If you follow me on Twitter or speak to me in any general context, you know I grew up watching MMPR. A few years ago you may have even noticed me discovering Super Sentai. And now, after months of putting it off, I finally got around to reading the first volume of Boom Studio’s “Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers”.
I don’t know why I put off reading this for as long as I did. I genuinely enjoy Boom’s work, and was excited to find out they had gotten the license. Maybe it was because 90s MMPR comics were notoriously pretty bad. Mainly, though, the books just released in a time where I couldn’t get around to reading them. So when I got the press copy of the volume one trade, I decided to finally give it a go.
Set shortly after the classic “Green With Evil” saga, MMPR’s first arc focuses on the team’s relationship with the Green Ranger. Tommy himself is somewhat paranoid, coping with ongoing hallucinations of Rita and the sense that he isn’t good enough to be a part of the team. Meanwhile, the other Rangers find themselves at odds with Zordon’s snap decision to recruit Tommy. This friction and paranoia drives the plot as Rita schemes to open a mysterious portal fueled by Tommy’s “green chaos energy”.
The chosen time for the story is an interesting one with few previous portrayals. The original series had Tommy immediately join the team with little friction or regard to his history as the evil Green Ranger. The portrayal here is more in line with the original Sentai depiction of Burai, the Dragon Ranger. Evan after he was saved, Burai (who is actually the brother of Geki, the Tyranno Ranger) remained a mysterious and lone figure. Preferring to keep to himself and help from a distance, this portrayal informs the American Green Ranger more than you realize. Because of Burai’s scarce in costume appearances, Tommy spent a lot of time in the woods working on his katas. As a result, there’s not a lot of stories revolving around the fallout of Tommy being Rita’s evil servant.
Adding to the depth is Kyle Higgins, who brings some truly unique ideas to the mix. By creating a more paranoid Tommy and a more defensive team of Rangers we get a unique of interaction we normally don’t see. The Rangers no longer seem like 2D cutouts, but have motivations and concerns. Villains have their A-game stepped up as well too. Scorpina is the focus here, with Goldar remaining in Rita’s Dark Dimension as punishment for losing the Green Ranger. Rita herself is more wily than usual, specifically in a really great sequence where she has to recreate a weapon. These are all moments gorgeously rendered by Hendry Prasetya. His unique style creates a cast instantly recognizable but still updated. The look of the series is relatively timeless. While the Rangers do have more modern technology such as cell phones, the look of the series doesn’t scream “90s children’s television”.
Boom’s series is everything I could have hoped for and I do really regret that I’ve put it off this long. They’re doing great and unique things with their Power Rangers line. It’s nos surprise that I enjoyed this, though, based on the “MMPR: Pink” mini series which I had glowing things to say about earlier. You can pick up this trade in your local comic shop Wednesday, or you’re local bookstore starting September 20th. If you’ve not started the MMPR on-going yet, the Volume 1 trade is the perfect place to start.