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
Performing well in the sales charts and already with a spin off comic, the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers from Boom! Studios has earned its space on any comic book shelf. And to celebrate the publisher are releasing a summer style annual which our contributor, Darryll Robson, gets his teeth into.
Review: Power Rangers 2016 Annual
In the age old tradition of Summer Specials, Boom! Studios have released several this month. First there was the Labyrinth anniversary special and now comes the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers 2016 Annual; a collection of stories written and draw by a selection of different creators. Although not directly linking with either the regular monthly or the Pink Ranger spin off, this comic still offers something worthwhile for any Power Rangers Fan
A series of unrelated stories fill the pages of this book and the clever part is that each one focuses on a different aspect of the Power Rangers world.
There is the obligatory Ranger story to start with written by the main title writer Kyle Higgins. This highlights the struggle of juggling a Rangers duty with that of a teenager’s life. It focuses on Scott, the Red Ranger, and follows him through an ‘average’ week; attending class, teaching karate; fighting the evil minions of Rita Repulsa.
The next story shows what happens when everyone’s favourite numbskulls, Bulk and Skull, become Rangers for the day. A cartoony comedy, this story contains a useless villain and demonstrates that everyone can be a hero.
Next it’s the turn of the female Rangers to go out on their own. At a tea party in some fancy gardens Vixenya attacks, turning everyone into cute little animals. In an attempt to save the planet by removing the human element, Vixenya is forced into a confrontation with the Yellow Ranger who doesn’t totally disagree with villains’ motives, just her methods. This is the part of the comic that proves you don’t need to use violence to win the day.
Ever wondered about the origin of Goldar?
Probably no-one has but it’s included here anyway. A tale of honour, brotherly love and ultimate betrayal, Only The Strong is like a Klingon story set in the world of Power Rangers. Hinting at origins of other recognizable characters, the history of Goldar may finally answer that unasked question about the blue faced villain.
It’s Putty Time is a comic strip joke taken too far. Daft and childish, this story centres on a love struck Putty desperately trying to be near the Pink Ranger.
The final story by Jorge Corona is from the point of view of a young girl separated from her mother during a Megazord battle. It portrays the excitement of battle but also the cost. And finally it shows that the Rangers were heroes first before becoming Rangers.
Anthologies have high points and low points and sometimes it’s just personal preference that differentiates between the two. For example, Unlockly Heroes by Ross Thibodeaux and Rob Guillory has a simple comedic script with nice cartoon artwork but not even Neil Gaiman could make the characters of Bulk and Skull appealing to this reviewer. This is a well-crafted comic strip and like the Deadpool movie, it will appeal to fans of the characters.
Luckily there are much more exciting and visually pleasing stories on offer. The first A Week In The Life.. is an easy read for the introduction story. It illustrates the world of the Power Rangers beautifully both in the narrative and the art. Although a little obvious and a touch confusing towards the end, a mix in emotions in Scott’s face makes you wonder if he enjoys his many roles or not, this is a visually pleasing read.
As is Marguerite Bennett and Huang Danlan’s A Spot of Trouble. The panels are exciting and packed with a natural, fairy tale beauty. The underlying message comes across without being preachy thanks to Danlan’s quaint design and soft pencil lines. This entry into the anthology on the surface seems the least fitting but actually embodies the very essence of what it means to be a Power Ranger.
Goldar’s origin story is an engaging piece of sci-fi fair. It has an element of Game of Thrones about it and the brutality hinted at is quite surprising. Trev Moore squeezes in a number of origin elements into a such a short story, the reader learns about Goldar, Lord Zedd and Zordon. Terry Moore and Hi-Fi give the story the feel of a classic 80’s comic and, for a story set mostly within a throne room, it is packed with emotion and intrigue.
Unfortunately, It’s Putty Time by James Kochalka just didn’t make the mark in my opinion. It isn’t the cartoon art or the garish colors that are off putting put the characterisation of the Pink Ranger. She starts off having sympathies for the mindless minions, the Putties, but by the end she has an emotional turnaround. Although it’s a one gag strip, Kim isn’t portrayed very well and her hatred at the end seems unfitting for a Ranger.
The best strip in the anthology is also the last. What makes a Ranger has exciting artwork and a simple moralistic narrative that isn’t over bearing. Jorge Corona’s expressive art work is complimented by the array of vibrant colors provided by Gabriel Cassata. The cast are all presented in caricature and the whole affect embodies what is best about the Power Rangers. It’s excitement and adventure but at the end of the day they are heroes destined to save the world; an idea that is plainly on view in Corona’s entry into this annual.
A good annual has something for everyone and this succeeds at that simple task. The cartoon style strips are not to my liking but they are professionally crafted and will appeal to people who like that sort of story. For me the final tale of adventure was the most rewarding but whatever your favourite, this annual is definitely value for money.
Have you read the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Annual?
What are your thoughts on the 2016 storylines?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Darryll Robson is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Occasionally he might use his Twitter account: @DarryllRobson
Source: Boom Studios
A mix of Rangers action and comical tales make up an annual that’s worth the cover price and a must have for Power Rangers fans.