Writer: Kyle Higgins / Artist: Hendry Prasetya / Boom! Studios
OH MY GAWD A POWER RANGERS COMIC
Like most millennials, the instant I heard about this comic I knew it was morphin’ time (although to be honest past experience with DC Comics has made me wary about zero issues, so I decided to start with #1). From the days of pretending to be the Yellow Ranger on the playground to actually growing into fully embracing my Vietnamese identity, Power Rangers has always been a beloved part of my childhood. That being said, would I prefer an updated version of the characters to an identical replica of the 90’s? Um, yes. Please.
Starting off the series with the Green Ranger aka Tommy Oliver’s entrance to the team is a brilliant move not only because he tends to be towards the top of everybody’s favorite list but also because it makes the most sense from a narrative perspective. Whether you’re a fan of the original Super Sentai Series or hardcore Power Rangers all the way, it’s hard to argue that the dynamics of a fully formed, successful team aren’t always the most exciting. While the show of course had the advantage of its many special effects, the comic medium lends itself much more to the intricacies of teen drama. Or as Chris Scott, a local artist and employee from my favorite comic store Fantom Comics described it, “Archie meets clay monsters.”
This doesn’t mean that the comic isn’t without its fantastic action sequences. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Tommy and Kimberly’s romance didn’t actually take up 90% of the book as I feared and the entire team was able to get quite a bit of panel time. Coincidentally Kyle Higgins has also written one of my favorite Batman mini-series to date (Gates of Gotham) among many recognizable superhero names, so his pacing, dialogue, and story all showcase the marks of a pro. For instance, rather then the over the top obnoxious personalities you might remember, the school troublemakers Bulk and Skull serve as an excellent means of exposition through the recording of their Power Ranger-themed podcast (if only I could add that to my list!). Even Kimberly’s attempts at flirting don’t feel forced or unnatural, just your typical awkwardness of not knowing how the other party feels.
From a visual standpoint Hendry Prasetya’s art walks a beautiful line between traditional American comics and anime, almost an artistic ode to the two countries Power Rangers owes its genesis to. There’s a particularly impressive angle captured towards the end that really highlights a mastery of anatomy. As for the faces of the characters, I like that they resemble the originals just enough to feel familiar, but are altered, too, to feel fresh and not like a gross caricature. Speaking of art, did you know that there’s also an entire gallery of variant covers available? Be sure to check out all the incredibly talented fanart that went into celebrating this series; I couldn’t think of a better way to reward your childhood until the next amazing issue.
9.3 Megazords out of 10