Anthony Burch and Simone Ragazzoni did not miss a beat with how they kicked off the Drakkon New Dawn mini-series. Burch took what Kyle Higgins and Ryan Parrott built with the Coinless Universe and took it to the next logical level. By expanding on the continuity of the Coinless Universe we got to see how far reaching Drakkon’s impact truly was on this universe. It showed that there are a lot of stories to tell. One of those of the mysterious Power Ranger that the Ranger Slayer, Kimberly Hart, and the other Coinless found locked up in Drakkon’s special prison known as Deadlock. If that wasn’t enough the residents of Earth now have to deal with other threats that exist in the universe such as someone who looked like Ecliptor and an army of Quantrons. What does all this mean for the future of the Coinless Universe? Let’s find out with Power Rangers: Drakkon New Dawn #2.
Writer: Anthony Burch
Artist: Simone Ragazzoni
Colorist: Raul Angulo
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Finster-5 cuts the mysterious Power Ranger out of the armored suit Drakkon imprisoned him in. Everyone is shocked to see the Power Ranger is an aged and scarred Jason Scott Lee.
As everyone happily reunites Adam Park suddenly rushes in with an urgent message. Seeing Adam in the Black Ranger Sentry armor Jason immediately attacks him. Kimberly is able to hold Jason back long enough to explain that they are working with the Ranger Sentries now.
Adam shows everyone an image of a mysterious creature about to invade Earth. Scorpina and Jason recognize the creature as Eclipta, one of Dark Specter’s agents. They go on to talk about how Drakkon created a fail-safe to contact Dark Specter if he ever died and Deadlock fell.
Scorpina reveals that she is the one who told Drakkon about Dark Specter and Eclipta. She talks about how Drakkon was able to use her friendship with Rita Repulsa to have her open up to him about this when she arrived in the Coinless Universe.
Scorpina says they don’t stand a chance against Eclipta and her forces so she is going to leave with the Ranger Sentries. Adam stops Scorpina from leaving. He then says with Kimberly as the Ranger Slayer they do stand a chance with their current Ranger Sentry forces.
Hearing this pisses Jason off and he attacks Adam again. Scorpina stops Jason from beating on Adam anymore than he has.
Jason then calls out Zack and Trini for not reclaim their Power Coins and allowing their powers to be used by the Sentries. Kimberly tries to calm Jason down but he says they don’t even know what the Diffuser actually represents for Drakkon.
Jason then reveals that while captured that Drakkon taunted him by showing how he used the Diffuser to split the powers of the Power Coins to all the Ranger Sentries. Jason says while Drakkon gained an army by doing this it also meant that there wouldn’t be anyone strong enough to challenge him because the Power Coins powers were being split.
One day, after being forced to constantly watch how Drakkon took over Earth with the Ranger Sentries, Jason was able to escape. He didn’t get far as Drakkon once again captured Jason. Drakkon decided to punish him by locking Jason up in special armor that would hurt him.
Sometime later Jason fought through the pain in order to use the power of his armor to escape once again. Drakkon knew this and was waiting for Jason to escape. Drakkon then used Kimberly, at that point fully under his control as the Ranger Slayer, to threaten Jason that if he ever escaped Kimberly would kill herself. This left Jason with no other choice but to be Drakkon’s prisoner.
Jason once again calls Kimberly and the others out for still using Drakkon’s Ranger Sentries. Kimberly says they can’t just go back to being teenagers again and have to think of the larger picture. This does not sit well with Jason as he calls Kimberly someone that is just the next Drakkon.
During all this Scorpina also learns that Drakkon actually killed the Coinless Universe’s Rita Repulsa. Adam helps Scorpina calm down and comforts her through her grief.
Zack talks to the others how they should get their powers back. Scorpina says that is not happening as they have to fight Eclipta’s forces as they are. Scorpina, Trini, and Zack start arguing.
Kimberly stops all that and says she is going to use her Ranger Slayer powers to lead their Ranger Sentry army against Eclipta. Jason says he is not going to join Kimberly’s regime and leaves.
Sometime later Ranger Slayer leads the Scorpina, the Coinless, and Ranger Sentries to face off against Eclipta and her army of Quantrons.
While they are able to hold their own against the Quantrons all of the Ranger Slayer’s forces weapons are ineffective against Eclipta. Things get worse as Eclipta easily overpowers the Ranger Slayer. Eclipta eventually just tosses aside a heavily beaten Ranger Slayer to the ground, much to Zack and Trini’s shock.
Zack, Trini, Scorpina, and Adam all team-up to fight Eclipta together. Even with their numbers they are all easily overpowered by Eclipta. Eventually Adam is able to find an opening and just as he is about to strike with his power sword he loses his powers as the Black Ranger Sentry. All the other Ranger Sentries also lose their power. Eclipta sees this and strikes Adam with a deadly strike that leaves him near-death.
Eclipta then transmits a message to Dark Specter so they can fully take over Earth. This gives everyone an opening for Kimberly to order a full retreat.
Back in the main city Kimberly and the others find all the citizens fighting against the now powerless Sentries. Kimberly, Zack, Trini, and Scorpina try to stop the fighting but are unsuccessful.
