Editor’s Note: If you haven’t read the comic and like the element of surprise, STOP. Do not read any further! Spoilers are ahead!
The art of storytelling lives and dies through pacing. Whether it is movies, television, or comic books, the way in which information is presented to the viewer is just as important as the media itself. For example, as much enjoyment as the current television series – Power Ranger Dino Charge – has provided, many including this reviewer have criticized its second season for questionable pacing. Too many of the key plot points have been presented late into the season via bloated information dumps. This can lead to fun episodes early one and overwhelming lethargy late in the game.
Alternatively, BOOM! Studios comic series Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers has masterfully doled out its fairly complex first act in digestible chunks. Writer Kyle Higgins continues to weave a meticulously-planned web that provides variety while slowly ratcheting up the consequences for both our heroes and the world that they protect. Continuing this month with issue #7, Rita Repulsa and Black Dragon take their victory lap and expand their empire as the rangers try to regain their footing.
The rangers’ zords are used as strongholds in some of the world’s most populated and well-known cities. An epic Dragonzord battle takes place on Rita’s doorsteps as vibrant art allows for continually changing, dynamic locations to propel the equally lively narrative. It feels like this initial storyline is reaching an apex but still shows no signs of slowing down.
The most pleasing part of this series is that the little moments continue to come for the majority of the cast be they Zack reassuring Trini as she’s thrust into the role of “Billy Lite” or Rita waxing philosophical on the downfall of her enemies. Even the Putty Patrol is continuously utilized as more than their traditional lot in life as cannon fodder.
Artist Hendry Prasetya’s work is fantastic at establishing little moments. This series has been full of page one eyecatches. After being captured by Black Dragon, Billy is left powerless in the Dark Dimension. We’re led to believe that he too must go one on one with Goldar only to slowly be clued in that the golden warrior is just as much a prisoner as the Blue Ranger. Along with some whip smart dialogue, it’s pages like these that set this series apart from standard, adapted screen to print fair.
One of the most applause worthy aspects of this issue was so seamlessly integrated that it was easy not to notice at first glance. There’s almost zero ranger action to speak of in these twenty pages. Five of the rangers’ powers are out of commission thanks to Black Dragon and Tommy spends his few pages of ranger action on the defense. Still, the plot moves forward at a well-timed clip. Higgins knows when to expound and when to go silent and let Prasetya’s artwork do the heavy lifting.
Overall, it’s a credit to the creators of this series that they were able to hit the ground running with a product that had not previously shown much shelf life in this medium. After seven issues of the same plot, many books would begin to feel a tad long in the tooth. The exact opposite is true of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. Through the rangers’ internal conflicts, the glimpses of their humanity, new characters, and a willingness to deviate from twenty plus years of a tried and true formula, BOOM! Studios has established its own rock solid version of the Power Rangers universe.
Score: 5 out of 5
(Images Courtesy: Comic Book Resources)