Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Vol. 1 TP
Written by Kyle Higgins, Steve Orlando
Illustrated by Hendry Prasetya, Corin Howell
Cover by Goñi Montes
Published by BOOM! Studios
Release Date: September 14, 2016
Normally, a comic book series based a popular television show delivers more of the same at best while often providing a watered down version of the source material.
Kyle Higgins makes BOOM! Studios’ run of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers a compelling exception to the rule by using familiar elements to serve the narrative in a fashion that triggers nostalgia while touching on things that the kid-friendly show ignored.
Here, Higgins and company sprinkle in safety concerns and protocols that remind, or perhaps, enlightens the reader that no sane person would want to live in Angel Grove due to the amount of monster activity that plagues the city. Also, how come no one ever attacked the Rangers at home? Why is it that only Jason and Tommy’s Zords saw one on one combat? All of these things and more come into play throughout the book.
The series kicks off after Tommy Oliver aka the Green Ranger has broken Rita’s spell and joined the Power Rangers. The residual effects of Tommy’s time with Rita spills over into his personal life, which ultimately complicates missions with the Rangers.
It was a smart move to stay away from recreating the Green Ranger saga (Green With Evil) because it’s a pivotal story arc in the mythology that every old school fan has a deep reverence for.
Tommy, Jason, and Kimberly receive ample page time, while Billy and Trini are background characters who shine during their rare moments in the spotlight. Then there is Zack, and he’s got some trust issues with a particular team member.
The team’s personal lives are fleshed out a lot more, which augments their characters, giving the reader a deeper appreciation for when ‘Morphin Time’ cuts into homework time, bedtime, just being a teenager time and any other time you can think of.
Rita takes no days off.
I enjoyed the monster of the week format while watching the show back in the day, but as an adult, it can get tiresome. Goldar, the putties, and all of Finster’s monsters get their licks in as the looming threat of a new adversary named The Black Dragon casts a large shadow. He is someone who Rita fears, which is interesting since Lord Zedd played that role on the show and there has been no mention of him in this series so far.
Bulk & Skull… well, they’re here, too. In fact, they’re used sparingly in the main Ranger’s story arc, but they add a faint subtext to the narrative as opposed to being the comedy relief. Now if you’re looking for the two bumbling fools that can’t get out of their own way, Steve Orlando pens the perfect back-up story with artwork by Corin Howell whose illustrations are a zany mix of Skottie Young and Art Baltazar. There is one back story in particular that is way too hard to believe until the last page reveals otherwise.
Main story artist Hendry Prasetya’s depictions and page layouts are great at conveying various acts appropriately instead of carrying one tone throughout the book. Imagery is dialed back when the team is enjoying a meal together and the enormity of the moment kicks into high gear when the action and fighting begins. The strength of his illustrations lies in the poignant character moments such as Tommy’s hallucinations and an eerie full-page image of the Dragonzord in its underwater cavern to match Billy’s fear of examining what is originally an evil creation from the inside.
I liken this series to that of the 2002 Masters of the Universe cartoon where everything is updated to bring a fresh perspective to beloved property without stripping away its core essential values. Kyle Higgins gives fans the Power Rangers they’ve always loved while increasing the scope in a way that brings about new possibilities that thanks to a talented creative team are super fun to see come alive on the printed page.