Suddenly someone yells out how while the Black and Yellow Power Rangers are powerless to stop the chaos around them it does not have to be like that anymore. Everyone looks up and are shocked to see Jason back as the Red Power Ranger holding the other Power Coins. Jason then declares that the Power Rangers are back. End of issue.
The Good: Sometimes less is more. And in the case of Power Rangers: Drakkon’s New Dawn we see how that is true as this being a three issue mini-series means that there can’t be any wasted page. Revelations and story beats that you would normally expect to be prolonged over the course of the series are addressed right away.
Revealing who the mysterious Power Ranger that Drakkon had locked up in his Deadlock prison to be Jason Scott Lee was a great surprise. This was a huge reveal given how long all the stories in the Coinless Universe led us to believe that Drakkon killed Jason when his reign started. Anthony Burch does a fantastic job using the fact that we did not see Drakkon actually kill Jason to give the former Power Rangers leader a strong backstory in the Coinless Universe. You immediately understand that Jason has gone through unimaginable torture at the hands of Drakkon during the villain’s former reign.
This all works well into how even though Drakkon is no longer in the Coinless Universe his presence is always present. Burch plays into how Drakkon did in fact take over all of Earth. Having such a reach would mean that things would not just immediately go back to how they were. Everyone has been changed because of what happened in the Coinless Universe over the years. We’ve already seen that with how different Kimberly, Zack, and Trini are compared to their prime universe counterparts.
Bringing Jason back into the fold furthers all of that. Drakkon deciding to take Jason prisoner is perfectly fitting for who we know Drakkon to be. Because it is not enough to defeating all his enemies, Drakkon reveled in breaking them until they were shells of themselves and then killing them. Jason is the definition of that as Drakkon took greater pleasure in keeping him alive and allowing him to see how his reign of terror progressed.
This further highlighted how no one is really doing the right thing in the Coinless Universe even with Drakkon gone. Jason brings up the strong point that all Kimberly and the others are doing is maintaining the previous status quo with only minor changes. At the same time, Burch does not fully paint Kimberly and the others as bad people. Their argument that they can’t simply go back to being Power Rangers like when they were teenagers. The world is completely different and there is so much damage that things can’t just immediately moved the completely other direction.
All of that made the ending even more impactful because as exciting as it was to see Jason back as the Red Ranger you are left with more questions then answers. We already see how unstable things are between all the different sides. Jason reclaiming the Power Coins may just add to all the confusion.
Through all of this Burch keeps the story about how Kimberly is still learning to be a leader in the Coinless Universe. Kimberly as the person to follow Drakkon in leading the Coinless Universe is a thankless job. There is weight to every decision makes and the words she speaks. She is no longer just thinking about how to simply survive but how to best help the world recover from all the damage Drakkon caused.
At the same time, we do see how Kimberly does make firm decisions. Even though she is carrying this heavy weight of leadership Kimberly is embracing it. Her vision is of protecting the world and she has to make sure that the others see that as well. Which leads to an interesting game of politics.
All of that getting more complicated by Drakkon’s contingency plan to destroy Earth if he was killed by bringing Dark Specter and Eclipta into play was a great move. This reveal opens the door wide open to the possibility we see the villains from different Power Ranger seasons be brought into the Coinless Universe in new forms. That is an exciting possibility because as we see with Eclipta, there are a lot of powerful foes. Which is not good for Kimberly, the Coinless, and everyone else on Earth because of how Drakkon made sure to weaken everyone so they can’t combat powerful villains like Dark Specter.
The way Eclipta completely dominated Kimberly in her Ranger Slayer form does bring the argument back to how maintaining Drakkon’s status quo with the Ranger Sentries is a terrible decision. As Jason explained, the Ranger Sentries are just barely above the mindless Putties in terms of power level. If Kimberly and the others are to stand a chance against threats like Eclipta and greater they’ll need to rethink the status quo of the Coinless Universe.
In the middle of all this Burch also does a very good job getting the readers to have a greater understanding of Scorpina’s character. Her breakdown when she learned how Drakkon used her close friendship with Rita Repulsa to get her on his side came across as a big moment. You could see how this was a turning point for Scorpina’s character. It opens things up for Scorpina to break out more on her own rather than just be tide to Drakkon or Rita. Which makes her an even more intriguing player in how things could go now that Jason has taken back the Power Coins.
Simone Ragazzoni throughout Drakkon’s New Dawn was solid. Ragazzoni’s artwork is at its best when drawing the action and characters in their battle modes. The chaos of all that happens, especially once Eclipta hits the stage, is put over well. While the talking head scenes could be better Ragazzoni gets the job done when getting across how the characters are feeling during all the talking.
The Bad: Nothing.
Overall: Power Rangers: Drakkon’s New Dawn #2 takes all the history built with the Coinless Universe and takes it to the next level. From the reveal of who the mysterious Power Ranger that Drakkon had locked up to bringing in Dark Specter from the In Space season, everything Anthony Burch developed in this issue worked. Not only does this create greater excitement for how the final issue of Drakkon’s New Dawn will go but also the future of the Coinless Universe beyond this series.
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