[REVIEW] Justice League/Power Rangers – an action-packed crossover
The year of the Power Rangers
2017 was a big year for the Power Rangers franchise, as not only did we have another iteration of the series with Ninja Steel and the reboot film that reimagined the original Mighty Morphin characters in a more modern and darker tone, but the new comic book series had a crossover with the Justice League. There’s nothing that says that a franchise has become so loved and gained huge attention in the mainstream then by doing a crossover with one of the iconic superhero teams of all time. DC and Boom! Studios released this six-issue miniseries throughout the first nine months of 2017.
The miniseries begins with a flash forward of a crater where Angel Grove was, with the Rangers looking shocked, with Zack especially blaming himself, and with Superman comforting him. Going back to over a day earlier, the Rangers look for Alpha who has gone missing. Zack finds him, but upon entering the Command Center, the robot explodes as Zedd and his Putties break in thanks to the fake Alpha’s destruction. As he fights them, Zack activates the teleporter, causing the two to be sent away.
A crisis on many Earths
Due to the damage, the Ranger is sent to the DC universe, landing in Gotham and coming face-to-face with Batman, fighting him as he thinks Batman is a monster. Soon after, the rest of the Rangers arrive to help and in turn Batman calls for backup, leading to the Flash confiscating their weapons. The Rangers call for their Zords with Kimberly’s Pterodactyl Zord flying off with the Batmobile in its mouth. Superman and other League members arrive and manage to calm things down, thanks to Wonder Woman’s use of her lasso on Kimberly.
All the while, Zedd ends up meeting with Brainiac and the two form an alliance so as to capture Angel Grove. As the Rangers and the League are getting to know each other, they learn that Brainiac and Zedd’s forces are attacking all over the world. With the world being attacked all at once, the heroes all split up to fight the combined threat. The villains send out specially made robot soldiers that take the Rangers’ powers and reform their Zords for their own use.
Heroes and villains team up!
Zedd and Brainiac then leave for Angel Grove, and as the League don’t have any tools to follow them, Billy theorizes that using a hadron collider in Switzerland could work. The heroes are able to get to the Rangers’ universe but they’re all too late as Angel Grove is already domed and is thus shrunken down and taken into Brainiac’s ship. With the android’s ship still in orbit, one team will break in and another will fight the monsters attacking Earth.
Without their morphers, the Rangers are given some iconic DC weapons, like Luthor’s battle suit and Katana’s sword. Managing to break in, the heroes fight off Putties and drones until some of the Rangers get their morphers back and turn into Power Rangers. Despite this victory, Brainiac manages to take control of Cyborg and has him fight his allies.
There and back again
Back on Earth, the other Rangers and League members assures the United Nations not to panic all the while it’s revealed that Braniac and Zedd have the real Alpha and are trying to control him. The team on the ship manage to not only subdue Cyborg but get him back to normal.
As the heroes fight on both fronts, Alpha explains to Braniac why he will never betray his friends even through reprogramming as they battle his forces and manage to rescue the robot and their city. Upon landing back on Earth, Alpha not only gives the rest of the Rangers their morphers but also uses one of Zedd’s magic grenades to grow giant and help fight the monsters.
As the Power Rangers and Justice League fight Zedd and Braniac’s forces, they learn that Zedd has the Command Center on a separate dome and still controls their Zords. Billy and Cyborg make a computer virus that not only shuts down Braniac’s forces but also frees the Zords, leading to the Rangers forming the Megazord.
Zedd grows big to fight all the heroes but finds it hard due to never being that size and has the Command Center taken from him and is thus defeated. As he goes back to the moon, the heroes use Brainiac’s downed ship to regrow Angel Grove. The crossover ends with the two teams celebrating at Ernie’s Juice Bar and as the League go back to their universe, Alpha is revealed to be taken over by Brainiac.
Fun story crosses over with beautiful art
Justice League/Power Rangers is a fun and well-done story that starts out a little rough, but as you keep reading becomes such a delight. If you start reading the crossover with the mindset of how the original Power Rangers show was very light and silly then you may find some early scenes and dialogue to be a little off. Writer Tom Taylor perfectly captures the blending of the two different franchises and manages to make the crossover not only memorable but iconic. You get the Justice League’s large scale worldwide battles with the Power Rangers’ giant monsters and sense of fun.
Stephen Byrne’s artwork is very beautiful and unique, as it is both very detailed and colorful. He also manages to capture the way all of the Rangers look compared to their actors. There are many moments that one could consider to be the signature scene of the miniseries, whether it’s Batman correctly guessing Zack has a head injury due to how he fights, Zedd meeting Brainiac, Alpha’s speech about his friends not giving up while showing the heroes in various battles, or even when the Megazord fights a giant Zedd and manages to win.
The ending especially makes you wonder if and when they will do a followup. Hitting all the right notes, Justice League/Power Rangers is a fun crossover that’s dark and serious while still being fun, light, and whimsical.