Mighty Morphin Power Rangers has been a big surprise. Kyle Higgins has been able to take everything that fans know about the Power Rangers history and used it to tell stories that Saban would never allow the TV show to tell. That fact has allowed the entire Power Rangers team to gain added nuance to their individual character development, especially Tommy Oliver. Now with Billy and Tommy stuck an alternate future world where an alternate Tommy is an evil Green-White Ranger hybrid this series should be headed in an even more exciting direction moving forward. Let’s see if that is the case with Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #12.
Writer: Kyle Higgins (Main Story); Steve Orlando (The Ongoing Adventures of Bulk & Skull)
Artist: Hendry Prasetya (Main Story); Corin Howell (The Ongoing Adventures of Bulk & Skull)
Colorist: Matt Herms (Main Story); Jeremy Lawson (The Ongoing Adventures of Bulk & Skull)
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Billy comments that Lord Drakkon’s appearance throws this being a modern day timeline out the window. Tommy tells Lord Drakkon he is not him. Lord Drakkon agrees, stating he is better than Tommy.
Lord Drakkon tells his Black Ranger soldiers to capture Saba saber for him. Saba has other plans and is able to activate the White Tigerzord from under the rubble of the Command Center.
As Lord Drakkon and the Black Ranger soldiers prepare to destroy the White Tigerzord, Saba leads Tommy and Billy away to the location of the decommissioned White Ninja Falconzord. Sab is able to reactivate it and uses it to fly himself, Tommy and Billy out of the destroyed Command Center area.
In the present timeline the people of Angel Grove gather for a rally where Billy and Tommy’s parents urge the citizens to let them know if they hear anything about their missing sons. As they make their pleas to the city Jason, Kimberly, Trini and Zack quietly watch on from the same stage.
Over at Rita’s Moonbase, Baboo and Squatt welcome Rita back and are happy to also see Goldar with her. Rita mentions that while the Black Dragon was destroyed he accomplished something great by eliminating Zordon and taking Tommy and Billy to his world, placing the Rangers at their weakest point.
Rita has Finster reveal that he has been working on a new massive monster sculpture but still needs something from Goldar to complete it. Goldar wonders what Finster is making. Rita says they are making a better Goldar.
Back in the alternate future, the Falconzord lands in the middle of a forest after losing its power due to being deactivated for so long. Saba says that they’ll be able to use the Falconzord again was it recharges its power cells. Though they landed Saba says they are already near where they need to be to meet The Coinless, a resistance force united against Lord Drakkon.
Before moving on Billy and Tommy ask Saba what exactly is going on with Lord Drakkon being an evil version of Tommy and how the world became what it is.
Saba reveals that during the final battle between the evil Green Ranger when the Red Ranger was able to destroy the Sword of Darkness rather than join the Rangers, Tommy decided to teleport back to Rita. Saba goes on to say that Tommy was somehow disenchanted by the status quo of the time, which allowed Rita to keep him as an ally.
Over the next several years Rita, Green Ranger and Goldar led their forces to force the world’s leaders to hand over power to them. As Rita’s power consumed the world Zordon was able to gather the remaining enough power to create the White Ranger powers.
During what came to be known as “The Fall of the Rangers” while Jason was receiving the White Ranger powers the Mighty Morphin and Alien Rangers along with Ninjor and Phantom Ranger to defend the Command Center. As the battle progressed the Green Ranger was able to enter the Command Center while Jason’s power transfer was still going on. Not seeing any other way Jason stops the power transfer and morphs into his Red Ranger form to fight the Green Ranger.
As the battle outside intensifies Tommy walks out of the Command Center in his new Green-White Ranger hybrid suit with a broken Red Ranger helmet in his hand.
Saba ends his story that with Jason’s defeat Zordon’s final act was to hide Saba so Tommy couldn’t get the full extent of the White Ranger’s power. All of these past events is how Saba knew who Billy and Tommy are.
Tommy is reluctant to do anything after hearing the story of what an evil version of himself has done.
Someone tells Billy and Tommy that it was risky for them to be in the area they are in. They are then tied up by an energy rope by the mysterious voice.
