Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #25
Kyle Higgins (Writer), Daniele Di Nicuolo with Simona di Gianfelice (Artists), Walter Baiamonte (Colorist), Ed Dukeshire (Letterer)
March 28, 2018
If you’re not caught up on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and Go Go Power Rangers, get caught up right now. Because the grid has been shattered and no one is safe. There will be no spoilers ahead but I still encourage you to take a seat and get caught by reading the comics or reading our recaps here and here. With this issue’s first printing already having sold out, Shattered Grid is gearing up to be the most epic Power Rangers event of all time and you’re not going to want to miss one moment of the ride.
In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the show, Saban Entertainment has joined forces with BOOM! Studios in promoting the Shattered Grid crossover event, which will not only find the two concurrently running Power Ranger titles coalescing, but also finally bring to the page Power Rangers from other seasons of the show including Time Force, SPD, Zeo, RPM and Ninja Steel, just to name a few. In fact, issue #25 of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers kicks off the event with a literal bang.
The story opens up in outer space with with the Power Rangers: Time Force team. It is the first time that we see this iteration of the Power Rangers in the comic books. We are introduced to Time Force team leaders Wes and Jen who are viewing various Ranger teams throughout time and space as they are threatened by a fissure in the fabric of said time and space. It is a dramatic scene that really sets the tone for the whole event. This is going to be dark.
The story leaves the scene of the Time Force team’s struggle and returns to the six Power Rangers we have been following throughout the comics – Tommy, Jason, Kimberly, Billy, Zack, and Trini – who are dealing with the fallout of Drakkon’s escape. Jason continues to bristle against Grace Sterling and her team, holding her partially responsible for their whole situation due to her secrecy around the capture of Drakkon. Grace reveals that not only did Drakkon escape but that he took the Green Morpher and Power Coin with him, two things he would need in order to get reconnected to the Power Grid and regain all of his morphing powers.
As the team tries to figure out where Drakkon has gone and how to stop him, Tommy and Kimberly take some time out from saving the world to spend quality time with each other. This blossoming romance and mid-apocalypse date night feels like an awkward story beat, but it is an important part of the character development – especially in conjunction with the revelation of the identity of the Ranger Slayer in Go Go Power Rangers issue #9.
Meanwhile, Drakkon has not traveled as far as Zordon thinks he has. Instead he has found another important figure from Power Rangers lore to help him get his powers back. Drakkon’s scenes and the panels during his quest are the most visually stunning of the issue. Daniele Di Nicuolo, who has taken over the illustration of the series as of issue #20, doesn’t have the same dramatic style of his predecessor Hendry Prasetya, who really managed to capture the actual horror of the world the Power Rangers lived in. However, Di Nicuolo’s illustrations are really brought to life by Walter Baiamonte’s color work. The fire practically leaps off the page in a number of panels and whole moods are set and reset through color changes as we go from scene to scene. It happens most vividly when Drakkon gets what he was looking for. Things take a dark turn from there with a conclusion that will absolutely gut even the most casual fan.
The thing about this issue, and the whole Shattered Grid event, is that it really seems to be hyper-focused on longtime Power Ranger fans, for good reason. It is no coincidence that the Shattered Grid event is being launched with issue #25; 2018 marks the 25th anniversary of the debut of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. The kids who watched the show 25 years ago are now nostalgia-happy adults, who welcome an opportunity to see the simple world they loved as children be explored and expanded upon. Fans and critics alike [Even, resentfully, me —Ed.] have lauded both MMPR and Go Go Power Rangers for adding depth and dimension to characters in ways the TV show never could or would, partially due to the limits of the television format and partially due to the fact that the show was geared towards small kids while the comics can target an older audience. Neither comic title has shied away from dealing with the very serious issues and the darkness that can come with the great responsibility these teenagers have to bear. And it looks like they are taking that exploration one step further in Shattered Grid.
But anyone who has been following the buzz leading up the launch of the Shattered Grid event has had an inkling that things may not go well for our favorite teenagers with attitude. The official live action teaser trailer for the event took the internet by storm as actor Jason David Frank—the most popular and most visible of all the Power Rangers—once again put on the Ranger suit. This time instead of being the Tommy Oliver we all knew and loved, he brought to life the sinister alternate-reality Tommy that has become the catalyst for the Shattered Grid event: Lord Drakkon. Suddenly the event was on the radar of even those Power Ranger television show fans who hadn’t been aware that there were not even just one – but two – Power Ranger stories being told in comic book format.
The fan feeding frenzy continued at the 2018 WonderCon in Anaheim that was held mere days before the official release. BOOM! Studios’ booth at the convention was focused on promoting Power Rangers, with exclusive Shattered Grid content and with actors from the series at the booth to do autographs and photos with the fans. According to Will Coe, who was at the convention, “It was kinda surreal seeing Power Rangers being the center of what BOOM! Studios was promoting. All of the staff members were wearing Shattered Grid shirts. Power Rangers often gets glanced over in all other outlets so it was nice to see the spotlight on them for a change.”
But it did not stop with the booth. There was also a panel featuring Kyle Higgins and Ryan Parrott who are the writers of MMPR and Go Go Power Rangers, respectively; actor David Yost who played Billy Cranston on the original show; and other representatives from BOOM! and Saban. All of the fans in the panel got a chance to read the then-unreleased issue #25, received exclusive variant cover copies of the issue, and were made privy to a number of other reveals, such as artwork and cover designs. All attendees were asked to take a vow not to leak the major spoilers from the issue… but of course word got out. One attendee, Chris Sullivan, put it this way, “For them to share that with us before the release was very exciting. For a brief moment, as we swore a ranger oath to not leak, I felt like a true ranger. So that was an amazing feeling.”
After this explosive issue, fans are sure to be divided about their feelings on it. Sullivan recalls fans asking the panelists, “Why would you do this?” following the fan read at WonderCon but Higgins implored them to trust him. Higgins has done a fantastic job helming the MMPR comic ship so far, so fans seem ready to join him to see all of the places Shattered Grid is going to take their beloved Rangers.