Let’s get the nostalgia trip out of the way first. I fucking love the Power Rangers, I watched them religiously when I was a kid, ended up in the theater for both of the movies, and continued to watch them after I moved to the States, finally falling off somewhere during Dino Thunder, the last season with Tommy as a regular cast member. And by recent I mean in the last couple months I have rediscovered that the love I have for the this American recreation of Super Sentai wasn’t long lost as I thought, just dormant like an ancient Dinozord waiting for the champion to hold the morphing coin and call me upon to rewatch all the episodes and watch all the episode what came after Dino Thunder. It’s an ongoing mission but I’m loving the journey. Nostalgia trip over, let’s get one last thing out of the way…
That’s much better. MIGHTY MORPHING MOTHERFUCKING POWER RANGERS. This was a title I had been looking forward in 2016 and it’s delivered in a fresh new way for the teenagers with attitude Zordon recruited to save the Earth long ago.
The issue kicks off from what’s arguably the best story arc in the first Mighty Morphin season. The five-parter “Green With Evil” or the Green Ranger Saga. This starts with the Green Ranger standing atop beaten down Ranger team. Rita Repulsa looms behind him as she is pleased of what’s happened and the Green Ranger is more than eager to please her. It’s shown that it’s all happening on Tommy’s head as he and Jason are headed to school. As they talk about Tommy getting back in the groove of things, he continues to hallucinate Rita messing with his mind and making him doubt himself. The pair meet up with Billy, Trini, Zach, and Kimberly to head into school. Meanwhile in the Moon, the real Rita is hatching up her next plan to attack Angel Grove. A giant monster attack and our group of friends get to what they were set up to.
There’s so much to relate to in this issue and so much fresh, new takes to enjoy about it. Kyle Higgins seemed to study the oh so incredibly complex formula of a MMPR episode and broke it down. Civilian fight, morphed fight, individual zords, Megazord and Dragonzord. That’s always been the basic breakdown of it all, what he’s done in this issue is maintain the elements but mix the order. It’s a simple change that packs so much action in half the space of a regular issue. The character setup is efficient and subtle. There is still a sense of who everyone is without the on-the-nose characterization from the show. No more Billy with his awkwardly complicated way of talking (please, no more “affirmatives,” ok, well maybe a couple), or Kim’s over the top Valley Girl mannerisms. mAll the things that define them seem to still be present, but Higgins is aware that this isn’t 1993 anymore and we don’t need to be told everything all the time. Rita is posed as a huge threat, with Scorpina following close behind and this preview wraps up with something that could open the world and seems to explore the full Power Rangers lore and maybe explore the mysticism behind the Morphin Grid? That last one is just speculation.
Art is smart and clean. One of the most common things that happen to movie or TV shows adapted into comics is staying too close to the characters resemble the actors too much and a lot is lost on it In. MMPR #0, Hendry Prasetya seems to be aware of this, and tried to define the character rather than the actor. I came into the comic expecting to read about Tommy, not Jason David Frank. And Prasetya delivered. The suits look as amazing as usual, a sleek and smart morphin sequence page that honors the Power Rangers tradition all the way to the Sentai Footage, and Prasetya takes full advantage of a Megazord and Dragonzord which are not constricted by an actor in a stocky suit. This are two giant robots fighting a giant monsters and capture the same action we got in an homage movie like Pacific Rim.
Backup stories bring a different take to the story, Steve Orlando is able to capture the spirit behind the atics of Bulk and Skull as he washed off the antiquated jokes they could easily fall into, and along Corin Howell’s art, it reinstated the notion that this is a comic for all ages, and not just a nostalgia grab. Meanwhile the story from Maingread Scott and Daniel Bayliss reminds the reader what kind of badass Goldar can really be, and the type of awesome fighters the Rangers are. Lighter colors, less story, just as much action as the main story, all three make for a full package and well worth the money.
The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers are back in a big way, there’s no one to stop them and with the backing of a mainstream comic book publisher behind them, the possibilities are endless. March can’t come soon enough.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #0 Writer: Kyle Higgins Artist: Hendry Prasetya Colorist: Matt Herms Publisher: BOOM! Studios Price: $3.99 Release Date: 1/13/16 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital