The fourth issue of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers from writer Kyle Higgins and illustrator Hendry Prasetya is all about bringing the current storyline to a head. Since the beginning, the rangers have been questioning Tommy’s status on their team as a reformed minion of Rita. For his part, Tommy hasn’t exactly displayed himself to be the most trustworthy team member by hiding fevered visions of his former employer and getting into situations where they have to rescue him.
One of the most consistently strong aspects of this comic has been the proactive nature of the villains. Rita has no designs to let Tommy go quietly as she continues to sink her claws into his psyche and drive the rangers further and further away from their new compatriot. This leads to the battle that takes up the bulk of this issue and it’s a fairly satisfying one. Scorpina has control of the Dragonzord and the confrontation that follows allows Prasetya’s artwork to break free from the mundane stylings of a typical zord fight. The individual zords get time to shine and there’s a controlled freneticism to the pacing that lets the rangers feel like the ragtag, early days team that Zordon somewhat recently recruited.
There are times where questionable liberties are taken by the writer. It’s very much appreciated that this comic series is willing to dive into the rangers’ personalities to a depth that the television show never approached. However, there are still certain universal truths that should be adhered to in lieu of crafting something that loses the nebulous feel of what makes the Power Rangers the Power Rangers. A monster should explode rather than leave a blood trail and the way the rangers handled Scorpina showed a severe lapse in judgment. While the feeling is that the confrontation between the team is being fueled by Rita’s plan, it still paints Jason in a rather poor light. Here’s hoping Jason’s thought process is expounded upon in the future. There’s nothing wrong with him being a flawed leader. In fact, it’s encouraged.
Some of the rangers faded a bit into the background this issue as the confrontation between Tommy and Zack that has been in the works since the beginning of this series took center stage. As connected as she is to Tommy, Kimberly is by and large a bystander. Billy and Trini took very passive roles which does fit with the characters but even Zordon virtually disappeared by the end.
As usual, the book ended on an appropriately intriguing cliffhanger. Solicitations for issue five suggest that we will get the full story on what makes Zack tick next month. It will be interesting to see just how much they tackle the newly discovered threat by interweaving it into Zack’s tale or if they’ll take a more pure, flashback-filled approach. Either way, it’s safe to say that the next issue is the most anticipated of the line up to this point.
Overall, this issue lacked some of the punch that was in previous installments. That doesn’t mean the issue was bad. Far from it. The art continues to dazzle and the battle that took up the lion’s share of the book was a real winner. Some of the characterization towards the end and the severe lack of Trini, Billy, and Kimberly did raise a red flag. Still, this comic has done a fantastic job of building on itself and has now reached the point where the pieces should come together.
Score: 4 out of 5
(Images Courtesy: Comic Book Resources)
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