Explore Heckyl’s Tortured Past In MMPR #35

by James Ferguson

The Power Rangers stranded beyond the grid have earned a moment of peace and quiet, so this is the perfect time for some soul searching. Heckyl decides to reveal his tortured past to Kimberly and Cameron. How did he get to become a Power Ranger and aboard this ship in the first place?

You don’t need to know Heckyl’s full story from Power Rangers: Dino Charge in order to dig into Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #35. Writer Marguerite Bennett provides enough information for you to hit the ground running, although if you had watched the show, you’ll find a lot more to enjoy. What comes through is the inner struggle Heckyl faces with every passing day. He has more than a few regrets in his life and he’s been trying to make up for them for ages.

The bulk of this issue is a flashback to Heckyl’s journey back to his home planet of Sentai 6. It’s there he studied under Zenowing to become something like a Jedi. He tries to put his violent past behind him and learn to walk the path of peace and tranquility, but that’s not enough for him. You can see how uncomfortable he is in this scenario, since he’s still desperately trying to prove to the world that he can be better.

You get the sense of wisdom coming from Zenowing. This is a guy that’s seen it all and he’s trying to impart that knowledge to Heckyl. Letterer Ed Dukeshire uses an ancient-looking font for the bird-like alien. It’s shown in blue, matching up to his design too.

Artist French Carlomagno brings out this emotion on Heckyl’s face. There’s an earnest quality there, full of wonder at the possibilities of this peaceful life and this urge to do more. He’s seen first hand what kind of good the Power Rangers can do, so why can’t he do that too? He disobeys Zenowing and uses the Dark Energem to morph in an effort to protect Sentai 6 in a way that meditation couldn’t.

I love how the transformations look in comics. Since it’s not a fluid motion like on TV, we get snippets of it. Carlomagno creates a blur effect around Heckyl as he morphs, going from an unsure man to a full-fledged Power Ranger. Colorist Eleonora Bruni brings this to life in explosions of energy. You almost have to shield your eyes during this segment.

Artist Francesco Mortarino and colorist Walter Baiamonte handled the opening and closing pages of the book. The styles mess well with the rest of the comic, especially since we’re dealing with a flashback. The same quality emotional expressions are on display here and we never forget that we’re in the far reaches of space.

Since we shifted to this new rag-tag group of Power Rangers from across time and space, it’s helpful to dig into the backgrounds of some of the characters that aren’t as well known as the original team. I hope that we get more interludes like this moving forward to further build up these characters so that we’re just as invested in them as we are with the Mighty Morphin team. Coming in like this in a natural break between arcs is the perfect time.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #35 from Boom! Studios is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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