The “Shattered Grid” event was one of the biggest storylines in Power Rangers history. It pushed the Power Rangers beyond their limits. At the end of the day the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers team along with key allies were able to defeat Lord Drakkon. The story that followed, “Beyond The Grid,” missed the mark in following the events of “Shattered Grid.” Though there were some cool choices, like Coinless Kimberly Hart being the leader, the story tried to do too much in trying to explore the Morphin Grid and the Power Rangers’ Multiverse.
Now Ryan Parrott is taking over writing duties for Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Parrott has shown he has an excellent handling of the franchise with his work over on Go Go Power Rangers, which he is now co-writing with Sina Grace. Parrott is not wasting any time starting his run on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers with a strong impact as we are going to see a time jump to when Tommy Oliver is leading the team as the White Ranger. Along with that shake-up Parrott will be starting the “Necessary Evil” storyline that both Mighty Morphin and Go Go Power Rangers’ comics will be tackling. How will this major storyline kick off the march to this series’ 50th issue? Let’s find out with Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #40.
Writer: Ryan Parrott
Artist: Daniele Di Nicuolo
Colorist: Walter Baiamonte
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: After the events of “Shattered Grid” the Emissaries Three of the Morphin Grid warn the Power Rangers about reshaping the universe. They mention that in resetting the universe they will forget the events they went through with Lord Drakkon and that certain changes to their timelines are unavoidable. All the Power Rangers agree that resetting things won’t break the bond they have and begin the process. (This entire scene comes from the end of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Shattered Grid #1.)
As the universe is reset a silhouette of who looks to be Lord Drakkon appears through the white light.
In the present the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers are in London fighting off flying monster that is attacking London Bridge. While they are saving people the White Ranger is able to knock the monster down. Not wasting anytime the White Ranger tells the Blue and Pink Ranger to run the Beta Six formation with him. The Red, Black and Yellow Rangers clear a path for the others to run the Beta Six formation (with the Yellow Ranger mentioning this the first time she has seen this formation). The formation works and the Power Rangers defeat the flying moster. All of the Puddies retreat in horror.
A little later the Power Rangers return to the Command Center to give Zordon a rundown of what happened. Tommy is concern that people might have been hurt in the latest monster attack. Zordon assures Tommy that they were able to save everyone. He then commends Rocky DeSantos, Aisha Campbell and Adam Park on performing well while they are still new to being Power Rangers.
Kimberly and Billy comment how the monster gave them more trouble than it should have since it didn’t even transform into a larger form. Adam and Aisha snarkingly think this is just a reminder of the high standards of being a Power Ranger. Kimberly states she just said this because when it gets that intense their room for error is very small.
Tommy tries to calm everyone down and says they just got to practice some more later. Both Kimberly and Aisha storm off.
Once the others are gone Tommy talks to Zordon alone about his new powers making him not feel tired or the need to ever sleep. (Tommy also mentions the fact he feels taller as the White Ranger which is a reference to the Super Sentai version, Kou of the Howling New Star, being a kid that grew taller when he morphed into the KibaRanger).
Zordon states that Tommy’s body is still getting used to the power of the White Light of Goodness that is the center of his powers. Zordon then reminds Tommy he was chosen to be the White Ranger because he can be the light no matter how dark things get.
Over on the Moon Lord Zedd is not happy that the Power Rangers were able to defeat his latest monster. When Finster and Goldar mention a new plan of attack Lord Zedd immediately shuts them down. He reminds them that he will not go down Rita Repulsa’s road of consistent failures. Lord Zedd states he is now going to change the rules.
A little while later the Red, Black and Yellow Rangers are saving citizens and getting them away from the battlefield while the Pink Ranger fights off a monster in her Firebird Thunderzord. Suddenly an army of Puddies surround the Red, Black and Yellow Ranger. The Puddies soon overwhelm the Rangers as they fail the simulation.
Outside the simulator Billy tells Tommy that the simulation is the same no-win scenario they’ve done countless times. Billy mentions that they are getting close to how they were before in terms of teamwork. Tommy worries that just getting down their teamwork to their old level won’t work since Lord Zedd is on a completely different level compared to Rita.
