The Power Lies On Their Side: Reviewing ‘Mighty Morphin Power Rangers’ #103
by Scott Redmond
‘Mighty Morphin Power Rangers’ focuses on the characters in the aftermath of the first two issues, steadily building towards something bigger down the line. Everything about this series captures the energy of the Power Rangers shows that fans grew up watching while adding a new level of detail, character, and colorful energy that elevates the entire universe and builds an even deeper foundation.
Madame Vile, formerly Rita Repulsa, has defeated Lord Zedd and the Power Rangers to gain the Zeo Crystal. Green Ranger Matt is also in her clutches, leaving the heroes and their new so-called allies to try and pick themselves back up. Too bad the Omega Rangers are in trouble as another villainous face from the past returns.
One of the best things about the BOOM! Studios’ version of the Power Rangers is how much deeper the already deep lore has now become. With the comics able to break free from the confines of a half-hour show time there is even more serialization and continuity building happening than there was during the pretty much serialized first six seasons of the television series. Lord Zedd was just a lord of evil in the show, but in this world, he was an Eltarian named Zophram who was a friend and mentor to Zordon before turning to evil. It’s things like this that give this world even more depth and intrigue, which Melissa Flores pulls from while also building up her own additions to the world and the intriguing relationships of the Rangers.
We get some action scenes at the start as Zedd flashes back to how Rita and her mysterious ally known only as the Vessel utterly defeated himself and his minions that we didn’t see before. Besides that, and a brief monster fight in the middle, the issue is very much heavily character-focused, both the good and bad guys, which is a delight. We see the Rangers struggling with what they are going through, especially Kimberly and Aisha who are not taking the capture of Matt very well. Aisha was a character that got so little focus at times in the show and Flores taking time to build and give her moments (like the back and forth with Finster last issue) as well as building something potentially between her and Matt is a good boost for the character.
Having grown up with these characters, spending more time with them that shapes them into even more well-rounded characters is a delight. Flores nails the voices of all of them and is weaving a very interesting story that is slowly building toward something. Another BOOM! related cut comes at the end with the return of the evil Alpha One robot, looking truly creepy and dangerous. I’m not as familiar with the character having not fully read Saban’s Go Go Power Rangers series from a few years ago, but I’m definitely going to dive into those comics now.
Creating a balance where both the more character/conversation moments and the action moments are both energetic and dynamic is something that Simona Di Gianfelice and Raúl Angulo do so easily. Everything has a big pop of energy and movement to it, both because of Di Gianfelice’s smooth flowing art style but also the way that the panels are done. Placing them in various shapes that overlap and spread through the page either on top of white or black space or over one another keeps our eyes moving to follow the action but also makes it feel even more like it’s all moving.
My favorites are the pages where numerous panels are stacked on top of a full-page panel so that pieces of that overall panel form a sort of border around the other ones. It feels immersive and creates a unique frame around the panels, just like the white and black space is doing on the other pages. There are also tons of pages that feature very close-up panels which sell even more of the emotion of a character as we see their full face or just their tear-covered face and mouth or just their eyes.
Angulo gives every space a distinct look with the variety of colors that hit the page, allowing most of them to have a very vibrant tone while also having enough shadows and darkness to bring a solid weight to everything. We have pages in the Command Center with blue and pink or even purple hues to the surroundings compared to the overly orange space in the Moon palace and the very bright accurately lit park scene later. It gives everything the sort of science-fiction or fantasy vibe that it should have with the subject matter, while also keeping things toned down enough to showcase the more grounded nature of the world too.
Another element that comes with doing a story set within a more science fiction/fantasy type of world is the ability to really do interesting things with the lettering. Ed Dukeshire is a master at setting the tone/volume within the dialogue and other words, allowing a character’s personality to bleed through at the same time. Alongside this are all the fun things that can come in like bubbles of varying colors with totally different fonts for the monsters and aliens that pop up, as well as big bold flashy SFX that make sure that we know exactly what something sounds like as it happens. The giddy energy that churns up within me when I spot things like a giant ‘Go, go, Power Rangers’ in the middle of a panel is indescribable.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #103 is now available from BOOM! Studios.