Posted in Power Rangers, Television

Power Rangers Dino Fury, “Old Foes” Review (Lord Zedd Returns!)

SERIES: Power Rangers Dino Fury
TITLE: S28:E13 – “Old Foes”
STARRING: Russell Curry, Hunter Deno, Kai Moya, Tessa Rao, Chance Perez
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Johnny Hartmann
DIRECTOR: Chris Graham
ORIGINAL U.S. AIR DATE: October 15, 2021 (Netflix)
SYNOPSIS: A Sporix Beast resurrects Lord Zedd.

New around here? Check out the Power Rangers review archive!

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Well gosh. As a first generation Power Rangers fan, I wonder if I’ll have any thoughts about this one…

Indeed, the show has resurrected Lord Zedd, the most popular villain in the show’s history. It’s not merely a reference to him. It’s not some cockamamie story about he and Rita Repulsa having a son we never knew about. The franchise’s quintessential villain is back. What’s more, he’s brought back in a way that makes you wonder why they didn’t bring him back a lot sooner. They simply bring in a monster with the power to reincarnate people. Boom. There’s Zedd.

However, they don’t simply leave it at that. In a real treat for longtime fans like me, they reference a bunch of old MMPR episodes, talk about Zordon’s sacrifice in  Countdown to Destruction, and actually treat Zedd like a huge deal. It’s one of the better past character that the show has ever done. What’s more, as someone who grew up on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, it’s a genuine thrill.

The elephant in the room as far as Zedd is concerned is that his voice is different. Andrew Laing plays the role, as opposed to the late Robert Axelrod. Though even if Axlerod was still with us, I doubt they’d have used him. You’ll notice that in the sequence that used the old footage, Zordon, Rita, Alpha 5, and Andros all had their voices dubbed over by different actors. In Beast Morphers, the returning Goldar also had a different voice. I can only assume that’s a union issue, and if they could have brought the old actors back, they would have.

The use of the inhibitor collar from Beast Morphers on Zedd was a nice touch. This episode truly is a continuity buff’s dream come true. But it was good from a character standpoint too. Unless your name is Dark Specter, chances are Zedd isn’t taking orders from you.

The line where Ollie calls Zedd “radiator face” is a callback to a line Rita had in an MMPR episode. Don’t ask me which one. I just know she called him radiator face at some point.

We’ve reached the point where I’m actually going to be mad if Dino Fury doesn’t link Ollie and Amelia romantically. Or “ship” them, as the kids would say. Their little back and forth moments have become a highlight of the show for me.

Arguably the best thing about this Zedd development? They didn’t kill him off, which would truly have been idiotic. They had him disappear, presumably to return at a later date. I’ve even heard a little bit of buzz about him being the villain for the second season of Dino Fury. Naturally, there’s a lot of intrigue there.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Posted in Comic Books/Graphic Novels, Micro-Reviews

A Mighty Morphin #10 Micro-Review – A Surprise Origin Story

***This is where we keep it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Mighty Morphin 10, cover, 2021, InHyuk LeeTITLE: Mighty Morphin #10
AUTHOR: Ryan Parrott
ARTISTS: Dan Mora, Raul Angulo (Colorist), Jose Enrique Fernandez (Color Assistant), Ed Dukeshure (Letterer). Cover by InHyuk Lee.
RELEASED: August 11, 2021

This issue, which take place entirely in the “over ten thousand years ago” era, winds up being an origin story for one of our villains. I can’t say I saw this coming. As always, Parrott’s attention and devotion to Power Rangers lore is much appreciated.

If there was ever an issue to bring Dan Mora back for, it’s this one. He does an impeccable job of bringing the planet Eltar to life, as well as injecting excitement and a sense of villainous dread into the issue’s climactic moments.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Posted in Power Rangers, Television

Power Rangers Beast Morphers – “Tuba Triumph” Review

*** You know what I am? A multi-tasker. That’s why, as Power Rangers Dino Fury is in full swing, I’ll also be looking back at Power Rangers Beast Morphers. Why? Because I can!!!***

SERIES: Power Rangers Beast Morphers
EPISODE: S26:E13 – “Tuba Triumph”
STARRING: Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Liana Ramierez
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Johnny Hartmann
DIRECTOR: Riccardo Pellizzeri
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: October 12, 2019
SYNOPSIS: Ravi comes to the aid of a young man being bullied.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

It was cool to see Roxy in a little unmorphed fight sequence. It gives Liana Ramirez a nice chance to get physical.

