Power Rangers #1 Review

Power Rangers #1 Cover

The Power Rangers franchise has reached an interesting convergence point as we now have to sets of Ranger teams active at the same time. The first is the classic Mighty Morphin Power Rangers with the team consisting Tommy Oliver, Billy Cranston, Kimberly Hart, Rocky DeSantos, Aisha Campbell, and Adam Park. That is the team that we are seeing as the focus of the Mighty Morphin series along with the mysterious new Green Ranger. Then we have the Omega Rangers who are formed by Jason Scott Lee, Trini Kwan, and Zack Taylor. Given how quickly the Omega Rangers rise became as they moved into being protectors of the galaxy there is a lot of potential to be had here. Because of that the Omega Rangers have now been given their own ongoing series in the form of Power Rangers. What plans are there for the Omega Rangers after everything that happened with Shattered Grid and Necessary Evil? Let’s find out with Power Rangers #1.

Writer: Ryan Parrott

Artist: Francesco Mortarino

Colorist: Raul Angulo

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: The Omega Rangers do some zero gravity training on the Spectrum II’s Hanger Bay in order to get used to fighting in space. While Jason and Zack struggle to coordinate Trini is able to easily adapt and defeat her teammates in the training.

After the training Zack wonders why Yale (a tiger-like alien) is being allowed on the Spectrum II. Xi says that Yale is no longer Empowered so he does not require a prison. Zack isn’t to fond of that answer.

Over at a beach in Angel Grove Jason, Trini, and Zack meet up with Tommy, Billy, Kimberly, Rocky, Aisha, and Adam. Tommy wonders why Jason didn’t tell them they were coming back to Earth. Jason says because they didn’t come back for a vacation but to meet with Zordon.

At the Command Center, Jason, Trini, and Zack show Zordon and the others all the information they have on a new villainous force who are going by the name Empyreal, who recently massacred a planet of twelve million people. Zordon says he’s never heard of the Empyreal.

Kimberly mentions that the Empyreal may be what Drakkon was running from, much to Jason and the others surprise that he is in the Command Center. Jason asks Zordon to let them talk to Drakkon.

Jason, along with Trini, Zack, Zordon, and Alpha-5, asks Drakkon if the Empyreal is what he was running from. Drakkon says that the Empyreals are world ravagers who they should all be running from.

Tommy suddenly appears and says that they cannot believe a word coming out of Drakkon’s mouth since he is likely saying whatever he has to in order to be let out of the prison he is in. Drakkon reveals that the last time he saw an Empyreal that they tore one of the Emissaries of the Morphin Grid in half.

Back in the Command Center’s main room Jason, Trini, and Zack try to convince Zordon to let them take Drakkon to help against the Empyreals. Zordon says that he will not risk letting Drakkon go free for any reason but offers to assist the Omega Rangers with his and Alpha-5 resources.

Power Rangers #1
Zordon turns down Jason, Trini, and Zack’s request to let them take Drakkon in Power Rangers #1. Click for full page view.

Later at the Juice Bar Ernie happily welcomes Jason, Trini, and Zack back.

Jason and Rocky quickly get into a sparring match. During the match Rocky mentions that there is a new Green Ranger. This surprises Jason, giving Rocky an opening to knock him down.

At the Juice Bar counter Zack talks with Adam about how he has found that every place and planet is similar in why things happen such as fear, love, war, and peace.

At a table Kimberly tries to convince Trini to stay on Earth for a little while longer so they can properly hang out. Trini says she can’t as she is busy with the Omega Rangers work. Trini mentions its become harder since Zordon did not let them take Drakkon.

Tommy overhears this and reminds Trini of the risk that comes with letting Drakkon free. Trini gets pissed because Tommy does not understand the real threat the Empyreals are. Tommy says they can’t risk the universe for a single planet. Trini says that there may be millions of planets but not all of them are lucky to have Power Rangers. She then walks away.

While using a punching bag, Jason and Rocky continue to talk about their fighting styles. Rocky wonders if Jason is disappointed in leaving his Red Ranger powers to him since Rocky isn’t the leader of the team. Jason says that whether Rocky is the team leader or not does not matter because he knows that Rocky is doing everything he can to protect everyone on Earth. Rocky thanks Jason for his kind words and gets hyped back up.

As the day comes to an end Tommy and the others then say goodbye to Jason, Trini, and Zack. Once its just the three of them Zack asks Jason and Trini if they are going to break Drakkon out.

In the Command Center Zordon asks Alpha-5 if he made the right choice turning down the Omega Rangers request. Alpha-5 says that Zordon did what he thought was right. Zordon then mentions he would like to talk to the Omega Rangers the next day.

The Omega Rangers suddenly teleport into the Command Center and quickly take out the security drones. With Xi’s help the Omega Rangers are able to slip their way through all of the Command Center’s security.

They eventually make it to Drakkon’s containment cell and quickly break him out, much to Drakkon’s pleasure. The Red Omega Ranger keeps Drakkon going anywhere to give the Yellow Omega Ranger the chance to take off the security collar on Drakkon.

Drakkon mocks the Omega Rangers for thinking that just because he wanted to escape his holding cell it won’t mean he’ll be helpful in the team’s suicide mission.

Alpha-5 suddenly shows up with more security drones and is surprised to find the Omega Rangers breaking Drakkon out. While the Omega Rangers try to talk Alpha-5 down Drakkon punches Alpha-5 hard enough to send him flying into the wall. The Red Omega Ranger gets pissed but Drakkon says they only have one of two choices: save Alpha-5 and turn themselves in or escape and save the universe.

