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‘Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #1:’ Advance Comic Book Review

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers hit television just as the school year started in 1993.  I was seven.  As with many of my cohorts, I was taken with the show; the novelty of live-action combat scenes, martial arts, giant robots, and a pattern of big-plot events kept us completely enthralled for years.  Power Rangers was met with the sort of fervor previously reserved for the likes of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  For my generation, Power Rangers is a staple of our childhood, even if we didn’t like it.  New Power Rangers series are still getting made, updating the villains, the costumes, the Zords, and the cast with each new season, and for those who, like me, have had two and a half decades to get nostalgic for the original incarnation, there’s a theatrical reboot scheduled for 2017.

You can jump back on the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers wagon a year early, though, with BOOM!’s new series, re-imagining the original cast in the modern day.  All the characters you’re used to are here: the original five Rangers plus Tommy Oliver, the Green Ranger; Bulk and Skull; Zordon; Rita and her cadre; even Ernie, the juice bar guy.  This series doesn’t just give homage to the show; the show feels like a prerequisite here, as the plot picks up after Tommy, originally given his powers by Rita Repulsa as part of an evil plan to finally defeat the Power Rangers, has turned to the side of good.  With the exception of some minor references to more modern technology, this series basically picks up in the middle of the first season of the show, rather than at the beginning.  (There was a #0, as well, which launched some of the plot threads carried forward here.)

Power Rangers has always been, above all, somewhat campy and sincere, and that is still fairly true of the comic, even though the tone has been updated a bit.  The Rangers, in their civilian lives, are still almost wretchedly nice teenagers who spend their afternoons in community service of one kind or other; Bulk and Skull remain a nuisance, though their bullying has transitioned to something a little more like an aggressive plan for YouTube stardom; the costume and Zord designs appear faithfully recreated, even though they look kind of silly now.  (Not that they didn’t then, I suppose, but when I was seven I didn’t care very much.)  This comic also has a little bit more of an edge than the show had at the time, though, and while it doesn’t cross any lines that keep it from being all-ages, it hints at some of the implicit darkness of the entire scenario of half a dozen teenagers being thrust into being the sole defenders of an entire planet against an alien menace.  These days this is famously (at least Internet-famously) exemplified by the R-rated, tongue-in-cheek fan film Power/Rangers, though the comic doesn’t take itself very seriously.

In all, this is a neat revival of a media franchise that has been a ubiquitous part of Saturday morning programming for more than two decades, riding a line between light enough for younger readers and complex enough that their parents – perhaps nostalgic Power Rangers fans themselves – can find something to enjoy in this take on the story.  Mighty Morphin Power Rangers is fun – and that’s all I really needed from it.

Brandon Perdue, Fanbase Press Contributor


Favorite Comic: Top Ten by Alan Moore and Gene Ha Favorite Tabletop RPG: Fireborn Favorite Spacegoing Vessel: Constitution-class Refit


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