New Questions And New Betrayals Fill MMPR #37

by James Ferguson

The lost Power Rangers have traced an energy signature to the Splintered Star, finding a bounty of Zeo Crystals capable of destroying whole planets, if not entire universes. More importantly, they learn more about this area and its connection – or lack thereof – to the Morphin Grid.

This opens up a slew of new questions that change the nature of the Beyond the Grid storyline. Up until this point, we just assumed that the Morphin Grid didn’t stretch out to this part of the universe, but Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #37 reveals that it was once linked, but that was severed by someone or something. This was intentional. Imagine the power capable of doing something like this. It’s a pretty chilling thought.

The Power Rangers search through this strange planet, going through a number of obstacles and alien creatures. Artist Simone Di Meo shows this in a gorgeous double page spread with snippets of each area on top and a rough map detailing how far they’ve come below. Imagine all that walking in Lord of the Rings replaced by two comic pages. That’s the kind of journey we’re talking about here.

At the center of this mystery is the Solarix, the pseudo-morpher that allows Ellarien to change into the Solar Ranger. This is the key to not only re-connecting with the Morphin Grid, but sending the lost Rangers home. It’s also the powerful item the evil Praetor is searching for.

This villain is like something out of a horror movie. He attacks psychologically, pulling on the doubts and anxiety of the Rangers, primarily Michael, who has already been through so much. The Praetor comes to Michael in his dreams, haunting him like Freddy Krueger, but far more devastating. Letterer Ed Dukeshire using blue word balloons with a sharp font that I just imagine sending a shiver right up my spine when I read it.

This whole sequence is as gorgeous as it is frightening. Colorist Walter Baiamonte shades the whole thing in a red hue, pulling from the Praetor’s uniform. Blood red energy swirls around him like a mist as he shows Michael his greatest fears. There’s a haze around this scene, adding to the dream state.

Although this team has learned to work together, there are still issues with trust. They’re a hodge podge group from a variety of different teams from across time and space. This is part of what the Praetor taps into. While some of these actions and the subsequent accusations sound pretty harsh, they don’t pack as much of a punch as there are just so many characters. I’ve mentioned this in some reviews for previous issues of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. It’s no fault to writer Marguerite Bennett as the story is pretty solid. It’s just that I’m not as invested in this group of Power Rangers as I was in the original team.

Di Meo works some magic to drive home some of these issues with some panels focusing on each Ranger with their baggage haunting them above like a translucent specter. After seeing all of their flaws and faults laid bare, it’s a wonder this group has made it this far.

Beyond the Grid takes some twists and turns here, but I have to wonder if it’s too little too late. Knowing that the series is going back to the original team, albeit with a new leader in the White Ranger in issue #40, the days with these lost Rangers and the Solar Ranger are numbered. This storyline is just getting interesting right when it’s ending which is unfortunate.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #37 from Boom! Studios is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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