The “Shattered Grid” event is almost here, to the excitement and anticipation of Power Rangers fans. So how are the comics leading up to it? Let’s take a look and see.
Written by Kyle Higgins
Illustrated by Jonas Scharf
Colored by Joana LaFuente
Lettered by Ed Dukeshire
Billy makes a devastating discovery within the heart of Promethea that threatens to break the Ranger’s alliance with Grace, just as Finster’s monsters activate en masse.
One of the most interesting things about the “Power Rangers” comics is how it explores aspects of the world and characters that the show never cared to or could (and, going by what I’ve heard of Ninja Steel still doesn’t). As such, people who grew up watching the show can read these comics and enjoy them both for the nostalgia and the new insights they give to the world.
The recent arc with Promethea and Grace, a former Red Ranger, has been a prime example of that kind of world-building. After all, the series exists in a world where giant monster attacks happen regularly, it only stands to reason that there would be organizations working to defend against them without the help of spandex-clad masked teenagers. It even makes sense that they would have their own giant robot, albeit clunkier, trying to copy the Zord technology. These ideas expand on the world that was once a 90’s television backdrop and adds more depth to what is, at it’s core, children’s entertainment.
It helps that the comics are aimed at a slightly older audience; while it can appeal to readers of all ages, there’s no doubt that it’s banking on the nostalgia of those who grew up watching the television show. The fact that the upcoming “Shattered Grid” event will be using practically every Ranger team from the show’s 20+ year history is a testament to that. But because it’s a love letter to the show, it can delve into the characters with more depth.
That, too, is highlighted well in this issue of “Power Rangers.” It goes more into Jason’s own doubts and the pressures put upon him as the leader of the team. Whereas in the show he was basically the guy who says “Okay team, let’s do this!” and everyone did that, in the comic we can see him struggle to hold the team together and to deal with the weight of his decisions. It’s a moment that adds depth to the character, and provides room for growth and development that was sorely lacking when it was on TV.
That said, it also seems as though the story is taking a swerve to cut right into the launch of the “Shattered Grid” event. The Finster-centric arc, which gave us insight into even his character, is brought to a sudden end with all his monsters activating, enlarging, and dying within a few pages, and while it is executed well enough, with a nice bit of snark from Finster and some good action scenes, it does feel like it’s just rushing to end so the next arc can begin.
Similarly, a certain character makes a rash decision that feels more plot-required than character-driven. To say any more would go into spoiler territory, but it’s a predictable turn that mostly just helps move things along to the “Shattered Grid” event, while taking care of a potential continuity snarl.
Artistically, Jonas Scharf does a fine job with the illustrations. The character designs are solid, capturing the style of the characters quite well. He does particularly well with monstrous beings like Finster, and his designs for Drakkon capture the look of an evil alternate-timeline Tommy Oliver.
When we get close-ups on the characters, he provides some nice expressions and emotion work. The characters feel more real in these moments, and it adds to the depth of those involved.
Joana LaFuente’s color work is exceptional as well, as one would hope for a comic requiring as much color as “Power Rangers.” The multi-colored team uniforms are bright but not garish, and the use of lighting impacts the mood throughout.
On the moon scenes, the darker shades create an evil mood and tone, which is then matched perfectly by the underground scenes with the chained-up Drakkon. It carries the tone from one scene to the next, maintaining an ominous feeling until the action scenes begin.Continued below
Speaking of the action scenes, there’s a great number of amusing monster designs we get glimpses of. Those that speak have the same cheesy dialogue as monsters did in the “Power Rangers” show, but we don’t need complex philosophy from giant monsters anyways. The designs are the important thing, and we get giant samurai turtles, fire-breathing chicken cyborgs, and a spinosaurus with power saws on its back and limbs, to name a few.
These are all unique monsters that showcase some great creativity and artwork. Plenty of puns, sure, but still entertaining, as expected of a “Power Rangers” monster-of-the-week.
Overall, this issue mostly exists to wrap up one arc and set up the next. But fans of any “Power Rangers” series will undoubtedly be interested in the upcoming arc, and it still manages to fit in some nice world-building and character development, which is pretty impressive given the source material.
Final Verdict: 7.7 – A solid chapter that prepares readers for the “Shattered Grid” event, accompanied by good character moments and fine artwork.