The time has come for fans of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers – the official first issue (although Issue #0 was pretty much a FIRST issue … this is just another issue that happens to have the #1 attached to it) of the brand new comic by BOOM! Studios is here! Featuring what can only be called a near-record-setting line up of variant covers (27 total covers, we counted), the first issue hits stands after the enormous success of Issue #0 which launched back in January.
We got ourselves a copy and have done a full review – spoilers and all! Check out our review of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Issue #1 by clicking “Read More” at the end of the story. We’ve also included some images – but we’ve blanked out the word bubbles so you won’t have to worry too much about scene-by-scene spoilers.
Check out our review of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Issue #1 after the jump!
In the last issue, Tommy is still reeling from the effects of Rita Repulsa‘s mind control as he continually has visions of her talking to him and egging on his negative emotions and feelings – like that his team doesn’t trust him or even want him there, or that he lacks the ability to do certain things. That trend continues in this issue as Tommy tries to overcome those negative feelings but is continually thrust in to situations where those negative feelings only seem to be more and more true. In one instance, Rita’s vision is mocking his behavior from Issue #0 where the Dragonzord destroyed a bridge – and as he tries to ignore them to sit with the others, the bell rings and they have to leave – leaving him alone during lunch period with the rather poignant phrase “The Rangers are a Team” word bubble starting the next phrase of dialogue.
The opening sequence of the comic is rather nice – Bulk and Skull have started their own YouTube (we assume it’s YouTube, it’s a video blog, or vlog, of the Power Rangers and the story leading up to where we are now) channel called “Ranger Station” and are explaining what’s gone on. Focusing on Tommy towards the end, they discuss how this mysterious evil Green Ranger appeared and seemed able to defeat the Power Rangers … and the next thing anyone knows he’s on their side, despite all the destruction he caused. They go around doing interviews – including one with Tommy – asking bystanders their thoughts on the evil Green Ranger now being on the side of good yet no explanation given to the citizens as to why he’s now fighting for the side of good.
The interview eventually gets to Jason – and Zack makes it a point to bring it up later in detention (got to love detention!) regarding if what he said was true – that the Power Rangers trust him, so the public should too. Jason more or less sidesteps the question by stating of Zordon believes in Tommy, then who are they to doubt Zordon? It highlights, to an extent, the lack of trust the team has for their comrade who once nearly destroyed them all.
In Rita Repulsa‘s palace we see the plan from Issue #0, with the mysterious crystal, continues to take shape. Rita mentions that the Dragonzord destroying the bridge gave the crystal a nice charge, but they need more of a charge before the full plan can go in effect. This leads one to believe that Rita needs Tommy to continue to have these mishaps to power this new evil energy source and, by doing so, create an unstoppable foe of some sorts.
We fast forward to my favorite scene of the entire comic – Tommy and Kimberley are fighting an army of putties and giant monsters in a destroyed city. They are vastly out-numbered and the scenes of destruction are breath-taking. Zordon comes through to Tommy telling him he has to get his group of civilians to safety and he has to choose a path. He chooses one path and the group is overwhelmed by putties, and the civilians are eventually lost (we’re led to believe they were killed in the battles). It turns out that Zordon can create pocket dimensions and create scenarios for the Power Rangers to train in, and this was just one of those scenarios to test the Rangers on their ability to handle difficult situations. In this instance, it was a scenario that could not be beaten – there was no winning path. Tommy laments that he led a group of innocent people to their doom but Zordon tells him the alternate path would have taken them directly in front of the giant monster. Upset by this, Tommy wants to run the scenario again, certain that there has to be a way to win. He decides to do it solo, bailing on a coffee date that he had set up with Kim, who walks away looking heart-broken.
The comic ends with Tommy coming home late at night and laying on his bed going back to a question that Bulk and Skull asked him at the start of the issue – “What do the Power Rangers mean to me?” Tommy asks this question while looking in the mirror, reflecting how “That’s a really good question” … but before he can finish the thought, he’s visited by Scorpina, who informs him not to spend too much time pondering the question as he doesn’t have that much time left.
