04th Jul2019

‘Go Go Power Rangers: Forever Rangers #1′ Review (Boom Studios)

by Dean Fuller

Written by Ryan Parrott | Art by Eleonora Carlini, Francesco Mortarino | Published by Boom Studios

go-go-pr-forever-1-cover

There aren’t many more recognisable characters in modern pop culture than the Power Rangers. By ‘modern’, of course, I mean over the last three decades, as Power Rangers have been with us since 1993. Even longer, if you count their Japanese inspiration, Super Sentai. There also aren’t many more recognisable jingles around than ‘Go,Go Power Rangers’, certainly ones equally familiar to my generation and that of kids. Let’s face it, we all love a bit of Power Rangers. Wish fulfillment? we all love a bit of colour coding? over the top superhero action? Probably a mix of these things and others, but the Power Rangers characters do lend themselves to most mediums. They work equally well on television, on the big screen, in comics, magazine and prose form. Franchise gold.

Boom Studios have held the comics rights since 2015, continuing on from various publishers down the years since 1993 (including, for a short stint, Marvel Comics). From what I can see Boom have done a decent job, so I’ve come into this book with high expectations. Although I’ve not read the ongoing, I know Ryan Parrott has been doing some good things, a mix of giving fans what they want and pushing things a little beyond what most expect. Sounds good to me. I’m assuming most people reading this are familiar with the Power Rangers but if not all you need to know is that Power Rangers are young men and women recruited and trained by Zordon, and given special powers and abilities to fight enemies like Rita Repulsa (more on her later).

We open ten thousand years ago, when robot Alpha-5 helps save Zordon from dying while fighting Rita Repulsa, at the cost of his physical body. Zordon lives on as a electronic consciousness (a big face in a tube essentially). We fast forward to the present, where the Power Rangers have been imprisoned by Alpha-1, and have to be freed by long term enemy Goldar. Which is hilarious. Freed, they power up into their Dinozord mode, which is still just ridiculously cool…giant Tyrannosaurus, Pterodactyl, Triceratops, Mastodon and Sabertooth robots. Remember what I said about wish fulfillment? Then , it gets even better. We hit Megazord mode, where all the Zords combine. Scripter Ryan Parrott clearly loves giving his audience what it wants, and a full scale scrap between Megazord and Alpha-1 gets underway, one trying to kill Zordon, one trying to kill him. Ultimately, Alpha-1 is defeated.

After an interesting interlude with Rita Repulsa, where she both punishes Goldar, and essentially murders the life force of her mother, we fast forward a few weeks to Angel Grove. The last few pages are essentially a mini love letter to these original Rangers, and I love the tone of Parrott’s script. He never felt it necessary to make the Rangers kill, make them anti-heroes, any of those modern developments. He just bottled the essence of the Rangers, the faces beneath the masks, the friendships, the things that we all remember and that still draw fans to the characters. This felt simultaneously like an ending, which is was in a way as this special resolves storylines from the ongoing book, and also pointing at some threads to weave in the future.

I’ve praised Ryan Parrott’s script, for its focus on the things that make the Rangers good, but the artists deserve a shout out as well. Carlini and Mortarino deliver some lovely art. There is a lot going on, and they deliver with great layouts and panels in the battle scenes, as well as the more dialogue heavy Angel Grove pages. They make the characters shine, as does colourist Raul Angulo, literally. Colour is an important element in the Rangers world, and Angulo makes sure those bright colours are in full view here.

Having the main Power Rangers book conclude its storyline in this special was probably designed to get some exposure for the ongoing, as people (like me) will pick up a No.1 and take a look. If that’s the case, it’s a good strategy, as I’m pretty likely to pick up some future Rangers books based on what I’ve seen here, and I’m sure quite a few others will too.

Ryan Parrott has indeed managed to, as a wise Ranger once said, ‘Unleash the Power!’

**** 4/5

Go Go Power Rangers: Forever Rangers #1 is out now.

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