Lifetime reader of comics and fan of Planet of the Apes. When the two combine I can barely contain myself. Image, Boom and Titan comics fight for shelf space with Doctor Who DVDs.
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ComiConverse Contributor, Darryll Robson, reviews Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #1, a return to form for the long-running series about brightly clad teenage ninjas.
It’s been a long time since the first images of Boom! Studios new Power Rangers comic were released. Luckily, the #0 issue was there to whet your appetite and re-introduce you to the characters. Do not worry if you missed it because issue 1 of the new ongoing Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series gives you all the information and excitement that you’re going to need.
Unless you were born before the 80’s, you have probably grown up with at least one incarnation of the Power Rangers on television. Even if you are older, it would have been difficult to escape from the colorful ninjas with their moral tales packed with excessive fight scenes and dubious special effects.
The new series by Boom! Studios manages to keep all of that charm, even if it is a little slow on the uptake.
The story starts by bringing readers up to date on where the Power Rangers fit into the world. This is completed simply by using a video blog created by the court jesters of this world, Bulk and Skull. This sequence covers nearly 6 pages of the comic but completes a necessary task in an enjoyable way. Bulk and Skull are as funny/annoying as their original TV versions, it depends on how you feel about them which you think they are.
After this Kyle Higgins does an excellent job of maneuvering the narrative around a high school, checking in on the Power Rangers in their teenage guises. He re-introduces the reader to each of the main characters and sets up what will be the major story for the near future. The emphasis for most of this is on the newest member of the team, Tommy the Green Ranger. Higgins shows two sides to him: first the confident side who flirts with Kim (the Pink ranger) and then takes the lead in the Danger Room inspired training session. In contrast to this there is, there is also his doubting side, the side that is plagued by the voice of Rita Repulsa who whispers discouraging insults every time Tommy is alone. It is this duality to his character that makes him stand out above the others in this opening issue and justifies Higgins decision to centre most of the story on him.
Despite this bias towards the Green Ranger, the characterisation for the rest of the cast isn’t forgotten. Each of the Rangers are as fully realised as they should be, each with their own voice and mannerisms. Even the few villains that there are in these pages are enjoyably portrayed but this comes down more to design than script. Rita’s Palace is obscenely gothic and the costumes there are best described as Tim Burton Pantomime, but this is how they should be. Rita is not just a classic enemy of the Power Rangers she is arguably the best of their many adversaries, so it is pleasing to see that both writer and artist have captured her exactly as she should be.
Hendry Prasetya and Matt Herms produce some excellent work, very dynamic in most places, however, some of the central pages become a little flat. This is partially to do with the settings: high school cafeterias are not the most exciting places. Although this can create a great lighting effect and help to highlight specific characters or actions, for an extended duration there is a blandness of pastel colors. This is only broken when the sea green Rita that resides in Tommy’s head makes an appearance.
The action sequences are something else entirely. The boldness of the Rangers against the grey of the city and faceless training automatons is a delight compared to the airiness of the school. It’s in this training sequence that the comic feels most like the Power Rangers, especially as it focuses on Tommy fighting not only the simulator but also the villainess voice within him. Just like the Power Rangers of old, the best way for a Ranger to confront his or her problems, is to kick the hell out of them with cool ninja moves. Dubious morals maybe, but entertaining nonetheless.
In addition to the main story there is a secondary story featuring Bulk and Skull. Again another narrative style stolen from the television series, this focused comedic tale passes some time but seems redundant in the grand scheme of things. Boom! has a tendency at the moment to add these extras and they are of varied quality. This one is somewhere in the middle, although it has the added annoyance of being the first part of a story. There is already enough Bulk and Skull in this comic, this extra slice of daftness simply isn’t needed.
Darryll Robson is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow us on Twitter: @ComiConverse
An entertaining and worthwhile addition to the Power Rangers franchise. A character driven start with the promise of greater things to come.