With their biggest story arc to date now behind them the Power Rangers are trying to figure out what their places are in and out of their helmets. That is something that Kyle Higgins seems to be answering in this new arc as the Power Rangers are making themselves into global heroes. That of course has caused them to gain the attention of major government officials comes calling for the Power Rangers. This is something we never saw the show address as the Power Rangers adventures mostly took place in Angel Grove. With this new development are we about to see a Power Rangers team like we never have? Let’s find out with Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #18.
Writer: Kyle Higgins
Artists: Hendry Prasetya and Daniel Bayliss
Colorists: Matt Herms and Joana Lafuente
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: Grace Sterling tells the Power Rangers that there was a Prometha plane that disappeared over a village that does not appear on any map. She goes on to show the Rangers scans her team has made that show Finster and some monster inhabit the village. The Rangers agree to rescue the pilots who disappeared.
The Rangers teleport to the mysterious village. Some villagers offer to take the Rangers to their master for the night’s gathering.
Finster greets the Rangers from the village’s castle and reveals that Rita has given him some much needed time off to focus on his art. He then surprises the Rangers by revealing that the villagers are all different versions of the Putty Patrol masquerading as humans.
The Rangers make quick work of the Putty Patrol. Finster unleashes two of his new monsters on the Rangers. Trini tells Jason and Tommy to rescue the pilots while the rest of them fight the monsters. Jason and Tommy agree and teleport into Finster’s castle.
Jason and Tommy are able to find the pilots and find that the pilots look like the villagers they spoke to earlier.
Outside the castle the rest of the Rangers have their hands full with the two monsters, Karmadillo and Boarlock, and the Putty Patrol.
Inside the castle Finster finds Jason and Tommy as they are setting the pilots free.
Outside the castle Boarlock unleashes some magic on Trini. Trini is able to dodge the attack and it ends up freezing Karmadillo. The Rangers then launch a group attack that disarms Boarlock.
Inside the castle Finster has immobilized Jason and Tommy by covering them in clay. Finster then reveals that he has been working on disguising the Putty Patrol as humans after using the Sterling’s pilots DNA.
Jason and Tommy are able to break free and are joined by the other Rangers before Finster finishes his rant. The Rangers then surround Finster, who is forced to surrender.
A little later Grace thanks the Rangers for their help. Jason asks Grace what operation she was really running by sending the pilots to look for Finster. Grace admits that her department had intel on one of Rita’s lieutenants still being on Earth so she investigated further.
Grace then offers the Rangers to join her department. Jason thanks Grace for the offer but turns her down. Grace says the offer will continue to stand if the Rangers change their minds.
Back at the Command Center, Finster offers Alpha and Saba help from his prison cell. They quickly turn Finster down.
At another part of the Command Center Jason is working on something when he is surprised by Zack who just teleported in. Zack shows concern for how obsessed Jason has become with being on alert for danger.
Zack then mentions that maybe they should take Grace up on her offer. Jason believes they don’t have to since Zordon will return eventually. Zack isn’t so sure about that.
They suddenly get reports on an attack with humans transforming into monsters. Jason and Zack realize that this was Finster’s doing and there is no telling how far this situation goes.
In his prison cell, Finster smiles about the latest developments. End of issue.
The Good: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #18 delivered a quick paced issue that moved this new story arc along with a solid chapter. After 16 issues focused on a plot involving Rita Repulsa it is good to see Kyle Higgins focus on developing the lieutenants the Power Rangers iconic villain has working for her. By doing this Higgins is able to make Rita an even greater foe by showing how sinister Finster is on his own.
While Finster was always the brains behind Rita’s monster creations, he, like Squatt and Baboo, was treated as comedic character. With Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #18 Higgins goes a long way in establishing Finster as a threat on the level of Rita. Given how he has been able to create so many different monsters and versions of the Putty Patrol this isn’t a stretch to see happen. Instead, Higgins properly uses this issue to show why there was a lot of untapped potential in Finster’s character.
Not having Rita or her crew in this issue helped further establish Finster as a dangerous threat. Through Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #18 we are able to see how Finster is a multi-layered villain. His plot to disguise the Putty Patrol and his monster creations as humans shows how far in advance he thinks when on his own. His plot makes you wonder why Finster doesn’t work on his own more often. It’s clear that without a leash around him that Finster is a dangerous mad scientist type villain. That is a big accomplishment by Higgins as it’s not how Finster was ever positioned on the show.
Finster’s plot also helped further push the fact that the Power Rangers continue to be without Zordon’s guidance. As Zack’s confrontation with Jason showed, there is no way the Rangers can keep going at the pace they are. Eventually Jason as the one who is shouldering Zordon’s role on top of being the field leader will crack.
That fact makes Grace Sterling’s offer even more intriguing. Because as Zack mentioned, Grace has the resources the Power Rangers need to overcome the absence of Zordon. So even though Jason turned the offer down there is plenty of room for Higgins to show how Grace’s offer may be something the Power Rangers will need to accept. If that is the case we may end up learning more about how a world with the Power Rangers works on a governmental level.
To complement Higgins story, Hendry Prasetya and Daniel Bayliss provide this issue of Power Rangers with a sense of consistency. Even with two artist working on this issue Prasetya and Bayliss are able to match each other’s styles to the point that unless you read the credit you wouldn’t of noticed more than one artist working on this comic. Their consistency helped in establishing the darker tone of this issue as the Power Rangers went up against a town filled with Finster’s creations.
The Bad: Nothing.
Overall: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #18 did something unexpected, it made Finster into a compelling villain. With his plot to disguise monsters as humans Finster proved himself to a be threat that could rival Rita Repulsa. That plot makes the Power Rangers current status quo even more intriguing as Kyle Higgins pushes them in a direction the TV show would never have touched.