ComicBook.com is live at the New York Comic Con event spread between the Javits Center, Madison Square Garden, and the Hammerstein Ball Room. The four-day event will cover topics from Nickelodeon to Netflix and everywhere in between with live panels, celebrity interviews, breaking news and more.
*** 4:15 p.m. ET Power Rangers Live Panel Discussion will have updates located below ***
4:17 pm -- Introductions of the six-member panel... obviously the original Blue (Yost) and Black Ranger (Jones) get the loudest ovation...
Loaded opening question... Favorite Ranger?
Yost: Obviously for me, is Billy the Blue Ranger. I can honestly say that I am humbled and grateful to have play Billy. To me, he got to evolve the most over the series. He was so awkward in the beginning and then he got very confident and found his stride as he got going.
Jones: Ummmm.... ahhh... so... ME! Black Ranger in the house. I had the swag. Zach had the swag and I liked that.
Do you have any specific favorite memories as a Ranger?
Jones: We get this a lot, but one I go to is our performance at Universal Studios because we were in a stadium that Michael Jackson had a concert at and we sold that out and backed up traffic and it was really an amazing experience.
Yost: It was a parking lot backed up on the freeway.
Kyle Higgins (writer of the comics): I remember that. I saw it on the DVD rewatching it, and that was really cool.
Yost: Thanks so much, I mean it really means so much to have connected to you all so long ago and we can still do it now. I cant think of a show that I watched as a kid that had an impact on me like I hear from you. People getting into martial arts and trying to do more and better and now we are coming into comic books and that legacy will live on.
4:26 -- Kyle, catch us up on the comics... where are we with the series?
Kyle: There was a point in 2011 that I was getting a lot of work at DC Comics and I remembered chatting with the guys at Boom and they said that was a thing that they were working on and then four years after that they got it... so I called and asked who I had to murder to write a pitch and get that series...
I assumed the job was already filled but Bryce said that we were talking about you if you have a time. So I wrote up what I would want to do and see as a fan. Not from a place of how I remember it but from how it made me feel. I came with a lens that the power was the strength of friendship and teamwork. I set it after the spell was broken and he wasn't evil and that should be a good starting off point... but what looks good on paper doesn't really jell on paper and it took us to far and away places. Places where Tommy didn't ever turn good, he stayed with Rita... it went all over the place and he took over the White Light power (if that is how we referred to it as) but it was an amalgamation that he conquered the world, conquered the Rangers and took them all over and had an army of rangers.
Now we are into year two with no Zordon, and we are introducing new characters that we are going to introduce. The Mighty Morphins weren't the first team of Rangers there were those in 1969.... maybe it has to do with the moon landing.
We can do things now that takes advantage of the concept of Power Rangers and an alternate timeline. Things we don't have to be beholden to tv production or things we can and cant do.
This will come out in issue No. 20 -- The Story of the 1969 Power Rangers -- (which is written by Kyle and colored by Danielle Di Nicuolo) -- and this deep look back when I got to create five new Rangers from all different part of the world, Nikoli from the Soviet Union doesn't speak English, so there is translations, communication issues, everything. They all have to work together in an unusual era.
Kyle: We have introduced a company called Promethea, it is run by Grace Sterling, the reveal happens ... but this company is a cross between Space X and Apple and Billy.. well, there is a lot of interest there, because for Billy Cranston what a better place to work. So we will be explaining that coming up.
Zack, well, there is too much good stuff coming up. I cant spoil.
Between what I am doing with my collaborator and what Ryan is doing with Go-Go Power Rangers it is a great time to be a Ranger fans.
4:35 -- What has it been like to see these characters grown.
Jones: I am blown away every time I see the comics and see the places that they take the character that I started and where they can take him. I am always like, DANG, Zack did what. I wish I could have done this on the shows. It is fascinating.
Kyle: We had something in Issue 5 that Zack was originally Rita's first choice to be the Green Ranger, and the reason she didn't brainwash someone new was because she offered it to him and he said no, straight up.
4:37 -- Onto Go-Go, what makes it different?
Parrott: Mighty Morphin is the action, super hero one and Go-Go is more the "Day 1" where they have to deal with homework and girl problems and other things about their history and we can fill them out and show them develop even more.
Higgins: They are doing a great job of telling things that you may not have thought of... like, how did they actually become friends. There is a kid (Matt Cook) that started out dating Kimberly and he brought her into the group, but he isn't a Ranger. So how does he go about life where his friends are now lying to him and how are those kids sneaking about and covering up with their friend.
4:41 -- Dave and Walter, what makes your characters resonate with fans?
