The latest installment of TokuNet’s Comics Corner dives back into BOOM! Studios Mighty Morphin Power Rangers with its 9th and current issue out today.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS POST CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS FOR ISSUE #9
Written by Kyle Higgins with art by Hendry Prasetya, Issue #9 of MMPR starts off with the world anxiously awaiting their destruction. In the previous issue, Black Dragon cut off Jason, Trini, Billy, Kimberly, and Zack from the Morphin Grid, preventing them from being able to morph. Furthermore, this also gave Black Dragon the opportunity to take control of their Zords and turn them on the people of Earth.
Rita Repulsa gave the world’s leaders 24 hours to surrender to her, otherwise she will unleash the Zords on the planet. In an act of desperation, Tommy attempts to use his Power Coin along with a piece of Black Dragon’s armor to connect the other Rangers to the Morphin Grid, resulting in their transformation into green versions of their suits.
At the start of Issue #9, as the clock reaches zero, the Rangers appear to reclaim their Zords and attack Black Dragon. Meanwhile, Billy tries to reason with Goldar as they’re both held captive in the Dark Dimension. What I find interesting about Billy’s segments in the last few issues of the comic is how he attempts to appeal to Goldar’s sense of loyalty and pride. While Goldar feels shame and remorse for failing his Empress, he is also wary of losing his place as Rita’s front man. He’d rather see Black Dragon taken out of the picture than win against the Rangers. Billy senses this and uses the logic of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” to push Goldar into helping him escape. This is a side of Billy that we do not see too much of in the earlier seasons of the original Power Rangers show, so it is great having a chance to explore this aspect of his character.
The reason for Billy’s urgent need to escape the Dark Dimension was noticing a hatch door on Black Dragon’s neck while in his giant form. Suspicious that the monster may actually be a robot, Billy teleports to Tommy who accompanies him into the belly of the beast. They find its power source and destroy it, causing Black Dragon to shrink with the two Rangers still inside. Before they could be crushed, however, they are teleported away. This is where things get interesting.
Rita is contacted by a shadowing figure, claiming to be Black Dragon. What we learn earlier in the issue from Goldar is that Black Dragon actually contacted Rita out of the blue and proposed a deal to help defeat the Rangers. Black Dragon then informs Rita that the robot that was just defeated was merely a vessel that he controlled from another unknown location. The mysterious figure is then shown to be a White Ranger. At first glance, it looks to be an evil version of Tommy’s White Ranger, but hints of the Green Ranger design can be found with the Dragonzord emblem on his chest, a gold Morpher on his belt, and a gem on his helmet. To add more to this reveal, Billy and Tommy find themselves on a different planet, presumably the White Ranger’s world. They are confronted with monumental statues of both Rita Repulsa and the Green Ranger.
The fascinating thing about BOOM! Studios line of MMPR comics is that the writers are given the freedom to play with the mythos of the series; such as exploring different character dynamics such as Zack’s distrust of Tommy, to the introduction of new, powerful villains like Black Dragon.
This latest issue finally answers many readers’ questions about how the White Ranger would be introduced in the comics. In the show, Zordon and Alpha create the White Ranger once Tommy lost his Green Ranger powers. Seeing an evil version of the White Ranger’s power opens the door to many theories as to the true origins of that particular Power Coin. And with the team split up again and a new world and villain introduced, the path that this comic is taking is one that I cannot wait to follow along with to see what happens next.