The Power Ranger Comics from BOOM! Studios have done a great job on expanding on the mythology of the franchise. The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers have been a focus of that expansion and we’ve seen a lot of great characters spin out of the comic books. That included the pure evil version of Tommy Oliver in the form of Lord Drakkon. Another character that has broken out to be a major addition to the Power Rangers franchise is the Drakkon’s Coinless Universe version of Kimberly Hart. As the Ranger Slayer, this version of Kimberly has risen up to be one of the be one of the major stars of the franchise. Now after finally returning to the Coinless Universe and taking over the throne of Lord Drakkon what is next for Kimberly as the Ranger Slayer? Let’s find out with Power Rangers: Drakkon New Dawn #1.
Writer: Anthony Burch
Artist: Simone Ragazzoni
Colorist: Raul Angulo
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: In the Coinless Universe even with Drakkon dead there are still rebels fighting against the new regime. One of the rebels, named Brett, is caught by the Ranger Sentries and brought to the Ranger Slayer Kimberly Hart’s throne room.
In the throne room Brett yells about how he does not trust Kimberly as she stood next to Drakkon as the Ranger Slayer during everything that went down. Zack and Trini talk how they should’ve seen this coming. This gets them into an argument with Scorpina who wants to kill Brett.
As they argue Brett steals one of the Ranger sentries guns and hits Kimberly from behind with a powerful blast. Adam Park, one of the Black Ranger Sentries, subdues Brett as Kimberly recovers from the blast.
As Trini and Scorpina tell Kimberly their opinions on what to do Brett once again rants how Kimberly is just Drakkon with another name. Kimberly asks Adam and Scorpina what Drakkon would do in her position. Adam says that Drakkon would’ve sent Brett to the Deadlock. Kimberly questions what Deadlock is since this is the first time she has heard of it.
Kimberly ends up learning that Deadlock is the impenetrable prison that Drakkon built that is fortified by an army of Robot Sentries. Kimberly decides to take Trini, Zack, Scorpina, Adam, and Finster-5 along with other Ranger Sentries to destroy the Deadlock prison so that the last of Drakkon’s strongholds in the Coinless Universe is taken down.
Before heading into Deadlock, Kimberly orders Scorpina and the Ranger Sentries to back-up Zack, Trini, and the rest of the Coinless since they will have to go with a blitzkrieg assault to get all the prisoners out.
Kimberly powers up as the Ranger Slayer and leads the charge into Deadlock. As the others deal with all the Robot Sentries and free the prisoners the Ranger Slayer ends up entering a part of the prison where she can’t communicate with Finster-5. The Ranger Slayer finds a highly secured door with someone locked up behind it.
In another part of the prison Scorpina and the Ranger Sentries have some tense moments with the Coinless. Zack and Trini also struggle with the prisoners, who think this whole escape is part of Drakkon’s plan to torture them. They are eventually able to calm everyone down and start making their way to the exit.
Elsewhere, Ranger Slayer enters the highly secured prison cell and finds someone in heavy armor who has their whole body restrained. Ranger Slayer wonders if the armored person was also Drakkon’s prisoner. The locked up person tells Ranger Slayer to leave them. Its too late as Ranger Slayer releases their restraints.
The prisoner immediately attacks Ranger Slayer. The Ranger Slayer and prison begin to fight with the prisoner continuously telling Kimberly to leave. As they are about to say something else the Ranger Slayer is able to knock them out with a powerful kick.
Outside the prison the Ranger Slayer, with the unknown prisoner, meets back up with everyone and asks Finster-5 to get a secure room ready.
Suddenly a large beam goes up in the sky that turns out to be from Deadlock’s advance communication array. Trini says she’ll try to figure out where the signal is going.
Scorpina tells Kimberly she should leave the prisoner behind because she is collecting to many former enemies close to her. Trini wonders if Scorpina is waiting to backstab them. Scorpina smirks and says she has no stinger to backstab them with.
