Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #1
By Kyle Higgins, Hendry Prasetya, Matt Herms, Ed Dukeshire, Steve Orlando, Corin Howell, Jeremy Lawson, Jim Campbell
The zero issue of Boom’s Power Rangers series acted as a massive teaser for what was to come. It presented an updated version of our heroes that stayed true to their roots. It also managed to stay away from the dreaded gritty reboot, which is something nobody should ever want in a MMPR story. All-Comic (and the rest of the internet) fell in love with that issue, so much so that there was concern that perhaps issue #1 would never be able to live up to the hype.
Well, issue #1 is everything that we could ask for. The main story picks up where issue #0 left off. After the events of the Green Ranger Saga, Tommy is at odds with himself. To make matters worse, Higgins throws in some modern post-9/11 paranoia. Your everyday resident of Angel Grove doesn’t trust the Green Ranger and they certainly don’t see how the Power Rangers could welcome him onto the team with open arms. The common man has even come up with some crazy conspiracy theories along the lines of 9/11 Truthers, which again gives it some very contemporary sensibilities that are presented in a way that’s clever as heck. When you think about it, that’s a logical next step for that story, but it’s something the television series never delved into. Part of that is the way of modern storytelling, the other part is that MMPR was a show for kids and didn’t concern itself with things like logical writing.
The opinions of the citizens of Angel Grove are given to us by Bulk and Skull, who have their own web show and podcast dedicated to the Power Rangers. This is a brilliant way to keep Bulk and Skull relevant and part of the story. In two issues, they have managed to be just as interesting and important as the Power Rangers themselves.
Speaking of Bulk and Skull, the backup story is entirely dedicated to them. While the backup (written by Steve Orlando) doesn’t offer as much in the way of substance and plot development, it’s a delightfully silly little tale that reminds us of what made the two characters so appealing in the first place. Honestly, the more Bulk and Skull, the better.
Like the previous issue, the art is still pretty great. Hendry Prasetya and colorist Matt Herms have returned from last issue with the same style and high quality that they have previously established. Presetya has designed these classic characters in a fun way. They still vaguely resemble the actors from the show, but also retain their own identity. That’s the best way to establish your own brand and not feel like some boring franchise cash-in. Matt Herms deserves a ton of credit for giving the Ranger colors some very interesting distinctions. When they are in civilian gear, they still wear their trademark colors, only it’s mild and low-key. It’s almost like they’re trying to hide their identities in plain sight (which they are). When they morph, all bets are off and the colors blast from the page.
This series has already knocked down the notion that comic book adaptations of mega franchises can’t have anything valuable to say. This is a book that needs to be on everyone’s radar. It’s easily shaping up to be one of 2016’s best comics.