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Review: ‘Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #0′

#0Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #0
Writers: Kyle Higgins, Steve Orlando and Mairghread Scott
Artists: Hendry Prasetya, Corin Howell and Daniel Bayliss
Boom Studios; $3.99

It seems like just yesterday that I was telling you about the return of the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers in a new comic book series, but that’s just because I have a bad memory: It was actually almost two years ago, when Papercutz launched a line of Power Rangers original graphic novels for kids.

Well, the Rangers are re-returning this spring, and this time the publisher doing the honors is BOOM! Studios, who will be eschewing Papercutz’s graphic novel format for a traditional paper-and-staples comic, with eventual trade paperback collection all but assured. The ongoing series won’t launch until March, but BOOM! recently published a #0 issue to help prime the pump.

It succeeds.

The Papercutz version rather pales in comparison, largely because the BOOM! Power Ranger comic seems to be directed squarely at adult comics readers with a great deal of nostalgia for the early ’90s television show/merchandising phenomenon, and therefore it features much more sophisticated and accomplished artwork and comics storytelling. Not that the comic is what one might consider “adult” by any stretch of the imagination; it’s just as all-ages and family-friendly as any previous Power Rangers media. It’s just awfully good-looking.

The 20-page comic features three short stories, two of which will be regular features in the ongoing. The first is by writer Kyle Higgins and artist Hendry Prasetya, and is a 12-pager about Green Ranger Tommy Elliot’s early integration to the already formed Ranger team. A mind-controlled mole for their archenemy Rita Repulsa, he struggles between evil programming and a desire to be good, just as he struggles to fit into the clique.

Higgins updates the setting to the present and Prasetya updates the fashion, so the story loses it’s inherent 90s-ishness along with the goofy charm of its budget special effects. I wouldn’t expect either change to garner many complaints, although it did take me aback to see Kimberly texting emojis to Tommy in class.

That story is followed by a two-page “The Ongoing Adventures of Bulk & Skull” by Steve Orlando and Corin Howell, in which the TV show’s comic relief duo gets a mostly Ranger-free spotlight, and, as the title indicates, this too will continue into the ongoing series.

The final story is a reprint from an SDCC exclusive, a short, six-page story by Mairghread Scott and Daniel Bayliss. It’s about as generic as a Power Ranger story could possibly be. The Rangers fight Goldar, he grows giant, they fight him in their Megazords and then they combine those into their giant robot form and win the battle. Bayliss’s art, featuring sharp, dramatic angles, kinetic action and lush coloring, transforms it into a really rather great comic book action scene (Wait, did I say “transforms”…? I should have said “morphs”).

As brief and pointless as the story may seem, it’s a pretty great sizzle-reel style distillation of everything cool about the Power Rangers, presented economically and as well as the franchise’s various virtues have ever been presented in any medium.

Like I said, in terms of building anticipation for the Spring ongoing series, this #0 issue succeeds: If you weren’t excited about he prospect of a new Power Rangers comic before reading Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #0, you almost certainly will after you’ve read it.

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J. Caleb Mozzocco About J. Caleb Mozzocco

J. Caleb Mozzocco is a way-too-busy freelance writer who has written about comics for online and print venues for a rather long time now. He currently contributes to Comic Book Resources' Robot 6 blog and ComicsAlliance, and maintains his own daily-ish blog at EveryDayIsLikeWednesday.blogspot.com. He lives in northeast Ohio, where he works as a circulation clerk at a public library by day.

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