Boom! Studios’ Mighty Morphin Power Ranger series has been a delight for fans for 54 issues, and the fifty-fifth issue is no different. Out this week, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #55 serves as the series finale.
Well, it is actually a season finale as we know Boom! is relaunching its Power Ranger line next month with two titles, Mighty Morphin and Power Rangers. The creative team clearly understands how to wrap up a Power Ranger’s story and do it with style. This final chapter is one large Zord battle. The comic has been able to improve on from the show since it is not tied down with budget and technology issues, giving the readers amazing giant robot fighting action. This issue stands out in this regard. Each Zord gets a moment to shine as the Rangers take on Lord Zedd’s Dark Rangers. The battle is well-paced and leads up to the eventual combination of Zords to form the Megazord. The formula is cliche at this point, but it is a formula, Ranger-heads love. This comic does a masterful job of capturing the feeling the Zord battles gave you as a kid.
Ryan Parrot continues to show he knows how to write Power Rangers for a modern and older audience. As noted, this is the final issue of this story arc, so this is the payoff to close out the series. It is nearly non-stop action, and at this point, that has been earned. In the midst of the action, Parrot can slip in great character moments. We can see that even though Zedd’s Dark Rangers are a powerful menace, they are still rooted in the bumbling villains from the TV show. Parrot also does a great job of showing how the Power Rangers are growing together as a team. This story is set after the original red, black, and yellow rangers have left the team, and Rocky, Adam, and Aeisha struggle to take their place. While the TV show made the transition appear seamless, Parrot has shown that the team has struggled with the change. Even though this issue is filled with a gigantic explosive fight scene, we still get little moments to see these team members struggling to be a cohesive team, which greatly enhances the story.
The issue does miss a beat in terms of pacing at the end. The end of the battle feels rushed. The connection to Promethea corporation feels a little tacked on and an afterthought to the well-executed Zord battle. Promethea is used to introduce the mysterious new Green Ranger. This new figure’s identity, clad in familiar garments, is the end of season mystery compelling us to move on to the next issue. They are given a brief time to shine, and it comes at the cost of the battle’s finale. This issue could have benefited from a few more pages to flesh out this portion of the story.
Moisés Hidalgo’s art does a great job of conveying the mood and tone of this issue. The art at times looks like it is jumping off a sketch pad. It creates a sense of chaos and almost feels like the action was happening in a way that the artist could barely keep up with it. It really helps the reader have a sense that at any point, the Power Rangers could be destroyed and erased from existence in this battle. The Thunder Zords are well executed on the page. They invoke our memories from watching the show, and they are conveyed with fluid action. These sequences are more likely to connect with the sense of awe and wonder one had to watch the show as a child than actually rewatching the show with modern eyes would. The Terror Zords are a great idea – giant monsters fighting alongside the Dark Rangers. However, it is sometimes hard to understand their relationship with the evil set of Rangers themselves. Are they being controlled, are they fighting alongside, or are they just agents of chaos employed by the Dark Rangers? The Terror Megazord’s design and presentation are fine, but it is not in the book long enough for the art to convey its power. Once again, the book would have benefited from a few more pages. The Dark Rangers’ design is a breath of fresh air into a concept that the show failed to deliver on. The original concept for the Dark Rangers was presented in the second season of the Power Rangers. The original versions looked like a Dollar Store Lucha Libre Halloween costumes. Here the Terror Rangers are given new identities, and while the outfits are reminiscent of the old design, the comic is able to make them look menacing. Each outfit does a great job of connecting with the villain underneath the mask and displaying what they would look like with a Power Ranger makeover. The page layout also does a great job communicating fast-paced action. Igor Monti chooses a more muted pallet than what we are accustomed to for Power Rangers, and it helps give the issue a sense that something could go very wrong in this final issue. The art is stellar in this series sendoff.
Ed Dukeshire’s lettering does not take away from the story, but it does not take the issue to the next level. The use of black word balloons with white letters for the Dark Rangers does a good job of conveying their relationship to the original team, but the fast-paced action of the issue makes it easy to overlook. Alpha 5 and Zordon receive unique fonts for their voices, but once again, the moments are so brief it is easy to miss what Dukeshire is doing. It is curious who does not get unique lettering – Lord Zedd. Those who enjoy Lord Zedd from the show remember the unique voice Robert Axelrod provided. Why does that not merit special characters?
This is how a Power Rangers story arc and series should end. The Rangers fight evil in an epic battle in their Zords. While the end mechanism feels a little forced, it does not take away from the issue’s stars. This is giant robots fighting monsters to decide the fate of the universe. It is executed so well that readers will gladly hold onto their seats and follow the series into the relaunch.