Since “Necessary Evil” ended Mighty Morphin Power Rangers has been in a transition period as Ryan Parrott begins to set the stage for the next big thing for the comic books in the franchise. We already know that this series will be ending soon and the franchise will relaunch with two new series in the form of Mighty Morphin and Power Rangers. Each comic book will be focusing on the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and Omega Rangers in series. Now before we get to the launch of Mighty Morphin and Power Rangers there are still things to be set up, such as how Lord Drakkon and Lord Zedd factor into the upcoming status quo for the franchise. Let’s see where things go next with Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #52.
Writer: Ryan Parrott
Artist: Moises Hidalgo
Colorist: Walter Baiamonte and Katia Ranalli
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 6.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: On Safehaven, Zack is playing a game of Torono Ball with a bunch of kids. Just as Zack thinks he got the winning point Reeshka tells Zack that her team actually won. Zack doesn’t believe it until he is told that in Torono Ball the home team makes the rules.
Reeshka’s family tells her its time to go back to Gorvinos 3. Reeshka says goodbye to her teammates.
Zack tries to tell Trini that he was close to winning. Trini sarcastically says “sure you were.”
On the Spectrum II, the Omega Rangers new headquarters spaceship, Zack wonders why Xi didn’t take the chance to make some changes to the old ship’s design. Xi makes a comment that he’ll keep that in mind the next time their spaceship explodes.
On another part of the ship, Trini talks to Jason, who is taking advantage of the stronger gravity to get in an intense workout. During the conversation, Jason mentions that they are going back to Earth since they completed their mission to defeat the Empowered and repair the Morphin Grid. Trini asks about the bad guys in the vault. Jason says that Xi can look after them as there is no reason for them to remain in space.
Over at Angel Grove high, Aisha is paired up with Bulk for a science project while Adam is paired with Violet Arias (Zack’s ex-girlfriend from the Go Go Power Rangers time frame).
After class as they get to know each other Adam learns that Violet isn’t the biggest fan of the Power Rangers because they lack accountability. Seeing Adam’s shock Violet apologizes. Adam tells Violet it is okay because she did give him a lot to think about.
At Lord Drakkon’s prison cell Kimberly tells Drakkon that he is not fooling anyone with his crazy routine of talking to Saba’s head. Drakkon wonders if Kimberly is visiting just to talk or kill him. Kimberly questions if Drakkon doesn’t believe she would do it. Drakkon says he knows she can’t but decides to show it by giving her incentive.
Drakkon starts talking about everything he learned from Coinless Kimberly Hart when she was his Ranger Slayer, including how Kimberly secretly flirts with her friends so they will like her. He goes on to mock how Kimberly for loving to lie and goes on to talk about knowing all other sorts of secrets about her.
This sets Kimberly off and she summons her Power Bow. Drakkon tells Kimberly to shoot him. Kimberly puts her Power Bow down. She then once again says that Drakkon isn’t fooling anyone. She goes on to say that someone will put him out of his misery but he is not her kill. Kimberly then walks away.
On Spectrum II the Rangers say goodbye to Reeshka and her family as they approach Gorvinos III. As they get to the planet everyone is shocked to find Reeshka’s home city on fire.
Jason, Trini, and Zack ask Xi what happened. Xi reveals that in the last seventy-two hours there was a cataclysmic meltdown due to a massive energy disruption that attacked Gorvinos II on a cellular level.
Reeshka’s family wonders what happened to all their people. Jason assures them that the Omega Rangers will figure things out.
The Omega Rangers go to the point of origin for the energy spike that I found. As they investigate the area a bunch of creatures come out of the ground and start attacking the Omega Rangers.
The Omega Rangers are able to hold their own against the unknown creatures attacking them. Unfortunately for them, they are unable to make a major dent in the creatures’ numbers. They then decide to use their special team attack called the Omega Strike. The Omega Strike is powerful enough to destroy all the creatures.
Before they can celebrate their victory the ground beneath the Omega Rangers starts to shake. Xi contacts the Omega Rangers to let them know that the entire planet is shifting under them.
Just then an unknown being appears brimming with energy. The being tells the Omega Rangers that they are about to meet their end. End of issue.
The Good: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #52 very much reads like Ryan Parrott setting the stage for what will come next for the franchise with the two new comics launching later this year. There is certainly development when it comes to the current situation with Lord Drakkon. But this issue was more about setting things up for the long-term future.
With how much went on during “Necessary Evil” and Lord Drakkon’s sudden appearance it was nice to have an issue that slows things down. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #52 does more with the slice-of-life style storytelling that has made the stories that happen when the Power Rangers aren’t morphed or in the Command Center so interesting. For how much the major events have led to the success of BOOM! Studios Power Rangers’ comics it can be argued that the development of each Rangers’ personality and personal life plays an equal part to that success. Being able to see how the Rangers act in a modern setting and how each of them has developed their personality based on their experience has been fascinating to see.
