Review: The Turtle Rangers Make Quite A Splash In ‘MMPR / TMNT #4’
by James Ferguson
At long last, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have suited up, becoming the Turtle Rangers to fight a monster Rita has sent to terrorize Times Square. Meanwhile, the Power Rangers, unable to morph, join Casey Jones and Splinter to infiltrate the Technodrome and save Tommy. They’ve done ninja attire to do so. I love everything about this.
Seeing the two groups swapping powers / costumes is all I wanted from this epic crossover. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #4 delivered that in spades. I was so focused on seeing the Turtles as Rangers that I didn’t even think about what the Rangers would do. Seeing them in awesome new Ninja Ranger costumes was just as cool as the Turtle Rangers.
Artist Simone Di Meo did a phenomenal job with the design work here. Each Ninja Ranger has a unique look that speaks to their personality while also maintaining the look and feel of a ninja. It helps that they look super cool too. The first time you see them, it looks like they’re a gang of graffiti artists ready to transform your town. Of course, they still have their individual colors too.
Speaking of colors, it was an interesting to see how they’d line up with the different Turtles since there’s not a direct overlap. There’s no purple or orange Mighty Morphin Power Ranger, so Donatello and Michelangelo end up with black and yellow, respectively. Raph and Leo line up and April snags the pink morpher. The Red Ranger is traditionally the leader, but in this case it’s blue since Leo still takes control. This leads to a fun scene later on that I won’t spoil here (although you can probably guess where the story goes next.)
Di Meo, aided by Alessio Zonno, delivers some of the most dynamic and exciting action sequences in comics, from the morphing shots to the knock out, drag out fight and everything in between. The images seem to explode across the page in ways that always get my heart pumping. There’s a frenetic energy to these shots, with the characters blurring a bit since they’re moving so quickly with their attacks.
Letterer Ed Dukeshire adds to this energy with the traditional yells that come when Rangers are fighting Putties. It’s funny how the Ninja Turtles don’t really do that under normal circumstances, but can’t help themselves when they’re in these new uniforms. These exclamations are big and explosive, bursting out of the usual word balloons with sharp points.
That energy extends to colorist Walter Baiamonte, aided by Igor Monti. The scenes with the Turtle Rangers are bursts of electric color, surging through each page to the point where you might need sunglasses to read these sections. This contrasts well with the Ninja Rangers, who are mostly clad in black, with sparse color. The two groups have swapped roles and tactics and that has translated into the design.
While Mighty Morphin Power Rangers / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #4 gave me exactly what I wanted from this crossover and then some, it has a number of other awesome aspects to enjoy. This series could have just coasted on the novelty of having these two teams interact, but writer Ryan Parrott added so much more to it. There’s drama, humor, and unparalleled action. This is a no-brainer for any fan of either franchise or even just people curious about them because there’s quite a bit to enjoy here.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #4 from BOOM! Studios and IDW Publishing is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.