By Jonathan Edwards
With Go Go Power Rangers, Ryan Parrott and Dan Mora have given us a damn entertaining read full of grounded, human, and very likable characters. This third installment continues that trend with the best issue so far, as well as finally convincing me that the existing canon will not inhibit the quality and development of this book. Really, one of the best things about the story is its structure. Rather than go the familiar route of focusing on one or two characters for an A plot, a different one or two for a B plot, and then jumping back and forth with more time dedicated to the former, Parrott utilizes vignettes to focus on pretty much all of the characters in equal measure. Everyone has their own story and character arc going on, each of which we only experience glimpses of at a time. However, what really makes it work is that when a given character isn't being focused on, they'll still more than likely show up as a secondary or support character in someone else's vignette. It goes a long way in making the whole world and story feel that much more cohesive and engaging.
One thing I noticed while reading Go Go Power Rangers #3 is that this is the most linear the story has been so far. Unlike the previous issues, the vast majority of it takes place in the present, and the only flashback is right at the beginning. However, that sequence does give us the fairly substantial revelation that Skull and Billy were childhood friends, and that the apparent origin of the former's nickname was from the duo referring to themselves as "Skull and Bones." This is the kind of retcon that can be tricky. There's always a risk of inadvertently contradicting or otherwise negatively impacting the characters' relationship, as you are inherently recontextualizing it. But here, it ends up working pretty well. Perhaps it's simply because, so far, Bulk and Skull seem to be primarily, if not solely, going after Billy. And even though it's made clear that Bulk doesn't know about the prior friendship, we do get an idea of why Skull does it.
What really surprised me about this issue was seeing Matt get caught in the crossfire of a battle between the Rangers and one of Rita's monsters. And, if you're worried I just spoiled something, you really shouldn't be. It was obviously going to happen given his regular proximity to all of the Rangers, especially Kimberly, and the fact that, y'know, he didn't exist until this book. However, I wasn't expecting it so early. I was pretty sure it'd be used to punch up the ending of a story arc, but it's pleasantly surprising to see that Parrott isn't drawing it out. And now, I eagerly await seeing how he handles the aftermath next month.
Dan Mora's art is, of course, still top notch, and everything I said about it last time holds true. He's just that damn consistent. What's really crazy is just how much he can fill the panels and pages without it feeling cluttered. I first read this one super fast and easily, and I didn't even notice how much was really there until my second or third time flipping through. It's really a testament to his pencils, which somehow always managed to be exceptionally clean.
If you haven't tried this book out yet, you should. It's as simple as that. You don't have to be a fan or have even heard of Power Rangers before. This is easily one of the most accessible books I've read all year, and it's quickly situated itself among those I look the most forward to reading each month.
Go Go Power Rangers #3
Writer: Ryan Parrott
Artist: Dan Mora
Colorist: Raul Angulo
Letterer: Ed Dukeshire
Publisher: BOOM! Studios