[RANGERS REVIEW] Mighty Morphin Power Rangers 2016 Annual #1
Power Rangers Hour
Power Rangers; a children’s live action superhero franchise that began in 1993 with Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. The show mostly uses footage from the Japanese superhero series Super Sentai.
Both versions deal with a team of five or more teens, sometimes older, who fight monsters while dressed in colorful suits, using large weapons that look like toys, and getting into robots that form a larger one. Sentai first began in 1975 and still continues today by having a new show each year set in its own world with new characters and a different theme like dinosaurs, ninjas, and archeology.
In 1993, Haim Saban created the first of twenty and counting Power Rangers shows. Unlike Sentai, Power Rangers is mostly set in the same universe, has recurring characters, and certain seasons lasted more than a year as Mighty Morphin went for three years before changing it each year to fit the Japanese footage. While the original is more mature and not afraid to deal with serious themes, both versions are about selling the toys that are inspired by these shows.
Despite being used to sell toys, most of the time made for little kids, and using obvious stock footage that doesn’t always match with what’s going, Power Rangers has managed to become more popular around the world because of the relatable characters, awesome music, and action scenes made specifically for the show that are as great as the Japanese ones. This has led to various forms of media adapted from Rangers which includes three movies, video games, and comic books.
BOOM! Studios takes Power Rangers to Powerful New Heights
In 2015, Boom! Studios gained the licence to create Power Rangers comic books and have created numerous and interesting stories since then such as Shattered Grid and Soul of the Dragon, while giving us a crossover with the Justice League. The main comic series takes place around the first three seasons of Mighty Morphin but updating it to a more modern time. A year after Boom! gained the licence they published the first of so far three annual comics. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers 2016 Annual #1 is an anthology telling six very different stories each done in their own unique ways.
The first story, A Week in the Life, looks at a regular week in Jason’s, the first Red Ranger, life and what he does like school, teaching karate, and fighting monsters. Unlucky Heroes sees school bullies and goofballs Bulk and Skull being tasked by Zordon, the one who gave the Rangers their powers, to save the heroes after being captured. The next one, A Spot of Trouble, has Trini and Kimberly, the Yellow and Pink Rangers, prepare a charity ball but then dealing with a monster that plans to destroy the whole thing.
Focusing more on the villains, Only the Strong looks at how Goldar became the devoted general to Lord Zedd, the villain of the show from the second and third seasons, and had to go through tragedy and violence to get the position. Being lighter and sillier, It’s Putty Time revolves around a Putty, the villain foot soldiers, that falls in love with Kim and tries to get her attention.
With the last story, What Makes a Ranger, a monster attack is going down and Alpha, Zordon’s robot assistant, worries that this battle may be too much for the Rangers to handle but is assured that they will always have the strength they need because of their heroic beliefs. For anyone who has ever loved the Power Rangers franchise, will absolutely love this comic. It’s chock full of nostalgia, is a whole lot of fun, and has really amazing moments that reminds one of why they started watching.
The annual has a good mixture of both silly and serious aspects, great to capture the show and what it could have done. With each story you get a different style of artwork that really reflects the type of story being told. A realism approach for Jason’s week, over the top cartoony for when Bulk and Skull are heroes, an anime like style for Trini and Kimberly, dark and moody as it tells Goldar’s past, very crude and child like for the Putty’s love story, and the last one being very modern, colorful, and detailed.
The same applies to the writing of each story told in those same manners. You fall in love with the stories that could have been told and the ones it never or couldn’t even show when it aired.
You can grab your copy of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers – 2016 Annual #1 from your local comic book store or via Comixology.
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