By Jonathan Edwards
Y'know, after the utter suckage of Planet of the Apes/Green Lantern #1, this crossover doesn't seem so bad. I mean, it's still not good, but at least it's not insultingly pandering. And to be fair, I did enjoy Justice League/Power Rangers #2 more than the first issue, if only marginally. There's a bit more going on, and we actually see the entirety of the Justice League this time around. Also, for better or worse, we no longer primarily focus on Zack's perspective, instead jumping around to different members of each super team. And while it's nice to get a broader perspective of these events, it also draws more attention to the story flaws persisting from the first issue.
For example, why can the Power Rangers summon the Zords to the DCU? Do they exist in some pocket dimension? Because, from my recollection, that wasn't part of it. And, it can't be that Zordon is just teleporting them there either, as the teleporter was damaged in the previous issue. Granted, the rest of the Rangers were able to follow Zack to the DCU, but I'm giving the comic the benefit of the doubt that it's not stupid enough to suggest that the teleporter sending everything to a single, consistent location really qualifies it as being "damaged." Furthermore, how the hell are the Power Rangers standing so much of a chance against the Justice League? Maybe I'm just underestimating them and their Zords, but I can't help but raise an eyebrow when their attacks are, apparently, strong enough to immediately shatter all of John Stewart's constructs.
Then, there's just a whole bunch of silly lapses in logic. Like, Batman doing absolutely nothing this issue. He pops up near the end, really only so Zack can make "humorous" commentary about his modus operandi. But for the fight that takes up almost half the book? He does dick. I don't care if Kimberly picked up the Batmobile with her Zord. Does anyone earnestly believe that would take him out of the fight? There's also this weird bit where Wonder Woman has Kimberly wrapped in her lasso, and Kimberly says she "just had a pretty intense conversation." Then, in the next scene, Wonder Woman straight up asks her who she is. I guess that somehow wasn't Diana's first question during that "intense conversation" where Kimberly would've been forced to tell the truth. After that, we find out what happened to Zedd. Again, I have to question really how "damaged" Zordon's teleporter is when Zedd still winds up in the DCU, even when Zack let go of him mid-teleportation. That aside, Zedd ends up meeting a certain well-known DC villain, and I actually do like the idea of a partnership between them. Although, it does immediately take away any remaining mystique from the "destruction of Angel Grove" from the first issue. Additionally, said villain is underwritten and oversimplified to such a degree that it completely defeats the purpose of having them in the book.
The art ends up being the only area more improved than not, and it's not because all the problems I had last time have been fixed. Yet, there are two primary factors that make it all more tolerable in this issue. First, more characters and foreground elements are on the pages and in the panels. With more stuff going on in front, it's less immediately noticeably that the backgrounds remain simplistic and empty. Second, more color. Gotham may still have that ugly red-orange hue, but with pops of the greens of John Stewart and Tommy, as well as the blues of Cyborg and Billy, it manages to escape the prior, rather homogenized look and feel.
One last gripe. Zedd manages to get some "monsters" to "make grow", but they didn't even come up with more than one design. So, when he sends multiple of them out to attack, we just get the same generic octopus monster repeatedly. That is so boring and disappointing, especially considering that the various Power Rangers series have tended to provide numerous monsters with specific and unique designs. So yeah, you don't need to read this book. And if you want to anyway, seriously, just wait for the trade. It's clearly written for that, and, once again, there's just not enough here to bother waiting a month in-between installments.
Justice League/Power Rangers #2
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Stephen Byrne
Publisher: DC Comics