After battling through alternate dimensions and a terrifying new villain, the Power Rangers are trying to put their lives back together. They’ve managed to rebuild the command center, but Zordon is still missing. Rita has disappeared so the Rangers are able to take a break from fighting giant monsters to save the people of the world from natural disasters. All these heroics are starting to take its toll on the team.
What really stands out in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #17 from Boom! Studios is the emphasis on the teenagers behind the helmets and zords. It was easy to get lost in the brightly-colored antics of the costumed heroes and big robots in the TV show. We rarely got much in the way of character development for Jason, Zack, Trini, Kimberly, Billy, and Tommy. This issue gives us a glimpse into their lives and how becoming a Power Ranger has changed them.
Jason is taking the role of leader seriously, standing in for Zordon in the command center, guiding the team from afar. He’s taking on too much at once though and it’s starting to wear on him physically and mentally. Jason is facing the problem that Superman frequently comes up against. There are so many people to help all around the world and there’s only so much time to save them. You have to make difficult decisions as to who to help and when. As a reminder, he’s a high school student. I’m not saying he can’t do it, but he should be thinking of things like the prom and graduation and not an earthquake halfway around the world.
The rest of the team is similarly affected. Writer Kyle Higgins provides some nice insights into their worlds. Billy and Tommy saw the alternate versions of themselves up close and personal. The former died heroically and the latter succumbed to darkness. This has inspired them both to train harder.
Kimberly and Trini wrestle with the idea of living a day-to-day life after having such exciting adventures. How can you go back to algebra class after saving the world? Yes, they do that on a regular basis when battling Rita’s monsters, but this latest battle was different. It was bigger and badder than anything they’ve ever come up against. After going through such an epic showdown, where do you go from there? This brings up some good points in pop culture. When the kids from The Goonies got home, did they just go to school the next day? What did they tell their other friends?
Artist Hendry Prasetya captures these moments wonderfully, balancing the mundane with the extraordinary. The issue opens with an intense battle with Kimberly, Trini, Tommy, and Zack saving a city full of people from a tornado and a horde of strange snake-like creatures. Prasetya works some classic fight scenes akin to the original TV show, then takes them to the next level, making them blockbuster quality and excitement.
Prasetya then gets in close for the emotional beats, whether it’s Billy pushing himself for one more rep at the gym or Trini sighing from the boredom of schoolwork. You get a nice connection to the characters that extends past their colorful costumes, which are still on display in full force. Then you get an awesome display of power and might when the Megazord shows up. It pulls you in.
This issue introduces an interesting aspect to the Power Rangers mythos in the form of entrepreneur Grace Sterling. Again, we didn’t get much expansion into the universe surrounding the Rangers in the TV show. Grace represents the interests of the public, businesses, and potentially the government in a world where a group of unknown teenagers regularly summon a giant robot to fight equally giant monsters. That would probably be on the news a lot, right? I’m very curious to see how this develops over the next few issues.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #17 shows the team as super heroes to the world, not just Angel Grove. They have the ability to teleport anywhere at a moment’s notice, but it’s proving taxing on each of them. The stress of being a Power Ranger can break them down, but fortunately, they have each other. They can always rely on one another when they need a helping hand or even just a friend to talk to.