The opening scene of the second issue of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers illustrates the tent pole reason as to why Kyle Higgins’ take on this universe is so enticing to older fans of the series. He expounds upon the moments in between the spandex. As beloved as these characters have been for so many years, there is still no denying that throughout the first three seasons of the show they were quite static. At their cores they were little more than their archetypes: Long-haired Jock! Cool Guy! Popular Girl! Nerd! Alternachick! Short-haired Jock!
Beyond the weekly conflicts of whichever ranger was having an existential crisis that Rita could capitalize upon, it’s only natural to believe that the people behind the suits had the potential to become deeper characters. The conversation between Billy and Trini is indicative of just such a truth. Billy’s struggle to feel a part of the team is only deepened with Tommy’s arrival. In the show, we would have gotten a monster that they’d be forced to team up to take down. Here we get Trini showing just why she is the emotional ballast of the group along with some mythos about the inner workings of the zords for the tech geeks among us.
Jason and Kimberly also have a great scene together that focuses on where Tommy is being pieced into the puzzle that is their lives. Along with words of concern that Zack voiced in previous issues, we are really getting the full picture of how adding a new ingredient to the stew – especially one with as dubious beginnings as the Green Ranger – is not as simple as it may first appear.
The heroes aren’t the only characters who are receiving overhauls in this comic. Higgins has rightly mentioned that Scorpina was a criminally underutilized villain in the original series and as a direct result she has quickly become a much more prominent figure in the comics. While physically capable in her own right, she also attacks the rangers on a psychological level. Such deviousness ensures that readers will never forget the “teenager” aspect of the “teenagers with attitude” mantra.
The artwork of Hendry Prasetya continues to bring a much more visceral tone the rangers’ fights. Putties don’t go away with a simple punch or kick. Hordes of footsoldiers need to be chipped away at in brutal fashion. Every attack has weight behind it that is a constant reminder that the battle between the Power Rangers and Rita Repulsa is just that: a battle and not a multi-colored glee club that takes place in between Ms. Appleby’s lectures on question marks and Show & Tell.
Overall, issue #2 of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers continues a rock solid mantra of bringing the fans in with the ranger action and making them stay thanks to character growth. As kids who were fans of the television show, we took many things for granted. Higgins is making it a point to expound upon every detail so that the Power Rangers won’t feel any more out of place in the real world than the more established superheroes of the comic book universe.
Score: 5 out of 5
Images courtesy of Comic Book Resources
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