Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #33: A Tantalising History of the Dark Universe

The Power Rangers are depowered and scared in the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #33 Cover A. Written by Marguerite Bennett and drawn by Simone Di Meo. Published by BOOM! Studios. November 28, 2018

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #33

“Beyond the Grid”
Marguerite Bennett (Writer), Simone Di Meo (Artist), Alessio Zonno (Artist), French Carlomagno (Artist and Colours), 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)
BOOM! Studios
28 November, 2018

The Secret Ranger has been revealed. Ellarien is an alien living in the strange dark universe where the Power Rangers now find themselves in. She had stolen the power from the Psycho Dagger, which was the only thing powering the Rangers’ ship, but it turns out her intentions weren’t hostile.

The Secret Ranger is seen on the Yellow Ranger's visor in the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #33 Cover C. Written by Marguerite Bennett and drawn by Simone Di Meo. Published by BOOM! Studios. November 28, 2018

Ellarien regales the Rangers with her story—one of loss, deprivation and death. As a child, Ellarien was charged with the safekeeping of something called the Solarix. It gives her morphing capability, but it doesn’t work as well as it should. Ellarien can morph but only occasionally, and it isn’t a seamless process. She is entrusted with the Solarix but it is clearly not hers to keep. Unfortunately, there is no one else she can bequeath it to. Especially since the all-powerful Praetor has been looking for it.

Little do the Rangers know that the Praetor is closer than they imagined. Without a Morphin Grid to tap and unsure of the allegiances of their new ally, can the Power Rangers defeat a new and unknown enemy?

This issue changes tack from the previous action-heavy installment, focusing more on exposition than fight scenes. There is thus more information for readers to glean—about the dark universe, the Secret Ranger, and even this arc’s villain. I’m not a huge fan of exposition but it works surprisingly well in this issue.

I like that writer Marguerite Bennett hasn’t kept readers guessing for too long about the universe she’s created. Three issues into this arc and we know the history of the dark universe and the new characters. There is still a lot we can find out over the next few issues, but we have a solid grounding now as to how the universe ended up this way, with plenty of room to learn about why in the next few issues.

Ellarien may have been introduced as a villain—no matter her intentions, her actions have left the Power Rangers in dire straits – but I am already warming to her. She is complex and interesting, and I feel like her connection to the Solarix is going to play an important part in the story. I also love her relationship with her friend (more than a friend?) Remi, and I hope to see that developed further. And kudos to Bennett and team for giving us a woman of colour as the Rangers’ new ally. The diversity in ’Beyond the Grid’ makes me so happy. It can be done, comics creators!

Unlike the previous issues, this book does not have the Power Rangers morphing, which is a shame because I absolutely love it when they morph! The morphing panels in the previous two issues made me giddy with nostalgia but it was eventually bound to be left out. At the opening of this book, the Rangers are pretty much drained of power so it makes sense that there is no morphing here. The child in me is still sad about it, though.

Ellarien tells the Rangers about the dying world she grew up in in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #33 pages 6 & 7. Written by Marguerite Bennett and drawn by Simone Di Meo. Published by BOOM! Studios. November 28, 2018
Double page spreads for the win!

Artist Simone Di Meo and his team continue to be marvels, creating a universe that is alien yet relatable. Di Meo’s imagination seems to be going wild with every successive issue. Early in this book we get a beautiful double-page spread that shows how the world was for Ellarien growing up. I love the movement in the panels which tells a story on its own even if you don’t read the words contained within. Aside from the landscapes and ships, the character work in this issue is the best yet. The features and the expressions are stunning! I feel like the characters are far more distinguishable in this book than in previous ones and, for once, I didn’t feel the absence of a character index to know who was who. (However, I still wouldn’t mind if the books included an index.)

Walter Baiamonte’s colours have been a delight throughout this series, and for this issue, he is ably helped by French Carlomagno, who assisted with the art as well. The colourists get more room to stretch here for the flashbacks to ‘brighter’ times, which they execute very well. The Power Rangers are colourful and vibrant but I am still amazed every issue at just how much colour and warmth the Rangers bring into the dark universe.

The final two pages are dedicated to Ryan Ferrier’s short story ‘The New Adventures of Blue Senturion & Ninjor’. This is the funniest installment yet and I love how Ninjor and Blue Senturion interact with each other. I don’t know much about these characters. but the way this story is laid out doesn’t require readers to have prior knowledge about them.

Bachan’s art is heavily detailed in this issue, mainly because of the new setting, but I like that colourist Jeremy Lawson’s palette isn’t too different from previous issues. The pastel shades work well with this story and, despite the introduction of a new antagonist, I can’t see it changing much in coming issues.

The “Beyond the Grid” arc is constantly evolving and adding tantalising new elements that keep readers at the edge of their seats. With its diverse cast of characters and a universe unlike any other, this story has so much room to grow. I can’t wait to see where it takes us next.

Louis Skye

Louis Skye

A writer at heart with a fondness for well-told stories, Louis Skye is always looking for a way to escape the planet, whether through comic books, films, television, books, or video games. E always has an eye out for the subversive and champions diversity in media. Louis' podcast, Stereo Geeks, is available on all major platforms. Pronouns: E/ Er/ Eir