Mighty Morphin Power Rangers has been on an interesting road since ending the big “Necessary Evil” storyline. Since then Ryan Parrott has been building up the groundwork for what comes next as this series will be split into two different ongoings in the form of Mighty Morphin and Power Rangers later this year. One of the things that Parrott has been establishing is Lord Zedd forming his own Dark Power Rangers with Rita Repulsa, Goldar, Finster, Squatt, and Baboo. With the Dark Power Rangers on the cover for Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #53 let’s see what happens.
Writer: Ryan Parrott
Artist: Moises Hidalgo
Colorists: 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 the Moon Rita Repulsa shows off her power by defeating a army of Putties. Lord Zedd suddenly stabs her from behind and reveals she is actually a monster creation from Finster. Lord Zedd congratulates the monster in showing its strength and rewards it by giving them the power of the Dark Red Ranger.
Lord Zedd then reminds the fake Rita and the others that if they fail him as his Dark Rangers then he will punish them severely.
Over in Promethea, Billy Cranston finishes his work in helping Grace Sterling repowering the Dragon Coin. Grace tells Billy that she is going to be keeping the Dragon Coin because she does not trust Zordon, which surprises Billy. Grace reminds Billy that he has been keeping their work on the Dragon Coin, Psycho Dagger, and other behind the scenes work that he has kept secret from Zordon.
Billy tries to defend himself that they were helping get Zordon a new Ranger. Grace agrees and says that they should be the ones to choose who the new Green Ranger will be. Grace suggests possibly giving the Dragon Coin to a trained operative on Promethea. Bill isn’t sure since when Alpha and Zordon choose the current Rangers it was specific to be the pair well with the Power Coin.
Hearing this Grace suggests giving the Dragon Coin to Drakkon. Billy is against giving Drakkon the Dragon Coin. Grace understands but says Drakkon could be a valuable ally.
Somewhere in Angel Grove Rita Repulsa, Goldar, Finster, Squatt, and Baboo suddenly appear and immediately morph into the Dark Rangers.
Detecting this the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers teleport in already morphed and immediately start fighting the Dark Rangers. The Power Rangers split up and take on the Dark Rangers individually. The Dark Rangers are able to gain the advantage as the Power Rangers did not expect their power level.
During their fight the White Ranger discovers that Red Dark Ranger isn’t Rita Repulsa. Even with that the Red Dark Ranger still overpowers the White Ranger.
The other Power Rangers get back together and use their Power Blaster to force the Dark Rangers to force them to take cover.
Lord Zedd suddenly teleports on a rooftop and gives his Dark Rangers to transform into the Terrorzords. The Terrorzords immediately start destroying buildings in the area. End of issue.
The Good: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #53 is an action packed issue that gets our titled characters back into the spotlight. That has been a problem with the series as we have been splitting our time between the Mighty Morphin and Omega Rangers. Having the focus be completely on the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was good change of pace.
Immediately getting back to Lord Zedd’s Dark Ranger plotline by showing the new, fake Rita Repulsa worked very well. Ryan Parrott gave Lord Zedd good reasoning for not wanting the actual Rita Repulsa back. At the same time, he wanted her presence because of what she represents. It all made sense in establishing who these Dark Rangers are.
The second half of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #53 definitely put over the Dark Rangers as a powerful unit. This was by far the strongest that Goldar, Finster, Squatt, and Baboo in particular have looked since they first debuted in the show. Parrott made them all look like powerhouses that the Power Rangers did not have an answer to. The way the fight was choreographed made them all look good and that them dominating the Power Rangers wasn’t just because it was a surprise. This was all about them being able to take on the Power Rangers individually rather than one-on-five.
This also worked to further the narrative that this Power Rangers group is still relatively new. Even though they did gain confidence throughout the “Necessary Evil” arc this is still a new team. Aisha, Adam and Rocky are still learning to be Power Rangers. And Kimberly, Billy, and Tommy are still learning how to best work with their new teammates. Continuing to highlight that helps show how there is still growth ahead for the Power Rangers. We see some of that growth with how they were able to quickly regroup and give Tommy cover fire and draw the Dark Rangers into a corner.
Adding in more development from Promethea with the Dragon Coin was a nice touch. It is a bit rushed that Billy and Grace were able to figure out how to repower the Dragon Coin but it does create a lot of intrigue in the direction of this sub-plot. Touching on how the Power Coins need to be paired with someone that they best fit is a cool expansion of why certain people are chosen to be Power Rangers. It isn’t just an accident and a lot of thought goes into it from the background.
Grace also bringing up Drakkon was an interesting character moment. Grace knows very well how evil Drakkon is so for her to bring him up to be the owner of the Dragon Coin and Psycho Dagger was surprising. It does make you question what Grace’s motives are that Drakkon would be someone she brings up. There seems to be more to what Grace is doing working with Billy than she is talking with, which is hinted by how she reveals how she does not trust Zordon.
Moises Hidalgo’s artwork was solid. It wasn’t as well done as previous artist but he got the job done with delivering high energy action. He particularly shined with how he showed off how different the Dark Rangers powers work compared to the Power Rangers. Having Walter Baiamonte and Katia Ranalli, who have worked on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers for a long time, helped keep consistency in the style of this series.
The Bad: With Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #52 ending with a big cliffhanger that showed the Omega Rangers being confronted by a new major villain it was odd that we didn’t get a follow up. Not having any sort of follow up on how the previous issue ended was an example of why the Mighty Morphin and Omega Rangers need to have their own comic books. Ryan Parrott is trying to tackle way to many characters that are in different locations to handle it all in one comic book.
Not addressing the Omega Rangers situation halts all momentum for that storyline. Which also highlighted how the Dark Rangers storyline started earlier faced the same fate before it. This does hurt the momentum that Parrott is trying to create for this post-Necessary Evil arc. Managing time appropriately for the story will help give the transition into the two new Power Ranger comic books better.
Overall: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #53 had good progress with the Dark Rangers storyline as Lord Zedd’s new team met our heroes. While that worked well the fact that the Omega Rangers cliffhanger from the previous issue was not followed up on showed how there are way to many things going on in this series. Having better control of all the stories that are being worked on will benefit this series as it establishes the foundation for the future of the Power Rangers franchise for BOOM! Studios.
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