Mighty Morphin Power Rangers from BOOM! Studios has been the biggest surprise of the year. While I’ve been a big fan of Kyle Higgins since his Nightwing run there has never been a great comic book starring the teenagers with attitude. But that has all changed with Higgins work on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. This current arc with Black Dragon proving to be the biggest challenge the Rangers have faced has been fun to experience. With the Rangers are positioned to turn the tables on Black Dragon that experience should intensify. Now let’s see how things turn out with Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #9.
Writers: Kyle Higgins (Main Story); Steve Orlando (The Ongoing Adventures of Bulk & Skull)
Artists: Hendry Prasetya (Main Story); Corin Howell (The Ongoing Adventures of Bulk & Skull)
Colorists: 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: Rita and Black Dragon’s countdown to unleash the Zords on the world is quickly coming to an end. Just as the military and citizens feel helpless in the situation the Power Rangers, in their Green Ranger forms, appear to save the day.
Black Dragon quickly attacks the Red-Green Ranger but he evades the attack. The Power Rangers then rush to get control of their Zords. While they are successful Black Dragon still has control of the Triceratops Zord since the Blue Ranger is still missing.
Right as Black Dragon is about to have the Triceratops Zord attack the others the Dragonzord appears to stop the attack. Black Dragon gets quickly fed-up by the situation and grows to combat the Dragonzord personally.
Black Dragon mocks Tommy about their previous clash. Tommy responds by saying that this time he is not alone. Just then the other Rangers appear with their Zords back in their control.
While the Rangers fight Black Dragon, Goldar and Billy watch on from the Dark Dimension. Goldar mocks Black Dragon for how he is fighting as he believes he should be out there fighting the Rangers. Billy wonders if Goldar knows who Black Dragon is. Goldar says he does not know who Black Dragon is since he contacted Rita and made a deal with her.
Billy suddenly notices something on the video they are watching and has Goldar zoom in on it. What he sees is an access hatch in Black Dragon’s armor.
Billy then asks Goldar how they are watching the fight. Goldar says that even though he is currently chained up the Dark Dimension is still his domain to control. Billy uses this information by convincing Goldar to help him escape as he can help stop Black Dragon and help free Goldar afterwards. Goldar hesitantly agrees and opens a portal for Billy to join his frinds.
In Paris, Billy teleports to Tommy’s location at the top of the Eiffel Tower. Billy tells Tommy about his plan to teleport onto Black Dragon and then enter his armor through the access hatch. Tommy joins Billy and they both enter Black Dragon’s armor while the other Rangers fight him.
Once inside Tommy contacts the other Rangers to tell them that he and Billy are going to take out Black Dragon from the inside. Before the other Rangers can respond Billy finds a power source and Tommy destroys it with his Dragon Dagger.
Black Dragon suddenly collapses and starts shrinking while Tommy and Billy are still inside. The other Rangers are unable to help Tommy and Billy. As Black Dragon fully shrinks a large, green explosion occurs leaving nothing behind it.
The other Rangers look through the wreckage. Trini finds a component that is identical to the Dragonzord much to the others shock.
Over at Rita’s palace, Rita tells Black Dragon that the Rangers are recovered his body. Black Dragon reveals that he was never actually at the battle and what the Rangers fought was merely a vessel. Rita tells Black Dragon he made big promises to her. He says that he intends on delivering on those promises as Tommy and Billy have teleported to his world.
At Black Dragon’s world a new Ranger (who looks like a hybrid of the Green and White Ranger) sits on a throne. The Ranger says that Tommy and Billy have no idea what they are in for.
Elsewhere, Tommy and Billy find themselves in a destroyed city. The two look at their surroundings and find giant statues of Rita and the Green Ranger in the middle of the city. End of issue.
The Good: The strength of Kyle Higgins run on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers is how he has expanded the mythology of the franchise without any of the additions betraying its core. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #9 is a perfect example of this with Higgins using the Green Ranger power in a way we never thought it would work. At the same time it makes complete sense with what we know of the Power Rangers.
It is a real testament to how successful Higgins has been on Power Rangers as he makes the team into different versions of the Green Ranger and you don’t question it. Instead, this new development makes you wonder why the Power Rangers never did this before. A lot of that thinking comes down to remembering that the TV show was working with a budget and material from its Super Sentai counterpart. It is also a reminder that with comic books there isn’t that type of limitation and Higgins continues to tap into that aspect.
This use of the Green Rangers power further develops the heart Tommy shows as he tries to prove himself to his teammates. Seeing Tommy as the only one not using his Green Ranger powers but still on the battlefield added to how much of a badass he is. Higgins does this by showing us that Tommy isn’t their just to look cool but genuinely knows he needs to be out there even if he is now vulnerable.
Tommy’s presence on the battlefield also highlights how Higgins has developed Rita and Black Dragon to be a threat to the people of the world. Seeing soldiers and civilians reacting in great fear from the Zords attacking various parts of the world was much more effective than anything we saw on the TV show. With this display of power Higgins got over how Rita poses a threat to the entire world and that the Rangers are Earth’s guardians, not just Angel Grooves.
In establishing this threat level early on Higgins was able to make the Power Rangers appearing on scene to take on Black Dragon a much bigger moment. Now the reader had an instant interest in what is going on even if they forgot details of previous issues or are picking up this comic as their first issue of the series. The battle with Black Dragon was also a great showing as to how the Rangers fight with their individual Zords compared to when they use the Megazord.
With the Rangers still struggling with Black Dragon it was great that Billy was able to finally escape character purgatory to help out his friends. The interaction between Billy and Goldar in this issue was the best since Higgins paired the two up as prisoners in the Dark Dimension. Up until this point I found their scenes to be very boring and killed the momentum of the main story. But with Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #9 Higgins was able to finally make this scene important by making it a showcase as to how smart Billy is with how he convinced Goldar to help him.
That scene nicely transitioned over to Billy and Tommy teaming up to take down Black Dragon from the inside. This team-up added to the drama behind the threat Black Dragon posed. It was a great moment for both characters as they willingly sacrificed themselves to save the world from Black Dragon. If that isn’t a superhero moment I don’t know what is.
This all leads us to an ending no one was expecting as a new Power Ranger was introduced. Not only do we get introduced to a brand new Power Ranger but this one’s design looks like a hybrid of the Green and White Ranger. It was an unexpected twist that sets up the next arc of this series to be even better than this Black Dragon arc, which was already a strong story.
Helping make all these moments even better is the consistency Hendry Prasetya continues to deliver with his artwork. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #9 may be his strongest showing as he gets the opportunity to draw all types of scenes. From the Zords clashing with Black Dragon to small details like Billy’s cracked glasses, it all was enhanced by Prasetya’s artwork. The design of the Green-White Ranger hybrid we saw at the end of the issue was a terrifically menacing design.
The Bad: The one nitpick that I do have with Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #9’s main story is the fact we don’t actually see the Rangers fight with Tommy’s powers. After all the build up to this moment it’s a shame that we didn’t see how different their powers are as different versions of the Green Ranger. It’ an even bigger letdown since Jason was wearing the Green Ranger shield but never used it in battle. They all just went into their Zords right away.
This issue also had featured the weakest Bulk and Skull back-up story. Up until now these two page back-up stories have been a fun extra to have. I’ve actually found them to be a good break from the more serious tone the main story Higgins is tackling. But here some of the fun is taken away as it is teased that Bulk and Skull are going to be dragged into one of Rita’s plots.
Overall: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #9 was a strong end to the Black Dragon arc and delivered a great twist ending to set the stage for the next arc. Kyle Higgins and Hendry Prasetya continue to do an excellent job expanding on the Power Ranger mythos. The ending of this issue is perfect example of how much of a joy Higgins’ run has been. If you were ever a fan of the Power Rangers I highly recommend picking up this series from BOOM! Studios.