Comic Book Review: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Anniversary Special #1
This truly has been one hell of a year for the Power Rangers franchise. You have the big crossover event, artist tributes, annuals, and specials like this one celebrating the 25th Anniversary. There has been no shortage of ways in which you can enjoy the excitement that the Power Rangers universe has to offer. So with that said, it did make you wonder what this anniversary special could offer that we haven’t seen from the others.
Being another series of original standalone stories set throughout the Power Rangers universe, the first one was “Pet Project”. This one was pretty much your average plot set in motion by Rita, and felt more classic than some of the things the Rangers have been going through recently. It pretty much was a pet project seeing as though it was a pet used to get to Tommy. This takes us back to a time where it was all about Tommy and getting her power back from him. Her plan this time around was creative and fun for everything that went right and wrong with it from start to finish. Great pacing as well between plot, action, and a conclusion.
The next story, “Golden Ideas”, was interesting for the fact that it focused on the newer Rangers and how they deal with the idea that they have an expectation to live up to. Truthfully it is a perspective we don’t get to see of ten when the roster doesn’t change completely. Mixing veteran with new would be bound to have those moments where someone feels as though they aren’t fitting in like they should because everyone else has history together. As for plot, giving Goldar a mission of his own to prove himself wasn’t a bad decision. You know he is bound to fail, but he tends to be one of the more entertaining villains to deal with.
“The Sweetest of Dreams” grabbed my attention from the start when it takes place in a period of time different from most. It was hard to say if I actually got what was going on with this one in terms of its place in this universe. I figured that there would at least be one of these stories involving Rangers unfamiliar. This one just happened to be that one, though with that said I do love the idea that there is a medieval version with actual armor/magic and what not. This one was also the most standout through artwork. I enjoyed the color work more than anything else. It was bold and exciting for the period of time that this story took place in.
The following story, “Sealed” was cool for how there is a future team that acknowledges the Power Rangers team that started it all. This could have all been set in that team’s area of expertise as well, being space, but it was more interesting that we could see them head towards familiar ground to face against a threat left behind by Rita. How they split this monster encounter between past and present was unique. We were seeing how one team managed to simply fight off the monster, while the other one was looking for more of a permanent solution to the problem. This was another great issue for the artwork as well that captured two different battles going on at the same time. Another one as well where I would say that the colors stood out most for the light colors that pop. Not to mention the stunning design of this monster they had to fight.
Last, there was “The Trial of Astronema”. Like with “The Sweetest of Dreams”, this was another team that was familiar, but too long back to remember entirely. Luckily for this one, all you needed to know was the story being told now. It was very engaging for showing what it is like to have a villain in the Power Rangers universe who has depth and a true redemption, next to Tommy of course. They of course took things a step further with this trial because it’s not every day that a former villain would be forced to face everything that they have done the way she did. The suspense here was in what would happen at the end of the trial. Would she be executed? Rescued? Would it even finish? The answer catches you off guard, but it was a smart conclusion that wasn’t predictable based on the reception.
My only issue with these specials so far as a whole is the lack of titles to go with the stories. You are pretty much left playing the guessing game for some of them when it should be right there at the start of each. Of course no one has to, but if you aren’t familiar with the creative team’s work, you won’t know if what is in front of you was actually said team.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Anniversary Special #1 is another one to have in your collection if you are enjoying the non-stop treat that is the Power Rangers across all periods of time and space.