Mighty Morphin Power Rangers/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Retrospective

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

When it comes to entertainment franchises the Power Rangers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are up there with the best of them. Both have a longevity that has stretched several decades through. Both franchises have seen a lot of recent success in the comic book world thanks BOOM! Studios’ Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and IDW’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle comics. These two have been some of the best comic books currently being published. Now thanks to the success of both franchises in comic book form BOOM! Studios and IDW teamed up to give us Mighty Morphin Power Rangers/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Now that the crossover has wrapped up we wanted to take the chance to look back at how it turned out.

MEGA CROSSOVER REDO

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1

The Power Rangers and Ninja Turtles dream crossover gets a redo starting with Mighty Morphin Power Rangers/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1. Click for full page view.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles isn’t the first time these two major franchises crossed over. Back in the 90s the two franchises crossed over when the Power Rangers In Space team met the TMNT team from Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation. While the Power Rangers In Space season is one of the best of the franchise’s history the Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation series was never a high point for the TMNT franchise. Even as a kid The Next Mutation felt like it missed the mark on what made the 90s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles live-action movies so enjoyable. And unfortunately the crossover between the In Space and Next Mutation teams just never lived up to how fun it should’ve been.

But now with Mighty Morphin Power Rangers/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles we have the crossover that we can all point to why both franchises are so fun. The creative team of Ryan Parrott, Simone di Meo, Walter Baiamonte, and Igor Monti crafted a story that took this dream crossover and made it something that was fascinating for Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fans. The main characters from both franchises were all given a chance to shine at some point. Whether it was through dialogue or action sequences, there was something for fans of both franchises.

POWER RANGERS AND TEENAGE MUNTANT NINJA TURTLE CONTINUITY

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #4

Without powers the Ninja Rangers make their debut in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #4. Click for full page view.

The connection the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has with the comic books BOOM! Studios and IDW are respectively publishing for the two franchises is very loose. Ryan Parrot created a continuity that took a lot of familiar elements to both the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic. But much like the Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles trilogy crossover, this series very much exists in its own continuity. Which is honestly for the best as Parrott did not have to place a focus on when this crossover was taking place. It was simply about how to maximize the fun of a crossover between the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

The art team of Simone di Meo, Walter Baiamonte, and Igor Monti deserve just as much credit for the success of the series with the style they created. Simone di Meo has done some work on the Power Rangers comics so his design for this world very much fit in line with the current look of the MMPR comics. But at the same time, Meo adjusted his Power Rangers style so the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles feel like a natural part of the world. Having these specific designs made both franchises come across as living in the same universe. It allowed the focus to be on the story Parrott and Meo created.

CHEMISTRY OF BOTH FRANCHISES

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Billy Cranston and Donatello bond in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #2. Click for full page view.

Throughout Mighty Morphin Power Rangers/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles we saw how the chemistry between all the characters from both franchises really shined. The opening fight the two teams got into to start everything really set the stage for the chemistry as we saw how different Rangers connected with different Turtles. With Jason and Leonardo we saw how both their positions as leaders and love for martial arts. Kimberly also interning for April O’Neil was another surprise standout as Kimberly got a bit of a change of pace as she was able to bond with someone that could be her mentor professionally. That bonding did well in tapping into what a more extend run in this comic book can look like.

The same goes for the villains of this story. Even though the time Shredder and Rita Repulsa appeared on screen together was short it was nevertheless effective. Parrott and Meo really tapped into what would happen when these two Alpha villains met with one another. It led to one of the more standout action sequences in the series. And just like the Power Rangers bonding with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Shredder and Rita’s meeting planted the seeds for an even greater story if this crossover was revisited again.

GREEN RANGER SHREDDER RISES

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #2

Shredder steals the Green Ranger powers for himself in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #2.

There is no way that any look at the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles crossover would not talk about Shredder becoming the Green Ranger. Much like when Drakkon stole the White Ranger powers in the Power Rangers’ Coinless Universe, Shredder’s Green Ranger design merged his classic spike armor. Merging the two designs to make the ultimate Green Ranger Shredder made an already dangerous character even more menacing. Anytime Shredder was on screen you were left wondering if the Power Rangers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles would be able to stop him. Meo absolutely just nailed this design so that you would want to immediately get the action figure of Green Ranger Shredder whenever it is released.

TOMMY OLIVER PAST EXPLORED

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #3

Tommy Oliver’s past before becoming the Green Ranger is explored in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #3. Click for full page view.

There is no bigger name in the Power Rangers franchise than Tommy Oliver. While some may find it annoying that Tommy was specifically given his own character arc over the other Power Rangers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles it ended up working. The reason that Tommy’s character arc worked was that Parrott chose to explore a part of Tommy we haven’t seen examine very much: his past before becoming the Green Ranger. The majority of Tommy’s development has been based on the character moving forward, with only brief exploration of his heritage. That’s made sense given where Tommy started when he was first introduced.

But to Parrott’s credit he took the opportunity of writing Shredder and the Foot Clan to actually explore the fact that Tommy was an orphan. That is not an openly explored part of Tommy’s character. In tapping into Tommy’s past Parrott was able to give him a character arc that came across as unique to this story. The Power Ranger comics have really shined when they explore the past and family dynamic with Jason, Kimberly and the other Rangers. This spotlight on Tommy’s own past just added to what’s made the Power Ranger comics such a great read.

ONE GEEK OUT MOMENT AFTER ANOTHER

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #4

The Ninja Turtles and April O’Neil power up and become the Turtle Rangers in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #4. Click for full page view.

For all the great character arcs that we got in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at the end of the day this series was made by all the moments you couldn’t help but geek out over. Whether it was the first clash between the Power Rangers and Ninja Turtles to Shredder becoming the Green Ranger, this crossover was filled with one hype moment after another. There is no way to not have a smile on your face when you are reading each issue of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

The greatest highlight of this series came from the Power Rangers and Ninja Turtles being forced to swap roles. Seeing the TMNT team, along with April O’Neil, transform into the Mighty Morphin Turtle Rangers was a mind-blowing fan moment. Add in how the Power Rangers themselves took on a proto-Ninja Ranger forms when they could not use their powers was equally fantastic. The urban Ninja Ranger look made things even better. This all led to arguably the most hype moment of the entire series as the Power Rangers and Ninja Turtles combined the Dino Megazord and Metalhead to form the Turtle Megazord. It was a jaw dropping visual that just highlighted how much fun this crossover is for fans of both franchises.

FINAL THOUGHTS

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The Turtle Megazord is formed in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #5. Click for full page view.

When all was said and done Mighty Morphin Power Rangers/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was exactly as fun as fans of both franchise can hope it would be. Ryan Parrott, Simone di Meo, Walter Baiamonte, and Igor Monti hit an absolute out of the park home run with this crossover series. The series was filled with incredible moments for all the major characters in the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise. This hopefully opens the door for another crossover event, which could bring in Jennika to be part of the story as the fifth Turtle now that she has been fully integrated into the TMNT comics.

If you are a Power Rangers or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan I highly recommend buying this crossover when it comes out in hardcover or trade paperback form. It is something that must be in the collection of every fan of either or both franchises.


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