The next day at Angel Grove High School, Aisha, Adam and Rocky share their frustrations about being a Power Ranger and how they are treated because they are still rookies to this. As they continue to talk Aisha mentions how the three of them uprooted their lives so they can be Power Rangers but that it’s still not good enough to the others.
Back on the Moon a group of mercenaries deliver Lord Zedd a package the leader mentions killed of his men to retrieve.
Lord Zedd opens the package that contains a person he calls “Dayne.” While kneeling Dayne demands to why Lord Zedd dragged him to the Moon. Lord Zedd says he wants Dayne to take care of the Power Rangers. Dayne stands up and states he is willing to take the job as long as they negotiate the price. (When Dayne stands up he is shown to be from the same race as Commander Anubis Cruger, who was the S.P.D Shadow Ranger.)
Over at the Angel Grove Youth Center Skull introduces Bulk to his new girlfriend, Candice. Bulk nervously says welcomes her.
Nearby Ernie thanks Tommy for taking over Jason’s karate classes since he left. Tommy says he does not mind training kids.
When Ernie leaves, Kimberly asks Tommy if he has time to teach karate classes with all they’ve got going on. Tommy says that if Jason could handle it so can he. This reminds Billy that he just talked to Trini and got an update on how things are going with her, Zack and Jason. Tommy tells Billy to tell Trini he hopes they’re enjoying skiing and walks away.
Both Billy and Kimberly realize that Tommy is still upset Jason, Trini and Zack left while they are fighting a war.
They suddenly get a video call from Jason, Trini and Zack. As they catch up the connection for the video call gets bad. Jason mentions that their reception isn’t great since they are a bit off the grid. (It is shown that Jason, Trini and Zack are in an unknown location and wearing Power Rangers-like gear.) End of issue.
The Good: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #40 does exactly what it needed to give this series a fresh start while also continuing where “Shattered Grid” left the franchise. Even with a time jump between the events of “Shattered Grid” and “Necessary Evil” taking place Ryan Parrott never makes you feel as though we are missing out on a lot. The world has been able to move forward in between these two stories in a similar fashion as we saw in the TV show. At the same time, there are plenty of hints that not everything will be familiar moving forward.
Right away what Parrott excelled at with Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #40 was setting the tone. Opening the issue up with the end of “Shattered Grid” reminded the reader that there will be some ramifications to the universe altering that happened during the event. As the Emissaries Three stated these changes may not be obvious to the Power Rangers but there will be some moving forward. That tease set-up how we can shape what happened once the universe reset with the events of from the TV show up until the Power Transfer that happened with Jason, Trini and Zack to fill-in the blanks between the time jump.
At the same time Parrott added a great surprise tease that Lord Drakkon is possibly still somewhere with how we saw his silhouette reaching out from the light. What made this reveal particularly interesting was the tie into Tommy Oliver’s switch to being the White Ranger. As Zordon stated, Tommy was chosen to be the White Ranger because he has proven he can be the guiding light through all the darkness that tries to bring them down. Defining the White Rangers power around this concept of what the White Light of Goodness represents sets up what Tommy’s arc can be with this new power.
This also gives greater weight to seeing Lord Drakkon teased appearance in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #40. Because if Tommy as the White Ranger represents this powerful light there must be an equal evil that he must combat. And as we saw with Lord Drakkon towards the end of “Shattered Grid” he did attain God-like powers. If he is out there still than Tommy’s new powers will come even more into play.
This also gives more room to explore for what Tommy’s growth as the leader of the Power Rangers. Parrott showed us that Tommy clearly has a chip on his shoulder as he understands what he has to live up to. Jason was such a natural leader and he proved that with “Shattered Grid.” Having that example to live up to gives Tommy an additional sub-plot to his role as a White Ranger that readers will be invested in.
