Friday, March 31, 2017

Kid Stuff, Part XXVIII: Might Morphing Power Rangers #4

Go-going exactly like I remember the TV show…with maybe a smidge more plot

"Issue 4"
Writer – Kyle Higgins
Illustrator – Hendry Prasetya
Letters – Ed Dukeshire
Colors – Matt Herms
Assistant Editors – Matthew Levine & Alex Galer
Editor – Dafna Pleban
June 2016

I think I already said my piece about the Power Rangers way back when I brought up Battle of the Planets.

Drawn at first from action footage pulled from the Japanese TV series Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger and added scenes with American actors, the show debuted on Fox Kids in August of 1993. The following seasons were a Frankenstein's monster of Zyuranger footage sewn together with stock footage from two other Japanese series stapled to the American plots.

So far, the Mighty Morphers have spawned two feature films and numerous reboots, remakes, add-ons and copycats. As well, the show filled toy shelves with tons of merchandising and a burning desire for kids to own a certain color Ranger. I think it was the green one, but what the heck would I know. I was starting my first full-time job at that moment this fad started. Go-go Power Paycheck!

However Power Rangers were a HUGE business for toy manufacturers and you can tell because there are tremendous amounts of party decorations out there…I can't confirm that discount however.

Of course there are the standard things like action figures…

…kitchen utensils shaped like action figures (I think the green ranger is a corkscrew. Not sure about the others.)…

…to their combinable mega-zoid thing-a-mabob…

…to whatever the heck this giant piece of plastic is:

I mean look at the size of that. It doesn't look like it would stand up without you holding it. Soon as you let go, that giant thing is gonna smash into the pavement.

For those of you collecting toys, HERE is a great site that goes into which ones are most sought after today. I'm going to confess, none of these ring bells with me.

What did ring bells was the (2017) movie, which looked interesting since they were taking a "We aren't going to do a Power Rangers movie, but more of a social-outcasts-become-superheroes movie." I say that based on the trailer, which as usual gives too much of the movie away, and reviews I've read. Sadly the new flick didn't appeal to me, the old-school movie geek looking for a weekend action fix, nor to my twelve year old, a lover of video games and superhero movies but not of angst-ridden Breakfast Club wannabes who get martial arts powers and robot dino-rides. I think this one missed the mark, but box office so far is pretty strong, although it was unable to top Disney's ode to live action bestiality in its first weekend.

Is there a sequel?…that remains to be seen.

Right now, however, I hold in my hot little hand a comic from last year (2016) that goes all the way back to the first series of Rangers and extends their story. It is kind of a fun read with a bit more maturity than what I expected from a book retreading this ground. We begin already three issues behind, and from the looks of things we have lots of catching up to do.

First off there's this little chippy, driving what I first mistook for an enemy mecha-monster. It handily breaks a cruise liner while the young lady speaks to Rita Repulsa about how some glowing sword thing awakens some evil portal thing-a-majig and yadda-yadda-yadda…

Turns out the lady is the tramp Scorpina and she's controlling Green Ranger Tommy's Dragonzoid. We get this info via four quick panels, which I'm incredibly glad for as I would have been lost otherwise.

We all know what this will lead to…
(Looks for Zach's finger placement)

That's not right. Anyway, Dinozords they get.

Scorpina is stepping on San Fran cable cars in typical bad girl fashion, when all of a sudden she gets chained up to a triceratops.

And with a whole host of megazoids standing her down, Billy starts pulling her Dragonzoid out to sea. My giant monster battle inner-child woke up during this and, unlike the days of cardboard city-buildings shooting sparklers when stepped on, I really got into the groove of the book, moreso than I ever did with the TV show. Go-go Underwater Mode, Yeah!

It's about this point that Rita Repulsa steps in to lend a magical assist. For that she turns to Finsteride…, FINSTER to aid her. Sorry, I got my meds order mixed up with my comic book review.

And aid her he does, fashioning up some giant monster man-sharks with his magic clay…

…who swoop in, distract and occupy the Zoids, allowing Scorpina to get free.

Which starts the monster stomp all over again with dino-rockets and tyrano-tail twirling action sequences as Scorpina tries to get that rift portal open so something bad can happen. These panels speak to my very soul. Tussle you Titans! Rip up that expensive scenery.

And because the book can't be filled with too much awesome, we turn back to Tommy, the Green Ranger, who has ghost Rita stuck in his head for some reason. I have no idea if this is an original concept or if he was haunted by a similar problem in the show, all I know is I'm missing a page of giant robot fighting. He resolves his issue by (gasp!) overcoming his fears…and he decides to teleport onto the runaway Dragonzoid and confront Scorpina.

I'm pretty sure it was the green ranger that every kid wanted and it was directly because of stuff like this.

Pretty bad-ass, Tommy.

Now back to our giant robot battle!

Tommy 'ports in and everyone freaks out. Scopina flicks him off the Dragonzoid with one blonde hair toss. Looks like Tommy's falling to his death…

…when he's saved by Kimberly flying her Pteradactyl Dinozoid. This bit is important because the book has to show that everyone will come together, trusting each other in true teammate fashion. Quaint and it works here.

Tommy kung-fu's Dragonzoid's front windshield in and puts the hurt on Scorpina. Or at least tries to. Seems she's more entrenched than he expected.

So while the rest of the team takes care of the giant shark horrors…

…Tommy gets punched in the face quite a bit, until…

…he takes out Scorpina's sword thing, returning control of the Dragonzoid to his own special dagger. 

Meanwhile the rest of the team has taken care of business, hanging the sharknado rejects out as bait. Primarily this victory came gift-wrapped via teamwork since they didn't have to fight both the Dragonzoid and the shark-baddies.

And although things look like they are back on the right track for the group, all of that falls apart as soon as they are behind closed doors of their headquarters. Jason has words with Tommy about ignoring orders, Tommy gets upset at his contribution to winning the fight being discarded, Zach steps in to get Tommy to see reason…

…And just like that, the crystal gets charged off their negative energy, causing the very rift to open that they were fighting so hard to stop.

And this isn't just a little thing, oh no.

It blows up their entire base.

That's right Power Rangers, all your base belong to rubble. Ha-ha-ha! (okay, maybe I should work on that evil villain impression a bit more)

Way to work together guys. (sarcasm off) Looks like this will be a continuing theme of these books. How they need to work as a team to accomplish their goals and stop evil.

And they better do it fast, as a giant robo-monster thing rises from the ruins. 

Anyone recognize this guy? Is he new? I don't know, but that's par for course for me and the Power Rangers franchise. I'm not up with the lingo or the lore. It just came too late and I was not at an age to enjoy the mindless battle sequences or the toy mecha montages. Kinda sad, as this book proves there are plenty of great giant robo-battles to be had there.

Hope that movie gets to cable soon.

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