Praetor Delivers A History Lesson In MMPR #38

by James Ferguson

The Power Rangers lost in the far reaches of space, beyond the Morphin Grid finally found some hope of a possible return home and a way to re-activate their powers in this strange land. It’s not without obstacles as the evil Praetor lurks in the shadows, pulling at strings to tear them all apart. Who is this seemingly all powerful villain and where did he come from? Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #38 digs into his past and reveals how we got to here.

The Praetor has been a near constant threat since “Beyond the Grid” started and now for the first time we get a glimpse as to who he was before he rose to power. This is laid out for us in a pretty blatant way as he literally tells us his entire life story, like a history lesson. This sucks out all the momentum of the main arc and the revelations don’t pack a punch as it’s presented in such a dry, text-heavy fashion.

This is unfortunate as there are some pretty interesting tidbits in the Praetor’s path and how it ties to this area of space and its connection – or lack there of– to the Morphin Grid. I have to wonder how this would have been received if pieces of it were spread out over the full storyline, kind of like how we get those brief flashbacks in the beginning of each issue of Go Go Power Rangers. This would allow a steady build up over time instead of a big exposition dump.

There’s a lot to set up as “Beyond the Grid” moves towards its climax and this unfortunately means a lot of dialogue from both the Praetor and the Rangers. Writer Marguerite Bennett has the unenviable task of outlining a ton of information in a very short amount of time. It all makes sense in the wide world of the Power Rangers. It’s just a lot to take in all at once.

Artist Simone Di Meo’s work is always appreciated and even scenes consisting of just a few people talking look gorgeous and riveting. There are several full-page spreads that are nothing short of jaw-dropping, especially those dealing with the Praetor’s past. Di Meo’s pencils give this history a big, epic feel, like the character is a giant, looking down on humans like mere ants.

The Preator’s speech is always shown in a menacing manner with a scratchy font in dark blue word balloons. Letterer Ed Dukeshire adds to the villainous nature of the character with this touch.

When the Power Rangers set their plan into motion, it’s unleashed in an explosion of color and energy. Colorist Walter Baiamonte reminds us that we’re dealing with a completely alien world with some sci-fi shades that make every scene bigger and bolder. There’s a double-page spread that really stands out with the sun casting all kinds of awesome shadows on the Power Rangers below as the Praetor’s forces gather in the sky like a dark cloud.

The Power Rangers are gathering for what might be their last battle. This entire section of space hangs in the balance and they’re running on fumes. Now that the Praetor is put into context and his true intentions are revealed, it’s even more important that they stand their ground and stop him in his tracks. With all the setup out of the way, we should get a pretty amazing battle in the last issue of this storyline.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #38 from Boom! Studios is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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