Ah, after two month’s it’s here! Yes, the long awaited debut of the new Mighty Morphin Power Rangers comic has hit the stands, and nostalgia is riding on with this one. When it comes to licensed comics, there exists a certain expectation. This has unfortunately been tarnished by the perceived lack of quality due past attempts. Enter storytellers Kyle Higgins and Hendry Prasetya, with the heavy task of not only recapturing the spirit of the Power Rangers, but also adapting it into a different form of media.
If there was any concern that this series would serve a template for retelling old stories, you’re partially correct. It would be foolish for anyone to believe that this would series would steer too far from the original creation, but Kyle Higgins manages to add a touch of spice to each of the individual rangers. The core conflict is the result of Tommy’s escape from Rita’s clutches, which is something the show did. Higgins’ writing of Tommy’s constant self doubt and the initial appearance of failure gives Tommy more depth as a character than what occurred on 90s television. Yes, we all know eventually Tommy will overcome this (and I’m sure Higgins is aware of that), but exploring a different side of this character makes this story more interesting.
The Green Ranger isn’t the only character to receive more depth; the team as a whole feels less generic. Yes, I’m aware that the Rangers had their own internal conflicts, but it usually served to teach the viewer a moral lesson by the time twenty minutes were up. The discussion between Zach and Jason over Tommy’s recent arrival to the team with zero questions by Zordon brings in that classic trope of team comics (and really, real teams) in that not everyone is 100% on board with every decision made. Some might say that internal strife within the Power Rangers as a unit isn’t staying true to the original creation, but I say to that one must find new things to explore with a new adaptation.
Along with the Power Rangers themselves, Bulk and Skull join this series in a vastly different capacity than before. Gone are the bullies of Angel Grove High, instead we have aspiring content creators. While Higgins has removed the bully role from them, Bulk and Skull still retain their classic mojo, with more updated slang. Even better, their new role provides a different way for the reader to actually see the Power Rangers: through the eyes of the public. Since the show focused heavily on the Rangers themselves, the aspect of seeing the Ranger’s from a outside perspective is fresh and new. God only knows if Higgins will bring this aspect in future issues, but it makes the comic unique and sets it apart from the show.
Higgins has laid down some solid foundation for the story, and the only slight downside to this issue was Hendry Prasetya’s work on pencils. To keep things positive, when Prasetya draws either the Rangers in costume or the various forces of evil they all look amazing, brimming with nostalgia–it’s his character’s faces (which are not photo referenced) that look either flat and lack any sort of emotion needed to connect readers to the story at hand. Hendry’s storytelling is solid from start to finish, but occasionally his line work became a little erratic on the final few pages but a decent start to say the least.
A little note: if you’re not too happy about Bulk and Skull’s new direction, the two page back up story by Steve Orlando and Corin Howell brings their original spirit back in spades. It’s a bit of a clash with the main feature, but for what it is it’s a nice addition. A solid start with an good foundation for future storytelling possibilities, IT’S MORPHIN TIME!
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #1 earns a 4/5