The Power Rangers’ lives were hectic enough before an alternate version of Kimberly (aka The Ranger Slayer) came to their dimension to wreak havoc. They had only just got their powers so they’re still getting used to them. Plus, their close friend and Kimberly’s boyfriend, Matt was kidnapped by Rita and only recently got back. There’s a lot of fallout to sift through and the Ranger Slayer is not helping.
While Go Go Power Rangers ties into the massive Shattered Grid event, it hasn’t derailed the storyline that writer Ryan Parrott and artist Dan Mora have been working on all this time. It’s just another plate to keep spinning in this character driven comic. You could read most of this issue without knowing anything about Lord Drakkon and not miss a beat.
That isn’t to say that the elements that do tie into Shattered Grid aren’t a big deal. This centers on Kimberly for obvious reasons. It’s building towards a confrontation between the two Pink Rangers that is sure to be riveting. I’m most interested in how this version of Kimberly turned into the Ranger Slayer, especially since the opening pages of this and the recent issues feature a look at her past when she seems to be rebelling against Drakkon. What could have turned her to the dark side?
I would love to see this rebellion explored further. It’s like the Days of Future Past of Power Rangers stories. Unlikely alliances have sprung up as Kimberly works with Bulk to scout Drakkon’s troops and their movements. This version of Kimberly still has some hope in her eyes, before she gets turned into the ruthless Ranger Slayer we’ve seen later on.
Meanwhile, our Kimberly forces a confrontation with Matt, who has been avoiding her since he got back. I love the way this is shown as everything and everyone else in the scene fades into the background. Colorist Raul Angulo paints this with a greyish blue shade which instantly draws your attention to Kimberly and Matt, adding some more emphasis to their heated discussion.
The difference between this Kimberly and the Ranger Slayer is like night and day and it’s not just because of their haircuts. You see the innocence in our version. Her life is about to get so much more complicated. You just want to give her a hug and tell her everything will be okay.
Parrott manages to keep a number of balls in the air as each member of the team gets some time in the spotlight. He has a real talent for character work, taking these people that we already liked and adding so many layers to them. They may have been caricatures before, but now they’re real living people going through tough emotional times both in and out of uniform.
This would have been enough on its own. Watching these teenagers go through the hardships of life is riveting. Then the Ranger Slayer shows up with the Gravezord, an immense robot made of discarded former zords. We’ve seen this teased for a bit, but it’s something else to see it in action. It’s reminiscent of Goldar’s zord that we saw in the Power Rangers: Pink mini-series, so that takes some of the wind out of its sails, however it’s still very impressive. It looks rather sinister in nature, like the machine itself is evil.
The Ranger Slayer’s real plan is revealed by the end of the issue and it is so very brutal. If you had any doubts as to which side she was on, that’s made very clear by her actions. Again, I’m left to wonder how she got this way as she pulls no punches in her attacks.
Go Go Power Rangers is already a compelling high school drama featuring characters we know and love that happen to turn into super heroes and pilot giant robots. The tie in to Shattered Grid is a bonus that works to further that narrative without sacrificing any of the main plot threads. All too often event tie-ins feel forced and tend to throw off an ongoing story. That is so not the case here.