A Kaiju-Sized Dog & Mustachioed Alpha 5 In MMPR 2018 Anniversary Special
by James Ferguson
The Power Rangers 25th anniversary celebration continues with this special one-shot collecting five untold stories from across the franchise’s history. The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers 2018 Anniversary Special includes the original team, of course, plus others such as Galaxy, Space, and the most recent incarnation, Ninja Steel. Three out of the five have some sort of tie in with the Mighty Morphin team and not always in the way you’d expect. This speaks to the strength of this brand over time.
Unsurprisingly, the stories I gravitated towards were those with the OG Power Rangers. Unlike some of the more serious flair we’ve seen in the current “Shattered Grid” storyline, these tales leaned more to the humorous angle the Power Rangers have dabbled with over the years. “Pet Project” from writer Jessica Quinones and artist Joe Quinones, is a perfect example of this as Rita turns Scorpina’s pet silkworm into an adorable puppy in an effort to sap the power from Tommy. In the end, the White Ranger ends up fighting a kaiju-sized dog which is just as ridiculous and fun as it sounds.
I do wonder if “Pet Project” is a secret tie-in to “Shattered Grid” based on how Rita’s attack backfires. It would be interesting if this is the real untold origin of Lord Drakkon. I’m probably looking too deep into this.
Another favorite is “Sealed” which links the Mighty Morphin team with the Ninja Steel team through time with a dimension-hopping Lovecraftian monster. Writers Mat Groom and Michael Busuttil pay homage to the original teenagers with attitude, showing how they’re seen by other Rangers years later. They’re more than just heroes, they’re legends.
Artist Lucas Werneck draws a whole mess of tentacles, enveloping both teams in a hectic battle. Eleonora Bruni’s colors complete the monster’s otherworldly nature with purples and yellows not often seen in nature. The panels bounce between each group as they’re happening at different times, however the way they’re laid out makes it feel like they’re alongside each other. This plays into the story well, particularly towards the end.
This story gets bonus points for featuring Alpha 5 in a top hat and fake mustache. I want a whole one-shot on that story alone. Please make that happen, Boom! Studios. As mentioned above, these quick jabs of humor are spot on for the Power Rangers and fit perfectly with the flow of the book.
The covers for the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers 2018 Anniversary Special are definitely worthy of such a monumental event. Steve Morris‘ main cover aptly features Rangers from different eras in a powerful stance. The variant covers by Joe Quinones focus on the original team, but look no less awesome. One group shot looks like the Rangers are about to drop the sickest mixtape this side of a dumpster on the moon.
Although I haven’t seen every one of the hundreds of Power Rangers episodes or even every one of the different seasons, it was easy to jump into this one-shot and get a good idea of what was going on. If anything, it makes me want to binge watch everything on Netflix. If you’re even a casual fan of the franchise, this special is worth checking out. Regardless of when you jumped on the Power Rangers bandwagon, there’s something for you in here.
The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers 2018 Anniversary Special from Boom! Studios is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle. It is written by Jessica Quinones, Mat Groom, Michael Busuttil, Magdalene Visaggio, Sina Grace, and Trey Moore, illustrated by Joe Quinones, Lucas Werneck, French Carlomagno, Sina Grace, and Dajung Lee, colored by Eleonora Bruni and Marcelo Costa, and lettered by Ed Dukeshire.