In the main room the Omega Red Ranger drops Alpha-5 off in front of Zordon. Jason tells Zordon he is taking Drakkon. This pisses Zordon off and says that he will not hesitate in unleashing everything in his disposal to stop the Omega Rangers. Jason says that Zordon’s way isn’t the only way and he’s probably forgotten that with how long he has been on Earth. Jason then apologizes and teleports away.

The Spectrum II races away from Earth with the Omega Rangers and Drakkon getting ready for what they need to do next. End of issue.

The Good: Power Rangers #1 had a lot of work to do as the mission statement for the Omega Rangers moving forward needed to be established. We got a preview of that mission statement in the post-Necessary Evil storyline. But like the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers team, not a lot of time was given to develop it. Now with that they have their own series Ryan Parrott is able to place all the focus on the Omega Rangers.

Throughout Power Rangers #1 Parrott makes it clear that the Omega Rangers are going to be a team that is setting out to protect the universe and those planets not lucky to have their own Power Rangers like Earth. That is a big mission statement to have but one that works to further paint the picture of how the Omega Rangers do things that have a bigger picture in mind. Even if that is against what Zordon and the Mighty Morphin team think should be done the Jason, Trini, and Zack are going to do things their way as the Omega Rangers.

Power Rangers #1
Jason gives Rocky advice on being the Red Ranger inin Power Rangers #1. Click for full page view.

All the conversations that Jason, Trini, and Zack throughout Power Rangers #1 have speak to how the trio have gone through a lot since leaving Earth. They now have an understanding of how there are big threats out in the universe that go beyond Lord Zedd and Rita Repulsa. While those two villains are major threats that deserve the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers full attention it does not mean all the other evil beings in the universe are taking a break.

That is where the threat that the Empyreals pose is so intriguing. We saw in the previous Mighty Morphin Power Rangers volume that the Empyreals are a threat on the level of Lord Zedd. This is a refreshing take as we do get a better idea of how BOOM! Studios Power Rangers Universe is more of a living and breathing universe. Villains are simply taking breaks to let one major boss villain do everything. There are active threats that need the Power Rangers attention out in the universe, which is exactly what the Empyreals are.

Parrott did a good job elevating the threat of the Empyreal by teasing them as the reason why when Drakkon suddenly showed back up he looked scared. The way Drakkon talked about the Empyreal gave us a clear picture these are not villains that will simply be defeated in one or two arcs. These are endgame boss-level villains who need to be treated similar to how we view Lord Zedd and Rita Repulsa.

Which all brings us to the prison breakout that the Omega Rangers decided to do to get Drakkon to come on their mission. Parrott built the tension of this prison breakout well over the course of Power Rangers #1. We slowly got the idea of how Jason, Trini, and Zack would have to go rogue by breaking out Drakkon from the Command Center. All the conversations they have, with Zordon and Tommy in particular, were built around the idea of how the Omega Rangers, by doing this, would not be able to go back on their decision. That all shows how the Empyreals did push the Omega Rangers into a corner where this is the only decision they felt they could make.

And Drakkon played his role as cocky asshole to perfection. Every single time that Drakkon was on screen Parrott reminded you of how evil he is. Even when he is being broken out Drakkon couldn’t help but try to trigger Jason to snap and ruin the entire prison breakout. Being an asshole is who Drakkon is and there is not changing that. In doing this Parrott is able to create a situation where you as the reader will be watching for any instance of Drakkon stabbing the Omega Rangers in the back as he could do that at any moment.

This also makes the fact that in a rare moment we see Zordon get pissed off. Zordon threatening to use all the tools at his disposal to put Drakkon back in prison was a surprising thing to see. Especially since that means Zordon will be coming after the Omega Rangers. What that means for the Power Rangers series will be interesting to see since Zordon is still busy as the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers mentor against Lord Zedd.

While all the Omega Ranger business was the major plotline of Power Rangers #1 it was good to see a focus placed on Jason, Trini, and Zack’s relationship with their friends. The conversation that Jason and Rocky particularly stood out. It was good to see Jason quickly taking on a big brother role with how he gave Rocky advice about not worrying that he is not the leader of the team like when Jason was the Red Ranger. This is something we only ever saw happen in one episode of Power Rangers Zeo and never explored again. Playing into what the legacy of Red Ranger means to the franchise added to why it was important Jason helped his successor out in this way.

Power Rangers #1
The Omega Rangers go against Zordon’s wishes and break Drakkon out of his jail cell in Power Rangers #1. Click for full page view.

The other conversation that stood out was the argument that Trini and Tommy get into when talking about Drakkon. Parrott did a great job bringing in the history established with Shatterd Grid and Necessary Evil made you understand where both Trini and Tommy were coming from. The fact that they don’t leave on good terms made for a much more realistic disagreement with everything that is on the table right now. It sets up yet another reason why when the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and Omega Rangers meet up again the reunion won’t be a nice one.

Francesco Mortarino did not miss a beat with continuing the animated art style that has become distinct with BOOM! Studios Power Ranger comic books. There was a fun energy to everything that happened in Power Rangers #1. Mortarino, along with colorist Raul Angulo, did a great job changing the tone of scenes depending on what was going on. From the bright and colorful scenes at the beach and Juice Bar to the darker colors used for everything going on at the Command Center. It all worked together well to further compliment the story that was being told as the Omega Rangers became set on doing a jailbreak.

The Bad: Nothing.

Overall: Power Rangers #1 created the mission statement for what the Omega Rangers will be doing moving forward. The prison break the Omega Rangers decide to do in order to recruit Drakkon to their side created a lot of stories for this series to tackle as the team focuses on battling the Empyreal. In the middle of all these tension filled scenes Power Rangers #1 did a great job giving us a lot of character focused moments. If you are a fan of the franchise I highly recommend checking out Power Rangers #1 immediately.

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