After four crossovers with the Batman franchise the question was with who the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles would crossover with next. That answer came quickly as IDW and BOOM! Studios announced a new crossover comic featuring the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This isn’t the first time these two teams crossed over. These franchise had a crossover back in the FOX Kids days when the Power Rangers In Space team met the Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation team. While the Power Rangers In Space team are fondly remembered, the Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation was never well-received. Now we get a second chance at these two teams in a big time crossover in comic book form. Will this stand out like the crossovers that the TMNT had with Batman? Let’s find out with Mighty Morphin Power Rangers/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1.
Writer: Ryan Parrott
Artist: Simone di Meo
Colorist: Walter Baiamonte and Igor Monti
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: As the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ weapons are shown scattered through the TMNT’s sewer headquarters, the Youth Center, the Command Center and Rita & Lord Zedd’s Moon headquarters someone is heard talking about how even when people drift away or fight with each other the thing that never changes is the bond of being a family.
Somewhere in Angel Grove the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers team, without the Green Ranger, are fighting Rita’s latest monster and an army of Putties. During the fight Zack Taylor asks Kimberly Hart where her boyfriend, Tommy Oliver, is to help them. Kimberly says she does not know or car and that Tommy is not her boyfriend.
Jason Scott Lee tells his team to stay focused on the fight and calls for everyone to unite their weapons to form the Power Blaster. The Power Rangers unite their weapons and use the Power Blaster to wipe out Rita’s monster.
Over in New York City the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are fighting the Foot Clan. Hearing Michalangelo trying to banter back-and-forth with his brothers Leonardo tells his brothers to stay focused. Michalangelo, Donatello and Raphael take this as a signal to banter more while they fight.
As they do that Raphael unmasks one of the Foot Clan ninjas. The ninja is revealed to be Tommy Oliver, who proceeds to get into a fight with Raphael. Tommy is able to knock Raphael back and then calls for the Foot Clan to retreat.
Michalangelo and Donatello are surprised to hear Tommy say “Ninja Vanish” since the Foot Clan normally just retreat without saying anything. Seeing how Raphael is not taking kindly to being countered by Tommy in their fight Leonardo says that while they won it does feel like a loss.
At the Youth Center in Angel Grove Trini asks to Jason, Zack and Billy why it always falls on them to save the world. Jason says that it’s because they are Power Rangers. Trini and Zack complain how being Power Rangers is getting in the way of their studies and adding stress.
Over at the Command Center Kimberly asks Alpha 5 and Zordon if they’ve had luck tracking Tommy down. Alpha says that Tommy hasn’t morphed in weeks but they will be able to find him when he does. Seeing Kimberly’s concern for Tommy, Zordon reassures her that Tommy can take care of himself wherever he may be.
Somewhere in downtown New York City, Karai holds a meeting with the Foot Clan. She talks about the history of the Foot Clan and how it is marked by failure. Karai goes on to say that while that may be the case even in defeat, like the one they just suffered to the Turtles, they are able to better themselves and forge the weapon that will destroy their enemies.
Sometime later, on a rooftop, Karai compliments Tommy on saving the Foot Clan the previous night and how quickly he has impressed everyone in the three weeks he has been with them. When Karai mentions how her master is impressed by Tommy she wonders who he really is while calling him “Tommy Marshall.” Tommy states he is a person who is looking for a place where people don’t come to just survive but to fight for what is theirs.
Later that night, Tommy, in special Foot Clan gear, infiltrates Mason Technologies. Tommy finds a device that is being powered. When Tommy takes it he is quickly surrounded by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
When the Turtles charge in to attack him together Tommy morphs into the Green Ranger. Michalangelo is stunned that Tommy turned out to be a Power Ranger. As the Green Ranger Tommy is able to use his superior speed to dodge Michalangelo, Donatello and Leonardo’s attacks.
Raphael decides to face off against the Green Ranger alone and is able to hold his own for a bit. Raphael ends up enjoying himself during the short fight.
The other Power Rangers teleport to the rooftop of the building that Alpha Five detected Tommy morphing in. Suddenly the Green Ranger appears crashing through a wall.
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles see that the other Power Rangers have shown up and think they are the Green Ranger’s back-up. The Power Rangers think that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are some of Rita’s monsters. The two teams then charge at each other to begin their clash.
When Leonardo and the Red Ranger clash the former complements the latter on his cool sword.
Nearby, while fighting the Blue Ranger, Donatello questions his opponent where he got his powers from and makes his own theories about them. Billy complements Donatello on being smarter than Rita’s normal monsters.
During their fight Michalengelo wonders why the Black Ranger and the others are working for Shredder. This question confuses Zack since he does not know who Shredder is.
In the shadows the Green Ranger gets ready to leave when the Pink Ranger finds him and says she is going to knock some sense in him. They both take off their helmets. Tommy apologizes to Kimberly, saying he did not want to involve her and the others in what he was doing. Kimberly asks what Tommy is doing. Tommy says he can’t say but to trust him. Frustrated, Kimberly says she is fine with that.
As Tommy gets his full Green Ranger gear back on to teleport away Raphael shows up. Both the Pink Ranger and Yellow Ranger get in Raphael’s way and start fighting him.
