Finster Becomes A Horror Movie Villain In Power Rangers #18

by James Ferguson

In the wake of Rita’s latest ploy to take over the world, the villain has gone underground, leaving the Power Rangers free to tackle other emergencies. While helping out in Dubai, the team is greeted by billionaire philanthropist Grace Sterling. She wants to assist the Rangers in their efforts to save more people. To start, she has a lead on Rita’s monster maker, Finster who has been up to no good in Romania.

It’s at this point that Mighty Morphin Power Rangers takes a turn into horror movie territory. This is surprising as the villain is Finster, who was one of Rita’s sillier henchmen, looking like a cross between a garden gnome and a Pomeranian. Here, he shows what he can do if left unchecked and the results are terrifying. What amplifies this tension is how calm and collected he is about it. This is his art and it happens to be designed to hurt people.

Although Finster can appear rather ridiculous, he comes across as menacing here. It’s that cold demeanor that makes him so chilling. He’s like Hannibal Lecter, if he was covered in fur. He never loses his cool or lashes out. His delivery is even-keeled and calm. Artist Hendry Prasetya did the impossible by making Finster so very spooky. If this was the TV show, he would have bellowed something like “I’ll get you, pesky power pests!” and run off in fear. That is so not the case in this comic.

Colorists Matt Herms and Joana Lafuente add to this with an effective use of shadow. Finster is often seen surrounded by darkness, with his eyes glowing coldly through. This helps shroud the character’s look, bringing down the silly factor by a large margin.

The Rangers face an obstacle that they can’t just punch or stomp into submission. Sure, there’s a bit of that too, including an appearance of the patented Power Blaster. It’s an enemy that has them questioning their methods and how effective they are in their jobs if something like can happen on their watch. I know this is all very vague as I don’t want to spoil much, but trust me, writer Kyle Higgins has crafted a very compelling story here.

One thing that comes off a little odd in the artwork is that the Power Rangers are completely emotionless in their uniforms. I don’t think I noticed this until now because for the most part, they were always among themselves or monsters. They haven’t encountered real people all that much. Here, they’re having a long conversation with Grace along with some other authorities and they all look like they’re scowling. That’s just how their helmets are, but it looks rather funny at times. Why so glum, chum? You just saved the world!

The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers comic has considerably expanded upon the mythos established in the TV show, as well as played with the format so far. This story is something that couldn’t have been done in earlier incarnations as it goes completely against the format of the show. Although the zords are seen in a couple panels, they’re not the focus, nor are they the most interesting thing that shows up in this issue. We’re in uncharted territory and it could not be more exciting. Also, I’m not alone in thinking Grace is up to something, right?

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #18 is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.