Hello Darkness My Old Friend: Reviewing ‘Mighty Morphin Power Rangers’ #102
by Scott Redmond
‘Mighty Morphin Power Rangers’ quickly sets the tone for this new era and sets the stakes for the Rangers and their new sort of allies, turning a familiar foe into an even more powerful threat than they’ve ever been. Energetic, colorful, fun, and powerful with an underlying beautiful darkness that helps the story hit even harder.
The enemy of my enemy is my friend or in this case, my enemy is my friend because my old enemy is back with a powerful vengeance. Rita Repulsa is back, and it could spell doom for Lord Zedd and the Power Rangers.
One of the things that have been great about the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers comics since their launch in 2016 has been how well the different creators have taken these characters, giving them even more life & depth than sometimes could be achieved in the less than half-hour TV show. As well as putting them into more dire, dangerous, bigger-stakes situations. Just like we’re now getting in this new era for the series.
It’s not just the heroic rangers and their allies that have benefitted from these comics, but their foes as well. Naturally in the show, the heroes won quite often and the villains were thwarted every week, comically so in many cases, which somewhat blunted how dangerous they seemed (with some episodes thrown in to remind us how evil they were). Here though Melissa Flores makes sure that Rita, now known as Mistress Vile in a nod to her father Master Vile, is truly a powerful threat to not only the Rangers but Zedd and everyone else too. She is powerful and terrifying, basically decimating the Rangers and putting them into retreat mode.
As noted with the last review, Flores nails the voices so well and in many cases gives us a lot more to see with some of the characters that didn’t get as much fleshing out in the past, like Aisha. The whole interplay between Aisha and Finster would be worth the price of admission alone, hilarious and tactically genius all at the same time. Billy making the tough choice when push came to shove and Matt making his huge choice felt authentic and true to what we know about them. All the work that Flores has done over the years working with the Power Rangers brand shows here because she knows this world through and through.
All of that mentioned power, terror, and character moments are sold through the work Simona Di Gianfelice and Raúl Angulo create on the page. Energy is just pouring off the artwork of Di Gianfelice, who has a very flowing smooth style that has natural depth and detail. It also has a very light and fun feeling, able to move right into the serious when necessary, keeping that old-school Power Rangers feeling. I really like the panel style in effect because it adds to the flowing feeling as the panels slide around over one another, leaving a little space for white/negative space borders, allowing the eye to slide all over the page in an easy fashion.
The same goes for the closeups that are mixed in that work wonders not only for the character moments, letting the emotion have a showcase, but also give us a ground level in the moment view of the action.
Keeping the same energy are the colors from Angulo which provide all the vivid powerful pop that we need in a Power Rangers story, but with depth and plenty of shadows that bring that serious edge. This allows the colors to be bright as I mentioned but they aren’t overly bright, they are just right to get across the fantasy nature of the Power Rangers and their world with enough weight to make it feel real. If you took the Rangers and the aliens out of the picture these settings would look very much like places we might see in our world, but placing them there adds fun and extra energy to the whole thing.
A lot of BOOM! Studios titles have that extra bit of magic that comes from the lettering work of Ed Dukeshire. Nailing voice/personality as well as tone/volume in the dialogue is great but there is a ton added to set various bits of lettering apart in fun ways. Big loud SFX that makes the moments easy to hear, yells that burst right out of the bubbles, colorful bubbles with altered fonts for the monsters and sorceress, and so much more. It helps set characters and voices apart, which is helpful, but also just adds that energy that we need for a Power Rangers story.
Altogether this is just such a powerful story that resonates with everything that I loved about Power Rangers growing up with a whole lot more added to the formula. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #102 is now available from BOOM! Studios.