It’s Morphin Time, Oh Yeah! Reviewing ‘Mighty Morphin Power Rangers’ #106
by Scott Redmond
‘Mighty Morphin Power Rangers’ #106 continues this runs awesome ability to give us deep character moments surrounded by flashy action wrapped around a deep love for the characters and the world. Everything about this comic is a perfectly natural evolution of what the TV series gave us, while also going far deeper and wider than the show ever could.
Recruiting a team of teenagers with attitude to save the world means that sometimes that attitude might cause friction. Zordon, the two Rangers teams, as well as their allies, are on different pages and at a bit at odds as Mistress Vile continues to grow her forces to march ever closer to her dark goals and Lord Zedd makes a massive game-changing move.
Emotional moments and characters at odds is nothing new for Mighty Morphin Power Rangers or the franchise as a whole. While the show format gave room to deal with emotions they were generally wrapped up within the quick-paced adventure-of-the-week style focus that the show normally had (with some things carrying over here or there). Within the comics though, there is so much more room to play and that is exactly what Melissa Flores continues to do.
The dynamic between Zordon and his Rangers is always so very interesting to pull at. Here is this long-lived being that has fought against evil for thousands of years making massive sacrifices in order to protect the universe while making the logical but often hard calls standing alongside teenagers with far less time in existence who often are ruled by emotions/hormones. Yet, Zordon is not just some cold logical being because we know that he cares deeply for his Rangers and that care that goes both ways can lead to the butting of heads. Having heroes struggle and make choices that either work out great or sometimes sputter out and cause more issues makes for richer stories often as it creates drama and tension.
We see here that Zordon is torn as he doesn’t want to ‘abandon’ the Omega Rangers but from his experience having their forces divided in such a way would leave them far too vulnerable on various fronts. At the same time, we can fully understand Kimberly’s choice to veto Zordon’s orders and remain with Rocky, Aisha, and Adam alongside the Omega Rangers. There is just so much really great character work happening here with discussions and people really laying themselves bare. Even Zedd has moments as he speaks about not wanting to team up with anyone because he already sowed his own defeat long ago, only wanting revenge.
This leads right to the big game-changing moment…seriously if you haven’t read this issue yet turn back now. I’ll wait.
Okay good…holy crap, Zedd has a morphing device and said the phrase as he actually morphed into a Ranger! Knowing now (thanks to these comics) about the origins and history of Zedd it makes sense in many ways but still, that was a game-changing fan letting out an excited squeal type of moment.
In order for big character or emotional moments to hit even more powerfully, as well as action scenes, it helps to have an artistic team that can deliver those moments in a visual way that instantly resonates with the reader. That’s exactly what we get each time with Simona Di Gianfelice and Raúl Angulo bringing these issues to life.
There is a heaviness but also a fluid lightness at the same time to the style of Di Gianfelice where the world space feels deep, wide and lived within with a powerful heaviness to it all but also feels welcoming and open and allows space for the characters to emote as needed. A large part of that comes from the solid choices for how to layout each page with different types and styles of panels on each page that create a different feel and flow matching whatever the moment might need. Peppered with close-ups and wider shots that take us in and out of the action smoothly, allowing us to have a moment up close with the characters so we can feel their energy even better.
This gives us pages where the feeling is far more comfortable and personal like where Trini and Kimberly are talking, right alongside more dire dangerous pages (the arrival of Alpha-1) followed by some of my favorites which are the horror tinged pages with Lord Zedd. Helps that he has an even more off-putting face currently without his metal mask, but those last pages with the cell before his morph were dripping with perfect creepiness.
Angulo adds to all this with the perfect complement of color choices. Everything about Power Rangers is bright and colorful since various colors are part of their whole heroic persona, and we get that on the page. Yet, there is also darkness and weight that is added because the colors around them are more natural/comparatively toned-down which allows the brighter elements to pop and stand out more. They are colorful heroes and aliens and beings within a natural world that is very similar to our own (outside of all the fantastical elements of course) and the ways Angulo adds to the colors really hammers this home.
Not only that but those various colors and palette choices shift depending on where the given pages are taking place. The Command Center, Safehaven, Promethea, and our glimpses of Angel Grove are all inherently different because they have different colors and applications as they should being very different places.
Speaking of emotions and tones, Ed Dukeshire always comes in swinging when helping present those feelings in any lettering that is needed on the page. Each character’s personality is just bursting out of their bubbles and echoing around the pages, enhanced by all the little flairs added to the font and bubbles. Not only are the characters’ appearances colorful but their bubbles are, which is so great both for the theme of Power Rangers colors and also it makes instantly knowing who is talking in the disembodied voice scenes of the Zords or such.
Just as the panels shift around in ways that make moments flow easier or pop or just to guide us in the right direction, so too does the lettering. Bubbles and captions dance around the page to fit in where they best support the character/moment but also in a way that helps guide us through the pages and between moments. Basically, Dukeshire easily captures the human elements but also very much knows how to tap into the big over the top energy that we know and love from the franchise and make it come to life on the pages.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #106 is now available from BOOM! Studios.