With the Solarix in hand, the Power Rangers stranded beyond the Grid are able to do some good. Joined by the Solar Ranger, they’re working to keep this previously uncharted area of the galaxy safe from evil, however, their power is dwindling so they’ll need to find a new source quickly if they hope to survive. This adds to the already high stress levels permeating through the whole group.
Since only a handful of the Power Rangers on this big spaceship have their powers, it’s easy to forget just how many there are on board. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #36 reminds us of these ranks as we spend time with just about everyone. This is a good thing and a bad thing. It’s good because we see how the wider cast is handling these sudden changes and life out in the far reaches of space. It’s bad because, unless you’re up to date on just about every Power Rangers series over the past 25 years, a large chunk of these characters will be a little foreign to you, so you’re not as invested in their lives and struggles as you could be.
This is unfortunate because writer Marguerite Bennett presents some pretty compelling cases with this group. It’s just that some of it falls flat because I’m not familiar with these characters. That’s my own fault though. I’m sure that folks with a deeper knowledge of Power Rangers will find a lot more to enjoy in this book.
What Bennett has done is pique my interest with other Power Rangers groups that I might not have given the time of day to in the past. After a riveting scene with Mike, where he’s tortured by nightmares of his past failures, I have to learn more about this character and his background.
Letterer Ed Dukeshire uses eerie word balloons for this sequence, making the voices appear as if they’re coming from beyond the grave. This complements artist Simone Di Meo’s images as Leo’s tossing and turning makes his sheets look like ghosts. At times, it’s almost like faces or hands are reaching out through the darkness to grab him. This is a brilliant effect that really drives home the tortured thoughts of the character.
Di Meo continues to provide some of the most dynamic panel layouts in modern day comics. These help amplify the tone of every scene, whether that’s a somber one of reflection or a space-faring battle. No two pages look alike.
Colorist Walter Baiamonte never lets us forget that we’re in deep space and these characters are in dire straights. There’s a wonder that comes with seeing stars and alien worlds that’s matched by the terror that supplies are running low and it’s only a matter of time before the Power Rangers all starve to death. That got dark really quickly, but that’s the life and death struggle we’re seeing play out. It elevates the highs and drops down the lows.
With the news that we’ll be back on Earth with the old team in issue #40, I have to wonder what the future holds for this rag tag group of Power Rangers. The cast is a little big, but there are some great stories to be told here. We’ve already seen some play out and with the addition of the Solar Ranger, there are even more possibilities.