Mighty Morphin Power Rangers/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 – The Ultimate Crossover
I’ve been waiting for this for a long, long time.
Ever since the Power Rangers in Space crossover, “Shell Shocked,” in 1998, I have always wanted to see the Ninja Turtles interact with the Power Rangers again. Granted that old crossover was from a Rangers team long after the originals, so this book is a great re-imagining of the first meeting between Rangers and Turtles.
The book begins with a nice panning shot of a few environments with the weapons of the Rangers and the Turtles spread around, presumably after many intense fights. This sets the potential scale of the book as the Turtle’s Dojo, the Juice Bar, Zordon’s Command Center and Rita Repulsa’s lookout are showcased.
Ryan Parrott scripts lines from an unseen narrator and pretty much sets the tone for what this story will ultimately be about, focusing on friendship and how there’s no stronger bond than with the people that one wins or loses alongside. This is especially warming given the relationships that we’ve seen being formed in both series over the course of many issues.
As the narration concludes, we open to an epic fight scene drawn by Simone di Meo and colored by Walter Baiamonte, with help by Igor Monti. This double page spread is amazing with each of the five principal Rangers posed dynamically in the air, facing off against what I can only see as an Eldritch horror and the beefiest Putties I have ever seen.
The fight isn’t very important and is over in a flash of bright and vibrant colors as the Rangers form their Power Blaster by fusing their weapons while lamenting the lack of Tommy, indicating that he’s been gone for a while.
At the same time In New York City, presuming Angel Grove is supposed to be in California to explain the times of day, our favorite Turtles are posing just as dynamically while fighting the jobber ninjas of The Foot Clan. In a few panels we get a sense of their personalities.
Michaelangelo is ever the jokester, Raphael is angry, Leonardo is calm and Donatello is all about the facts.
The fight goes well until a mysterious new ninja appears and wipes the floor with Raphael before retreating with the rest of the defeated Foot. It doesn’t take much guessing to see that it’s Tommy Oliver, the missing Green Ranger. Donny and Mikey celebrate the win, but Leo and Raph are wary of this new player in the game
The Rangers themselves celebrate their own victory, but are suffering from fatigue over their never ending battles. Kimberly is also growing more concerned over the lack of word from Tommy. It’s a nice call back to their continued flirtations in the pages of Go Go Power Rangers where they seem to be building up a potential relationship.
Zordon tells her that Tommy would have morphed if he were in danger and that he is likely doing fine and maybe wants privacy. However, we see that he is in league with the Foot Clan under the sub-leadership of fan-favorite character, Karai. She tells the rest of the Clan that their defeat by the Turtle only helps to make them stronger.
Karai is always a character that seeks to make her clan the strongest hat it could possibly be and with the help of “Tommy Walsh” she sees the opportunity and strength that he can provide. As she raises her sword to him to test his loyalty and motive, Di Meo draws them with similar looks in their eyes – the lust for power and strength, even if Tommy’s real motivations are still as of yet unknown.
The book progresses and Tommy attempts a heist on some technology company, but is anticipated by the Turtles who grade his performance in stealth, rounding out to about an average score. This bit of comedy managed to get a chuckle out of me as they all get ready to beat him down.
Just as the fight begins, he transforms into the Green Ranger and just as quickly, the other Rangers appear to see Tommy getting knocked through a wall. The Turtles recognize him as a Power Rangers and Raphael says that the ensuing fight will be fun. It absolutely is and makes me excited for the future fights in this series.
Simone di Meo knows how to structure a really good fight scene. In a really cool double page spread, the Turtles get ready to fight on one side while the Rangers organize on the other. If there were a Vs. Lettering here, I wouldn’t be surprised at all because it feels like a video game fight.
Di Meo places everyone in their proper fight. Leonardo has an amazing sword fight with Jason where Leo compliments his sword. Wink wink. Donny fights with Billy and inundates him with questions about their powers and how Tommy can play a flute through a metal faceplate. Mikey and Zack fight, but surprisingly without any quips.
The posing, the weight of their movements and the vibrant colors makes this such a wonderful thing to see. Neither side seems to want to really hurt each other and the Rangers find the Turtles to be a little bit more pleasant than Rita’s monsters.
The use of shadows and shines give each panel depth, something that seems refreshing to the flat coloring of the main Mighty Morphin series under Daniele di Nicuolo, as much as I enjoy that art.
Tommy and Kimberly manage to sneak off in the middle of the fight and talk about why Tommy hasn’t interacted with the rest of them. He asks Kimberly to trust him just as Raph appears to fight him again and gets blindsided by Trini. In the darkness, however, Karai schemes with the true mastermind, her Master – Shredder.
This book was fantastic fun. It takes everything I love about both franchises and mixes them together in one nice wrapping. The writing was fun and snappy and the art was beautiful as can be expected from a BOOM!/IDW book. I’m anticipating the next issue and can’t wait to see how this story unfolds.