Eric Bradach's The Comixalaxy

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #5
Writer: Kyle Higgins
Artist: Thony Silas
Colors Bryan Valenza
Letters: Ed Dukeshire
Publisher: Boom Studios
Release Date: 07/20/2016

Previously…..on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, the Green Ranger, Tommy Oliver continues to struggle overcoming Rita Repulsa's influence. A mental battle breaks out between Tommy's inner-desire to use his powers for good, and the temptation of turning back to evil. The other Rangers show both sympathy and suspicion over Tommy's psychological state. Eventually, it appears he's overcome the seduction of Rita and the Rangers are able to defeat Scorpina's attempt to take control of the Dragonzord. However, Tommy disobeyed Jason's, the Red Ranger's orders to stay behind and let the others handle it. Arguing ensues back at the command center and amongst the commotion, they are under attack. Both Zordon and Alpha are missing and the Rangers find themselves faced with a horrific unknown beast.

Instead of following up on the intriguing cliffhanger that writer Kyle Higgins crafted, he decides to step aside from the main story for a brief one-shot. Turns out that a month before Tommy Oliver arrived in Angel Grove, Rita Repula tempted someone else with the Green Ranger Powers, the Black Ranger, Zack.

After seeing that Rita attempts to take over the world by attacking locations other than Angel Grove, Italy of all places, Zack feels he's being pushed to the background. He's the one who truly saves the day but it's the Red Ranger that the crowd is cheering for. Rita observes the event unfold and sees an opportunity present itself. While Zack is alone, Goldar and a squadron of Puddies ambush him and bring him back to their base on the moon. The evil Empress shows sympathy to Zack and tells him how it should be him that's leading the Rangers. She also suggests that Zordan hasn't been completely honest with him. That there is more to their history that may cause one to view the two opposing sides differently. She then offers him the Green Ranger power.

Fortunately Zack sees behind the mask and makes for his escape back to the command center to inform Zordan and Alpha. They express deep concern for the situation but tell him not to notify the others. To allow them to assess the obstacle and calculate what is the proper approach. Zack then reveals that he did feel the temptation and expressed his fears, but Zordan proves himself as the strong mentor with a solid motivational speech. Zack then meets up with the rest of the Rangers and they show him the appreciation he deserves.

While it's unfortunate that Higgins digresses away from the momentum of the current story, this was a solid one-shot. It adds more to the history and background of the Green Ranger Power, and answers the question as to why Rita didn't tempt any of the other Rangers with it. Higgins also led up to this with establishing Zack as the most skeptical of Tommy when he joined them. He knows the power of its temptation and his standing on the side of caution makes complete sense.

Another appreciation from this issue is seeing Rita attack other locations. Even as a young kid watching the show, I'd always question why she always attacked the town that the Rangers are located. Sure they can travel to other locations at a fast pace but it makes sense to attack somewhere the news of the attack wouldn't reach them as quickly. Higgins is able use this one-shot to fill in a few of the flaws and gaps that the original TV-series left hanging.

Artist Hendry Prasetya takes a break from this series with guest artist Thony Silas(Batman Beyond, Venom) visualizing this issue. It's a proper fit as Silas' style is quite similar to Prasetya's, which more often than it should can be a problem with guest artists. Silas' line work is able to create a more villainous Rita Repulsa. The design of her in this issue calls for her to appear cunning and strategic and he's able to accomplish just that. His portrayal of Zack also adds to the drama through his facial expressions. You can really see the frustration, anger, and temptation.

Final Verdict

Boom Studios' Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series has been nothing short of a genuine surprise and issue #5 is no exception. Writer Kyle Higgins has done an impressive job of adding to history with a modern and complex take, while still keeping the fun campy lure that the original series held. It's the perfect balance that this series called for and hopefully the upcoming movie from Lionsgate can do the same.

Score: 4 out of 5

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