Although crossovers are aggravatingly a dime a dozen some years, in the years where there are less of them I always find myself wishing there were more; they offer up a fun spark to a character or series by smashing another beloved series and its components into the mix. Just look at the Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series from last year.
We check out DC Comics and BOOM! Studios’ new mashup of two huge series that are both soon to be movies, but is it good?
Justice League/Power Rangers #1 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? The summary reads:
Two of comics’ greatest teams team up for the very first time! Something terrible has happened in Angel Grove! When the Command Center is breached and the teleporters are damaged, Zack is flung into another universe, where he’s mistaken for a villain by a mysterious masked vigilante. Can the other Power Rangers get to their friend in time to save him from Batman? Co-published with BOOM! Studios.
Why does this book matter?
The fact that both are these properties are getting the movie treatment in 2017 makes me hopeful this series will be, at the very least, fun. Readers shouldn’t ask for much more considering both are primarily big tentpole flicks and a comic like this is attempting to appeal to a large audience. The art is by Stephen Byrne, who brings a cartoony feel that should fit right at home with these characters (and who positively blew me away with Green Arrow #7).
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
So they’re friends.
Make no mistake, the conventional crossover tropes are at work here. The starter kit includes heroes fighting each other due to confusion, a teleportation issue that takes them into another universe, and raised stakes. That being said, Tom Taylor opens this issue in a surprising way with a hook that should get folks quickly invested in the story. Taylor is using flashforward to show things are going to get worse, but also reminds us the heroes fighting heroes schtick won’t last long either. Overall the pace of this issue runs at a fast clip, keeping the reader on their toes as events transpire. When Batman makes his way into the issue I for one was shocked. Taylor gets us from point A to point B quickly, which is a relief as many crossover books take forever to get things going.
Zack, the Black Power Ranger, appears to be the main character (at least in this issue) as Taylor focuses on him to start, but he’s also the driving force for the crossover due to his actions. Generally he’s written well (the book certainly doesn’t go deep with the character), but you’re right there with him as things transpire. Aside from him, Batman gets a more robust role in the issue as well. It’ll be interesting to see if each issue focuses on a Ranger and hero more, or if Batman and the Black Ranger will be the driving characters as the story progresses.
Byrne does a solid job with this issue, with his rendition of Batman (in the new purple duds if you’re wondering) looking muscular and top notch. There’s a wicked full page splash of the Power Rangers that’s worthy of any fan’s wall and the use of blur and other effects are dynamic. The style is a bit cartoony, but it suits a story like this, especially with how light it is at this juncture. The colors have a nice pop and the lighting is quite nice.
It can’t be perfect can it?
For what it’s attempting to do, there isn’t a lot to complain about. I was a bit surprised how little Taylor explores and uses the other Rangers let alone the DC heroes, but it’s still early yet. The general “heroes fighting heroes” trope is tiresome (and once again nobody stops to ask a question before punching ugh), but it leads to a funny full page splash cliffhanger that’s a nice touch.
Wait a minute!
Is It Good?
If you want a bubblegum crossover event look no further than Justice League/Power Rangers #1. The action is good, the art suits the story, and above all else the story moves at a fast clip. Considering this is a team vs. team book it’s a bit disappointing so few characters get a chance to shine, but it’s still early yet.