Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #1 Writer: Kyle Higgins Pencils: Hendry Prasetya Colors: Matt Herms Letters: Ed Dukeshire Publisher: Boom Studios
If you were a kid born in the late 80’s, more so boy then girl, you were probably a fan of the Saban Entertainment TV-series Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. The martial arts show about 5 teenagers with attitude who do battle with an evil sorceress named Rita Repulsa and her army of foot soldiers made out of clay was as cheesy as they come. It’s based off a Japanese show called Super Sentai and its season titled Gosei Sentai Dairanger. The budget for this show was so cheap that it used stock footage of the Japanese show’s action scenes and just dubbed over it with its American actors. However, we all loved it and it became an overnight sensation.
The show is still on the air but with different additives and is not nearly as popular as it was in the mid 90’s. However the original is at the ripe moment for 90’s nostalgia and thats what Boom Studios and writer Kyle Higgins have brilliantly capitalized on.
The comic is a follow up to last months #0 issue and does a solid job building on an already established world. It shows that Angel Grove is more then just a school and a juice bar. Brings more life to the command center by creating a battle simulator, reminiscent of the Danger Room in X-Men. As well as more depth to its characters.
Speaking of the characters, they are written spot on, the characteristics and personalities are identical to the series. You can tell that Higgins did his research. You get nerdy scenes from Billy, some goof off moments with Zack, and some great Bulk and Skull antics. The one character that this story is focused on though is Tommy Oliver, the Green Ranger.
This comic sets the stage for a story that the TV-series didn’t explore, at the very least touched on. How did the other Rangers feel about Tommy’s evil past? Do they trust him? Do the civilians trust the Rangers decision? How is Tommy dealing with his past demons? Is he still being tempted by Rita?
All these questions are adressed in some form in this issue and thats what Higgins seems to be focused on. Brining us childhood nostalgia but writing it in a mature, modern, and complex manner. The issue keeps the insanity of the show but gives us more character moments and allows us to really get to know them aside form the stereotypes the shows writers gave them.
The artwork in here is mixed. Penciler Hendry Prasetya does a solid job of capturing the vibe and style of the show but goes a bit too lighthearted and cartoony at times. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for lighthearted fun and cartoon nonsense but the tone that Higgins has set calls for a slightly more realistic visual to it. Not asking for an Alex Ross, more like a Mark Bagley or a Sara Pichelli. Colorist Matt Herms has the same issue as well. The colors are bright and do a great job of emphasizing those in the forefront, drawing the eyes attention. However the it’s too lighthearted for the writing and the light colors make it look oddly incomplete at times. With that said though, the art team did do a competent job in brining us nice looking visuals. It’s just that the writing called for a more realistic approach.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #1 is an enjoyable read for all those who grew up watching the show. Higgins not only understands both the world and its characters but realizes that those coming back due to nostalgia are going to want something with a little more meat and complexity. The artwork is a bit of a miss in meeting the tone of the book but the story and characters are fantastically set up and will grab your investment.
Score 4 out of 5
Review by Eric Bradach