By Power Rangers kid actor standards, Lukas Maher does awesome as Joey. And the whole “only use martial arts to defend yourself” thing harkens back to the early days of the show.

That opening title sequence tends to come late, doesn’t it? This time, it didn’t come until we were seven minutes deep.

So as Ravi is fixing up his grandpa’s old tuba to give to Joey, Commander Shaw, Ravi’s mother, tells him a Power Ranger can’t afford to have “silly distractions.” Thus, we have the reason that Ravi hides his artistic talents from everyone. I was surprised we didn’t get some kind of resolution between mother and son in this episode. Hopefully that’s coming in a future episode.

So Nate recalibrates the robotron sensors to pick up “tuba sounds” as they search for Tubatron. As in plain ol’ regular tuba sounds apparently, as Joey is able to trip the alarm by playing his instrument. Seems like a pretty silly oversight to me. Especially when Steel says moments later that Tubatron’s blasts are much bigger.

Then again, Joey is subsequently able to counter said blast with a big note from his tuba (shown above). Talk about mixed messages…

As someone who now has two kids, I’ve got mixed feelings about Joey using martial arts to intimidate the bullies at the end of the episode. Yes, I know the bullies started the issue. And yes, I recognize that Joey didn’t actually hurt anybody. And once again yes, I know that’s the sort of thing the Mighty Morphin Rangers did all the time.

But the bullies weren’t trying to physically hurt anyone. And if you introduce something like a big karate kick into a situation, aren’t you escalating it, and opening the door for the bullies to retaliate with more violence?

Not to blow the moment out of proportion, but it does make me wonder if Power Rangers consults with any sort of child psychologists when concocting these moral lessons.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Posted in Comic Books/Graphic Novels, Micro-Reviews, Power Rangers

A Mighty Morphin #9 Micro-Review – Lord Zedd and a Larger Universe

***This is where we keep it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Mighty Morphin 9, cover, 2021, InHyuk Lee, Lord ZeddTITLE: Mighty Morphin #9
AUTHOR: Ryan Parrott
ARTISTS: Marco Renna, Walter Baiamonte (Colorist), Katia Ranalli & Sara Antonelini (Color Assistants), Ed Dukeshure (Letterer). Cover by InHyuk Lee.
RELEASED: July 14, 2021

Epic Lord Zedd cover by InHyuk Lee. And this issue has a nice little scene with Zedd as an interrogator to go a long with it.

Parrott continues to be very good at fleshing out elements of Power Rangers mythology. Who and what the Eltarians really are, why the moon base says “Bandora’s Palace” outside, some of the backstory behind the Zeo Crystal, etc. It’s much appreciated, as it gives these MMPR books a much larger feel.

There’s a really intriguing subplot here involving tension between Zordon and Billy. Very curious to see how it’s resolved.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Posted in Power Rangers, Television

Power Rangers Beast Morphers, “Silver Sacrifice” Review

*** You know what I am? A multi-tasker. That’s why, as Power Rangers Dino Fury is in full swing, I’ll also be looking back at Power Rangers Beast Morphers. Why? Because I can!!!***

Evox, Steel, Power Rangers Beast Morphers, Silver SacrificeSERIES: Power Rangers Beast Morphers
TITLE: S26:E9 – “Silver Sacrifice”
STARRING: Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Jamie Linehan (Voice)
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale
DIRECTOR: Riccardo Pellizzeri
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: September 14, 2019
SYNOPSIS: Evox’s forces want Steel’s robot body to house the villainous virus. But Nate isn’t willing to give up his new brother so easily.

New around here? Check out the Power Rangers review archive!

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Early in the episode, Nate and Steel go jogging. Because that’s apparently what you do when you’re a Power Ranger and have a robot buddy. It’s only two brief shots. But what I love is that toward the end of the second one, right before the cut, we see another jogger come into the frame. If you watch him, you’ll notice he turns his head back to look at Nate and Steel. I absolutely love the notion that this man went out for a jog one day and just happened to pass a boy and his robot doing the same thing.

