Hitting The Reset Button – Ryan Parrott Talks Power Rangers: Necessary Evil
by James Ferguson
Ryan Parrott has been doing a tremendous job writing Power Rangers, first in Go Go Power Rangers and now also with Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. As both series are in the midst of the “Necessary Evil” event, I had a chance to speak with him about these characters, where they’re going, and the obstacles in store for them.
James Ferguson: I am continually impressed by how you give time to every single character. How do you juggle that with an ensemble cast?
Ryan Parrott: I’m glad you feel I’m doing that well because sometimes I feel like I don’t. [Laughs] One of the first comics I ever worked on was Star Trek with Mike Johnson. He gave me some really great advice. Never forget that everyone has a different favorite character. They all pick up these books hoping to see a focus on that character. When you do a team or ensemble book, you always have to remember that someone loves Uhura as much as Kirk, so you have to give everyone some time. Power Rangers is the same way. One of my favorite things with interacting with fans is when I ask them what is their favorite season or Ranger. I get different answers all the time.
There’s a responsibility to make sure you give every character some time, even if it’s just one line of dialogue or a joke. I found it much easier when it was just one team in a book. I did the math one day and I think there are 27 characters per issue right now. There are only 22 pages in a comic so you can do the math there. As much as I know people love Tommy and Jason and even some of the villains, I’m always trying to make sure that I give everyone at least a little bit of a voice. That’s how you show them all moving together as a group.
JF: With Necessary Evil we jump ahead with new Rangers and new villains. How did you decide to bring them in instead of continuing on with the original line up?
RP: We knew coming out of Shattered Grid that there was going to be a big reset point with its ending. We could have just started up the next day. With Beyond the Grid coming after that, the book went in a very different direction for a little while. We felt that to bring everyone back in, we needed a spot to plant the flag. In the same way that Kyle [Higgins] did the original series where the first issue of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers doesn’t pick up with the pilot. It picks up the day that Tommy joins the team. Kyle planted a flag there.
That started the first time the Green Ranger joined the team, so we have an opportunity to do the same thing with the White Ranger. It seemed like a nice spot to jump in. That’s a big, iconic moment in the series. People will understand where we are, then we threw some curveballs in with the Omega Rangers.
JF: How do you juggle both Go Go Power Rangers and Mighty Morphin Power Rangers now? You have some help on Go Go with co-writer Sina Grace.
RP: A lot of alcohol. [Laughs] We actually thought Go Go was going to end, but then we started Necessary Evil and realized that we had a lot of backstory we hadn’t really touched on. We could have told the entire story of Go Go in one issue, but that would have been impossible, especially with all the characters, so we expanded it. I had the backstory of what happened, but not all the details. We brought Sina in and broke it that way. I say it’s like Lost a bit where Mighty Morphin is like all the time on the island and Go Go is like all the flashbacks. If you read them back and forth, it bounces that way. It’s going to be interesting to see people that read the single issues compared to people that read the trades because they are two very different experiences.
JF: Do you have a favorite Power Ranger?
RP: I’m afraid to say who my favorite is. I’m starting to meet them now. [Laughs] I don’t want them to know they’re my favorite. I love all of my children equally. I grew up with that first season so the initial five is big with me. I watched it because I had a crush on Kimberly, but I haven’t met her yet. I sort of identified with Billy because I was a nerd too, although when I actually met David, I realized he’s not a nerd at all. He’s ripped and he’s a gymnast.
JF: How did the new villain Dane come about?
RP: Doggie Kruger is a huge character in Power Rangers, but we’ve never seen anyone else from that alien race. Since the TV show wasn’t initially constructed to be a shared universe, but slowly became that over time, that’s something fun about the comic. We can go back and tie in different teams, characters, or races. In Mighty Morphin, we have an issue where they go to a big party and there’s a bunch of cameos in there. That was a way to tie everything together. I want to keep doing that more and more. There are a lot of opportunities for stuff like that and a lot of unutilized space.
JF: How much more can we expect in Necessary Evil?
RP: I don’t know that we’ve said when it ends. I’ll say this. I’m a little more than halfway through writing it. We knew we were going to reset after Shattered Grid, but I wanted there to be some real consequences. Just because people don’t remember doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. The Empowered, Necessary Evil, and the Omega Rangers came out of that idea. If there are consequences and no one knows about it, how do we deal with it? That smashed into the idea of these three Rangers that “went to a peace conference” and that’s where the origin of the story began.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and Go Go Power Rangers from Boom! Studios are in the midst of the Necessary Evil event. You can catch up through trade paperbacks and single issues at your local comic shop or digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle. Comicon would like to thank Ryan Parrott for taking the time to speak with us.