Many folks between the ages of 28 and 35 grew up wishing they were a Power Ranger. It was a huge hit at the time of our childhoods and it was one of the first live action superhero shows that worked. That’s why it’s a perfect time for BOOM! Studios to be publishing a comic in this universe. Is it good?
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #1 (BOOM! Studios)
BOOM! Studios says it best when they describe this book:
What It Is: Based on Saban’s long-running Power Rangers franchise, five teens from Angel Grove High are granted superpowers and giant robot dinosaur Zords to defend Earth against the alien villain Rita Repulsa. When Repulsa creates an evil Green Power Ranger by brainwashing recent transfer student Tommy, the team is able to free him from her grasp and get him on their side. But with remnants of Repulsa’s control still stirring in the back of Tommy’s mind, he must confront the fact he may be more of a danger to his new team than a help. This is “Green Ranger: Year One.”
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Why does this book matter?
It’s hard to deny the fanbase is there for a series like this. Over four million viewers tuned in each week to watch the episodes and for a period of time they aired three times a day! There’s word of a new film coming in 2017 too. If BOOM! can pull off modernizing the characters all they need is an okay series to capitalize on all that nostalgia making this potentially the most talked about series in 2016.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
In a lot of ways this issue is similar to the #0 issue that came out a few months ago. It sets up the Green Ranger and the conflict he’s dealing with as Rita Repulsa is inside his head manipulating him into destroying the Power Rangers. The conflict he’s dealing with is rendered well and Kyle Higgins does a good job establishing the good the Green Ranger wants to do. Problem is he’s fighting a battle he may not win and that’s going to be an interesting element to follow. Higgins makes it easy to sympathize with him even though we know he’s working with the enemy.
At the same time Bulk and Skull are introduced well, as they’re attempting to go viral with a YouTube show that collects responses from students on what is going on with the Power Rangers. They open the issue introducing us to the world, the location and a few of the students (who happen to be Power Rangers) and for once they don’t feel forced or simply in the series for comic relief like they did in the TV show.
Meanwhile there’s a good amount of team building going on with Black Ranger and Red Ranger as the Red Ranger tries to help the Black Ranger get out of detention. This scene carries over into lunch and Higgins does a good job showing the camaraderie of the team, but also the alienation going on for the Green Ranger. On top of that, the Pink Ranger and Green Ranger seem to be building towards a relationship of sorts and Higgins infuses a bit of conflict for them from the start. That’ll make their dynamic all the more interesting as the story progresses.
There’s also a solid action sequence Hendry Prasetya does a good job with as Green Ranger takes on Putties. There’s a double page spread of the Green Ranger fighting and the Pink Ranger’s Pteradactyl Dinozord working together that’s action packed and exciting. In scenes without action Prasetya has a style for the students in everyday life that reminds me of anime. It’s not hyper detailed, but detailed enough and it has a strong style that’s all its own. If this comic was turned into a cartoon Prasetya’s style is unique enough to carry the action and quieter moments well as he does here.
It can’t be perfect can it?
This issue largely feels like a retread of the themes and events in the #0 issue. If this is your first taste of the characters I’d highly recommend issue #0 partly because each of the Power Rangers is introduced better there. On top of that this issue lacks the action of the previous issue too which is surprising since the first issue should really knock you over the head with every element the series has to offer. Essentially this is a good read, but not one that’ll completely bowl you over.
The backup with Bulk and Skull also leaves you wanting a lot more. It’s supposed to be comedic and funny, but really just comes off as a dumb slapstick write off.
Is It Good?
While this issue doesn’t quite blow you away like issue #0 did, it still offers quite a bit of the character building issue #0 promised. A quick but solid action sequence is in there too, making this a series to keep your eye on.