Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #32
“Beyond the Grid”
Marguerite Bennett (Writer), Simone Di Meo (Artist), Alessandro Cappuccio (Artist), Walter Baiamonte (Colours), Francesco Segala (Colours), Ed Dukeshire (Letters)
“The New Adventures of Blue Senturion & Ninjor”
Ryan Ferrier (Writer), Bachan (Artist), Jeremy Lawson (Colours), Jim Campbell (Letters)
24 October, 2018
The last we saw of the rescue ship Promethea, it was losing power in a dead void of a universe. A mysterious Purple Ranger had found her way onto the ship and drained all the power from the Psycho Dagger, the only thing keeping the Promethea afloat. But the Power Rangers’ away team has an even bigger problem. While answering a distress call, the team walked into an ambush. They were hoping to find life in this dead universe, but they hadn’t bargained for such hostile aliens. With the ship losing energy, the Rangers have no choice but to seek out the strange Ranger who boarded the ship. They have no idea what they’re walking into. There are larger forces at play, literally, and they don’t like when people take their things. It is soon going to become difficult to tell friend from foe.
Power Rangers #32 was so much more optimistic than the previous issue, which began the “Beyond the Grid” storyline. It’s tone suits the characters and the story, void or not. The Power Rangers are heroes and readers will expect them to find a way out of the worst situations. I think part of the tonal change has to do with the focus shifting from leader Grace Sterling, former Red Ranger, to the rest of the team. Whereas the previous book was driven solely by Grace’s voice, we get numerous points of view here. I much prefer this approach. The story itself is a little bit more complex than is initially obvious. There is a larger plan in writer Marguerite Bennett’s mind for this arc, and she’s eking it out over each installment.
Bennett has included hints to what aspects of the story will be explored in upcoming issues, and I am intrigued to see where it goes. I do still wish they would include an index of characters at the beginning of the book. There are so many characters, and it is hard to keep track of them if one isn’t already familiar with the Power Rangers universes and the artistic rendering of the characters in-universe. Bennett has included some great interactions between the characters, but the effect is lost when you’re wondering who they are!
Which is not a slight against artist Simone Di Meo, whose work continues to be a draw in this series. He has a vivid imagination and added so much to Bennett’s words with his detailed illustrations. Unlike in the last issue where Di Meo focused more on the landscape than characters’ faces, in this book, the characters get plenty of face time.
Thus, we get to see the subtle details of the characters’ expressions: the stoic, firm jaw of reckless hero Magna Defender Mike, the optimism of Zeo Ranger II Yellow Tanya, the mischievousness of the mysterious Heckyl, a.k.a. the Dark Ranger, and the joy in Ranger Slayer Kim’s face when Tanya thanks her for helping save the team, not to mention Kim’s distrust when she confronts Heckyl about his secrets. There probably wasn’t room in the previous issue to fit so much in, but I’m glad the creators of this series have found a way to include human interaction and emotion now. It adds so many layers to the story.
I must also commend Di Meo on his artistry with regards to the characters’ clothes. I’m not one to notice clothes usually, but what the Rangers wear under their morph suits says a lot about them and where they come from. Not to mention, the accuracy of the clothes for the characters from the films and TV shows is spot on. The creative team is making the research they’ve done for this series look effortless.
Walter Baiamonte’s colours are again a wonder. He has to work with shadows quite a bit in this issue, but it isn’t jarring or overly dark. Of course, the colours for the landscapes are spectacular, but the work Baiamonte has done with the interiors cannot be discounted. It is beautiful!
This is the second issue in a row that has included several double-page spreads, and I really hope it continues. There are far fewer in this issue than in this previous one, but they are stunning. I love how Di Meo spreads the panels across to give the action its proper scale. Long may she continue with this, because I love it!
Another continuation that I loved was the Rangers’ morphing panel. I don’t think this will ever get old for anyone who watched the Power Rangers growing up. I do hope that every issue finds an excuse for the Rangers to power up at least once.
Finally, in “The New Adventures of Blue Senturion & Ninjor,” Ryan Ferrier takes the action-heavy route for his two-page story. I think it works. The previous installment seemed to move at a snail’s pace, despite its brevity. A more pace-oriented tale suits the format better. Artist Bachan does a great job of conveying the action with his zany panel designs. They add to the quirkiness of the story. As does Jeremy Lawson’s colours. He employs a host of reds and yellows which help to distinguish the story from “Beyond the Grid.”
I’ve found myself enjoying Bennett’s run with the Power Rangers. I think she’s got a good idea for the story, a host of exciting characters, and a strong artistic team to back her up. I can’t wait till next month!