Comic Book Review: Justice League/Power Rangers #1
Crossovers are a dime a dozen at corporate publishers. At DC, superheroe crossovers happen all the time but in the last year or so, we’ve seen even bigger crossovers happen. Batman has teamed up with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the kids of “Gotham Academy” have met the kids of “Lumberjanes”. This week, a crossover that was only possible with toys begins. The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers meet the Justice League in a series thankfully missing “versus” in the title. “Justice League/Power Rangers” #1 is an enjoyable first issue that sets the groundwork for what’s to come.
In “Justice League/Power Rangers” #1, something has happened to Angel Grove. The once beautiful city has been decimated but we don’t get into what exactly caused that just yet. This first issue sets up how these two groups come together in the first place and it involves a sneaky plan from one of the Rangers’ biggest enemies.
“Justice League/Power Rangers” #1 is written by Tom Taylor, who’s previous work makes him the perfect fit for a series like this. One of the things I like about Taylor’s writing here is that he’s going to take his time with building a story. This first issue is heavy on featuring the Power Rangers but it does a lot in setting up the plot of the series. Through the Power Rangers, we learn how these two worlds collide and what kind of threat they are going to be going up against. Taylor gives us a lot of great Power Rangers moments so it isn’t like he’s sacrificing character over plot, however, he makes it clear that he’s putting together a cohesive crossover. With that said, I think a couple of extra pages would have helped make this issue feel a little meatier as far as the plot but there is enough here to whet the appetite. If you’re a Power Rangers fan, there’s very little to dislike here.
Stephen Byrne’s art in this issue is nothing less than stunning. With all respect to the ongoing Power Ranger series, I wish it looked like this. It’s the exact kind of animated style I want for this property. It’s really important to remember that the Power Rangers are teenagers and not only is Byrne’s styling of each character great but the way they react is just as good. Byrne’s styling is age appropriate and reflects the different personalities that make up this team. The very brief glimpse of Superman feels almost like Superman: The Animated Series but I particularly like what he does with the Power Rangers when they morph. It’s very hard to give the Power Rangers visible reactions visually in those helmets but through body language, there is a story conveyed in the fight sequences. Byrne’s art is so clean and crisp and has the kind of life that all crossovers like this should have. His color work is a little on the dark side but the characters pop, drawing your eyes to them in each and every panel.
“Justice League/Power Rangers” #1 is a solid debut that lays the groundwork of what’s to come. Taylor and Byrne have a vision for this and it’ll be exciting to see it play out.