An older version of Aisha, Trini and how looks to be Skull come out of the woods and ask Billy and Tommy who they are and how they got control of a dead Zord. End of issue.
The Good: The Green Ranger Saga is by far one of the darkest storylines that the Power Ranger franchise has told. In changing some of the details Kyle Higgins is able to show us how much things could’ve been different if Tommy never joined the Power Rangers and stayed on Rita’s side. With Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #12 we are able to see how fascinating this new alternate reality is incredibly fascinating.
What makes Higgins take on the Power Rangers work so well is that he is effectively using everything we know about the franchise and using it to enhance the comic book version of the characters. This is best seen with the story Saba tells Billy and Tommy being something that you could see happening in the show. Adding small details of Lord Drakken being disenchanted by the world is a great way to use Rita’s influence to have lasting damage on Tommy. It brings back the fact that even though the present day Tommy is with the Power Rangers he is still connected to Rita in some way, as seen in the first story arc.
Further strengthening Saba’s story is how Higgins uses future allies of the Power Rangers as part of the history of this alternate timeline. Seeing the Alien Rangers, Ninjor and the Phantom Ranger take part in The Fall of the Rangers added to how far reaching the war got in this world. Their role in the story helped to give us a better idea of how much time passed during Saba’s story, giving a greater sense of history to the world.
Giving the White Ranger powers the status as the last hope the Rangers and Zordon had made you feel how desperate things are in the alternate world. Lord Drakken and Jason’s final clash appropriately set how far this version of Tommy has gone. It also established that Saba could possibly be this world’s last bit of hope since Lord Drakken’s Green-White Ranger hybrid powers are incomplete.
All of this groundwork for the alternate timeline does a good job complementing Tommy’s current journey, as he continues to face his own uncertainty as the Green Ranger. With how much Tommy’s uncertainty has been, having him confront an evil version of himself is something that can push him to accept his own heroic personality. Having Billy around also furthers this as he continues to be a good support system for Tommy through all of this.
Now with both Billy and Tommy learning about the history of this alternate world it is going to be very interesting to see how that affects their relationship with future Trini and Aisha. Seeing both these characters as part of the Coinless Resistance was a good way to give us a further connection to this world. It also brings into question who else survived The Fall of the Rangers and what other future allies are in the Coinless Resistance. Given that they have yet to meet Aisha in their timeline yet this interaction can be very interesting as it could play into their own timeline.
Though Billy and Tommy’s adventure in the alternate timeline appropriately got the spotlight in this issue Higgins did a good job in including the other Power Rangers and Rita into the plot. Seeing Rita already have plans in place to position herself in an even more powerful position helps to push her as an even more viable threat in this comic book version. Her plan to make a stronger version of Goldar is an interesting addition to the present day side of the story. It at least provides further evidence for why Goldar does not have a strong allegiance to Rita when Lord Zedd shows up.
Hendry Prasetya continues to make the Power Ranger universe his own. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #12 is possibly his best issue as he produces high quality artwork from top to bottom. It helps that the Fall of the Rangers story plays into Prasetya’s strengths as an artist, as he is able to capture the darker tone of this story. The final battle between Rita and the Power Rangers forces felt like an epic event that you sort of want a mini-series for with how impressive it looked.
The Bad: Though it is understandable that Jason, Kimberly, Trini and Zack didn’t have a big role in this issue Higgins does need to start doing more with their side of the story. So far, unless Tommy is around, the other Rangers haven’t gotten much to do to show that they are actively doing something. With Billy and Tommy out of the equation this is the time Higgins should use to show they aren’t useless without their smartest and interesting characters around to help out. It would at least help to begin move the focus off Tommy for future storylines.
Overall: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #12 is the strongest issue that Kyle Higgins and Hendry Prasetya have produced. The history of the alternate timeline where the Green Ranger helped Rita take over the world proved to be one of the most fascinating Power Rangers ever told. Integrating elements from future Power Rangers stories helped further drive home the desperate situation that the present day Tommy Oliver and Billy Cranston have found themselves in. Given everything that is going on in the present day timeline things should only get more interesting for the separated Power Rangers team.