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    It’s Morphin’ Time in “Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers” #0 [Review]

    By | January 14th, 2016
    Posted in Reviews | % Comments

    Go! Go! Powers Rangers!

    It’s a blast from the past as three teams of creators come together to form a Megazord of an issue that serves as an introduction to Boom! Studios’ upcoming “Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers” series.

    Read on below for our full spoiler free review of the issue to find out why you should not skip this one.

    Written by Kyle Higgins, Steve Orlando, Maighread Scott
    Illustrated by Hendry Prasetya, Corin Howell, Daniel Bayliss
    What’s to Love: Saban’s Power Rangers is a multi-generational, globally-recognized franchise. With its epic Ranger suits, giant Zords and Megazords, and—at its core—a story of super powered teens who defend the world from evil, the Power Rangers series is a pop-culture phenomenon that has continued to resonate with fans for more than 22 years. We, as huge Power Rangers fans ourselves, are excited to produce a modern Power Rangers comic featuring the iconic characters from the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series.
    What It Is: It’s Morphin Time! Saban’s Mighty Morphin Power Rangers make their BOOM! Studios comic debut in this kick-off #0 issue, which sets the stage for the rest of the series. After escaping Rita Repulsa’s mind control, Tommy Oliver, the Green Ranger, joins up with the rest of the Power Rangers to combat her never-ending evil plans. Any semblance of a normal life is gone for Tommy now, but with his newfound family there lies hope for a brighter path.
    Includes the short story from the San Diego Comic-Con exclusive Mighty Morphin Power Rangers comics!

    Let’s be real here: Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers was a pretty goofy show. It was also a stroke of genius. For all his faults otherwise, Haim Saban’s decision to localise Super Sentai shows in Japan not by simply dubbing them into English, but by creating an entirely new show with American actors and new characters and plotlines made for a cultural phenomenon that kids still grow up with today albeit in a different format. Still, anyone who’s ventured back into the show without their nostalgia glasses has found that Mighty Morphin Power Rangers is probably the campiest show to have come out since the Adam West Batman show.

    It was with that in mind that I went into “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” #0 with some trepidation. Would it embrace the campiness of the show? If it did, would it be any fun to read or would it just come off as silly? Or would it try to be serious and gritty and turn out like that awful fanfilm that came out last year? Thankfully, “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” #0 is something entirely different thanks to Kyle Higgins and Hendry Prasetya: it’s seriously good.

    This zero issue of “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” structures itself as an introduction to the world and characters of the story for both fans of the television show and people who may be picking up the series for the first time. Higgins and Prasetya grounds the story not long after the ‘Green With Evil’ story arc that has the Green Ranger, Tommy Oliver, defect from the side of evil and become one of the Power Rangers. This gives fans both new and established an intro to the story as they focus on the emotional conflict within Tommy as he tries to fit into the group of heroes, but is tormented by visions of Rita Repulsa and the guilt of his villainous actions. This allows Higgins and Praestya to ground the campier aspects of the story with a genuine human conflict at the core and also allows the readers to be introduced to the rest of the Power Rangers and their lore through Tommy’s eyes. In a lot of ways, Tommy acts as an audience avatar in this introduction while maintaining the issues humanity.

    The one thing that makes “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” #0 stand out, though, is the art. While Kyle Higgins definitely goes out of his way to bring the disparate tones of the show together in creating a human conflict that readers can care about, Hendry Prasetya has free reign to go as over the top with the Sentai stuff and he does it with incredible style. Right from the first page, I was shocked by just how cool Prasetya could make this world seem (especially Rita Repulsa, who I thought would look goofy no matter what) and that only got even more impressive as the issue escalates to a full on Pacific Rim-style slobberknocker between the Megazord and one of Repulsa’s monsters next to the Golden Gate Bridge.

    Continued below

    The artwork is bright and vibrant, thanks to the colours by Matt Herms, which keeps the style of the show intact, but the heavy inks over Prasetya’s artwork brings a touch of realism and danger to the scene that, in many ways, the show never had. The TV show never had the budget to make you believe that the Megazord was anything but a guy in a foam suit trampling around a cardboard city yet here, Prasetya’s artwork channels the very best that a Kaiju battle can be with real stakes and real danger and this is only the intro issue!

    Both Higgins and Prasetya impress throughout this issue, which basically exists to prove that, yes, they can do a Power Rangers comic and, yes, they can make it fun and cool and engaging without losing any of the charm and campiness that the show had. Even better is the fact that the issue includes two backup issues. The first, by Steve Orlando and Corin Howell, is the first in an ongoing series of backups about Bulk and Skull which, much like their role in the show proper, was fun, but largely inconsequential. It seems like it has interesting places to go, but here it pales in comparison to the main event.

    The second backup, by Maighread Scott and Daniel Bayliss, was originally showcased at last year’s San Diego Comic Con and presents a simple, one-shot story featuring the Rangers taking on Goldar. It exists purely to hype up this series at the convention, but here it remains a fun and well told story that shows the Rangers working as a team to take down the bad guy and shows each of the traits and personalities while doing so. It didn’t necessarily have to be included here, but the fact that it is was a nice touch and allows the comic to end on a humourous note that reminds us all why we love the Power Rangers.

    All in all, this issue is surprisingly impressive. Across the three stories presented here, the creators have taken all the best aspects of Power Rangers and injected them with a sense of fun, of life and brought them into the 21st Century in a way that shows haven’t been able to do in years. Kyle Higgins and Hendry Pasetya’s main story serves as an excellent introduction to the story they’re going to be telling in the coming issues while bringing a genuine emotional core to the characters and the world without ever forgetting how fun and campy the world can be. The Bulk and Skull story by Steve Orlando and Corin Howell was fun, sure, but like I said it was hard for it to stand out sandwiched between two incredibly impressive stories about the Rangers. Finally, the story by Maighread Scott and Daniel Bayliss was short, but it definitely gave the main story a run for its money in terms of fun factor. Overall, though, this issue proves that the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers are back and it feels like they never left.

    Final Verdict: 9.0 – Seriously, there’s no reason for you to skip this.

    Alice W. Castle

    Sworn to protect a world that hates and fears her, Alice W. Castle is a trans femme writing about comics. All things considered, it’s going surprisingly well. Ask her about the unproduced Superman films of 1990 - 2006. She can be found on various corners of the internet, but most frequently on Twitter: @alicewcastle