Friday, March 4, 2016

Review - Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #1 (@boomstudios)

"And just where do they hide their big, giant robots?"

The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers were born out of a nod to the mech-animes of the 80s. The live-action show wore its cheesiness like a badge of honor, but that didn't stop it from becoming a worldwide phenomenon. It's been a long time since the property had any larger pop culture influence, but BOOM! Studios is looking to change that with Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #1. The issue is written by Kyle Higgins, illustrated by Hendry Prasetya, colored by Matt Herms and lettered by Ed Dukeshire.

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.”

Tommy the Green Ranger was created and introduced as an enemy for the Power Rangers and Higgins is essentially picking up right after he's been converted to the good side. In that regard, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #1 does a great job of getting the reader up to speed on the current state of affairs and Tommy still struggling to reconcile his past and present. In fact, Higgins uses most of the issue to give Tommy a crisis of conscience so to speak as he struggles to fight his demons. Higgins does a good job of weaving that into the larger narrative that features the other Power Rangers operating "business as usual" and the typical high school problems faced by teenagers. The issue is paced in a way that allows it serve as an introduction for new readers and set up the direction of the rest of the series.

The Power Rangers have a unique and easily recognizable style that Prasetya captures very well. When the Power Rangers are in full effect, Prasetya showcases the action pretty cleanly, mixing them together with the other citizens in a way that demonstrates the heightened stature. Since most of the book takes place in high school though, Prasetya renders students in a high school setting who are defined by sharp jawlines and angular bodies. Even with the jawlines though, Prasetya's style is interesting in that it seems to eschew broader character outlines, instead having the characters blend into the backgrounds a bit. Herms' colors all reflect the colors of the Power Rangers themselves, keeping things consistent when they're both in and out of uniform.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #1 is a walk down memory lane for some readers and a whole new universe to experience for others. Tommy is the focal point of the series and whether or not he can shake his past to become a full-fledged member of the team. Higgins's script is clean and moves well, getting the reader through various parts of a school day while Tommy deals with his memories. Prasetya's illustrations effectively capture the spirit of the characters and move between the mundane routine and a bout with the Putty Patrollers. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #1 is the latest in a series of comic books reviving aspects of our childhood that feels a little more mature than the show did.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #1 is in stores now.


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