Mighty Morphin Power Rangers ended the first half Darkest Hour on the dramatic, supposed, death of Lord Drakkon. Before we get into the second half of Darkest Hour we are getting a Chapter 6.5 for the event in Power Rangers Unlimited: The Morphin Masters #1. This Power Rangers Unlimited one-shot will be focusing in on the Ranger Slayer Kimberly Hart. Given that Drakkon left her with a major mission within the Morphin Grid this should give more weight to Ranger Slayer’s role in he Darkest Hour event. Find out how it turns out with our review of Power Rangers Unlimited: The Morphin Masters #1.
Writers: Ryan Parrott and Rachel Wagner
Artist: Daniel Bayliss
Colorist: Artur Hesli
Letterer: Ed Dukeshire
“Following the shocking events of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #116, an iconic character has entered The Grid, searching desperately for the Morphin Masters and the answers they might possess. But as Dark Specter’s infection grows increasingly more dangerous… new revelations are uncovered that will shake the Power Rangers universe to its very core!” – BOOM! Studios
Power Rangers Unlimited: The Morphin Masters #1 is a fantastic complimentary chapter to the events of Darkest Hour. Ryan Parrott, Rachel Wagner, and Daniel Bayliss hit all of the right notes to continue Ranger Slayer’s narrative within the Darkest Hour event. Not only that but this sets up Coinless Kimberly Hart to complete her greater character arc that started with her introduction.
Ryan Parrott and Rachel Wagner hit the correct note for this to be Darkest Hour Chapter 6.5. A big part of that is the direction. The main story of Darkest Hour has a frenetic pace of multiple things going on at the same time. For The Morphin Masters #1 we get a more focused story on Ranger Slayer’s journey.
The more character focused story does provide a certain degree of calm before the storm. But even in this calm, the journey Coinless Kimberly Hart goes on continues to develop a lot of key plot points from Darkest Hour.
More importantly the Pink Emissary guides the Ranger Slayer and us as the reader to how the Morphin Grid has reacted to Dark Specter. Like her Blue Emissary counterpart, the Pink Emissary does her best to act as a guide rather than a fully active participant. This created a unique buddy cop-type dynamic between the Ranger Slayer and Pink Emissary.
This also gave the Pink Emissary her own arc in this story. Because just as it appears that Kimberly found an ally in the echo of the Coinless Universe’s Billy Cranston it all turns out to be another Dark Specter trick. This was the trigger to get Kimberly to make Pink Emissary be more than a guide. It spoke to how valiantly Kimberly as the Ranger Slayer continues to fight. It’s that valor that opens the Pink Emissary’s eyes to actively fight back against Dark Specter’s corrupted Emissaries.
Their journey made you feel for them that what it all led to was discovering that Morphin Masters have lost themselves to the Morphin Grid. Parrott and Wagner do a great job leaving you wondering if the Morphin Masters deluded state was because of Dark Specter. The way the Morphin Masters dialogue is written it does leave you wondering if being in the Morphin Grid led them to this odd state.
This development made the moment the Pink Emissary was corrupted by Dark Specter hit harder. Unlike the fights with the other Emissaries earlier in this issue, Kimberly built a relationship with the Pink Emissary. She was fighting to save a friend rather than defeat an enemy. When the result became Kimberly having to kill the Pink Emissary you feel it.
With her journey in The Morphin Masters ending in this way Kimberly being left with the resolve of it’ll be up to her and the other Power Rangers a strong way to head into the second half Darkest Hour. A key to all of this will how the White Light is still in play. This experience Kimberly went through showed that the Power Rangers will need the White Light. With Tommy Oliver still having his White Tiger Power Coin that’s powered by the White Light he and Ranger Slayer Kimberly are set up to be key players moving forward. Which is a cool set-up as both Tommy and Ranger Slayer were taken off the board for most of the first half of Darkest Hour.
Daniel Bayliss does a great job keeping the big event energy going even with this focused character journey narrative. The events of Darkest Hour hover over everything that goes on with Ranger Slayer and Pink Emissary’s journey. Making sure each location within the Morphin Grid we go to has a distinct look added so much to the story. It helped to make each action sequence stand out beyond who was involved in each fight.
Ryan Parrott, Rachel Wagner, and Daniel Bayliss hit a home run with Power Rangers Unlimited: The Morphin Masters #1. This issue once again proves why the Ranger Slayer version of Kimberly Hart is one of the best characters in the Power Rangers franchise. Her journey through the Morphin Grid increased the excitement for what is to come in the second half of the Darkest Hour event.
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10