Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #35
“Beyond the Grid”
Marguerite Bennett (Writer), French Carlomagno (Artist), Francesco Mortarino (Artist), Eleonora Bruni (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)
30 January, 2019
Heckyl the Dark Ranger has been one of the most mysterious members of the Power Rangers who banded together since becoming the last survivors of the only universe they knew. But confronting the Praetor in the Void has rattled Heckyl. Though he has nobody he calls a friend, he needs to unburden himself. In lieu of a picnic, Heckyl gathers Cameron Watanabe and Kimberly Hart, and finally shares his life story. It isn’t a pretty one.
Heckyl hails from Sentai 6, a planet that was destroyed by Lord Arcanon, who used the Dark Energem to introduce a being called Snide into Heckyl’s mind. Thus mind-controlled, Heckyl essentially became a villain, even fighting his galaxy’s Dino Charge Rangers. Eventually Heckyl regained his memories and was freed from Snide by the Rangers. He joined them and was even assigned a mentor, Zenowing. But, best of all, Heckyl was sent back in time to before his planet was destroyed.
Heckyl made the most of his second chance at life, and learned as much as he could from Zenowing. But there was one thing Zenowing would not allow Heckyl to do: to either inform the citizens of Sentai 6 of their fate, or to train them in preparation. The planet was much too peaceful and would be irrevocably changed if they were made war-ready. Heckyl appreciated the sentiment, but couldn’t shake the fear of losing his planet again. After studying the Dark Energem for so much time, surely he was more than equipped to use it for good this time around?
The “Beyond the Grid” story arc of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers has put the Power Rangers as a whole in the spotlight, instead of focusing on individual characters. In ensemble casts, there is always a danger of some characters receiving more attention than others, but for the most part, this series has done them all justice.
Coming into Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #35, I was concerned that Heckyl being the protagonist of the issue might be dull or one-dimensional, but I am glad that I was incorrect in that assumption. It is a departure from the tone and direction of the last couple of issues, and that’s why I love it! I’ve been intrigued by Heckyl since his appearance in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #31, and I am thrilled to finally get his backstory.
I like that writer Marguerite Bennett doesn’t dwell on the “darkness” of Heckyl’s life, but instead mentions it and then focuses mainly on his second chance. It’s an unusual way to expand on a character’s history, but it is also incredibly refreshing. So many writers seem to enjoy wallowing in darkness and violence, all in the name of “being edgy,” but it usually ends up feeling gratuitous. Instead, Bennett shows Heckyl finding happiness and struggling to deal with his survivor’s guilt. It is good to see my expectations subverted, and a character’s internal conflict handled so well.
I have loved the art of the “Beyond the Grid” arc of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, and was disheartened to see that Simone Di Meo would not be doing the art for this issue. His work has been a joy to look at, but I am relieved to say that Di Meo’s replacement, French Carlomagno, steps into his shoes brilliantly. Had I not been looking at the creators’ credits, I may not have known the artists had changed at all. The only giveaway in Carlomagno’s work is in the characters’ face. The wide eyes and slightly goofy expressions are a departure from previous issues.
Carlomagno continues the trend of double-page spreads that has delighted me throughout Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Once again, we see beautiful vistas spread over several detailed and coloured pages. I always get a little thrill when I come across a double-page spread in this series. It’s a feeling I never tire of.
The issue also adds a new colourist Eleonora Bruni, alongside Walter Baiamonte and Francesco Segala. Between the three of them, the colours are stunning and vibrant, keeping the reader enamoured from start to finish.
After an absence of one month, the short story “The New Adventures of Blue Senturion & Ninjor” returns with Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #35. Blue Centurion and Ninjor have all but set their rivalry with each other aside as they fight Monsieur Muster’s horde of Krybots. The two Rangers make short work of the robots, all while punning outrageously. This section of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers books is light and fun to read and, considering the heaviness of some of the content earlier in the book, it is a relief to read this jolly adventure by Ryan Ferrier. I also love Bachan’s art, which is appropriately humorous while also being very detailed. And Jeremy Lawson’s pastel-shade colours are beautiful to behold.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #35 isn’t what I expected, and that’s exactly why it is so enjoyable. There is nothing predictable about this series, which makes every issue an event to experience. I’m excited to have learned so much about Heckyl, and hope that we will learn more about the other characters in further issues. I continue to be curious about what writer Marguerite Bennett has in store for readers. She is light on clues, which only makes me that much more eager to get my hands on upcoming issues.