The Road To Shattered Grid Begins In Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #23

by James Ferguson

Grace Sterling and Promethea have developed a way to track and alert the Power Rangers when Finster’s sleeper monsters are about to appear. While the team is in New York dealing with the creepy Sheeple (more on him in a moment), another alert comes through in Vancouver. Grace decides to handle this herself which creates some tension with the Rangers as they question her methods. Meanwhile, Rita is back on her home turf and beginning to prepare her revenge.

There is an ominous tone throughout Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #23. It could be because the mega-event “Shattered Grid” is on the horizon, starting in issue #25. Everything that happens in this chapter helps lead us towards it. Much of this is attributed to Promethea. I’ve had a bad feeling about Grace from the start, even after we saw her rough and rather abbreviated time as a Ranger. There’s been something under the surface there, like you just can’t trust her. We see a major reveal at the end of this issue that is sure to turn some heads.
Rita’s return has been slowly percolating over the course of recent issues. Here we see her reclaim her throne and prepare for what comes next. This adds to that feeling of dread because no good can come from this, especially when she calls on Finster. He’s already shown how deadly and devious he can be, so having him back on Rita’s team is unsettling.

Then there’s Sheeple. Writer Kyle Higgins has been creating some of the best monsters this franchise has ever seen during his run on this book. Sheeple is no different. It’s a big sheep that spouts conspiracy theories, like the John Oliver diatribe about there being only one Olsen Twin. This is all he says. He doesn’t engage in any witty banter.
Artist Jonas Scharf’s design for Sheeple is more than a little comical as he’s basically a big sheep standing on two legs with what look like VR goggles on his face. The symbol on his chest resembles the Eye of Providence, which is associated with the Illuminati. What makes Sheeple a tougher foe is that he can turn other people into sheep too, like a flock. Those that come under his spell turn into bloodthirsty sheep with razor sharp teeth. That’s a weird sentence you won’t see outside of comics.

While the fight with Sheeple in New York is during the day and brightly colored, the confrontation in Vancouver is the opposite. It’s cloaked in shadow, which is fitting considering the police state Grace has instituted there. While her intentions are good, her methods are too authoritarian for the Power Rangers. This creates a nice juxtaposition on the page from colorist Joana LaFuente. It’s scary to see how quickly Grace was able to mobilize these forces. Imagine what she could do if she turned this power against the Rangers.

I was already excited for Shattered Grid, but Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #23 greatly increased that anticipation. This issue strikes the perfect balance between comedy and drama. You still get the cheesy yet fun villains with ridiculous abilities, and that’s contrasted with the mind-blowing terror of pieces moving into place to greatly affect the Power Rangers. They are almost entirely unaware of what is in store for them.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #23 is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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