Yost: Ethnically we were very diverse and we showed we could be friends and get along and also be super heroes and so for any kid they could look on tv and see someone like them. I played a nerd and so nerds rule... and it gave a lot of hope to kids who were picked on and bullied. I hear so many people tell me that they saw Billy make friends so I could make friends. Or Billy was taking karate lessons, so I wanted karate lessons. We take our roles as Rangers very serious when we meet people. I hear people say they rode a train for 10-hours to see you and that touches my heart.
Jones: Definitely the diversity at the time made a huge difference. I grew up in Detroit and it was predominately Black and then become really, the first Black superhero on television, for that to happen, I hope it gave hope to people in my city. For anyone to see a darker person, that was positive, and respected among his peers it made a big difference. The character of Zack was very protective. We had Trini and Kimberly and something was about to happen to them and one of the bullies were about to pick on them and they directed me to step back and I told him, nah, Zack wouldn't do that, he would step up. We had a certain amount of valor and you know the swag with the dancing.
We have the 25th anniversary special next year, and we have a major change coming to the comic series that I cant reveal, but it will be huge and Kyle is killing it.
We are going to do an artist tribute in March 2018, it is super rad.
We will be doing the first volume of a two-volume archive that collects all the issues. It will be exciting to get all that back into two giant books for people. We have so much that we cant announce but 2018 will be a huge Power Rangers year.
Fan Questions and Answers:
JASON DAVID FRANK BUSTS IN AND THE CROWD GOES WILD
JDF: Boom comics is awesome, I read it, I love is... we are alive in it! I have a question...
When do you think, we can see Lord Drakkon again?
Kyle: So he is the first original ranger that we introduced and he is the first ranger-- the Tommy Oliver that didn't turn good -- since No. 16 he has been held captive in our world and he will be returning in issue No. 25. But he will be doing so with very very big ambitions. Bigger than the Rangers and bigger than the World.
Graphic: THE WAR IS COMING. (Cracked up lightning bolt logo) March 2018.
Kyle: Everything that I have done with this has been leading to this point and I have to be coy because Saban may kill me if I am not. 21-24 will lead up to this and No. 25 will be polybagged because it is so huge and this is an event book that I have worked on for a year-and-a-half. And, the Rangers are not going to be the same.
4:52 -- Crossover between MMPR and the Japanese counterparts, can we get that?
Kyle: Not from me. There are rights and all that, but also, I would have to have a story that I am compelled to tell and as a writer, I don't want to just bring them together unless there is a reason. Even the Drakkon stuff is a cautionary tale and there are some dark things that can come out of that. So that crossover probably isn't likely to happen.
Is there anything from the new PR movie, that compared to the show they should have injected?
JDF: Billy wishes he was black!
Jones: He's so stupid... nah Billy is awesome. I missed the hip-hop kido. I missed that, it was my thing. In the show, we had our own skills that made people want to be certain Rangers and not just any Ranger.
Will the families of the kids in the comic series take a bigger role?
Higgins: It is a juggling act with only 20 pages per month. I think we can spend some time with the relationships and they are changing constantly. Since we have come back from Drakkons world, Billy and Tommy were gone for three days and their parents thought they were lost. Now Billy has to deal with a bit of a helicopter parenting now. So there is some navigating that. There is some Tommy Kimberly stuff coming up, too. And so it is something that we pride ourselves in.
What are the odds we will ever get stories from "in space" "time force" "beyond"
Higgins: We are excited for our 25th anniversary. There are a lot of great moments. I cant answer. Not being dismissive. Stay tuned.
At first I thought the comic was a new timeline... so, since you hve the tv show, movie, and comics will you reboot the cartoon? Netflix...
That is on our wishlist....
How much do you reach out to David or Walter when you do something in the comics? Like Walter, would you take the Green Ranger?
Higgins: I dont think I have ever reached out from a character standpoint, but I have reached out to ask what they think about what we are doing. I bumped into David no the street and chatted about it.
Jones: I am always surprised. I am like... Zack did what? I gotta read that, it is exciting. Kyle does a great job with his own minds. He got into this when he was younger and we were doing it. So it is really cool.
Kyle, in your upcoming 60s arc, I think of MadMen or something with social turmoil... what can 2017 audiences learn when this book comes out?
Higgins: I am a big 60s guy and my first big book was about it. That time is a fascinating capsule for our country. Late-60s we were so divided and seeing how we came out of it by coming together after devisinvees and Vietnam and other race tensions. I think that if we can get these characters can come together and provide some optimism, it will be a big help.