November 24, 2020

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Power Rangers #1 (BOOM! Studios)

POWER RANGERS #1 review

Neil reviews the first issues of BOOM! Studios new POWER RANGERS series as the MMPR saga begins a new era. Grab your copy in stores now.

Synopsis

Two New Series, Two New Teams — The UNLIMITED POWER Era Begins HERE — And Only Lord Drakkon, Their Greatest Enemy, Can Save Them! Superstar writer Ryan Parrott (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and fan favorite artist Francesco Mortarino (Go Go Power Rangers) reveal a new cosmic threat that only the original Power Rangers, now known as the Omega Rangers — Jason, Trini and Zack — can hope to defeat! But their secret weapon is… the villainous Lord Drakkon?! Zordon forbids the Omega Rangers from contacting Drakkon, so if they want to save the universe then they’ll have to go rogue — and go up against their Mighty Morphin allies. The next big Power Rangers epic begins here, perfect for longtime fans and new readers alike.

Review

There’s no two ways around it: BOOM! Studios has absolutely revolutionised the Power Rangers franchise to a degree where it is now impacting on how it plays out on the big screen. So, as with Mighty Morphin #1, I was cautious but optimistic going in to this newly re-numbered era of the comic books.

Power Rangers takes an interesting concept from the original TV series and spins in out to become even more exciting. The storyline began a way back in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers but has now taken on a life of its own.

Those who remember the 1990’s will remember the trio of Jason, Trini and Zack leaving the MMPR series as their characters went to an international peace conference. In reality the actors contract disputes ended with them exiting the show.

Here writer Ryan Parrott takes the concept from the show and really does something unique with it. He keeps the trio as Power Rangers but masterfully expands the franchise by setting them off in to space as the Omega Rangers. As with Mighty Morphin #1 this isn’t a reboot as much as it is a new beginning and a new numbering. None of the concepts here are new. This is just Parrott doubling down on his amazing re-contextualisation of the franchise.

Power Rangers #1 actually brings the three Rangers back to Earth. It allows for some downtime with the other Rangers now that their secret is out in the open. But it also opens up a new level of conflict amongst the franchise’s core cast. As the Omega Rangers learn about the existence of Lord Drakkon in the prime-universe it causes some new divisions which are sure to reverberate through the current arc of the story.

Despite the fact that we’ve left the Shattered Grid storyline behind the idea of Drakkon is still as the basis of storylines for both these new series. Here it seems that Drakkon’s experience in his home dimension might help the Omega Rangers to keep the universe safe from the looming threat of the Empyreals.

But overall, Power Rangers #1 is incredibly low-key compared to a “standard” MMPR story. There’s no Lord Zedd or Rita. There’s no giant monster for the Zords to battle. Instead the teens all face some personal demons as their interactions form the core of the issue. There are particularly impactful moments but the winner here is Rocky having a heart-to-heart with Jason about being the first Red Ranger not to lead the team.

Parrott continues to display just how adept he is at understanding the core ideals of the franchise and adapting them to become this runaway success story.

Art for this book is provided by Francesco Mortarino. It’s perfectly in-keeping with the other books in the MMPR franchise. There’s a wonderful continuity between the various books which means characters are always identifiable. But more than that, under Parrott’s watch the artwork for Power Rangers has beautifully enhanced the continuity and cemented this fledgling multiverse in to one of the most compelling comic book series out there.

Verdict

Power Rangers #1 the perfect conduit to aid the Power Rangers in continuing to take over the comic book multiverse.

Power Rangers #1 comes from superstar writer Ryan Parrott (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and fan favorite artist Francesco Mortarino (Go Go Power Rangers), colours are by Raúl Angulo and cover art comes from Matteo Scalera.


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