Reviewing the Art
The artwork continues to be gorgeous in this issue. Hendry Prasetya is the perfect fit to draw the Power Rangers. This issue features so many nods and throwbacks to the original series, and even the Super Sentai series Zyuranger, that it makes you smile. From showing a brief montage of monsters in the Bulk and Skull flashback, like King Sphinx and Pudgy Pig, to a sign that says “Bandora” on it in front of Rita’s palace (referencing the fact that Rita was known as Bandora in Zyuranger, and the palace was “Bandora’s Palace“) … it’s just awesome for fans of Power Rangers.
The pocket dimension scene with a destroyed city was also very well drawn and the colors by Matt Herms fit the mood perfectly – the sky is more yellowish to give the feeling of smoke and destruction, while the city is mostly grayed out like something that has decayed and died. The Rangers are colored vibrantly as you would expect them to be and Zordon manages to look majestic, mysterious, and powerful at the same time.
As long as Hendry Prasetya continues drawing these issues then it’s nearly the only reason you need to pick up the book – except for the fact that the story thus far has been top notch. So let’s get to that shall we?
Reviewing the Story
I continue to admit I was highly skeptic regarding the first story arch of this new series focusing on the Green Ranger, as I’m about Green Ranger’d out between Bandai America focusing squarely on the Tommy Oliver character in nearly every release that they do in the Legacy line. However, Kyle Higgins continues to put me at ease by writing a top-notch story that isn’t focused on “TOMMY IS SO AWESOME TOMMY TOMMY TOMMY” as it is about the feelings and emotions that someone goes through when they go from brainwashed super villain to super hero in the span of a couple of weeks. The fact that we have Tommy having so much self-doubt, his teammates having even more doubt and trying their best to reassure him (as well as themselves), but also making Rita more than the master of the “monster of the week” trope is a refreshing take on a character that many long time fans had gotten sick of over the last few years.
On top of that we have new side stories included as well – something is going on at home that is upsetting Zack and causing him to lose sleep. We also have the Tommy/Kimberly relationship and Tommy being dense as a rock, putting Kim off or ignoring her advances which is causing her to end up a little more than disappointed in the dreamy Tommy Oliver.
And of course we have the story arch plot of whatever it is Rita is up to. There’s just enough to keep you interested but not too much that you can’t keep track of what’s going on.
If there’s any room for improvement it would be the staple fan reaction of “WHERE IS GOLDAR” or “WHY HAS TRINI NOT SAID MORE THAN THREE LINES THE ENTIRE COMIC”. But given a cast of 12 major characters (6 Rangers, Zordon, Bulk and Skull, Rita, Goldar, Scorpina) as well as a host of other characters (Finster, Squatt, Baboo, Alpha 5, etc.) it’s a given that some characters will need to take a backseat while the other characters drive the story for the time being.
Either way – count me in for another issue!
The Overall Conclusion
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Issue #1 is a must-read for any fan of Power Rangers, whether they be the original series faithful or today’s casual fan. It’s a fun and interesting take on your original characters without slapping you across the face with a slice of cheese and one-liners. Kyle Higgins continues to deliver these classic characters in a fresh and new take, managing to capture what we loved about them from the 90’s without making them feel forced or out of character. The artwork by Hendry Prasetya is refreshing and easy on the eyes and it really, really shines in certain scenes. Any time they decide to go full splash page it’s a treat to the eyes.
If you like Power Rangers, you need to pick up this book. If you’ve been on the fence or have felt hesitation at picking up this book because of the past experiences (looking at you PaperCutz), then worry no more – you’re safe to pick up this book. This isn’t your Saturday morning television show in comic book format – it’s a great new take on your favorite characters and a spin on a story that wasn’t touched on at all by the original series, but in a more adult-scenario type of way. We highly recommend this book and hope you will give it a chance.
So what did you think? Join in our discussion thread and share your own thoughts/reviews on this book! And by chance … how many covers did YOU pick up, and which one is your favorite? Sound off!!
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Issue #1 is available now at comic book retailers. Be sure to subscribe to the book if your retailer offers it and spread the word that this book is GOOD!