Comic Book Review: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers 2017 Annual #1
It seems that we are in that period of intermission for the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. The last issue was a bit of a step aside to explain what Zordon has been up to since Rita’ attack, and now the next issue we have here is the first annual issue for 2017. This of course being an important issue for the series serving as a milestone. If you asked me before if I thought this would turn out as great as it is right now, the answer would have been uncertain. But now there is nothing but excitement every week it is out.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers 2017 Annual #1 is a fairly big issue for an annual. There are five different stories set in this universe from Search Party to Trini’s Vacation, Forever Mighty Morphin Black, Perfect, to Sabrina’s Day Out. Just from the titles you could tell that these stories dive into some interesting adventures you couldn’t get anywhere else outside of an annual.
The first story is Search Party, taking place right after the Power Rangers save Tommy from Rita’s influence. This was the perfect point to choose to tell a story from because it’s too easy to skip over that moment and skip straight to them all working together or at least trying to. It’s more appreciated when someone takes that initiative to take us straight to those moments after, where Tommy really feels lost about what he’s doing or what he needs to do next. Especially when it came to that little bit of Rita’s voice which still remained haunting Tommy after the fact. All these things were important to be able to follow in detail to actually feel for what Tommy was going through by himself. It was all very engaging considering this conversation Tommy was having with Rita captured just how manipulative she can be with even just her words. The artwork from Goñi Montes was solid and clean between pencils and colors. It was the way he captured the despair from Tommy and deceptiveness of Rita which solid the key moment of this story.
This next story, Trini’s Vacation, is another story worthy of an annual issue because Trini is a Ranger we don’t get enough of outside of the group. It goes without saying that there are a number of Rangers who tend to be neglected within the group and sometimes that ends up being the personal lives of Trini and Zack. That makes this one appealing from the start as this is her problem and her call to action. The plot for this was also interesting for the fact that this was a fight for something that led to hints of a long rivalry between Rita and Zordon. They clearly have a history, though it is not too often it is emphasized that there were specific times when they previously clashed before this time. That aside, Tom Taylor made this exciting and to the point for someone as smart as Trini. The artwork from Dan Mora was impressive. Great form to the characters and settings. In particular I liked the colors which brought this together from the highlights to shadows as it gave a great deal of depth to the artwork.
Forever Mighty Morphin Black like Trini’s Vacation is another story of interest for another Ranger who doesn’t get enough focus on his own. This story even held more anticipation because this is a situation where you have that special team-up of Mighty Morphin Black Power Rangers from all across dimensions meeting to face off against a deadly foe. Something that just doesn’t happen every day in this universe and thankfully they didn’t do this with the Red Ranger. I’m sure I would have yawned if that was the case. Just as Zack said himself, this was an unreal experience. Some Black Rangers we have seen before, yet many of these are new and god damn do they also look cool. Jamal Campbell was perfect for a story like this that demands such quality and detail. I mean don’t even get me started on the cool design of this villain he created, no pun intended. This is an artist I’m new to, but definitely has my attention as one who can do both story and artwork.
I have to say, if there’s one story that I couldn’t put my finger on by the title, it was Perfect. That could mean anything in this world, but surprisingly this was a story centered on Finster of all characters. That you don’t come to expect, but that is what makes the comics so great. You have the opportunity to explore these origins that you usually couldn’t afford an issue to get into. Finster’s story was quite depressing seeing who he was then compared to now. His past makes so much sense as to how an artist like himself could end up working for the likes of Rita Repulsa. She has quite the devilish charm to have broken through to Finster the way she did. Frazer Irving knocked it out of the park here. You could tell this artwork was his doing from the first page and it matched this kind of atmosphere perfectly. The lack of color and heavy shadows captured the dark personality that was taking form in Finster. You also notice the style he took to creating a scene of horror that is not something you are used to in the Power Rangers world. This story from Trey Moore was so good and sinister that you almost wish this origin were still a secret.
The final story is Sabrina’s Day Out, and boy did it eat at me trying to figure out who this Sabrina was. Who that was came as a surprise because it was then that I could fully admire this annual. Scorpina is just like Finster where you really have no idea where they come from or what goes through their head aside from doing Rita’s bidding. A day out or off is a rare occasion to see what she is like when it’s not about destroying the Power Rangers. This was as innocent as you can get when talking about the villains and it might be a side worth exploring more later. The artwork was simple and sweet for the tone of this story. A fairly grounded approach to style which gave a lot to humanizing Scorpina and Goldar.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers 2017 Annual #1 is one of the most memorable specials BOOM! has released so far. It’s not about giving us stories branching off of something ongoing, it’s about continuing to prove to us that this run of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers has much more to offer in storytelling that you won’t get anywhere else.