Back in the main city while all the former prisoners are happy to reunite with their family and friends they all grow silent when they see the armored prisoner that Ranger Slayer brought along. Everyone is uneasy about the armored prisoner since they don’t know who they are. Kimberly wants to give the person a chance since they’ve been locked up for an unknown period of time.
Later the armored prisoner wakes up in restraints Finster-5 built. Kimberly asks to learn who the person is. They don’t know due to what happened so Kimberly asks to hear their story instead.
The person remembers when Drakkon conducted an experiment to lock them up in the specially built armor. Even though they were driven to kill him Drakkon just laughed at him. When the person, after being fully armored up, attacked Drakkon at first reveled in the fight. As the armored person got the advantage in the fight Drakkon turned on the security system in the armor to subdue the person.
Drakkon calls his new prisoner a Ranger and decides to torture them by showing them all of his victories over every Power Rangers team across the Multiverse.
This pisses off the person off even more as they tell Drakkon that they plan to escape and kill him. Drakkon shocks the prisoner and asks how they plan to kill him.
After months of this torture the Ranger prison eventually says they would slowly take down Drakkon’s forces before a direct assault. Drakkon laughs at the plan since it would require a larger Power Ranger team. Drakkon continues the torture as he says that he plans on keeping the former Ranger as a prisoner and pet to be one of the symbols of his victories.
In the communication room Trini, Zack, Scorpina, and Adam hear all of Ranger Slayer’s conversation with the armored person. As they listen Adam reveals to Zack that the reason he joined Drakkon’s army was because his family was threatened by the warlord.
Finster-5 appears and asks for the Ranger Slayer. Scorpina says they are with the armored prisoner.
After finishing their story the armored former Ranger asks where they are. Kimberly says its somewhere safe. Realizing they aren’t in Deadlock causes the armored person to attack Kimberly in a freak out. Kimberly has Finster-5 immediately restrained the armored person.
Finster-5 then appears and tells Kimberly that the satellite at Deadlock sent a transmission into space. Kimberly asks where exactly the transmission went. Finster-5 says it went across the Andromida Galaxy with the simple message “It’s All your’s.”
On an unknown planet Ecliptor celebrates getting Drakkon’s message with an army of Quantrons. End of issue.
The Good: As great of a job Kyle Higgins and Ryan Parrott have done building up the Power Rangers franchise in comic book form I’ve been interested to see what other creative teams do with the franchise. We got that answer as Anthony Burch stepped up to write Power Rangers: Drakkon New Dawn set completely in the Coinless Universe. To Burch’s credit he was able to take everything Higgins and Parrott built and created a something that comes across as the franchise moving forward.
With the Ranger Slayer one-shot placing Kimberly Hart on Drakkon’s former throne as the new ruler of the Coinless Universe there were a lot of questions what that would mean for the future. Drakkon destroyed everything in his path to shape the Coinless Universe as his own personal home where no one could threaten his power. Ruling with such an iron fist would logically make all the survivors in the Coinless Universe extremely uneasy with whoever would take over next.
That is exactly what Burch addresses as we expand our scope of what the Coinless Universe is about beyond Drakkon and the Coinless forces. Power Rangers: Drakkon New Dawn really gets into how we really haven’t had the chance to see what the entire world looked like under Drakkon’s rule. Burch tapping into that fact by showing how it has not been an easy transition for Kimberly as the new Queen of this world.
Even though Kimberly has changed a lot thanks to the other Power Rangers helping her break free from Drakkon’s control the world will not easily forget what she did as the Ranger Slayer. Burch smartly uses the fact that even though Kimberly has done a lot of heroic things since breaking free no one in the Coinless Universe saw that. All her acts were either in the Prime Power Rangers Universe or somewhere else in the Multiverse. No one knows how she has saved the Multiverse multiple times over at this point.
Establishing that with the opening pages by showing that unrest shows how tough of a job Kimberly and her allies have. This further points to how Kimberly still using the Ranger Sentries and sitting on Drakkon’s old throne have not helped her case that she wants to make the Coinless Universe a better place. People still relate all these things to al the oppressive things that Drakkon did during his reign.
