By Jonathan Edwards
Despite having reviewed a smattering of Power Rangers-related comics, and continuing to do so with this one, I still wouldn't really call myself a fan of the franchise. As a kid I did watch several of the series, and I really liked the toys, but I don't think I ever specifically cared about the characters or the circumstances they found themselves in. I liked the Red Ranger because he was red, and red was my favorite color, not because of who was under the mask. And honestly, I think that probably just carried over into my adult life. I like the core concept, but I have no attachment to any given Rangers, villains, story arcs, or what have you. If there was an exception it'd be Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie and maybe, just maybe, Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie too. But even then, those spots were nowhere near soft enough to make me care for a second about the reboot Power Rangers film that came out earlier this year. I've heard good things from a friend or two of mine, but I see nothing other than one big boring CG-fest. Also, the new suits suck, but I digress. If at this point you're wondering why then I'm reviewing this book, I have an answer for you: Dan Mora. If you happened to have read my review for Klaus and the Witch of Winter and/or the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers 2017 Annual, you know what that means. If you didn't, put simply, I love his artwork. Like, a lot. So when this series was announced with Mora on art duties, I immediately planned to pick it up. And after reading and quite enjoying the first issue, here I am to review the second.
Now, let me be clear about something: I may have come for Mora's art, but I'm staying for Ryan Parrott's writing (well, that and Dan Mora's art). It's clear the Parrott's aim is to keep the characters and their relationships at the core of this story, and he's doing a great job of it so far. All five of the Rangers are characterized and written well, and the nonlinear story structure does wonders for world building by letting us see how their interactions differ and change based the circumstances and place in the timeline. What's more, I absolutely love the new, non-Ranger character Matt and how his inclusion affects the dynamic of the friend group. I have a strong feeling that things aren't necessarily going to end well for him, but at the same time I'm excited to see how that will legitimately impact the story and characters.
It's a bit difficult to give a general overview of this issue's plot given the aforementioned nonlinear structure in addition to the numerous, more character-driven vignettes. As such, I'm going to go ahead and just focus on summarizing two specific plot threads. The first is what you might call the "present" as far as the book's timeline is concerned. In the last issue we ended with the Rangers cornered by Rita Repulsa. Here, after staving off wave after wave of her Putties, the teens with attitude (specifically Trini) are finally able to get through to Alpha and get themselves teleported home. This leads into a discussion with Zordon about the necessity of keeping their secret identities, and we also get a nice little scene where Zack confronts Jason about trying to take on Rita by himself. What makes it "nice" is that instead of scolding the Red Ranger about it, Zack essentially says he understands the reasoning behind it, that he would've been supportive if Jason had been upfront about that being his plan, and he really should be upfront next time. It's great because Zack is actually being a team player. Meanwhile, something like Justice League of America handles similar situations by having one asshole just scream at someone else about how they're an asshole while we're somehow supposed to empathize with that first asshole when they're the one being an asshole. Anyway, the other main plot thread I want to talk about is Kimberly's backstory, mainly because part of it is actually how we start off this issue. In particular, the part is Kimberly and Matt going on their first date. They're two dorks that're both so afraid to mess things up because of how much they like the other person, and even though things go a bit South, the night still ends on a high note. Frankly, I found it incredibly charming and loved every panel of it. Furthermore, it becomes even more impactful when it dovetails with the "present" and we see just how strained things are getting for them.
Okay, time to talk about the art. I said it before (more than once in fact), but I'll say it again: Dan Mora. So, everything looks great. I love his character designs, and there's no end to the amount of characterization his depictions add on top of the writing. It just so easy to understand the personalities and emotions of pretty much everyone. Not to mention that it lends itself so much to Raul Angulo's dynamic and diverse color palette.
In a way, I kind of feel like the "worst" part of Go Go Power Rangers, at least relatively speaking, is the fact that they are ultimately supposed to be the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, and I worry about the possible foregone conclusion(s) that imposes on the series. Will it have to fall in line with the original canon or the canon of BOOM!'s other Power Rangers series? Because, I personally think that would be a detriment, when this is a book that has excelled in doing its own thing with the concept and characters. Regardless, this has definitely hooked me for the time being. And, I honestly think it's worth checking out for yourself even if you're not much of Power Rangers fan. Hell, I might even go as far as saying it's especially worth checking out if you're not a fan, if only for the possibility that having no previous context would make it that much easier to appreciate the great stuff this series has to offer.
Go Go Power Rangers #2
Writer: Ryan Parrott
Artist: Dan Mora
Colorist: Raul Angulo
Letterer: Ed Dukeshire
Publisher: BOOM! Studios