Thursday, January 14, 2016

Review - Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #0 (@boomstudios)

"Everybody get ready! It's morphin time!"

Back in the 90s there was one property that effectively (and surprisingly) took the world by storm: the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. The tale of five high school students tasked with protecting the world by way of innate martial arts and giant robots was a paean to Japanese anime of days past. Now, BOOM! Studios is taking readers back to those heady days in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #0. The issue is written by Kyle Higgins, illustrated by Hendry Prasetya, colored by Matt Herms and lettered by Ed Dukeshire. "The Ongoing Adventures of Bulk and Skull" is written by Steve Orlando, illustrated by Corin Howell, colored by Jeremy Lawson and lettered by Jim Campbell. "What Time Is It?!" is written by Mairghread Scott, illustrated by Daniel Bayliss and lettered by Dukeshire.

After escaping Rita Repulsa’s mind control, Tommy Oliver, the Green Ranger, joins up with the rest of the Power Rangers to combat her never-ending evil plans. Any semblance of a normal life is gone for Tommy now, but with his newfound family there lies hope for a brighter path. Includes the short story from the San Diego Comic-Con exclusive Mighty Morphin Power Rangers comics and the first installment of a Bulk and Skull-centric adventure.

It's been a while since the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers really held sway over popular culture as they did in their heyday--fortunately for readers, Higgins doesn't miss a beat. The issue is written in a way that re-introduces readers to the characters (even if they're not formerly familiar with them), showcasing the drama that comes with being in high school and defending the planet against extraterrestrial monsters. There's a great sense of camaraderie amongst the characters and Higgins successfully taps into that to move the story forward. Having the plot revolve around Tommy is pretty interesting as well, with Higgins relying on it for the baked in alpha competition between him and Jason. "The Ongoing Adventures of Bulk and Skull" and "What Time Is It?!" are more for the fans of the original series than anything, but Orlando and Scott do a great job of infusing them with the appropriate spirit.

There's a distinguished look that the Power Rangers bear and Prasetya does a great job of tapping into that. Each panel is crammed with plenty of action, as Prasetya meticulously illustrates the characters with lots of detail. The battles between the Zords and their opponents feel brutal, with the Zords illustrated as effective extensions of the Power Rangers themselves. There's plenty of frenetic action throughout as well, courtesy of the reliance on overlays and inset panels throughout. Herms' colors are appropriately vivid and vibrant, promising that each Power Ranger maintains their signature colored look. Howell and Lawson offer a much more immature look in "The Ongoing Adventures of Bulk and Skull" that matches the lighthearted tone, while Bayliss' work in "What Time Is It?!" has a nostalgic feel in its presentation.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #0 doesn't really shy away from the property its rooted in. The premise is familiar to those who remember the show, yet the direction of the issue still manages to feel fresh. Higgins does a great job tapping into the property in a way that pays homage while also managing to strip away some of the campiness. The artwork by Prasetya gives the reader a great feel for the action and maintains the visual look of a camera following along with the action. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #0 is a great start to a series that revisits very familiar territory.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #0 is in stores now.


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