MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS #43 – How the Mighty Fall
So… things are dire.
The Power Rangers have always been able to overcome any threat through the use of teamwork and skill. They’ve defeated Rita Repulsa, Lord Drakkon and a myriad of villains throughout their history, but sometimes there are bumps in the road. Dayne… Dayne is a sinkhole.
The Power Rangers TV series are known for having two or more episode events where the Rangers are utterly defeated and have their Megazords destroyed by a powerful villain. Dayne is one such foe and earns a high place among the most deadly Power Rangers villains in only a short time.
The book begins with Billy recounting the Rangers first defeat at Dayne’s hands to Zordon. The Sirarian bounty hunter shows up and systematically dismantles the Rangers one by one. He breaks Kimberly’s bow hand, uses Rocky, Adam and Ayesha’s lack of experience against them and it almost looks as if Tommy may be their last hope.
Tommy gives it his all against Dayne, but the bounty hunter still proves too powerful and utterly dominates the new White Ranger.
Di Nicuolo makes Dayne seem like the absolute biggest deal. He is always framed as being the one in control. His movements are seamless and brutal. Where most villains would do their hardest to kill the hero, Dayne analyzes and executes his plan while styling on them to add insult to injury.
These first few pages are amazingly frenetic with their action and colors. Everything is bright and vibrant, not that the rangers didn’t stand out, but they do so even better against backgrounds consisting of colors like lime green, hot reds and fiery oranges, all for the purpose of selling how dangerous Dayne is..
The Rangers, being gymnasts and martial artists, have really fluid movements that give the impression that they are masters of their particular arts. Di Nicuolo subverts this by having Dayne see these movements and compensating for that, particularly when he kicks Ayesha in her nethers mid jump.
We know the White Ranger to be a really, really powerful entity and with Tommy’s skill, he would easily be able to defeat any other enemy. That’s why Dayne’s defeat of him is absolutely terrifying. Tommy doesn’t quite know his own strength yet which contributes to his loss, but that doesn’t diminish how easy it was for him to lose.
Elsewhere, the Omega Rangers, after infiltrating an auction for Morphin Power, have been discovered and threatened to come out or have their ship destroyed. Seeing no other option, they transform and fight through the auction to save the Morphin Powered alien.
They corner Empress Adriyel, the auctioneer, and find that the man that she was going to auction off was one of her race, a being named Cavotus. She monologues to the Rangers about the evil that she will cause with the power she wields and is unrepentant about it, making us think that she could potentially be a great threat… then Cavotus snaps her neck to prevent her from causing any more harm.
It’s so sudden, especially since she served as a powerful warrior under Rita Repulsa in the pages of Go Go Power Rangers not too long ago. The way that this served as a fake out was genuinely stunning, especially considering that the Cavotus was a non-violent man.
After this event, the Rangers bring Cavotus back to Emissary and one might expect that he would be one of the few that would be allowed to live on the Sanctuary planet that the Rangers have vowed to protect since he didn’t kill out of malice or anger, but to prevent more tragedy. Emissary, however, does not see it that way.
Emissary sentences him to time in the vaults for his crime and it seems extremely unjustified. The Rangers argue against it and even Kiya steps up with a little bit more about her own past. Not only is she growing into something of a fan favorite, but this moment as well makes her a more well rounded and three dimensional character.
We learn that she had also killed in the past, but Emissary dismisses her killing because it was for her own survival where Cavotus maybe could have knocked Adriyel out or something. It’s because of this that Emissary’s true goals now seema little bit less than good and coupled with the way that he met with Jason in the Go Go series, it’s getting harder to trust him.
Both Rangers respective troubles seem to intersect when Trini listens to a voicemail left by Kimberly. She talks about their fight with Dayne and how they might need help because he’s just too strong. While that had been happening, Dayne renegotiated his price with Lord Zedd before teleporting to a park in Angel Grove to case mayhem.
The last thing we see before the book ends is the Ranger’s confronting, a now building sized, Dayne and being wrecked by him again.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers has been an absolutely stellar series that’s gone above and beyond what the American show ever has in terms of storytelling. Dayne is an amazingly terrifying villain and I’m glad that he’s being given some focus over Lord Zedd and the rest of the former Rita minions.
While they can make for good stories, I think it’s better to keep away from those we saw in the show. Blue Emissary himself and his motivations make for an interesting mystery and thankfully Kiya is actually turning out to be pretty cool as a character.
Because of the events of this issue, I can’t wait to see what the next one has in store!