In Power Rangers: Ranger Slayer #1, Kimberly Hart, aka the Pink Ranger, aka Ranger Slayer, returns home to find that things have changed… and not for the better. With all the history and baggage she has on her world, how is she ever going to be able to save it?
Power Rangers: Ranger Slayer #1
Raúl Angola (Colours), Ed Dukeshire (Letters), Dan Mora (Artist), Ryan Parrott (Writer)
July 22, 2020
I’m enjoying my new-found love of the Power Rangers as an adult and Power Rangers: Ranger Slayer #1 is set to become a new favourite read for me.
I don’t know as much about this universe as I’d like to, but writer Ryan Parrott gives readers all the essential details to navigate this book. In this alternate universe, Kimberly Hart wasn’t the heroic Pink Ranger fans know her to be—she existed on a world ruled by the evil Lord Drakkon and she was brainwashed into being his ally, killing many friends as a result. Hart’s stint with the other alternate universe Rangers has helped her become the hero she was destined to be. But on her homeworld where she is despised, her intentions matter little.
I like that Hart’s past villainy, whatever the cause, isn’t immediately forgotten just because the people of her planet know she has the power to help them. However, throughout Ranger Slayer, Hart’s abilities, and her familiarity with Drakkon’s evil ways, are leveraged to fight the good fight.
And what are the people of this planet fighting? Zombies! That sounds way more excited than I actually feel because I’m not a huge zombie fan—primarily because they are gross and boring. The way they’re used in Ranger Slayer #1 makes them palatable, though. We barely see them aside from a few panels because there’s bigger fish to fry in this story. What a relief!
I would absolutely love to mention the aforementioned ‘bigger fish’, but it’s far too delicious to spoil. You’re just going to have to read this book to find out who the real big bad of Power Rangers: Ranger Slayer #1 is—trust me when I say Power Rangers fans are going to love it!
And the way this major reveal unfolds is fantastic. Sometimes I feel a bit jaded when I read comics; I feel like too many plot threads and twists have been retread. But I was actually caught by surprise in this book, which I absolutely loved. There’s no better feeling than reading something and immediately making a connection with a prior event that you had completely dismissed as inconsequential. When the two come together—as they do in this book—it makes such a powerful impact. The story was going well up until that point—but the unexpected twist in the middle made me sit up and want to read more.
Admittedly, the remainder of the book doesn’t quite live up to that shocking moment—for one, I feel like the characters in Ranger Slayer #1 are a bit too forgiving. I understand that there’s a zombie apocalypse and you need all hands on deck, but maybe some people need to be punished for their actions? I realize that is a bit harsh on Hart—she was brainwashed by Drakken. But the crimes she committed seemed huge, and I was surprised that her former friends, the people she had betrayed, accepted her back as quickly as they did.
It was while reading such instances that I wondered whether Power Rangers: Ranger Slayer #1 would have benefited from being a longer one-shot than the 42 pages it was assigned. The story still reads as complete and the end is unexpected and rewarding, but I needed a few more character interactions to understand the motivations behind people’s forgiveness and actions. Does the story still work without a deep dive into characters’ psyches? It does, but it could have been more powerful.
As exciting as the story is, Dan Mora’s art gorgeous plays a huge part in my enjoyment of this book. Boom! Studios has its own style for the Power Rangers comics and it’s fast becoming an identifiable marker for this series. I loved the art—not only were the characters’ expressions full of life and realistic, thus moving the story forward, but the world the art built was captivating and expansive.
What I’ve loved so much about the Power Rangers books is the extensive colour palettes in use. Raúl Angola makes use of the entire spectrum of colours to showcase good and evil, friends and enemies, and everything in between. Proof that you can still tell a serious story even with a healthy dose of reds, yellows, pinks, and greens.
I enjoyed reading Power Rangers: Ranger Slayer #1—there was so much to love about it. The story was strong but not too convoluted, giving readers enough information to understand the universe of the book, without being exposition-heavy. There were thrilling twists, along with plenty of nods to the larger universe. The art was beautiful and the colours stunning. What else could one ask for in an evening’s read?