Comics

'Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #25' Goes Boldly Into Uncharted Territories

As a comic series, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers explores uncharted territory of the Power Rangers mythos, seeking and refining new levels of depth that appeal to older and newer fans alike.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #25
Kyle Higgins, Daniele Di Nicuolo

Boom Studios

28 Mar 2018

Other

A crossover story is only as good as the quality of the tools and the depth of the lore. Creators from Stan Lee to J. R. R. Tolkien are able to create all those materials from scratch. Not everyone has that level of talent, nor do they need it in order to make the kind of crossover story that feels both epic and satisfying. With over 25 years of lore and a medium far more flexible than a half-hour TV show on a kids network, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers has everything it needs to create such a crossover event.

Kyle Higgins and Boom Studios have a golden opportunity to create the kind of Power Rangers crossover that no TV show, big budget movie, or triple-A video game can hope to create. As a comic series, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers can explore uncharted territory of the Power Rangers mythos, seeking and refining new levels of depth that appeal to older and newer fans alike. Higgins does plenty to explore through the first two dozen issues of the series, going so far as to explore alternate universes and dystopian futures. No comic series is complete without those themes, after all.

While such efforts have been compelling in their own right, a crossover event needn't happen in order to maximize the potential of the series. Instead, Higgins gradually sets up the pieces, establishing smaller conflicts within larger conflicts that play out over the course of multiple issues. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #24 finally sets the stage for that big crossover event to occur. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #25 is poised to fire the first shot and it need not come from a monster or a giant robot.

That first shot lands and hits harder than an army of giant monsters. In one issue, the crossover event deemed Shattered Grid takes some of the key elements that Higgins has been developing over the first two dozen issues of the series and raises to stakes to levels that no children's TV show would dare. Shattered Grid isn't just built around a dangerous threat or Rita Repulsa's headache-inducing screeches.

The monster, in this case, is more menacing than anything the Power Rangers have ever faced before. It involves Drakkon, an evil version of Tommy Oliver that Higgins crafted from events inspired directly from the Rangers' most iconic moments. This version of Tommy isn't just some generic evil twin. His persona is born from a fateful choice he made at the end of the story that first introduced the Green Ranger. Most comics fan kids of the '90s know how that story ends, but what makes Drakkon so menacing is how his choice subverts that story.

In his world, Drakkon never chooses to join the Power Rangers. He remains loyal to Rita. He doesn't run from the corruption. He runs towards it. That doesn't just make him an enemy of the Power Rangers. It makes him an affront to their core values. Rangers aren't supposed to use their powers for personal gain. Drakkon's entire agenda is built around personal gain. His previous defeat at the hands of his alternate self only makes him more ambitious.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #25 puts Drakkon in a position to do more than regain what he lost. He crosses paths with other familiar figures from Power Rangers lore, learning more about that lore in the process and uncovering new ways to further his ambitions. In some respects, Drakkon establishes that he's even bolder than Rita. He doesn't just want to take over the world and destroy the Power Rangers. He wants to attack the very foundation of the Rangers' power.

As Drakkon's ambitions unfolds, Higgins still manages to further the story for the rest of the Rangers. That story is directly linked to how Drakkon escapes and other ongoing tensions that have nothing to do with giant monsters. There's an underlying sentiment within the team that the Power Rangers aren't doing enough to fight back against Rita. However, their efforts to improve their effectiveness through ways other than stronger zords aren't producing results.

That tension, along with the drama it evokes, provides an important context to the overall narrative of Shattered Grid. Lord Drakkon embodies the ultimate extreme of utilizing his powers for personal gain. He shows just how dangerous it can get when a Ranger becomes corrupt. Threats like Rita, Goldar, Lord Zedd, or the Machine Empire are basic in their sinister pursuits. They aren't necessarily corrupt. Their nature is evil, by default.

Lord Drakkon's nature is the product of a choice, one that he doubles down on at every chance he gets. He's so far gone that there are no heart-felt pleas from Kimberly or impassioned speeches from Zordon that can save him. Given the way Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #25 ends, Higgins leaves no room for doubt as to just how corrupt Drakkon has become.

It makes for a powerful, provocative start to an event that promises to impact over two decades worth of Power Rangers mythos. It embodies the kind of ambition that Lord Drakkon himself would respect. It takes everything Higgins and Boom Studios has been developing with this series and runs with it. At the rate its going, no army of monsters or zords can hope to keep up.

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