Comic Book Review: Saban’s Power Rangers: Aftershock OGN SC
***Do not read book or review until you have seen the movie***
I’m not going to lie, if I didn’t see the Power Rangers movie first I probably would not have been as excited to read this book as I was. If you read my review for the movie then you know why I am excited to see where they take this version of the Power Rangers on the big screen and through this graphic novel that actually gives us the opportunity to see what follows the end of the movie. Not enough people take advantage of what this does for you as a fan and I’m glad BOOM! Studios is pushing how far they are willing to take this franchise in book form.
Truly I like the idea that you can have a book like Power Rangers: Aftershock to follow the movie. I know that when the sequel comes we will all be wondering just what happened between the events at the end of the movie and then. Superhero stories these days seem to heavily focus on the small things that do matter such as rebuilding and collateral damage. These are the things that make a world feel whole. Being a superhero isn’t just about fighting the monster and going home, there are other things to take into account as well considering the people are the ones you are trying to save. They did right by us opening this story up to these details and so forth.
What we also get into here is how this team starts to become one fully. The biggest question on anyone’s mind had to be how things would work out after defeating Rita. Would they still be as close as they are to one another? Was this common enemy the only glued that kept them playing nice? Will they continue to see this as a team? And can Jason really lead? All things which run through your head because there is a long time to sit on these questions which Power Rangers: Aftershock begins to answer at its own pace. Taking the perspective of one person at a time was the smart approach. Like Jason for example, this is a critical time of development for him. I’ve never been the kind to fall for the forced leader role, but he is the guy and trying times to earn the leadership of these people he only just a week ago became friends with. That tension he finds himself dealing with came naturally when not all of the Rangers are nice to begin. The old tv show unfortunately desensitized us to what it means to be a teen. It takes work on all sides to create a working friendship. This creative team gets this considering this version of the Power Rangers is more modern.
For the other Rangers, I enjoyed the moments here and there they had with each other to further their bonds. Everything about this is a transitional phase and an experience for the Rangers. For as much crap that they can give one another, I love that they do try just as hard to avoid the normal drama of teens. Not everyone is the cliche, and these Rangers don’t have the room for these things that you would call distractions. The focus on each of the Rangers outside of duty wasn’t too big, but they made each moment count. It was now that we could really see what makes some of them stand out in the group if that wasn’t clear. Especially when it came to those such as Trini and Zack. I will admit there was room for a bit more evolution in the movie, but that is what we have sequels and books like this for.
This new enemy they face made sense for the world that they live in. Between the emergence of Rita and the Power Rangers, they rang a bell that can’t be unrung. Rita said herself that this was just the start. They opened the door to many more like her or that could be worse who would come after them. The first of these enemies was just a bit on the nose with what tends to happen after these kinds of attacks, yet still exciting because there was a force with some depth to their actions and motivations. They were strong enough to challenge what the team is capable of right now. Trial and error is the name of the game where this was a taste of what happens when you face a threat with some thinking power behind them. Goldar was one tough cookie, but nothing like the Goldar we are familiar with. A monster at best which makes these two new enemies that much more lethal being the opposite. The action sequence lost focus a few times, though satisfied in the end when this creative team proved that you can think outside the box as well instead of finishing off enemies the usual way.
What other threat develops throughout this story was subtle, but interesting because you couldn’t put your finger on who they were or what they wanted until that moment of revelation nearing the end. They seem like your typical problem to deal with during times like this, and I liked that the shroud of mystery to them will continue past this book. You look for this world they are recreating to expand further than the reaches of the old show, and this organization is a step in the right direction.
The art team of Lucas Werneck, Robert Carey and Joana Lafuente are standout. I was very impressed by the level of quality they had to offer us visually. It’s not just the story that keeps you invested till the end, it is appealing artwork that has you engaged visually throughout. Now with these sort of stories, normally I’m all over the likeness of the characters to their other medium counterparts. I wouldn’t say this art team gets too heavily into capturing that, but they do enough to nail the distinguishing features. It all really came down to perspective which was what I expected considering this is a large cast of characters to deal with having the tendency to be in the same place. Joana Lafuente is a familiar name as colorist and I was glad to see what she had to offer this story. Her colors weren’t overpowering, but they had depth to them. She knew how to apply shadows, highlights, and handled textures very well when dealing with the Putty Monsters. While when it comes to the suits, she doesn’t get into all those cool alien designs, at the very least she gets that chest piece that still gives them that advanced look. That as well as the blue vein-like parts that run through them as well. My only criticism was that during the darker scenes it would have helped for there to be more difference between blue and black, because at times it was hard to differentiate.
Saban’s Power Rangers: Aftershock OGN SC is a must have. I felt like there is a whole new level of investment given all the things new there is to anticipate from this franchise. If you questioned the potential of where this movie universe will take us, this graphic novel eases those concerns. A better understanding of the Rangers, the kinds of dangers they can face, and the creative ways they will try to take them down. Like it or not this is the kind of Power Rangers we have needed. Beyond this I do hope this isn’t the last graphic novel between now and the movie since I do think there is some ground to still cover before then.