The “Power Rangers” comic is entering a new era, or rather, a new season. Writer Ryan Parrott and artist Daniele Di Nicuolo are jumping ahead to season 2 of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, with the start of a new event: ‘Necessary Evil.’ We spoke with Ryan Parrott and editor Dafna Pleban about what readers can expect and what goes into writing the comic adaptation of America’s first super sentai team.
Brief spoilers for “Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers” #40 ahead.
Hot off the heels of ‘Shattered Grid’ and ‘Beyond the Grid,’ we’re seeing a new event, ‘Necessary Evil.’ Without too many spoilers, what can we expect from this?
Dafna Pleban: ‘Necessary Evil’ we’re using as title for a character ties. Every single character, good or bad, sees themselves as a hero of their story, and power rangers explores those powers and the responsibility that comes with that. We examine this on a character level and a thematic level, and ‘Necessary Evil’ as a title alludes to that.
While past arcs took place earlier in the Rangers’ journeys, this one jumps ahead to the second season. Tommy is the White Ranger (that’s not a spoiler, since it’s right on the cover) and Jason, Zack, and Trini have been replaced by Rocky, Adam, and Aisha, respectively. What spurred the decision to jump to this point in time?
Ryan Parrott: When we were looking to go back to the Mighty Morphin’ Rangers in the series, we were looking for a good jumping off point. We looked back to the original series and how Kyle began with the introduction of the Green Ranger and how his arrival changed the dynamic of the team, so we thought this would be a good point to jump off – with Tommy as the White Ranger. It also brought in so many great moments from season 2 of the show tat it felt like a natural escalation. It just felt like a perfectly organic bookend to the beginning of the series.
It also looks like we’re getting some new character insights and arcs for the three new Rangers. What can we expect from them?
RP: For the Stone Canyon trio, I’ve always been a big fan of them. What we thought would be fun was: they’re the first Rangers to come in with a legacy, with footsteps to follow. These new three stepping in don’t share the same experiences, the same references, as the others, so it was an interesting sort of parallel Tommy. When Tommy joined the team he was by himself, but the Stone Canyon team is as a trio. Also personally, as a writer, I love finding their voices. I’ve written the original five for so long, but I’m finding their voices the same way they’re finding their place in the team, and that’s an exciting process.
As for the three former Rangers, it seems they’ll still have a role to play. Without going too far into spoiler territory, what can we expect to see there?
RP: We’re gonna learn a lot about their journey in 41. One of the things that bothered me as a fan was sort of the way they left the team at a narrative point; I know there were behind the scenes reasons, but I was always frustrated with the fact that they just went off to join a peace conference.
What if this was the next step in their journey? It’s going to explore who they are, what’s their journey, and where it kicks off from ‘Shattered Grid.’ Since we’re coming in with them in this new position, “Go Go Power Rangers” is going to be the journey of how they got there and what their new goals are. ‘Shattered Grid’ showed us connecting stories at different points in time, and we’re going to try do so something very similar with both series going forward.
The comics have done a great job at drawing from all eras of the Power Rangers mythology (and even future – don’t think I didn’t notice that Kyuranger cameo in the big ‘Shattered Grid’ battle). How familiar were you with all the different seasons before you started on the comic, and how familiar are you now?Continued below
RP: I was learning on the fly. I actually wasn’t that familiar with the seasons beyond Mighty Morphin’, so I started learning as I wrote. ‘Shattered Grid was a nice primer course, in that I had to step in and follow in Kyle’s footsteps. I’m trying to find ways to bridge all those stories – obviously the appearance of Dayne was a fun way to bridge all the franchises. But in ‘Shattered Grid’ we saw all those teams in a way that made the universe feel more connected.
What series other than Mighty Morphin’ should readers brush up on before reading this arc?
RP: I don’t think you really need to have watched any more of the series to get it. If you’ve read the comics and are familiar with the first season, you should be fine. If you haven’t watched season 2, it might even be more surprising to you. But really, just watch them all.
What’s been the biggest challenge in writing the “Power Rangers” comics?
RP: For me, I think it was finding that right balance of character and action. Everybody comes to this series with their favorite characters and elements of the show – I love the side scenes with teams sitting around and being real kids, but you have to make sure that plays well with scenes where they’re battling, for instance, giant pineapple monsters. I think finding that balance is both the difficulty and joy of writing it.
And similarly, what’s been your favorite part?
RP: My favorite part of writing “Mighty Morphin’” has been the sheer scope. I’ve never written anything quite as big – I’m writing two books taking place in two time periods following a big event connected to a monumentally popular series. The fun part has been stepping into these worlds, writing at full speed, and adding my voice to the wall of Mighty Morphin’ history. It has been a pretty amazing experience.
Before we wrap it up, do you have any last thoughts or comments you’d like to share with the readers?
RP: Thank you! All the fan interactions I’ve had makes all of the hard work and stress and sleepless nights worth it. That has been amazingly rewarding.
Thanks Ryan and Dafna once again for taking the time to speak with us. You can find “Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers” #40 and the start of ‘Necessary Evil’ at your local comic shop or on comiXology today.