*Minor Spoilers Ahead*
Okayyy so first off as a big fan of the MMPR franchise, I am thrilled to see the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers comic series getting the big fan fare here. It is a very well done series and writer Kyle Higgins has done what no other show or movie has: Made the Rangers cool again. He has modernized the franchise and yet kept the heart and soul of all these characters from my childhood that I remember so fondly. I was hooked when his issue #0 came out a few years ago and his momentum hasn’t stopped. I think a big part to his success is that he gives the book a much more adult feel than the typical Saturday morning TV show we were all used to in our heyday.
Higgins is very smart where he started the series off and that is with the introduction of everyone’s favorite bad guy turned good: The Green Ranger. Unlike the TV show and no disrespect to the best Ranger portrayal of all time Jason David Frank (who also tirelessly promotes this series as well as created a YouTube short with writer Kyle Higgins as a promo for this spectacular issue ) there is not a lot of maniacal laughter, mostly pure menace. The art style of the series is very bright and bouncy and fluid thanks to the talent that BOOM! Studios has assembled.
Along with his fast introduction of fan favorite Tommy Oliver aka the Green Ranger, Higgins has also created a new character with tremendous mainstream appeal: Lord Drakkon. Lord Drakkon is essentially an evil Tommy Oliver who stayed in Rita Repulsa’s employ and allowed the power to corrupt him completely and he murdered the remaining Power Rangers. Yes, murdered. The subject matter in this series has just jumped up a few notches from the beloved show we are used to. Higgins also manages to make the Rangers feel like real high school students and not bubbly bouncy cut outs drinking soda pop in their downtime. What I enjoy most is that instead of trying to make this a solely accessible series to new readers, the creative team has the respect for long time MMPR fans and instead pulls the original audience forward. You can always tell when a writer has love for the source material and no doubt Kyle Higgins has it in multiple.
Without any further gushing, as you crack open the cover to this issue we see the Space Power Rangers Team on their ship being encountered by a strange disturbance in the Time Stream. The disturbance turns out to be a large energy projection of Lord Drakkon who reaches out and either crushes the Space Rangers ship, or traps it in his hand for later. We do not yet know. What we do know, is that Jason Scott aka The Red Ranger is in a very heated argument with Grace who works with the Promethia agency, about the escape of one of their captives: Lord Drakkon himself, Tommy Oliver. Jason is pissed that Drakkon’s capture was kept secret from the Rangers as they know how deadly he is and they could have helped. Now with Drakkon on the loose again, the whole world is in serious jeopardy. When we last left Drakkon his Morpher and Power Coin were damaged, so he is no doubt going to try and repair them or get the power back some other way.
Without spoiling the book we are treated to a few shocking scenes that fans of the franchise will not see coming. They are too good to ruin here. Trust me. While it seems like this issue would get a near perfect score for me, unfortunately it does not. While the writing is stellar to be sure, I have some gripes, particularly with the art. Artist Daniele Di Nicuolo with Simona Di Gianfelice just fall a little short here in my opinion with their ultra stylized interpretation. Sure the action sequences shine, but when it comes to talking head scenes it’s too static for me. I love all the panels of the Rangers suited up but when they are in civilian mode, it is sort of just meh. However my biggest artistic gripe, what the Hell is up with that Zordon?? He looks like Professor X in a tube. There is nothing Zordon like at all in his rendering. Yeah yeah I know, a bald blue guy floating head doesn’t really lend you much to work with. (Sorry David Fielding and Dr. Manhattan) I just couldn’t stop seeing Charles Xavier and it really irked me, as most of the art in this series so far has made Zordon have a more traditional look.
Still with that detail aside, I loved this book. This was the opening part to the anticipated “Shattered Grid” event and it did not disappoint. Especially the end! Do not allow yourself to be spoiled. If you like MMPR go get this book. If you can find it that is, because it is selling out like crazy everywhere due to the collectible variant covers that were created for this issue. I especially like how it comes in a sealed black polybag so you don’t know what cover you get, unless you commit blasphemy and open it. It is very reminiscent of Superman #75, and I have no issue with that.
So go out there, teleport to your nearest local comic shop (who you should always support when you can) get the issue, and meet me back here next month when it most definitely is Morphin Time!!
Story: Kyle Higgins Art: Daniele Di Nicuolo
Color: Walter Baiamonte Letterer: Ed Dukeshire
Cover Artists: Polybag: Deron Bennett Main Cover Intermix Covers A-G: Goñi Montes
Subscription Cover H: Jordan Gibson Incentive Cover I: Scott Koblish
“Match To” Unlockable Cover J: Humberto Ramos “One Per Store” Unlockable Cover K: Goñi Montes
Story: 9.5 Art: 7.0 Score: 9.0 Recommendation: Must Buy
BOOM! Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review