Look Into Rita Repulsa’s Past In Go Go Power Rangers #17

by James Ferguson

Where did Rita Repulsa come from? She’s always been depicted as a villainous witch, but was she always like that? Go Go Power Rangers is starting to dig into the background of one of the Rangers’ greatest foes and I am so very intrigued. Writer Ryan Parrott has already given us a new perspective on Rita’s henchmen, not to mention some incredible character development with the core team, so I cannot wait to see what he brings out in Rita.

Go Go Power Rangers #17 starts off in the beginning, over ten thousand years ago with Rita’s birth. This is pitch perfect as we see her as an innocent infant with her whole life ahead of her. It’s implied that her father is up to no good, so perhaps that’s where Rita gets her mean streak from. What is also interesting is that Zordon is one of the first people to visit, showing how deep the connection between these two runs.
Think of this from Zordon’s perspective for a moment. Imagine seeing the daughter of a close friend moments after she’s born, eventually grow up to become one of the most ruthless tyrants the universe has ever seen. This is a fascinating idea and, unsurprisingly, I’m eager to see where it goes next.

Artist Eleonora Carlini, joined by inker Simona Di Gianfelice creates a vast, alien world in these first few pages. This is unlike anything we’ve seen on Earth, mixing nature and technology in this cool futuristic style. The design for Rita’s mother, Fienna and Zordon have a similar flair, one part magical, one part medieval, and one part alien. It implies a tone of possibility, which is fitting as we’re witnessing the birth of a child.
I realized I’ve only been talking about the first three pages of Go Go Power Rangers #17. The comic sets a high bar right out of the gate, which has come to be expected of the series. What follows is another solid book, packed to the brim with multiple plot threads, flying forward at a mile a minute. It’s continually impressive how Parrott is able to further develop characters that we thought we knew so well, showing additional facets to them and exploring what really makes them tick.

A great example of this is a conversation between Zack and his guidance counselor about the stress he’s under. Knowing that he’s eventually the first one Rita seeks out to become the Green Ranger, as revealed in early issues of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, this serves as some nice foreboding. Letterer Ed Dukeshire places caption boxes of this conversation over action-packed sequences. Zack’s words are shown in a neutral, grey colored box, which certainly goes with his role as the Black Ranger, but also mirrors his current feelings.
Carlini delivers another amazing morphing shot that should be turned into a poster. Colorist Raul Angulo makes this page pop with each Ranger’s color filling a section of the page with such intense energy. The book practically sizzles with electricity when you get to this point. It’s such a great image all around.

While the Power Rangers are busy dealing with Finster’s latest creation, Stabasaurus Rex, in a flurry of action and color, Rita returns to her birthplace, looking for ways to unlock the powers of the Green Ranger coin. This is now a desolate landscape, a pale imitation of the wonder and splendor we see at the beginning of the issue. This planet is all but dead and it shows.

Overall, we know where this story is going. Sooner or later, Tommy Oliver is going to show up and we’ll start the unforgettable Green Ranger Saga. That doesn’t change the excitement Go Go Power Rangers has going for it. The creative team has built up such a tremendous body of work here that digs deep into these characters and gives us a larger appreciation for every single one of them. I wish all franchises got this kind of treatment.
Go Go Power Rangers #17 from Boom! Studios is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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