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.
MORE NEWS FROM THE WEB
Issue 4 of Mighty Morpin Power Rangers is out on the shelves and our contributor Darryll Robson casts his eye over this slice of the popular franchise.
It’s Morphin Time in this month’s Power Rangers comic from Boom! Studios. The Zords are out in all of their glory and the Rangers step up to protect the city. Part Destroy All Monsters, part kitchen sing drama, this Mighty Morphin comic tries to bring the characters together, mostly through fighting.
Rising from the depths like Godzilla in Tokyo bay, the Dragonzord heads for the city under the control of Scorpina. The Rangers watch dumbfounded as they try to understand how their enemy is controlling the Zord but at this point no-one knows. There’s no time for overthinking however as it’s Morphin Time!!
The Rangers leap straight for Dinozord power and the battle commences. Rita quickly spots the Rangers plan to draw the Dragonzord away from the city and away from the destructive power it feeds off so she sends reinforcements in the form of giant mutated shark men. The battle scene has the look of King Shark meeting the Dinobots or possibly something from the Aquabats.
The action is mostly sound effects with the occasional smoke cloud. It’s not until the Green Ranger joins the fray that there is any real interaction. Tommy disobeys his orders and takes the Dragonzord on full frontal. He works under a belief that his connection with the Zord will be stronger than Scorpina’s, an assumption which plays out in his favour.
Unfortunately the victory in the field does not help to heal the rift currently growing between Tommy and the rest of the Rangers. And the arrival of a new foe on their doorstep is just insult to injury.
This is the ‘Battle’ issue of the new Power Rangers with the gang out in force fighting to save the city. It is a very well-choreographed sequence but the Zord panels for the most part lack a sense of movement. The massive machines are very static after the first superb opening panel. Okay, that image may have been stolen directly from a Godzilla movie but it contains all of the energy missing from the Dragonzords battle with the Ranger’s Zords.
However it is a completely different kettle of fish when Tommy fights Scorpina. I don’t know if Hendry Prasetya prefers drawing human interaction but this comic definitely gives off that impression. It’s not until the Shark Men are introduced that the Zord battle becomes interesting to read but by then the Tommy action overshadows it.
The final panel of the battle with the Megazord stood in triumph over the vanquished foes is an inspiring and heroic moment which captures the essence of the original Power Rangers. The strong, steadfast stance speaks volumes about the team and what they stand for. It’s almost a shame that the next page shatters this image as the story returns to the bickering team mates and casts Tommy once more in the role of villain.
Up until this moment this issue feels like an end of arc issue. The team would return from battle and they would all embrace in a glorious forgiving hug with it all ending on a ‘Go Rangers’ power panel. But sadly it’s not to be, Kyle Higgins has more ringers to put the team through and Tommy is not getting off that easily. On the one hand this is smart writing from Higgins, he obviously doesn’t want everything to be so simple, this isn’t the weekly TV show format after all; there is no need to wrap everything up neatly once the villain of the week has been bested. But at the same time, the story this issue does lack a back patting, team hugging moment.
It is also a little light on character development. This may be because the focus of the main narrative is the Green Ranger who finds his inner strength in the heat of battle but the other Rangers are a little side lined. Nothing is added to their characters at all which may be a result of having an already packed issue, from a narrative point of view, and the chances are most readers will already know the characters quite well from other sources. This leaves new readers lacking substance but this is a serialised medium, not every issue has to be about expanding all of the characters.
This issue has strong points and weak points both in the script and in the art however, even the low points are still entertaining and better than a lot of comics currently on the shelves. No fan of the franchise is going to be put off by this issue, even though the bickering is becoming a little tiresome. I would recommend the spin off title Pink for a change in style and focus but don’t give up on this main title. The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers is still sailing a solid and straight line through the franchise. And any inconsistencies can easily be overshadowed with three simple words: It’s Morpin Time!
Darryll Robson is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Occasionally he might use his Twitter account: @DarryllRobson
The weakest issue so far in the run but still a comic worth reading. There is still many miles to go with this part of the Power Ranger franchise and there’s no reason to give up on it yet.