Four Letter Nerd

Saturday Morning Comic Review – Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #1

Summary:

What’s to Love: With over four million viewers per week watching episodes that air three times a day, seven days a week; an awareness of above 90% for men and women ages 7-54; and a new film coming in 2017, the Power Rangers are more popular than ever. Dive headfirst into our original, modern ongoing Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series that will appeal to both nostalgic fans and new readers who enjoy epic, action-adventure fantasy stories.

What It Is: Based on the long-running Power Rangers franchise, five teens from Angel Grove High are granted superpowers and giant robot dinosaur Zords to defend Earth against the alien villain Rita Repulsa. When Repulsa creates an evil Green Power Ranger by brainwashing recent transfer student Tommy, the team is able to free him from her grasp and get him on their side. But with remnants of Repulsa’s control still stirring in the back of Tommy’s mind, he must confront the fact he may be more of a danger to his new team than a help. This is “Green Ranger: Year One.”

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With a three year old at home, Power Rangers (in all its forms) is a staple at the Clark household.  When my firstborn was barely a toddler, I introduced him to the original Power Rangers from my own childhood.  This was both awesome for me (I got to revisit one of the favorite TV shows from when I was a kid), and not so awesome (how many punches and kicks to the Goldar can I take?).  After finishing the first and second seasons, he has since moved on to Super Mega Force, Dino Charge, Mystic Force, and Super Duper Action Ninja Pirates, but he still loves the old series and loves playing as the Red Ranger – just like I did when I was a kid.

When Boom! Studios announced that Kyle Higgins (co-creator of C.O.W.L.) was going to be in the pilot seat for a MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS comic, I was very excited.  I might have a problem with my nerdstalgia, but going back over those original episodes was a lot of fun, and I was interested to see more from my favorite era in Angel Grove.

The book opens with two classics from the original Power Rangers – Bulk and Skull – interviewing Angel Grovians about the Green Ranger joining the Rangers after nearly ending the Rangers, which places it right after the events in the popular “Green with Evil” episodes.

Higgins does a good job playing the nostalgia card without beating the reader over the head with it.  A lot of the time, books based on the the nerdity of our youth can feel like the writer wants you to know that he/she gets it.  They cram as much as they remember being popular in the source material into every issue and you can feel them exaggeratedly winking at you the whole time.  I see this a LOT in the Star Wars novels of yore.  All of that to say that Higgins skillfully avoids the pandering trap and delivers a fun experience that adds to the mythos rather than just repeating it. I particularly enjoyed the way the characters interacted.  The dialogue felt true to the characters in such a way that I could almost hear the original actors saying the lines.

At first I thought the art was a little too anime-ish for my taste, but then I remembered that the Power Rangers are pretty much anime incarnate so it’s kind of hard to hold that against it.  In fact, Prasetya’s Rangers and locations are magnificent, especially the Command Center and Rita’s Palace.  There’s one sequence that follows Kimberly and Tommy on a training mission, and the action plays out really well.  Overall it flowed very well and all the characters were recognizable (a problem with some comics based on TV or movies), although I am sure it helps that they are all color coordinated.

MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS is a fantastic read that’s full of nostalgia without beating you to death with it.  Higgins and Prasetya are a great team and put out a well made first issue.  If you loved the original Power Rangers and want to see new stories in Angel Grove, you should definitely head down to your local comic shop and pick up MIGHT MORPHIN POWER RANGER #1.

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Cam Clark

Cam is a husband, father, and a fan of many things. In college, he wrote his senior thesis on Mythological, Philosophical, and Theological Themes in Star Wars, and now spends his days causally specializing in Star Wars, Tolkien, and cubical work. No relation to Bill Clark.

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