My Inner Child Is Doing Backflips Reading Justice League/Power Rangers #5

by James Ferguson

The first team up between the Justice League and the Power Rangers is off to a rocky start. It’s not going nearly as well as the team up between Lord Zedd and Brainiac. Angel Grove has been shrunken and placed in a bottle just like Kandor. Three of the Power Rangers’ coins have been stolen by Brainiac, forcing them to use some scraps from the Justice League armory to stay in the fight. Can these two teams work together to stop both worlds from being conquered by these fearsome foes?

The short answer is yes. Justice League/Power Rangers #5 from DC Comics & BOOM! Studios is 90% payoff from the series to date. We see the two groups working side-by-side on multiple fronts as if they’ve been doing this for ages.
The absurdity of both the Justice League and the Power Rangers works incredibly well together. They’re from different worlds so the concept of a group of super-powered individuals including aliens, robots, and speedsters is weird and foreign to six uniformed teenagers with attitude. On the surface, this shouldn’t work, but it does. The two complement one another well. Writer Tom Taylor really nails the best of both franchises.

This is most true for the strange, yet hilarious meeting of Brainiac and Alpha 5. On the one hand, you have a terrifying master of all things mechanical who has been collecting knowledge and eliminating planets for ages. Then you have Alpha 5 who is a glorified Roomba with shoulder pads. Despite this mismatch, Alpha 5 gives Brainiac a dressing down for the ages, pointing out the villain’s flaws and how, despite his brilliance, he’s pretty ignorant. It’s actually kind of sweet.
Stephen Byrne’s artwork is a nice fit for the series. His style is rounded without many sharp edges. This makes the characters look a little less intimidating, but more welcoming and friendly. The one exception are the big monsters Zedd creates. Those are like a cross between the sandworms in Dune and the creatures in Tremors. They are ripped right out of nightmares.

Byrne captures all of the pulse-pounding excitement that this issue entails. This is the big showdown before the Rangers traditionally call in their Zords for a final fight. They’re fighting off Brainiac’s drones left and right. This is where both teams make their stand and it looks awesome.
Since Brainiac can take over any machine he comes into contact with, the Rangers can’t rely on their Zords. This makes things difficult when dealing with the aforementioned big monsters Zedd is making. There’s a nice twist in how the Rangers deal with this problem that’s sure to delight any long time fans of the franchise. It’s silly and fun, but also pretty friggin’ cool.

If, like me, you grew up watching Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and the Batman and Superman Animated Series, Justice League/Power Rangers is tailor made for you. It features the best parts of both shows except for the Zords, which I hope they find a way to work in by the next (and final) issue. The dialogue is sharp and funny and the artwork will have your inner child doing backflips.
Justice League / Power Rangers #5 is currently available at your local comic shop or digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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