Somewhere nearby Karai watches as the Green Ranger has escaped while the Power Rangers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are fighting. Karai tells this to Shredder. Shredder wonders if the Green Ranger has the prize he was looking for. Karai says that he has.
Shredder then states that Tommy will help him gain control of the Power Rangers. End of issue.
The Good: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 kick starts the big crossover between two franchises I love in exactly the way I was hoping it would. Ryan Parrott does not waste time in introducing both teams and getting them right into action. Even when things slow down there is not a lot of down time between exciting moments.
What I particularly love about Mighty Morphin Power Rangers/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 was the fact that there is no long explanation made to why they are crossing over. There is no universe or dimensional jumping. The Power Rangers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles simply exist on the same Earth and haven’t crossed paths before because they live on opposite sides of the country. All you need to know is that this is when Rita was the main villain for the Power Rangers and Shredder is still leading the Foot Clan.
Helping get this set up over was how Parrott worked in both teams status quos. For the Power Rangers they have long been established as Earth’s protectors and are known worldwide. On the opposite side of the spectrum, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are normally about working in the shadows. Even their cosmic adventures tend to keep within the shadows. Establishing this with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, particularly Michalangelo, knowing about the Power Rangers added to when both teams finally met.
Having Tommy Oliver be the focal point for the reason the Power Rangers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles makes the most sense. We’ve seen over and over again how convincing he is when exploring a darker role for him. And to his credit, Parrott does a fine job in making us question what Tommy’s real motives are. He has certainly done enough to convince Shredder and Karai he is on their side. But even as he does that there are decisions made by his actions and dialogue choices that show there is more to Tommy’s membership in the Foot Clan than what we.
This is something that was also implied by Zordon’s careful words to Kimberly when he tried to calm her down from worrying to much about Tommy. We’ve seen many times in the past that the comic book version of Zordon is willing to keep secrets from the Power Rangers when need be. It would not be surprising if Zordon, and possibly the surprisingly absent Master Splinter, is somehow involved in Tommy’s mission.
Kimberly being there to be sort of the voice of concern was a good way to use her relationship with Tommy to elevate the story going on. Kimberly quickly confronting Tommy showed how she is becoming tired of his whole dark and brooding persona he’s had.
Which made Kimberly’s position of being the one to call Tommy out for going down this road of keeping secrets from her and the others. Parrott does a good job making Kimberly being the voice of the reader since this dark route is something we’ve seen for Tommy’s comic counterpart. Kimberly being visibly frustrated makes sense. And it was good to see that she was still able to bring the fight with the other Power Rangers when they fought the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Making this mystery about what is going on with Tommy joining the Foot Clan stronger was the dialogue throughout Mighty Morphin Power Rangers/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1. At no point does Parrott lose the tone of each character involved in this crossover. He captures the unique way each character talks. Having as much experience writing the Power Rangers as he does certainly helped Parrott. But it is his writing for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Karai and Shredder that is most impressive. He does a great job tapping into each of their personalities to work well alongside the rest of the Power Rangers involvement in this story.
Throughout Mighty Morphin Power Rangers/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 Parrott did a good job in showing the similarities and differences between the two teams. Jason Scott Lee and Leonardo’s leadership styles are portrayed very similar. Both do their best to keep their respective teams focus on the fight they have in front of them. At the same time, they both are able to recognize where there teammates are struggling to keep up the superhero lifestyle. It all goes back to how as the leaders Jason and Leonardo are constantly challenged. Which made their meeting fun to see as there was a feeling of equals when they clashed swords.
On the villains side of things, Parrott did a great job in having Karai be the leader of the Foot Clan. Karai was the clear general who commanded respect from all those working for her. Her speech invoke her Foot Clan ninjas to look inspired to crush the Turtles even though they’ve lost countless amount of times.
Karain being placed in this positioned helped Shredder to be saved for the ending of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1. That is important because Karai is able to drive the mission that Shredder has for his Foot Clan that involves Tommy. It adds to the entire mystery of what Shredder’s true motives are.
Simone di Meo, Walter Baiamonte and Igor Monti delivered strong artwork that brought out the spirit of both the Mighty Morphin Powe Rangers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles frachise. The slight adjustments that were made to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles designs he made worked for the world that was created for this corssover. They were careful adjustment so that there was no design that came across as clashing once booth team met. It all help get over how Mighty Morphin Power Rangers/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 feels like a big time crossover from beginning to end.
The Bad: Though Parrott does a great job placing Tommy Oliver in a spot where you don’t know where his alligences lie there is a part of me that wishes another Power Ranger was given this spot. We’ve seen Tommy’s turn to the dark side many times before. Giving this role to someone like Trini or Billy would’ve been a cool unique hook to help explore either of this characters in a different light.
Overall: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 delivers on all the fun and action that fans expect from both franchises. Ryan Parrott’s strong understanding of what has made both franchises so beloved is what helped give this crossover a great start. Every character from the Power Rangers and TMNT franchises sound and act like you expect. Add in the great artwork from Simone di Meo, Walter Baiamonte and Igor Monti this is certainly a comic book that every Power Rangers or TMNT fan should be reading right now.
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