A brand new era kicked off last week in the world of Power Rangers comics with Mighty Morphin #1 and now it's time to complete the introduction for this new era and status quo with Power Rangers #1. Mighty Morphin #1 focused more on the earthbound Rangers and mysterious Green Ranger, and it got off to a stellar start. That said, it doesn't hold a candle to Power Rangers #1. It seems the Ranger crew at BOOM! Studios have really outdone themselves here. Power Rangers #1 delivers the classic Power Rangers vibe you love from the comics but makes some bold and risky choices by issue's end, and that's why it's so damn good.
For those unfamiliar, Mighty Morphin focuses on the team of Rangers under Zordon's command, including the three new members with Tommy in the leadership role. Power Rangers on the other hand focuses on Jason, Trini, and Zack, who make up the Omega Rangers led by Xi, and while both books will mingle at times, this issue features all of these characters through most of its pages.
That's actually what makes this issue work so well. While I wouldn't want this type of overlap in every issue, it makes perfect sense as a launching pad for the dual series. Writer Ryan Parrott knows these characters like the back of his hand, but he's still finding new ways to explore them as people, not just when they're morphed.
This is especially true with Rocky, who was a bit of a blank slate early on but really comes into his own in this issue in a quite endearing and unexpectedly revealing exchange while training. Parrott takes a universally accepted concept of the franchise that all Red Rangers are leaders of their teams and brings it into the world itself, and it makes total sense that after a legacy of leaders in this position Rocky would feel somewhat inadequate for not taking on the same role.
Parrott's continued work with Trini should always be celebrated because to look at that character at the beginning of these Power Rangers comics and who she is now is like looking at a completely different person. She's truly come into her own as not only a Ranger but as a leader and a hero, showcased brilliantly in a tense exchange with Tommy. Whether she's wearing a yellow suit or a red suit, she is what makes the Omega Rangers work, period.
The real risk here is where Drakkon is concerned. When I say risk, I mean that in a good sense. There are going to be some fans who aren't thrilled with how this issue ends, but I see it as a natural progression of a long building story between these three Rangers in particular and Zordon. Little by little the space between the Omega Rangers and Zordon has grown, but it's not a black and white issue, and the most compelling conflicts come from understanding or at least empathizing with both sides.
Drakkon throws this entire series into chaos right from the get-go, but it's the best kind of chaos. It's thrilling to have the Power Rangers comics embrace this sort of rich familial conflict that will have meaningful ramifications and consequences moving forward.
On the visual side of the equation, artist Francesco Mortarino and colorist Raul Angulo outdid themselves here Those Omega Ranger designs sing in their hands, and their expression work has only gotten better since they began working on the franchise. When I think of angry Zordon, I will forever think of these panels. Drakkon has never looked more conniving and lethal either.
If that wasn't enough, those last three pages are some of the best in the franchise to date. If you aren't all twisted like an emotional pretzel after those, well, I just don't know what to tell you.
Power Rangers #1 surpassed my expectations in just about every way, blazing a bold new path for this team that makes it apparent the creators are not afraid to take risks and chart new courses for the entire franchise. Power Rangers does it with splendid visuals and one hell of a final page, too. If you're going to read any new Power Rangers comic, you need to make it this one.
Published by Boom Studios
On November 11, 2020
Written by Ryan Parrott
Art by Francesco Mortarino1comments
Colors by Raul Angulo
Letters by Ed Dukeshire