We see that best in the interaction between Kimberly Hart and Lord Drakkon. Drakkon obviously cannot resist an opportunity to be the biggest prick in the galaxy when he gets the opportunity to get under Kimberly’s skin. Using the history he has with the Coinless version of Kimberly that he turned into the Ranger Slayer was an excellent use of the history BOOM! Studios Power Ranger Universe has built. Everything that Drakkon says makes you despise the villain more because there is no redeeming quality to what he is doing. The guy is pure evil and absolutely revels in every opportunity to show that fact.
For Kimberly’s part, we see Parrott further play into the character’s own insecurities given the things that have happened to her personally. Drakkon talking about all of that setting Kimberly off works for where her character is at. We see that there is still a lot that Kimberly is working with internally that she hasn’t fully opened up to her friends about, especially with Trini away in space right now. Seeing her explode and almost give in to the temptation of killing Drakkon showed all of that. The fact that Kimberly was able to get control of her emotions and not pull the trigger of shooting Drakkon with an arrow does a good job of showing that she has grown. At the same time, it sets up a greater arc for Kimberly as there is a lot of room to explore more about things she has going on with her personal life.
On a lighter side, it was interesting to see Parrott finally dedicate some time to the new Rangers. In particular, the interaction Adam has with Violet Arias opens the door to give him a character arc. Up to this point, only Aisha has had a character of the new Rangers, as we have seen her step up more during “Necessary Evil.” Implanting the idea that the Power Rangers should take more responsibilities for their actions gives Adam the opportunity what his role as the Black Ranger means. Especially with Drakkon’s appearance, Parrott can explore how Adam deals with whatever decisions Zordon and the veteran Rangers make in dealing with the villain.
On the Omega Rangers front, it was good to see how Zack, Trini, and Jason have now been helping all of the refugees from other planets on Safehaven. Zack playing Torono Ball shows us how the Omega Rangers have been doing their best to help the Safehaven refugees recover from all they went through. It gets over the reason for Safehaven existing in the post-Necessary Evil status quo as there are still a lot of alien races that are without a home.
This also worked to set up the fact that the Omega Rangers’ mission may not be over just because they were able to defeat Kiya and those corrupted after being empowered by the chaos within the Morphin Grid. Because while the Earth is well protected by the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers there is a whole galaxy filled with planets that need protection. The trip to Gorvinos III was another great case of show rather than tell. Parrott and Moises Hidalgo got across that the Omega Rangers were still needed with all the chaos and destruction we saw on Gorvinos III.
Which made the earlier scene between Jason and Trini have greater weight. Because now for Jason, Trini, and Zack they see that there is still a lot of good they can do by sticking around as the Omega Rangers. They can’t simply go back home to have a normal post-Power Rangers life. The trio has seen the good they can do by evolving their Omega Rangers mission, as Trini points out with Jason. This situation on Gorvinos III just emphasizes that this new status quo of being Omega Rangers should be a permanent thing moving forward.
The situation on Gorvinos III also helps to show how there are more threats in the universe beyond that of Lord Zedd, Rita Repulsa, and Drakkon. As we’ve seen in future Power Rangers’ series, there are a ton of major villains that the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers came up against. We already saw that with the Power Ranges taking on the mercenary Dayne, who is from SPD Commander Cruger’s Sirian race. This new threat on Gorvinos III opens the door for Parrott and others to explore what happens if at least the Omega Rangers go up with villains that have a connection with future Power Rangers’ teams.
Moises Hidalgo delivered some solid artwork throughout Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #52. Hidalgo kept up the style that BOOM! Studios Power Rangers comic has become known for. It wasn’t as strong as the work of other artist but Hidalgo had his moments to shine. The scene that particularly stood out as strong was in the meeting between Kimberly and Drakkon. Hidalgo tapped into how absolutely evil Drakkon is and the anger Kimberly felt as she almost fired her arrow right at the villain. The pink power-up aura surrounded Kimberly during this moment added to how tense this entire scene was.
The Bad: For as enjoyable as Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #52 was, this issue also showed the signs that the series is taking up way to much for its own good. You really get the feeling that the Power Rangers franchise has grown so big that having one comic book that explores all the characters that have been established is far too much. There is no way to appropriately give enough screen time for the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and Omega Rangers teams. Especially when you consider Parrott is also developing plot lines around Lord Zedd, Drakkon, and a new mysterious threat, this series has way too much going on.
Speaking of Lord Zedd, the Emperor of Evil’s lack of appearance in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #52 was highly disappointing. With how the previous issue ended with Lord Zedd forming his very own Dark Rangers that will be led by Rita Repulsa there was no reason not to follow up on that. Rita Repulsa’s appearance in particular deserves some sort of follow-up to continue the momentum of her return. Not even dedicating one page to this plot thread further points out how there are way too many things for Mighty Morphin Power Rangers to juggle as the lone comic in the franchise.
Overall: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #52 was another solid issue in a series that has become known for consistently delivering entertaining reads every month. Ryan Parrott shows with every page of this issue how well he understands every character in the Power Rangers franchise. While there are signs that Parrott may be juggling one too many storylines, every character arc is so fascinating that you can’t help but feel completely invested in what happens next in this series.
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