their first day back at school and more importantly the first day for Tommy as the new, non-evil Green Ranger. But he’s having visions of Rita Repulsa and the visions are speaking to him, mocking him and making him doubt his friends after every word they say. After he meets up with them in the parking lot and in the hallways before a big test, he ends up running off as the visions are too intense and making him sweat with nervousness and anticipation.
During the test we get our first glimpse at what we all know was the blooming romance between Kim the Pink Ranger and Tommy when he receives a quick text message from her informing him, with the help of a ton of emojis, that it’s okay to smile – and he does. Only to be interrupted by an alarm in the school as what we assume is some sort of counselor rushing in to a packed class telling everyone that there’s a situation, to remain calm, and to make their way towards the gymnasium for their safety. Knowing better, our heroes sneak the other way, head outside and see the Bullzer monster wrecking havoc. At that point, everybody should know what time it is…
Our heroes suit up and call upon the Megazord and the Dragonzord. The monster has a strong armor plating and they’re looking for a weak spot. They find one and call upon Tommy to use the Dragonzord‘s tail drill to hit the monster. But unfortunately, Tommy can’t bring himself to do it. Another vision of Rita Repulsa mocks him, stating he’s nothing without her, and it takes all of Tommy‘s might to finally get the Dragonzord to strike – but when it does, he can’t regain control of it, and the tail ends up striking a major bridge, sending a couple of cars falling to their watery graves below. In an instant, the Pink Ranger and her Pteradactyl Zord detach from the Megazord and barely make it in time to save the cars from certain death.
Back at the Command Center, Tommy explains to Zordon and the other Rangers what happened. But before Zordon can respond, Jason jumps in saying Tommy needs to learn to follow directions. We get our first bit of in-fighting as Tommy snaps back regarding the “direction” that Jason gave. It’s up to Zordon to put each Ranger in their place and foreshadows that even though the Evil Green Ranger is no more, Rita Repulsa is far from finished.
Our final scene has Scorpina searching the waters from the battle that just occurred. She pulls out a crystal from the lake and gives it to Rita Repulsa, who foreshadows that what she holds in her hand is the key to a new beginning…Reviewing the Story
I’m going to admit – I was skeptical when I first learned of the direction the story was going to go. As an avid Power Rangers fan who follows the franchise very closely, a series that focuses on the one character that every other license holder focuses on, aka the Green Ranger, was not something I was jumping for joy about, not when there’s over one-hundred different Power Rangers and over 20 various seasons to look at. But this take from BOOM! Studios seems to hit the nail right on the head. Our heroes are modernized (see ya Billy in suspenders!) and the writing immediately stands out as NOT being written for 6 year olds.
As you remember in the classic show, the Green Ranger joined the team and was immediately trusted, immediately awesome, and immediately the most badass character ever created in the history of ever. This comic goes back and looks at a time frame before that confidence came, focusing more on the Tommy we saw at the end of Green With Evil who asks, “After everything that’s happened?” and then reluctantly and doubtingly shakes Jason‘s hand to join the team.
It’s an absolutely perfect way to take a story and put it right in a spot where we know where we are and has the potential to add so much more to the story without the chance of having continuity issues. Kyle Higgins, the writer of our main story, does an incredible job of making this feel like an actual comic book and not a poorly transcribed episode in comic book form. Hats off to you, sir!
So where do we go from here? Obviously, there’s an on-going plot with whatever the crystal that Rita Repulsa pulled out from the lake. We also have a bit of a rift forming between Jason and Tommy. And we know Kyle Higgins isn’t afraid to look at the “darker” side of things as we saw in the very first panels of the issue. For the first time in over 20 years, I’m looking forward to Issue #01 and beyond!
Reviewing the Artwork
The artwork in the main story is done by Hendry Prasetya. I am absolutely in love with the artwork. The way Hendry Prasetya draws Rita Repulsa, Finster, and Scorpina is simply amazing. I’ve never seen Finster look so evil and creepy before and I absolutely love it. The Megazord and Dragonzord are also drawn incredibly well – the Bullzer attacking downtown Angel Grove is also illustrated incredibly well.
The only thing that will take some time with me is the civilian forms and the Ranger forms. On the faces there are very rarely any drawn lines leaving the colorist to more or less color in different shades of light to depict cheeks, noses, etc. It’s not a bad thing by any means, just not something I’m used to but as I keep looking over the artwork I continue to fall more and more in love with it.
Hats off to Matt Herms for some amazing coloring in this issue – the scene on the moon is one of my favorites and the colors are what make it stand out so much.Overall Issue Review
I was nervous going in to this comic. Having been burned so many times in the past I was afraid to get more of the same. I am so excited to be so pleasantly surprised by the sheer quality of this book. This might very well be the comic book that Power Rangers fans have been waiting for. A compelling story by Kyle Higgins that keeps you interested with beautiful artwork by Hendry Prasetya and colors from Matt Herms that keep your eyes smiling – do yourself a favor and pick up this issue when it releases on January 13th, 2016. I know I will be.
There’s also two short stories included in this first issue – The Ongoing Adventures of Bulk and Skull (written by Steve Orlando with artwork by Corin Howell), and What Time Is It?! (written by Mairghread Scott and artwork by Daniel Bayliss). The first short story, the Ongoing Adventures of Bulk and Skull, join our two favorite bullies as they sit in the principal’s office. There’s a lot of funny dialogue written about why they are there followed with how they manage to get out. The short ends with Bulk deciding that he and Skull have to become greater heroes than the Power Rangers – in fact they have to become NEW POWER RANGERS – to gain the affection (or just attention) from Kimberly, Trini, and another girl named Roni.
In the short What Time Is It?!, we see the Power Rangers in the middle of a fight. The Green Ranger is separated by a mist and forced to fight Goldar alone – but the power of teamwork allows the teens to rejoin each other to stop Goldar. This short is written and reads as if it’s an episode of the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. There’s not a lot of substance to it, but it’s a fun read and the artwork by Daniel Bayliss is very, very pretty to look at.
Aside from all that – here’s the official information for this first issue!
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #0
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writers: Kyle Higgins, Steve Orlando, and Mairghread Scott
Artists: Hendry Prasetya, Corin Howell, and Daniel Bayliss
Cover artist: Goñi Montes (all covers)
Format: 32 pages, full color
On sale: January 13, 2016
What’s to Love: Saban’s Power Rangers is a multi-generational, globally recognized franchise. With its epic Ranger suits, giant Zords and Megazords, and—at its core—a story of super powered teens who defend the world from evil, the Power Rangers series is a pop-culture phenomenon that has continued to resonate with fans for more than 22 years. We, as huge Power Rangers fans ourselves, are excited to produce a modern Power Rangers comic featuring the iconic characters from the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series.
What It Is: It’s Morphin Time! Saban’s Mighty Morphin Power Rangers make their BOOM! Studios comic debut in this kick-off #0 issue, which sets the stage for the rest of the series. After escaping Rita Repulsa’s mind control, Tommy Oliver, the Green Ranger, joins up with the rest of the Power Rangers to combat her never-ending evil plans. Any semblance of a normal life is gone for Tommy now, but with his newfound family there lies hope for a brighter path. Includes the short story from the San Diego Comic-Con exclusive Mighty Morphin Power Rangers comics, and the first installment of a Bulk and Skull-centric adventure.