Review: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #7

The Rangers are powerless - literally unable to access the morphin grid -  as well as kicked out of the command center, which is now under Rita’s control with the help of the mysterious Black Dragon. A near broken Billy wakes up in the same prison Tommy and Jason have seen themselves before. Trini is attempting to figure out while everyone’s powers are gone, except for Tommy’s. mmpr7I’m not even gonna bury the lead here. Motherfucking Zord space fight. In all its might. The Rangers have gone to the moon base before (kidnapped), but I don’t believe we’ve seen a full on Zord fight in the moon. Especially against such a great opponent as Black Dragon, a creature with more Power than any of her generals, and a terrifying look that is a mix of a Pacific Rim Kaiju and an evil commander pulled from any of the later series in Power Ranger’s history.Hendry Prasetya is outdoing himself here every time he shows a Zord being used to its full range of abilities. The finger missiles on the Dragonzord was very underutilized during the series, and Prasetya explores it to its full potential of awesomeness. Can you imagine what he would do with the Astro Megaship…? OK, I’m drooling now.

Kyle Higgins’ arc is maintained strong because of the strength of his antagonists. He’s presented a new, stronger opponent they’ve never faced before in the Black Dragon, and upped the ante with Rita Repulsa. Having her sit right where Zordon’s containment tank was is just one big fuck you to the Rangers and all the times they’ve foiled her plans. She was always the most effective out of the Villains of the Mighty Morphin era, that’s right, even more so than Lord Zedd, I said it. Bring it. She dealt the most damage to the Rangers, and Higgins shows the fruits of her labor and the reach of her ambitions in this issue. There is some talk of the Morphin grid to satisfy huge nerds like me, and it comes organically, and quickly moves on to giant robots fighting giant monsters… IN SPACE to deliver more of what was promised from issue #0.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #7 rewards the returning reader for following the journey through 7 months, and it welcomes new readers, both by giving a new story fallout that stems off the old one opening a new arc.

[su_box title="Score: 5/5" style="glass" box_color="#8955ab" radius="6"]

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #7 Writer: Kyle Higgins Artist: Hendry Prasetya Colorist: Matt Herms Publisher: BOOM! Studios Price: $3.99 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital


Review: Hadrian's Wall #1

Somewhere deep in outer space, an astronaut opens his eyes. Only to see a crack in his visor. Then another. And another. And another until an entire spider-web forms across the only thing separating him from the vacuum of space.Hadrian’s Wall is a story about why this man died.

I have this theory that every person has a particular storytelling niche. Whether it’s a genre, a setting, or an aesthetic, there’s a particular piece of a story that’ll bring you in every time. Good or bad—if a story hits those expected notes, you’ll be all in. For me, it’s always been the detective story. From The Big Sleep to true crime or Law & Order, I’ve always had an intense fascination with the process of unraveling why something happened.

In many ways Hadrian’s Wall #1 read like something written specifically for me.

Set in the science fiction setting of 2085, the first issue throws us into a place that feels somewhere between a Blade Runner and an Elon Musk dystopia. There are flying cars, corporatized space travel, and civil unrest on interplanetary colonies but the core story beats here still manage to play towards the classic notes of a noir thriller.

The detective of this story is Simon Moore, a semi-retired security professional turned pill-addicted divorcée and he’s been offered one last job by an old friend. An astronaut’s died on one of their corporate space stations, but what’s only meant to be a simple rubber stamp approval for an accidental death becomes something far more complicated and insidious the closer Simon gets.

While the first issue is mostly set-up for the rest of the story, it’s a good kind of set-up. Establishing the painterly visual style of this not-so-far-flung future and establishing what kind of cruel and vindictive person we’ve gotten stuck with. Normally, I’m not into unlikable or unsympathetic protagonists. It’s a juggling act that most writers can’t balance—making a main character that’s unlikable, but still interesting enough to follow.

Simon, however, is a type of cruel character I can get behind because as much as this is a story about a murder mystery, conspiracy and space politics, this is also a story about a bad break up. The dead astronaut from the beginning was once Simon’s friend—that is before he shot Simon four times in the chest and married his ex-wife… with said ex-wife now on that same station he’s gone to investigate.

Even the job offer is an upfront opportunity to rub the cruel events in his wife’s face and, while that might seem overboard for some, I think it portrays a type of emotional honesty that’s absent from most relationship stories. There’s a moment in this issue where Simon remembers what should be a happy memory, a sunny car ride with his then-wife only now rings frustratingly hollow.  As often as breakups are sad, they’re equal parts bitterness and resentment and the writing on this book leans into those aspects hard, building towards a confrontation that might end up tearing an entire space ship apart.

Hadrian’s Wall #1 has already managed to create a murder mystery that’s both personal and weighty and with art that while sometimes stiff is more often beautiful. For anyone interested in a tight science fiction noir thriller, this eight issue series is a must to keep an eye on.

Score: 4/5

Hadrian's Wall #1

Writer: Kyle Higgins & Alec Siegel
Artist: Rod Reis
Publisher: Image Comics
Price: $3.99
Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital