The Darkest Hour event continues to ramp up with things becoming even more hopeless for the Power Rangers. Things took yet another turn for the worst as Dark Specter’s corrupted Power Rangers overwhelmed the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Omega Rangers, and their allies. On top of that Lord Drakkon showed why he is the wild card by abandoning the Power Rangers when he had the chance. But unfortunately for Lord Drakkon, it looks like a corrupted Ranger Slayer will be chasing after him. Let’s find out how Darkest Hour progresses with Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #116.
Writer: Melissa Flores
Artist: Adam Gorham
Colorist: Joana Lafuente
Letterer: Ed Dukeshire
“In the race to reach the Master Arch, the last Ranger anyone expected is the only one to arrive… But it’s far from over, with a deadly villain not far behind. An epic confrontation years in the making is finally here as the Darkest Hour reaches a fever pitch!
But in the twisted arena of the Grid, the lines between hero and villain blur even further, and this battle might just prove to be the end of one character’s long journey…” – BOOM! Studios
Since making his debut Lord Drakkon always steals the show when he appears in Power Rangers. That was certainly the case in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #116 as he both kicked off and bookended this latest Darkest Hour chapter. Though he didn’t do it alone as the other breakout character from BOOM! Studios Power Rangers Universe in the Ranger Slayer was here to steal the spotlight as well.
Flipping the sides of the story that Lord Drakkon and Ranger Slayer stood on in this latest, and possibly final fight, was a cool twist. Melissa Flores certainly pulls on all the strings of fan connection to the Tommy Oliver and Kimberly Hart pairing. The twist to their relationship from the Coinless Universe made Lord Drakkon’s clash with Ranger Slayer have a whole new layer. These are older, darker versions of their prime universe counterparts. They’ve both done things you wouldn’t think either would do, especially Lord Drakkon.
Which made the entire fight taking place within the Morphin Grid a fitting place for where Lord Drakkon meets his end. Before Darkest Hour, we saw Lord Drakkon be the one to twist the Morphin Grid to his vision. Returning to the place of his greatest defeat made it poetic that the place Lord Drakkon created was where Rita Repulsa gave him his name. The ruins of his birthplace were a great way to make Lord Drakkon’s narrative come full circle.
Fighting a Dark Specter-corrupted Ranger Slayer added to this full-circle moment. There is no one else that should have Lord Drakkon’s final fight. Not being hindered by morals or a sense of justice, the Ranger Slayer Kimberly said everything she was holding back in saying. It all made Lord Drakkon able to cure his Kimberly of Dark Specter’s corruption hit harder.
The way Lord Drakkon saves Ranger Slayer also brings a focus to what could be the key to defeating Dark Specter. And that is Tommy Oliver’s White Ranger powers. Once again Flores brings attention to the unique nature of the White Tiger Power Coin. Unlike other Power Rangers, the Tiger Power Coin was created by Zordon using pure light. Now we see that the White Tiger Power Coin can’t be corrupted but also cure Dark Specter’s evil influence over the Morphin Grid. And now that Ranger Slayer Kimberly has the Coinless Universe version of the White Tiger Power Coin both she and Tommy become the key characters in this story.
While all of that was the biggest takeaway from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #116 it wasn’t the only thing to go down. Once again, we see that the current threat of Dark Specter just continues to grow. Even if there is a possible solution that we’ve seen Dark Specter and Mistress Vile accomplish the odds are still against the heroes. We see that with how the Power Rangers are forced to use their Plan C and escape before being captured. Even though the Power Rangers got out alive the pain of this defeat is certainly felt.
This defeat could be made worse by Kiya Kyatyl destroying the Master Arch. While this initially looked like what the Power Rangers needed to start turning things around it’s never that easy. Mistress Vile proves that when it looks like Dark Specter might kill her, she reveals her own trump card. Mistress Vile infusing Morphin Grid energy into her mystic staff is what this version of the character would do. She has become so wicked that even in a loss she has a backup plan.
Though even with Mistress Vile proving her loyalty she is still not out of danger. Dark Specter is now on edge because of this perceived loss. Having a weapon that still gives him control of the Morphin Grid makes him even more dangerous. And not just more dangerous to his foes but also to Mistress Vile. This all creates a greater interest in the villain side of this conflict.
Adam Gorham does a very good job stepping in. This was an action-heavy issue with an intense one-on-one fight between Lord Drakkon and Ranger Slayer. Gorham choreographed that fight and the Power Rangers escape well to get over the desperation in Darkest Hour. The final moment hits the way you want the end of the first half of a story to end.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #116 does an excellent job at closing out the first half of the Darkest Hour story. The battle between Lord Drakkon and Ranger Slayer is as intense as you expect. The result, along with Dark Specter’s latest move, creates even greater excitement going into the second half of Darkest Hour.
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10