Along with Lord Drakkon, Parrott also perfectly sets up Lord Zedd to be a terrifying and powerful villain that the Power Rangers are struggling with fighting. This is the Lord Zedd many fans fell in love with before his marriage with Rita Repulsa toned him down. Between the way he talks and walks you can tell he is leagues above the threat level Rita once was. Lord Zedd is not messing around and with each defeat he gets more pissed off.
This set-up for Lord Zedd as a major threat made Dayne’s introduction have greater impact. Just from presence alone Dayne looks like he is someone that will be equally tough to the top tier bad guys. Adding in that he comes from the same race as Anubis Cruger was a nice touch to add a sense of history that long-time fans, especially those that watch Power Rangers SPD, a tie to. And maybe Parrott will go into how this could possibly tie-into the SPD Shadow Ranger powers that worked differently from the other SPD Rangers powers.
Having all this set-up in place further spotlight when we pick back up in this point in the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers lives that Aisha, Adam and Rocky are rookie Rangers. That is a big shift in the dynamic since, especially after “Shattered Grid,” Tommy, Kimberly and Billy are veterans at this point. They know what is at stake and how they must work like a well-oiled machine to defeat all of Lord Zedd’s plans.
It is a good starting point to have since this was not explored in depth once the Power Transfer happened in the show. This also gives more opportunity to develop Aisha, Adam and Rocky as their own characters rather than just simple replacements from Jason, Trini and Zack. They have their own arcs now as rookies who must learn as the threats they are facing are only getting worse. They must quickly learn on the job while also trying to live up to the expectations that were set by Jason, Trini and Zack.
A particular character trait that Parrott was smart to add for Aisha, Adam and Rocky was the fact that they literally uprooted their lives to become Power Rangers. This was something that was never touched on in the show as it was quickly forgotten that they came from completely different schools. Just so they could be as close to the other Rangers as possible they did change their lives and left a place where they were comfortable. That transition is never easy, especially when your a teenager still discovering yourself and are now suddenly thrust into the lives of a superhero. Hearing how their current experience as Power Rangers wasn’t what they dreamed when they looked up to them was a great way to ground the three rookies.
Setting these three up in this way also helped position Tommy, Billy and Kimberly as the veterans on the team. Their frustrations with the rookies was understandable since they have been through a lot and understand what they are fully up against with Lord Zedd. Especially as they have become global superheroes who are Earth’s first line of defense there is no room for mistakes.
This is where having Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #40 take place soon after the Power Transfer was a smart move by Parrott. Since the Power Transfer was something that came up very quickly there would be some obvious abandonment issues for Tommy, Billy and Kimberly. The original Power Rangers became such a well-oiled machine once Tommy returned as the White Ranger that this sudden change would be hard to take for the three that stayed.
The sudden shift is made even more interesting with the major change in continuity that Jason, Trini and Zack are still operating as Power Rangers. This surprise gave greater importance to why we had the recap to the end of “Shattered Grid” to open Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #40. Now we know there are big changes that could’ve taken place because of the universe reset since Jason stated when he returned as the Gold Zeo Ranger that he missed being a Power Ranger after the transfer.
That not being the case anymore gives an actual explanation for why the Power Transfer happened so suddenly. Because as Zordon mentioned to Tommy, the White Ranger powers were created to combat the growing threats they are facing. That is likely the case for why they still have some form of their Power Ranger powers. How having two set of Power Rangers operating at the same time will be very interesting to see develop over time.
Daniele Di Nicuolo once again delivered high quality art with his work in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #40. Nicuolo has defined the comic book style of the Power Rangers. He does a great job making all the action feel chaotic as the Power Rangers act much more like superheroes. And with Aisha, Adam and Rocky he does a very good job showing through all the action how they are the rookies on the team. The experience shines through in the way they are drawn, which is even more impressive given how the helmets make it hard to make display the characters emotions.
The Bad: Nothing.
Overall: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #40 was an excellent start to the “Necessary Evil” event. In the aftermath of “Shattered Grid” Ryan Parrott and Daniele Di Nicuolo used all of the character development of the Power Rangers to set the stage for the next big storyline. They give every Power Rangers character that appears a story that strengthens the greater narrative being developed. If you are a Power Rangers fan this is must read.
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