Rita goes to war with the ghost of her mother in an effort to unlock the Green Power Coin. Meanwhile, Trini and Jason have their first fight and Billy tests out some new armor. This might not sound like a lot, but Go Go Power Rangers #19 is chock full of solid story beats.
Let’s start with Rita, who has been slowly stealing this book away from the teenagers with attitude. This series has often started with a flashback that has provided some additional character development. This issue is no different and it’s given us such a heartbreaking look into Rita’s childhood that forces us to look at her in a different light. How could an innocent young girl turn into the monster we see before us today?
This is such an interesting dynamic and I love how writer Ryan Parrott is exploring it. Rita wasn’t born evil. She was once a little kid like all of us and her mother loved her so much that she put her life on the line to protect her. These opening pages giving us a look at the past flow perfectly and shockingly into the present where Rita is fighting her mother’s spirit with everything she’s got. We go from an image of a child Rita crying in the woods to one of her using her magic to destroy the woman that gave her life.
Colorist Raul Angulo gives Rita a very sinister look. She’s often shown in the shadows and her eyes, mouth, and pendant shine through the darkness in a creepy red. These contrast well with the bright bursts of energy flying every which way. There is nothing left of the scared little girl in the woods we saw earlier.
Artist Eleonora Carlini mixes up the panel layout to coincide with the action. When the battle is heated, the layout is varied with panels shown in odd angles and in different shapes. Then, when the action dies down a little, we fall back into a more traditional layout. This helps control the pace and tone of the scene.
Although she’s under attack, Rita’s mother blames herself for all of this. She feels that she’s let her daughter down which is so gut-wrenching. Letterer Ed Dukeshire uses a light blue font for her speech which plays with her appearance as a specter and gives her a more gentle voice.
I realize I just spent the bulk of this review talking about the bad guy. That’s how compelling these opening pages are. This is in a book where the tension is building up among the Power Rangers both in and out of costume. Parrott pulls us into these characters’ lives so completely. It’s like the best kind of high school drama. At times, the Power Rangers lives at home are more interesting than those on the battlefield.
Go Go Power Rangers is in a build mode, working towards the next big bombshell in the series. This makes every issue feel so important, even if it’s mostly the characters speaking to each other outside of their uniforms. We’re given a great look into their lives and personalities, which makes for an absolutely riveting read. This tension established here will have repercussions when they’re in the field and I can’t wait to see how it plays out.