When I was a kid I watched the heck out of Power Rangers. I had numerous video tapes, a Red Ranger costume (that I may or may not have worn while writing this), and even a foam Red Ranger chair. I fell out of watching the show in the 90s, but I got back into it recently when I saw that it was on Netflix.
With a new Power Rangers comic out courtesy of BOOM! Studios, let’s see how a returning fan views this old series in comic book form. Is it good?
Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers #2 (Boom! Studios)
Scorpina has ambushed Tommy Oliver in his own home, threatening he and his family to give up the Dragon Coin. However, he’s not going to give in without a fight, despite his ever growing self-doubt…
Looking at this from the perspective of a Power Rangers fan, there’s a lot to like and enjoy here, especially if you liked the early seasons of the show. The characterization for everyone is spot-on: the deep friendship between Trini and Billy, Billy’s self-doubts, the budding romance between Kimberly and Tommy. There’s small references to episodes that would be happening around the same time as this story, like Kimberly’s family problems or Tommy’s trouble with Rita. Beyond being faithful to the source material, writers Kyle Higgins and Steve Orlando also expand on it in some areas, the big one to me being Scorpina getting more attention. She was only in the first season of the show and her role was extremely limited, most likely due to restrictions with the Super Sentai footage (you could tell that all of her fights in Power Rangers are from the exact same fight scene just cut differently). Here though, she gets more time in the spotlight, shows some semblance of a character, and we get see more of her fighting style. Hopefully this means the writers have given her something useful to do in this comic series.
Besides the fanservice, most of the writing holds up pretty well I find. The pacing is good, the storytelling is tight, and the characterization is strong. The characters are likeable and there are some great character exchanges, the best being Billy with Trini as he confesses his feelings about not fitting in or being that good of a fighter to her. You can really feel how close everyone is and this is demonstrated a bit better than the last issue. The dialogue is perfectly fine, not being particularly groan-inducing as the original show was (no “power of friendship” or teamwork lines so far).
The artwork by Hendry Prasetya looks great. Outside of the characters not looking that close to their original TV counterparts (better than last issue admittedly), everyone is drawn fairly well/full of expression. There’s a sort of an anime-ish influence in the line work with the angles in a person’s body and with how some of the action is laid out, but it works for the book just fine. The action itself looks nice and flows well most of the time, especially in the fight between the Green Ranger and Scorpina. Matt Herms’ colors are good too, helping capture the mood of the locations with murkier colors in some parts or being vibrant and striking during the action.
I’m a little hazy on Rita’s plans here. I get that she wants the Dragon Coin back, but I don’t really understand what the deal with the crystal is. It seems like she is using it to absorb the power of the green energy, but for what purpose? To return the power back to her that way (I guess she hasn’t broke out that green candle yet)? It seems like it’s implied for something else almost in some panels.
The only other thing is the underuse of the modern setting. Kyle Higgins hasn’t really done much with the series being done in the modern era outside of references or nods to technology of this time. It doesn’t really add much and frankly, with the way things are now, this comic could still easily take place in the early 90’s with some quick changes There’s potential for having the series set nowadays, but I don’t it’s been capitalized on remotely.
Is It Good?
Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers #2 is a strong issue, delivering great characterization for the cast and both referencing/adding to the source material with keen insight. While I don’t necessarily think this series will work for nonfans as much, there’s plenty here for fans to really enjoy.