From the first time I saw Grace Sterling, I knew there was something fishy about her. Now, her secret stands revealed as Billy has discovered she’s been keeping Lord Drakkon himself caged in the bowels of Promethea. The evil, alternate version of Tommy Oliver is one of the deadliest foes the Power Rangers have ever faced. The team thought they were safe from him as he was in another dimension, but now he’s right in front of them. To make matters worse, Finster has returned to Rita and under her orders has unleashed the ten remaining sleeper agents out in the world, creating lots of work for the Rangers.
Since this is the issue before the massive “Shattered Grid” event, you can imagine how crammed full of action and excitement, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #24 is. Oh man, is there a lot to unpack here. Let’s start with Finster. When he was out on his own, he became a diabolical villain, creating some real danger for the Power Rangers. He manufactured a new breed of monster that would live and breathe as a normal human until he activated them, transforming them into a horrible creature to wreak havoc. He was essentially a terrorist.
Now that he’s back with Rita, you can see how smart he really is and how his talents are wasted under her rule. Rita is a hammer and every problem she sees is a nail. There’s no finesse to her work and you can see how Finster feels about this. At first he’s humbled in front of her, but then takes on an air of resigned acceptance, allowing Rita’s orders to play out despite his efforts to convince her to back a different play. You can see this smug look on his face as the plan falls apart. It’s a total “told you so” face without actually saying the words.
As with the ones before them, the monsters are varied and impressive. Artist Jonas Scharf showcases all of them at once in a stunning page segmented out into ten slices of chaos. Some of the monsters get additional time in the spotlight, but the two that I was most interested in, unfortunately, don’t even get names. Those are the camel made of sand and the dinosaur with chainsaw arms. Please, Kyle Higgins. Tell me what pun-filled monikers these monsters have.
We barely get time to process the Drakkon reveal before we’re thrown into these battles, so when the payoff comes, it’s a big one. Drakkon looks diseased, like the powers that he’s tainted with his evil are tearing his body apart from the inside. Veins bulge all over his torso and face. His skin looks grim and pale. His hair is unkempt and filthy. Despite this dirty visage, he still looks deadly. This is a caged animal ready to pounce. He has a sickening smile that you just want to slap off his face. He knows how unnerving his presence is.
Grace had some good intentions, but her actions are inexcusable. This deeply affects Jason as he started to look to her as a role model and she just let him down big time. Plus, the re-appearance of Drakkon sends reverberations through the time, primarily with Tommy and Billy who witnessed his wrath first hand. That’s a whole new level of PTSD right here.
What I was most surprised about from this was Zordon’s reaction. For the first time, he seems humbled, willing to accept the mistakes he’s made, such as the 1969 team where a few of the Rangers died on their first mission. Zordon has been shown more like the Guardians of the Universe from the Green Lantern comics in the past. Here he appears almost human.
I was already excited for “Shattered Grid” as everything that’s been teased about the mega-event has been nothing short of remarkable. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #24 sets the stage in a big way. The stakes are raised considerably as the players take their places. There’s a huge fallout and the Rangers are shaken to their core on the eve of a battle where they’ll need to be stronger than ever. I don’t know about you, but my fists are clenched and I cannot wait until the next issue.