This created an intriguing dynamic within the cast of this mini-series. With Kimberly, Trini, and Zack we see how having so much distrust with the people is impacting them. Seeing them question what they are doing is good self-awareness that they may not be approaching things from the best spot. This opens the door for more of an evolution of these three as they are all finding there own roles in this new world order.
Scorpina plays the perfect foil for Kimberly, Trini, and Zack, who are trying to be more heroic rulers. Scorpina sharing the mentality that Drakkon had in how to deal with unruly people created a fun dynamic for the other three to play off. There is a sense that she may waiting for her moment to strike and reclaim the throne. Or the reality could be that this version of Scorpina just likes poking fun at the former Rangers because of their history. Either way, Scorpina is placed in that wild card spot that has a lot of potential for how things will go.
Adding in the Coinless Universe version of Adam Park to the core cast of for Power Rangers: Drakkon New Dawn was an interesting choice. Through Adam’s character Burch is able to further delve into how different are in the Coinless Universe. Because as Adam explained to Zack, the only reason he became one of Drakkon’s Ranger Sentries was because his family was threaten. Adding in how Drakkon still killed Adam’s family after becoming a Ranger Sentry added to how purely evil Drakkon was. It also painted Adam in a more sympathetic light with just a few lines of dialogue.
This all led in well with the big jail break scene that gave Power Rangers: Drakkon New Dawn a big action scene to enjoy and see further expansion of the Coinless Universe. With the Deadlock prison we are able to understand more of the history of the Coinless Universe. You get how far reaching Drakkon’s rule went as we see that his influence went beyond simply being the most powerful person on Earth. Drakkon made sure that everyone knew he ruled with an iron fist and whoever didn’t get on his program would be imprisoned and tortured for their lack of loyalty to his regime.
This made the first appearance of the mystery Power Ranger that Drakkon treated as his own version of the Man In The Iron Mask have greater impact. Given the way the entire flashback of this mysterious Power Ranger’s history as Drakkon’s prisoner went implies there is a deeper personal history between them. Because while Drakkon always enjoyed torturing his enemies there was a greater sense of glee in his tone when we saw him torture the unknown Power Ranger. That could mean that this mystery Power Ranger could be someone like the Coinless Universe version of Jason Scott Lee or Billy Cranston, since they are only implied to be dead but never technically saw their deaths on screen, or someone from the Shattered Grid event. Whatever the case maybe it’ll be interesting to learn who this mysterious former Power Ranger is.
Having Ecliptor appear at the very end of Power Rangers: Drakkon New Dawn #1 was a good hook ending. This ending opens the door for even more exploration of the state of the Coinless Universe in the aftermath of Drakkon’s complete takeover. There are so many elements from all the other Power Ranger teams that could be mined for content. The new design for Ecliptor and the Quantrons worked well in reflecting how the Coinless Universe is something completely different from what fans know of the normal Power Rangers franchise.
Simone Ragazzoni does a very good job keeping up the anime and manga art style that has defined the Power Rangers comic books. Ragazzoni was particularly at her best when drawing the action. Everything was fluid and never felt overwhelming. It was clear what was going on even as the action got crazy with the amount of people on screen at one time. The updated design for Queen Ranger Slayer also looked great in motion as Kimberly came off as someone who is royalty and can kick your ass at the same time. And as mentioned earlier, the new designs for Ecliptor and the Quantrons were also great modern looks that fit in well with the Coinless Universe setting.
The Bad: Nothing.
Overall: Power Rangers: Drakkon New Dawn #1 picks up right where the Ranger Slayer one-shot left off by diving further into what life is like in the Coinless Universe. Anthony Burch and Simone Ragazzoni deliver on the high quality that is expected from a Power Rangers comic book. They showed great respect for what has been built with this universe and take Kimberly Hart’s character arc as the Ranger Slayer to its next logical level. In the process Burch and Ragazzoni show the strong potential for future storylines that exist in the Coinless Universe even beyond Power Rangers: Drakkon New Dawn.
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