The end to the “Charge To 100” is almost here. Before we get to that end Ryan Parrott has one final issue of Power Rangers before working on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #100. On that road, we are getting the fallout of Andros’s decision to work with the former Gold Omega Ranger, now going by Death Ranger, to bring Zhane back from his coma. Though given Andros is working with someone that is calling themselves the Death Ranger this can’t be a good thing. Let’s find out if I’m wrong about that with Power Rangers #22.
Writer: Ryan Parrott
Artist: Marco Renna
Colorists: Walter Baiamonte, Sharon Marino, and Sara Antonellini
The Death Ranger in possession of Zhane’s body while morphed as the Silver Space Ranger does not waste time explaining things to Jason. Instead, he immediately gets control of the Astro Megaship to get the Xurix space station and destroy it in the process.
Meanwhile back at Safehaven the followers of Vox try to break their leader out but are stopped by Journey and Kevor.
Back inside the Astro Megaship the Death Ranger reveals they were the former Gold Omega Ranger of legend, backed by Andros’s belief in them. Jason thinks Andros is being manipulated and tries to reason with him. The Death Ranger says they are there to wipe out the Xurix and destroy Dark Specter. To do so the Death Ranger kills both Jason and Yale of Saard.
The Astro Megaship along with Trini and Zack in their Omega Zords make it to KO-35. Trini and Zack are very suspicious of what is going on. Before they can get answers from Andros, the Death Ranger brings back the dead citizens of KO-35 as zombies they control. The Death Ranger then uses their control of Jason and Yale’s bodies to completely overwhelm Trini and Zack until they also fall under their control.
Seeing all this Andros decides this isn’t what he wants and contacts Xi to teleport him back to Safehaven before the Death Ranger can turn to kill him too.
A freaked-out Andros tells Journey and the others about how things got out of control.
Over on Earth, at the Command Center Tommy, Billy, Zordon, and Alpha 5 are surprised by the sudden appearance of Andros, Journey, Kevor, and Xi. Andros tells Tommy and Billy they need their help to save the universe. End of issue.
Things have definitely been continuously escalating during the Charge To 100. Specifically in the Power Rangers series by Ryan Parrott and Marco Renna. This final issue of the series before Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #100 is a great example of that as the Omega Rangers are wiped out by the newly introduced Death Ranger.
What makes Power Rangers #22 such a standout is how it compares to how things ended over in Mighty Morphin #22, also the final issue of that series. In Mighty Morphin, the series ended on a happy ending note as the team was more united than ever after everything they went through. That is not the cast in Power Rangers #22 as things went south very quickly with Parrott continuing to use established characters in the Power Rangers mythos to keep things unpredictable.
The unpredictable nature is felt throughout Power Rangers #22 as you don’t know what will happen with the Death Ranger in control of Zhane, the Silver Space Ranger’s body. Andros being paired up as the Death Ranger’s accomplice created even greater unease as he went from being certain this was the way to get Zhane back to terrified over his decision.
Andros’s decision-making will be very controversial with Power Rangers fans. He does not act like the loner leader we saw during Power Rangers In Space. This is an Andros whose wounds are still fresh from the death of everyone on KO-35, the death of most of his first Space Power Rangers team, and Zhane being in a coma after taking a blow meant for him. Given the traumatizing experience, he had with Dark Specter this move is something I understand him taking a risk on.
The results of that risk were well paid by how the Death Ranger was established while using Zhane’s body. Parrott does a lot of great work in establishing the Death Ranger as a threat on the level of Lord Drakkon that you understand why they are the big bad in the “Charge To 100” direction. Like Lord Drakkon, we see that the Death Ranger has no remorse. There is no second thought about when they go about killing the Xurix, Jason, Trini, or Zack. Even with the Death Ranger’s goal being to destroy Dark Specter that is given a villainous slant with what we see that will mean when turning everyone they kill or are dead into zombies under their control.
This all made the fact that there was no time to celebrate that Journey and the others were able to protect Safehaven from Vox’s followers a dramatic note to end on. We are now going into the final issue of Charge To 100 with the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Andros, and the others going up against Death Ranger’s undead army. That is a big stage to set things on that should give this latest banner a big final issue like Necessary Evil and Shattered Grid had.
Marco Renna once again delivers with the work done throughout Power Rangers #22. What was particularly well done was how the Death Ranger was presented. Renna along with the colorist team of Walter Baiamonte, Sharon Marino, and Sara Antonellini did a great job presenting Death Ranger as a big threat while controlling Silver Space Ranger Zhane’s body. Which is a great contrast to the colorful overall look that gave the entire its own dark edge while maintaining the art style this series is known for.
With Power Rangers #22 Ryan Parrott and Marco Renna set the stage up for the finale of Charge To 100 to be epic. The Death Ranger is presented as a villain unlike any other the Power Rangers team has faced. What the Death Ranger did by the end of Power Rangers #22 creates a lot of questions for how things will end in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #100.
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10