‘Mighty Morphin Power Rangers’ dives right into a bold new era that hits all the right notes to capture that trademark Power Rangers feeling while continuing the moves to keep the franchise modern and fresh, and welcoming to fans new and old. An energetically beautiful and colorful debut with plenty of fun and darker elements to build up to an intriguing cliffhanger sure to bring a lot to this world.
Saturday, August 28th, 1993 was a day that changed the world for a great number of children that had woken up early to dive into whatever TV had in store for them that day. This was the day that saw the birth of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, an adaptation of the long-running Japanese Super Sentai, which kicked off a ripple effect on pop culture that continues to this very day.
I was one of those early-rising kids, just seven years old at the time, who tuned in for the debut of this new series, unknowing of how much it would dominate and change my life.
From those early days all the way up to the era of Power Rangers In Space, with brief returns for the likes of Power Rangers Time Force and Power Rangers Dino Thunder as well as sporadic episodes here or there, I watched in absolute joy and devoured everything Power Rangers related. Even now it’s still a huge thing in my life, which is why I’m very happy to be able to dive into this bold new era of the comic book series and review it.
While I was an avid reader of the comic book series when it launched in 2016, I will admit that I had fallen off a bit in the last few years but was keeping up with what the creative teams were up to. Having not read most of the recent relaunch titles that led into this, I’m happy to state how new reader-friendly Melissa Flores makes this issue. If one knows the basics of these characters and the era, it’s easy to slip right into the story.
It’s a mystery as fallout from the previous issues returns, and the Rangers find themselves under siege as they actually go to assist their foe Lord Zedd, who actually asked for help. Flores gets these characters instantly, their voices on point, and the back and forth between them and the variety of characters that pop up is just so good. It’s good fun but also full of mystery & tension, and just some good old-fashioned Power Ranger energy. I mean we have Lord Zedd’s throne turned into a classic sort of cheesy fun monster by Finster, that’s some good stuff.
I really like Simona Di Gianfelice’s art style, it’s so smooth and flowing, and energetic with some depth and darkness to it while being light and expressive at the same time. The character’s bodies and faces convey all the emotions they should and need for us to pick up on, and the action scenes are kinetic and powerful, and fantastic. Oh and that paneling style is, superb, especially with the variety of shapes and focuses but also that use of white space as borders between panels. No lie, I felt giddy flipping to the page with the full-page colorful morphing sequence.
Those colors come from Raúl Angulo, and they pair perfectly with Gianfelice’s artwork. There are plenty of bright pops of color needed for such a story, but there are tons of ingrained shadows and bits of darkness that elevate and highlight everything that is happening on the pages. It reminds us that while this is a fun story about powered teenagers fighting space aliens and monsters, there are heavier and sometimes darker elements at play. One exception is the aforementioned morphing page, where the colors are just full-on bright which works wonderfully because it hits the bright hopeful press those nostalgia buttons and joy that it’s meant to.
On letters is one of BOOM! Studios resident letterers, Ed Dukeshire just coming in strong as usual. We get plenty of good uses of font changes and styles to showcase dialogue and volume/tone, but it’s the supernatural & bigger stuff that just worked so well here. Bubbles that change to be jagged and malevolent, font color changes, screams/exclamations that burst out of their bubbles, even just the blue of Zordon’s dialogue bubbles, or the perfect rectangular nature of Alpha 5’s bubbles.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #101 is now available from BOOM! Studios.