IT’S MORPHIN TIME! Hello everyone, I’m the Marvelous Iggy and I’m here to give you a review on the new ongoing comic series featuring the Rangers that made this franchise into a household name. It’s interesting to see how one form of media transitions into another, especially one like MMPR where it heavily relied on the benefits of television to static images of a comic page. So let’s take a look inside to see if old and new ranger fans can jump on this series.
When it comes to licensed works, writers and artists must not only fulfill the expectations of the pre-existing fanbase, but also those of the license holder; which potentially can paint writer Kyle Higgins into a corner of writing similar to the show. Since this is a #0 issue, it’s really a one-shot that sets the stage for the upcoming ongoing series, so from a substance standpoint there isn’t really much to go on. However chances are if you picked up this issue you are already familiar with the lore of MMPR and won’t need a run down of each individual ranger.
True to the show, it follows the basic structure of “meet the rangers, transform, fight a giant monster, and win.” Yes some aspects are missing, like Bulk and Skull (more on them in later) but Higgins stays true to the format. In a pleasantly surprising development, there is more depth with this incarnation of MMPR; it’s not super adult, nor is it childish. It straddles a line which welcomes old and new fans alike with interesting and nuanced characters, despite the fact that this was preview issue. The focus of the issue centers on Tommy Oliver’s recent defection from Rita Repulsa, and Tommy is still dealing with the mental scars of being a mind slave. Seeing Tommy continue to deal with the voice of evil inside his head could make for an interesting character arc. The only downside to this is that most people who will read this comic already know the eventual outcome, but at least the journey to that point could provide for some interesting character moments for the rangers.
Nailing down the tone and structure for a comic book based on MMPR is one thing, but it’s the art that is absolutely critical in giving readers a sense of visual familiarity without looking like stills from the show itself. Hendry Prasetya does an amazing job when the Power Rangers are in costume or during the two Zord battles. The action felt reminiscent of the giant battles of the past and I found it a nice touch that set pieces around the battle were depicted looked accurate to scale. The only nitpick that I had was the camera was to close to the action making some of the action panels feel claustrophobic. Another weakness on Prasetya’s art was when he had to draw the rangers outside of costume. Now I’m glad that Prasetya didn’t use photo references of the original actors but the faces lacked believable emotion and the acting just looked too stiff.
The Bulk and Skull back up story (written by Steve Orlando and illustrated by Colin Howell) was a fun two page story with the purpose of breaking tension and it served its purpose well. Even the cartoony helped bring to the life the loveable bullies in comic form; I could even heard their theme song playing as I read it.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #0 is the update that new and old fans can appreciate before the book officially starts in March. It’s going to be interesting to see how Kyle Higgins weaves through being faithful to the Power Rangers of yesteryear while also bucking the traditional road every now and then.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers earns a 4/5