Zordon has returned and it couldn’t have happened at a better time. The Power Rangers are struggling to deal with Finster’s sleeper monsters, hiding throughout the world disguised as regular humans. Help has come in the form of Grace Sterling and her company, Promethea which intends to make the world a better place. This creates some tension between Zordon and the Rangers as they are starting to disagree about philosophies and what they should be doing with their powers.
This makes for a very interesting dynamic. Zordon has always been the floating head of knowledge and guidance for the Power Rangers. He gave them their powers and tells them what to do. He’s rarely questioned. In his absence, the Rangers have found a new guiding force, one that has allowed them to help more people and do more for the world instead of just stopping a monster here and there. Zordon feels the Rangers’ roles are to protect and defend only which seems very narrow-minded, especially given everything they’re capable of.
Artist Jonas Scharf contrasts the two parties very well. Zordon is shown as his usual emotionless, disembodied head. Meanwhile, the Power Rangers are below, looking up with concern, and perhaps for the first time, doubt. They’ve seen the good they can do in the world if given the opportunity so how could their leader tell them not to do that? Plus, they’re still mad because he didn’t tell them about the previous Power Rangers team, half of which died on their very first mission.
Scharf has the unenviable job of drawing an emotional discussion between a few Power Rangers while they’re in costume. He handles the scene with Zordon well as none of them are wearing helmets, but that’s not the case when they’re working at Promethea. Instead, Scharf puts an added emphasis on body language which gets the point across. Kimberly looks a little unsteady as she’s figuring out her feelings. Tommy tries to distract himself, but is unable to look away from the Pink Ranger as she’s just in the next room.
My favorite segment is a toss-up between two very intriguing ones. The first is a conversation between Saba and Finster as the former tries to negotiate with the latter to reveal his creations that are hidden around the world. It’s a chilling tale, reminiscent of Silence of the Lambs with the stark setting of the pocket dimension. Finster stands in a clear cube surrounded by darkness and he’s completely in control. This raises him further in the ranks of notable villains with how cold and calculating he is about his work.
The second conversation that really sticks out is between Jason and Grace. Since Zordon disappeared, Jason has tried to shoulder the responsibility of the team which proved to be very trying for the young man. He’s questioning what his role is and how he can do the most good, but he’s terrified of letting everyone down or worse, getting them killed. Grace gives him the guidance he needs as she has been in a similar position. She’s failed and has bounced back, using that failure as fuel to build Promethea.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #22 is a series of incredibly well-written conversations. Each one pushes the characters forward, developing them as they figure out who they are. Writer Kyle Higgins does a tremendous job here, keeping the dialogue clean and to the point. More importantly, it’s always interesting. There’s not a boring spot in the bunch. I didn’t realize until the comic was over that there wasn’t a battle of any kind. No Zords are used. The only monster we see is sleeping. And yet, this is a great issue. With the Shattered Grid event looming in the distance, this feels like the calm before the storm.