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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Boom! Studios‘ latest issue of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers takes a further step back in time this month and our Contributor, Darryll Robson, is here to look at the reason why.
In a break from the ongoing story, this month’s Mighty Morphin Power Rangers focuses on the Black Ranger and an unexpected offer. Taking over illustration duties is Thony Silas who brings a heavier inking style and colourist Bryan Valenza who has a much darker palate.
In Italy, the Prime Minister comes under attack from a giant version of The Vitruvian Man, after speaking out against Rita Repulsa. The creature speaks in philosophical quotations but is a danger to everyone in the city. Luckily the Power Rangers are on hand to stop the monstrous anatomical man.
The Red Ranger leaps into action to rescue the Prime Minister but it’s only the quick thinking of Zack, the Black Ranger, and his control over the Megazord that saves the day. Not that the people of Italy seem to notice this as they cheer the Red Ranger. Rita Repulsa sees a chance to spread dissent in the ranks of the Rangers and arranges Zack’s kidnapping.
When Zack wakes in Rita’s palace he obviously thinks that he’s in great danger but Rita has a proposition for him. She plays on his insecurities and offers him the Dragon Coin and the mantel of the Green Ranger.
This is a story where the ending is known before the reader reaches it however this does not detract from the narrative. Kyle Higgins is telling a story of pride and hope and is the very definition of a character driven narration. The focus of the story is on Zack but it is about Rita just as much. In each case the reader is shown what drives the character and the sacrifices they make. But they are obviously different; Zach’s pride urges him to do what is right, push him to help those in need while Rita’s pride makes her more and more selfish.
Higgins has written a clever little Faustian tale that fits into the Power Rangers mythos beautifully. It highlights the notion of Good and Evil and the constant struggle between the two. Higgins is able to manipulate the reader into believing that Rita has the best of intentions and the Zack may accept her offer, even though we already know that neither of these are true.
Also the quotations by the Vitruvian Man act as metaphors partially for this story but also for the larger ongoing story. “Our life is made by the death of others” is a direct reference to Zack’s lament later in the issue about the destruction that is caused by the Power Ranger’s fights against Rita’s hoards. And “As always it is easier to resist at the beginning than it is at the end”, well, I think we’ll have to wait for that one to play out.
Thony Silas’ art work is more expressive than the previous issues and has a bolder, heavier feeling inking. There are large areas of shadow which give the overall tone a much darker edge. This is picked up by Valenza on coloring duties who shrouds the entire issue in earthy tones befitting of a Faustian tale. There are occasions when this style doesn’t work, most notably during the fight sequences but overall it is a satisfying approach for this issue.
Silas depicts Rita with a combination of malice and allure which gives credence to the offer she hands to Zack; it enhances Higgins script so that the reader believes Zack will accept her offer despite already knowing he won’t. Silas illustrates the central characters very well throughout although some of the lesser minions have the same impact. This may be due to the style of work which uses shadowing to express emotions and the minions are mostly emotionless or it may be because they are merely supporting characters that don’t require the same definition. Either way it is distracting at times but not enough to stem the flow of the narrative.
This is another enjoyable issue of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers with a very well-paced narrative. It may seem like a stand-alone issue but I am willing to wager that certain elements raised in this issue are referred to in the coming months; “As always it is easier to resist at the beginning than it is at the end”.
Darryll Robson is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Occasionally he might use his Twitter account: @DarryllRobson
Source: Boom Studios
Another exciting issue tale of the Power Rangers which focuses on the very heart of their story: the concepts of good and evil. Higgins and company plate up a meal of temptation, which is all too easy to swallow.