Trini Kwan. For many Power Rangers fans she was more of a background player. In issue three of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, she comes to the forefront and proves once again what makes this book by Kyle Higgins (writer) and Hendry Prasetya (illustrator) such a draw to long time fans of the television series. One aspect that I’ve touched on before is the Yellow Ranger being the heart and soul of the team. This is no more evident than in this issue. While the characters who get the most attention are struggling with their problems – most of which center around Tommy and Rita’s lingering control over him – she is the one that keeps them all on track. Whether it be boosting Billy’s confidence, calming down Zack’s trust issues, or getting Tommy to open up, Trini always provides a sympathetic ear. In many ways, she’s the most important member of the team.
What makes this team and their unity so enthralling is that there are no superfluous rangers. Some are getting more attention now but everyone shows at least a hint of more to come. In this issue, we learn more about both Tommy and Trini’s family histories. Tommy has always been a loner. Trini has always been compelled to help others. Both of these established facts from the television show are expounded upon during the scenes they share.
Another developing character is Zack. He has been a slow burn since the beginning that is growing into more of a powderkeg with each passing issue. The fascinating point that he makes is one of nature versus nurture. Do Rita’s spells count as get out of jail free cards for any act committed while under their control? Was Tommy’s personality forced to pull a U-turn when he received the power coin or was it more of a slight merge into a darker dimension? A Zack versus Tommy confrontation seems inevitable at this stage and by stoking those flames in each issue it makes the anticipation of such an event that much more palpable.
Even Goldar, a character who hasn’t so much as made a peep in this series, kicks off the issue serving his penance in the wake of the “Green with Evil” saga. He doesn’t simply have a rivalry with the Green Ranger. He has a personal vendetta that will not so easily be satiated.
Visually, the book continues to impress. Rita utilizes the crumbled remains of one putty patroller as raw materials for a more sinister plan. Zord battles take place directly next to the Command Center. These are elements that were limited within the scope of the television series but were not necessarily impossible. Seeing them now resonates with readers and leaves them wondering what else could be realized in this medium. That seems to be the overriding theme of this series: taking the conventional, surface-level aspects that are oh so familiar to the fans and finding ways to build natural, more jarring layers upon them.
Overall, the third issue of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers was foreboding in the best way possible. The fractures that we have seen among the team are starting to feel like full blown schisms. This is both the series we know and something altogether different. The most well-known rangers like Jason and Kimberly take just enough of a backseat to add proper depth to the rest of the team. The villains are significantly devious and much more active in their schemes. While I would like to see more of the civilian characters eventually integrated into the story, what we have seen from Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers is fantastic. The book continues to prove that the world it’s exploring goes far deeper than even a Dragonzord shuffling along the ocean floor.
Score: 5 out of 5
(Images Courtesy: Comic Book Resources)