The beauty of the comic book annual is that it’s a great done in one issue that anyone can pick up. It allows for the creators (sometimes many, like this one as it’s an anthology) to give their take on a character. The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers are still relatively new in the BOOM! Universe, but is it good?
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers 2016 Annual #1 (BOOM! Studios)
So what’s it about? Check out our full preview for all the details.
Why does this book matter?
Not only does the summary above suggest new reveals are in order, but we also get stories from Terry Moore, Rob Guillory and series writer Kyle Higgins. With a variety of artistic types and many different voices it’d be hard for this annual to lose.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Rob Guillory draws one of the best stories of the bunch.
This is a fantastic annual with every story delivering a different reason why this book is worth picking up. Even non Power Rangers fans might enjoy it–it’s just that good. This annual contains six stories that range from the serious to the downright hilarious. Stories vary from a day in the life of the Red Ranger to Bulk and Skull becoming Power Rangers (in the goofiest Power Rangers story yet). Character backstories are revealed and Putties even get to fall in love.
Speaking of Putties, James Kochalka writes and draws a downright endearing story about a Putty who’s in love with getting punched by the Pink Ranger. His customary kids book style suits the cuteness of the story and it’s an example of a story you just couldn’t tell in the main book.
Another funny story is drawn by Guillory and written by Ross Thibodeaux (with some popping color by Taylor Wells). This story shows us how Bulk and Skull became Power Rangers, though Zordon is aware they deserve ridiculous Zords. There are plenty of gags in this one with a lot of good comedic typing by Guillory’s art. I honestly can say I’ve never enjoyed a Bulk and Skull story before, but this one was funny and incredibly enjoyable.
The book isn’t all laughs though, as the book opens with, “A Week in the Life of…” story written by Kyle Higgins and illustrated by Rod Reis. This story does well to cut to specific times in the Red Ranger’s day showing just how hard and nonstop it is to be him. He’s particularly busy as he’s a sensei as well as committed to working out. That’s the price of being the leader. Reis’ art has a painterly look that gives it a more realistic feel that suits the seriousness of the story.
Another serious story sheds light on a character written by Trey Moore and illustrated by Terry Moore. In this one we find out Goldar’s backstory which involves a controlling (and more successful) brother, a war he was involved in before coming to Earth, and how his past involves another big Power Rangers villain. Terry Moore’s pencils are detailed and give the story a bit of weight, especially when it gets very serious. Stories like this make you take Goldar more seriously and realize maybe there’s a personality behind the evil grin.
The final story of the bunch is written and illustrated by Jorge Corona and has the feel of the main series as a little girl witnesses her heroes take on a giant villain. It’s action packed and serves as a nice reminder of what makes this series unique. The art at times reminded me of Frank Miller’s work as it’s gritty and a bit fluid.
A story somewhat in between serious and light is written by Margerite Bennett and illustrated by Huang Danlan. This story focuses on the Yellow Ranger who is attempting to throw a party to raise money to help animals. An animal bad guy rushes in and a fight breaks out. The art is jaw droppingly good with a watercolor look. It has a sense of whimsy about it, but also a somewhat manga feel due to the villain’s animal qualities.
It can’t be perfect can it?
This last story however wasn’t my favorite and it felt a bit too focused on the cutesy animals and message. While the art looked great, there were a few mistakes (like two legs impossibly bent). The art hiccups are very minor, but it was an element that drew away from the overall experience.
The final story by Jorge Corona wasn’t as innovative or imaginative as the other stories. It also was a bit boring since the captions were more about selling the Power Rangers as heroes. It didn’t do anything that new or different besides offer up another Power Rangers story we’ve seen a thousand times.
Is It Good?
Wow, this is a great annual that’s well worth checking out. It has all sorts of stories with plenty of humor mixed in. It taps into everything that makes the Power Rangers great, including the goofy humor and big action.