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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The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers areÂ creating headlines on many geeky websites thanks to the up coming movie. Our Darryll Robson takes a look at Boom Studios! monthly ongoing to whet your appetite further.
With the phenomenal sales of issue 1 and the recently released images from the new Power RangersÂ movie all eyes are on Boom Studios! current series. This month sees the Green Rangerâs saga continue as he faces doubts from his team mates and internal traumas.
The action opens with Goldar who sits in self-imposed isolation, punishing herself for losing Tommy to the Rangers. This brief prelude is all we see of her but does it foreshadow future developments?
Elsewhere Tommy awakens to a false safety. He is disorientated but everything seems normal. This doesnât last long as his carer tears her face off to reveal Rita Repulsa in a scene straight from a classic horror movie. Ritaâs insistence that she loves Tommy has him virtually paralysed with fear.
The narrative then plays out another horror movie clichÃ©; it was all in Tommyâs head. The rest of the Rangers stand over Tommy as he slowly comes around. He doesnât know whatâs happening to him and neither does anyone else, except of course Rita who is having a whale of a time on the moon. She revels in her own cunning evil, explaining that she can make her own Dragon Dagger with which to control the Dragon Zord.
Meanwhile Tina runs some tests on Tommy when the world begins to shake. A quick exit reveals the Dragon Zord tearing up the landscape. Tommy has no control over it and he attempts to sooth the rampaging Zord by playing his dragon sword like a flute. It almost works but not quite. This however turns out to be another hallucination; this time not as surprising.
The outcome of the two story lines is that the Rangers get to see Tommyâs uncontrollable powers and Rita gets control of the Dragon Zord.
This monthâs Power Rangers appears to have been influenced by classic 1980âs horror movies, especially A Nightmare on Elm Street. There is the scene with the face tearing to reveal the villain; a dream passing as reality; and an over the top maniacal villain who lives in a fantastical realm. This is rendered brilliantly in the world of the Power Rangers and proves that there is life to breathe into the long running franchise.
The art work is, for the most part, top quality. Hendry Prasetya uses a variety of techniques to break up the narrative and illustrate the different elements of the story. He plays with the panel shapes, switching from the standard rectangular shapes to irregular sized panels to heighten the fear and action aspects of the story. A sense of unease and helplessness is created across a number of pages as the hero, Tommy, is towered over first by Rita and then the Dragon Zord. Although these scenes turn out to be hallucinations, they illustrate just how unstable the Green Ranger is.
Another artistic technique used to great success so far in these Power Ranger comics relates to the backgrounds. Prasetya has designed clean, medical and technological settings for the Rangers themselves and gothic fantastical, even magical, locations for the villains. Each setting fits the characters that inhabit them and contrasts the general differences between good and evil. Although this is a simplistic concept, the execution by Prasetya makes it more palatable and even enjoyable to read. As with most things, the villains look so much cooler than the heroes that the readers root for.
As per previous issues, Kyle Higgins weaves character development throughout the action. This comic is still focused on the Green Ranger, and Iâve already mentioned Tommyâs mindscape, but the reader still gets a chance to know the other Rangers a little bit. This issue lets the Yellow Ranger out of her shell and the reader is shown her motivations for being a member of the group.
Higginsâ best script work however is in Ritaâs scenes. He revels in the villainess of the character and isnât afraid to push the maniacal evil over the top. Compared to the subservient minions, Rita is a joy to read and leaves you excited about what she could possibly do next.
With over 100,000 copies of issue 1 sold, the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers have a lot of work to do to keep the readers interested. Based on the comic so far and in the hands of these creators, the Rangers havenât got anything to worry about.
Darryll Robson is a Contributor to ComiConverse.Â Occasionally he might use his Twitter account: @DarryllRobson
An entertaining read with great scripting and artwork. It will keep the fans and the non-fans happy and reading.