Talk about a book that is made for less traditional comic readers- this book takes the 90’s staple of the Japanese import Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, and updates it into a much more modern story. We get Bulk and Skull as video podcasters, who run the Ranger Station, which is a massive Power Rangers fan video page, and the rest of the kids, who are dealing with the fallout from Tommy, the recently converted Green Ranger, who just so happens to possibly still be held in Rita Repulsa’s thrall.
This book, when it was announced, seemed to be the kind of laser-focused licensed product comic book that it would only appeal to a very small, narrow fraction of comic readers- but having read this first issue, I think that getting someone like Kyle Higgins to write it (even though he is a big Power Rangers, and all things 90’s fan- like The Batman Animated Series) it shows that this is being taken seriously and being given an opportunity to really be something more than just a run-of-the-mill comic book adaptation.
I really liked the way this series was handled in this and the previous zero issue, and I hope that that trend continues well into the future, because as long as they are trading on 30-something weird beard fellas like myself and their classic 90’s kid show nostalgia AND doing it well, then there is no end in sight for the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers comic series.
The artwork on this story really drive home the modern sensabilities of this book, while the characters all look and feel an awful lot like their 90’s Saved by the Bell analogues who were spliced in alongside Japanses kaiju fight footage. The backup story by Steve Orlando is fun and silly, and the cartoony artwork helps to reinforce that fact- but Bulk and Skull kidnapping a putty- like such a great bit of storytelling, I cannot WAIT to see where this story goes. Things don’t seem to be going well for Tommy in the main story, and it looks like the next issue things will just get worse- but things are looking up for Kimberly, who is getting her own book soon. Since she was the ranger I had the biggest crush on growing up, you can BET ill be picking that book up.
Also, maybe Trini will get a book herself? Except that I have the biggest issue with Trini as a character, because what the heck kind of name is Trini? I know it’s nitpicking, but I cant help it! The rest of the team has such classic 90’s names- Jason, Zack, Billy, Kimberly and Tommy… then there is Trini??? What?!?!
It was an odd choice then, and it just feels incomprehensible now. but beyond that, I still love Power Rangers, and made my kid watch the first season of the original Mighty Morphin, before I let him get into Dino Charge, the new series, which is actually a lot better. I think with the newer series, the Japanese side of things realized the amount of money to be made from the dubbed American version of the show, and started to make the show more easily translated from the overseas version into the Americanized version (though, to be fare, Dino Charge seems decidedly international).
This book could easily be a way to get younger (but not TOO young, because there’s still a lot of fighting) comic book readers interested in something that their parents grew up with, and that they probably grew up watching some future iteration of- and giving them some common ground to work from. I am sure that when my son is of a comic book reading age (he is still young enough that I read the books TO him) he would enjoy something like this, since it carries on the story that is established in the original Power Rangers TV series.