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An Exciting New Power Rangers Era Begins


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New heroes and villains emerge in the aftermath of Shattered Grid.

The recent “Shattered Grid” crossover is easily BOOM! Studios’ most ambitious Power Rangers project to date, one that united the entire Power Rangers multiverse before leaving it broken and possibly irreparably damaged. Now the core Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series is launching into a new story arc entitled “Necessary Evil.” It’s being billed as the successor of sorts to “Shattered Grid,” which probably does the creative team a disservice. The emphasis with issue #40 isn’t so much about launching into the next big Power Rangers event, but introducing a new status quo and jumping-on point that makes the most of classic MMPR continuity.

The series employs a time jump with this issue, leaping ahead to the point in the series where Lord Zedd is the main villain, Tommy leads the team as the White Ranger and Jason, Trini and Zack have vanished on their never-ending UN peace summit. This new status quo makes for an easy entry point into the series for new and lapsed readers. It helps that the conclusion of Power Rangers: Shattered Grid #1 is reprinted here as a sort of prologue/recap sequence. It fits surprisingly well in that context, serving as a poignant sort of farewell to the classic MMPR era while reminding us that the full ramifications of Drakkon’s assault on the multiverse have yet to be deduced.

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That said, don’t expect another cosmic Power Rangers epic just yet. This issue takes more of a back to basics approach with the team, allowing readers to settle in with the revamped cast and see how newcomers Rocky, Aisha and Adam fit into the larger dynamic. There’s a welcome dose of dramatic tension with these upstart Rangers joining the fold. Whereas the old team was a well-oiled unit, this new one is rocked by a generational divide and a clear distrust between rookies and veterans. Add the novelty of having Zedd and a brand new villain in the mix, and this issue goes a long way toward reinvigorating a series that had stalled in the aftermath of “Shattered Grid.” It helps that writer Ryan Parrott leans more on Zedd’s early movie and TV portrayals than the goofier antagonist he became with time.

Boom has shown a real knack for maintaining a consistent look and visual tone on its Power Rangers titles regardless of any changes in creative teams. Daniele Di Nicuolo maintains that consistent standard in this issue, creating a book that calls back just enough to the old series while bringing its own energy and flair to the franchise. Di Nicuolo’s figures are elegantly simple, showing off a wide emotional range and engaging in powerful fight scenes without the need for excessive lines. The coloring also goes a long way to tying the book together and achieving an energetic, inviting sense of style.

While readers shouldn’t necessarily expect this issue to kick off the next Shattered Grid-esque event, that’s not to say the book is solely focused on getting back to basics and kicking off a new status quo. There is one major reveal that caps off the story that will no doubt have hardcore fans talking. This twist opens up all sorts of intriguing new possibilities for the series (while also practically demanding a new spinoff comic). Best of all, it’s not a twist that comes out of left field, but one that builds very organically on the foundation established by the TV series. That’s no mean feat.

The Verdict

Fans who may have drifted away from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers lately would do well to hop back on board with issue #40. This new chapter is nothing if not accessible, jumping forward in the timeline and exploring the changes brought about by new Rangers and new villains. But more than just being an enjoyable fresh start for the series, this issue also introduces a twist that could come to have major ramifications for the franchise as a whole.

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