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 the continuing saga of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers as seen by Boom Studios! Creators. It is old school Ranger action all the way.
The second issue of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers eases the reader into the story before picking up the cliff-hanger from issue one. It is an action packed, tension building narrative.
There is an atmospheric opening to this issue with Billy tinkering in the depths of the Dragonzord, accompanied by the talkative Trini. He is trying to work out why Tommy lost his ability to control the mammoth sea beast but also uses it as an excuse to look at the general workings of the newest Zord in their arsenal. Basically, the tech boy does not trust the new tech. The link between Tommy and Rita is a bond that has Billy worried but Trini is a lot more trusting. As she points out, Tommy has a lot more in common with the Rangers than he does with Rita.
This commonality is demonstrated in the very next scene where Tommy is face to face with Scorpina, weapons unsheathed, in his own home. To protect his mother, and the neighbourhood, Tommy transporters himself and the intruder out into the middle of nowhere before the fight can begin. A Power Ranger action if ever there was one. He then suits up in a spectacular series of panels that will take the reader straight back to their younger Power Ranger viewing days. The moment is somehow a little bit cheesy and magnificent at the same time. Your inner child will love it, as she/he will love the proceeding fight scene full of over the top action and verbal posturing.
The Green Ranger does not fight alone for long and when help turns up the writer and artist both have fun with the Rangers in a melee. Kyle Higgins also uses this fight scene to make two very important narrative points. First, that Rita desperately wants Tommy to fight because in doing so he unwillingly releases Green Chaos energy that the villains can collect.
Second, Tommy has yet to prove himself as part of the Ranger team, something that makes him uncomfortable around them but is not something that the others, in the fight at least, seem to care about. Outside of the fight is a different matter however as is demonstrated during Scott’s Karate lesson. When Scott’s Sensei asks him about Tommy, and the possibility of joint training, Scott is nervous and unsure. He does not know Tommy yet and does not feel comfortable with the speed that everyone else is accepting the new Ranger. This element of tension is illustrated later in the comic, after the fight scene, when Scott tries to console Tommy. Tommy doesn’t want to know and slaps away Scott’s hand.
This all seems to be heading towards a conflict when they learn that the Dragonzord has stopped responding to Tommy because it doesn’t feel comfortable with him but before it can escalate, Tommy collapses.
Kyle Higgins manages to pack a lot into this issue. He has a strong ability to weave the narrative around a scene while laying the groundwork for further character and story development. The best example in this issue is the fight scene. Not only does it move the reader through the comic at a fast pace but it shows us how the major characters interact with each other on and off the battle field. The fighting style of serval of the characters is portrayed as well as the tense relationships between Tommy and the other Rangers. The character development is carried out with subtle gestures or simple speech so as not to slow the pace of the scene down.
Hendry Prasetya’s art is as gorgeous as it was in the first issue and, with all that action, his skills are put to the test. There is some wonderful positioning within the panels and a dynamic feel to all of the characters actions. Once the fight starts you can see the confidence in Scorpina and feel Tommy’s anger and determination. It is all there in the panels, sometimes even spilling out across the page.
The only drawbacks to this issue is that people new to the Power Rangers Franchise may feel that they are missing out on some important information. It can feel at times that prior knowledge is needed to understand what is happening.
Also the backup story still adds nothing but at least it is kept out of the main action. I think that central story would suffer if it had to incorporate Bulk and Skull’s adventures.
Overall very little fault can be found with this enjoyable, action packed follow up to last month’s series opener.
Darryll Robson is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Occasionally he might use Twitter: @DarryllRobson
The second issue of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers is a triumphant success for the franchise and credit is due to the creators and Boom Studios!