In the previous episode, one of the other Rangers flat out said Nate “isn’t a fighter.” And yet in this episode, he’s throwing spin kicks. That must be one hell of a training program they’ve got at Grid Battleforce.

Nate, Steel, Power Rangers Beast Morphers, Silver Sacrifice

Personally, I’d have borrowed from what they did with Billy way back in season one of MMPR. Have Nate bumble his way through unmorphed fights, and gradually build up his martial arts expertise.

The Rangers are all sneaky when they approach the warehouse where they’re keeping the Cybergate. But when General Burke and the Grid Battleforce troops arrive, they pull up in a pair of SUVs wearing full gear. So much for subterfuge. And low and behold, Ben and Betty get captured. Why were they brought along anyway? This guy seems like he sucks at his job…

Incidentally, General Burke is played by Mark Wright, a voice actor whose work on the series goes as far back as Ninja Storm in 2003. Beast Morphers marks his first major live action role on the show.

Steel: “You haven’t seen power until you’ve seen the power of family.” Awww, that was a nice line. Hokey, but nice.

LOVED the shots of the Red Ranger fighting off the Tronics in the water. Any time they can take advantage of their environment for the fighting aesthetic, it’s a win in my book.

As the Rangers are having to duck and dodge massive shots from the giant-sized Antennatron, they get a message from Commander Shaw: “Rangers, looks like you’ve got big trouble!”

If there was ever a time on this show for a snarky comeback, it was right there.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Posted in Power Rangers, Toys

Toy Chest Theater: Green Rangers, Father and Son

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

For timing reasons, I couldn’t resist this shot from Dafranchise. Not just because three new episodes of Power Rangers Dino Fury drop on Netflix today, but because of the Father’s Day connection. In the graphic novel Power Rangers: Soul of the Dragon, Tommy Oliver’s son JJ grows up to become the Green S.P.D. Ranger, complete with his dad’s old dragon shield. And of course, the Lightning Collection figures make for a great shot.

Dafranchise, Green Rangers

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Posted in Comic Books/Graphic Novels, Power Rangers

Weekly Comic 100s: Mighty Morphin #5

***This is where we keep it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

TITLE: Mighty Morphin #5

AUTHOR: Ryan Parrott
ARTISTS: Marco Renna, Walter Baiamonte (Colorist), Sara Antonellini & Katia Ranalli (Color Assistants), Ed Dukeshire (Letterer). Cover by InHyuk Lee.
RELEASED: March 10, 2021

Stellar cover by InHyuk Lee. His best Mighty Morphin one yet, in fact.

Fitting, as this might be the best overall issue of Mighty Morphin yet. Parrott takes us into our new Green Ranger’s journey from civilian to superhero.

As we obviously see a lot more of the Green Ranger this month, we get the chance to really appreciate the gold accents made to the suit. They’re an acquired taste, but ultimately work out well. It’s a tremendous way to distinguish this new Ranger from Tommy, and let them be their own hero.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Posted in Power Rangers

Power Rangers Beast Morphers, “Beasts Unleashed” Review

*** You know what I am? A multi-tasker. That’s why, as Power Rangers Dino Fury is in full swing, I’ll also be looking back at Power Rangers Beast Morphers. Why? Because I can!!!***

SERIES: Power Rangers Beast Morphers
EPISODE: S26:E1. “Beasts Unleashed”
STARRING: Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez
WRITER: Chip Lynn
DIRECTORS: Simon Bennett, Yuji Noguchi
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: March 2, 2019
SYNOPSIS: An evil computer virus sabotages a city’s attempt to use the Morphing Grid for clean energy. Three new Rangers rise to take on the threat.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

It’s fun to me that the Morphing Grid has, over time, become more and more of a character on the show. This thing, essentially used as a piece of expository tech dialogue way back in the Mighty Morphin days, has grown and grown to the point that it’s now an active piece of Power Rangers lore. And in the case of Beast Morphers, a pivotal part of the show’s premise. Morph X, a clean energy source derived from the grid, is being used not only to power the Rangers and their tech, but the city they reside in as well. That’s a really cool premise, and a clever way to use the concept of the grid.

But for crying out loud, is it “Morphin Grid” or “Morphing Grid?” Because I’ve heard it said both ways…

Devon Daniels, our new Red Ranger, reminds me a lot of Zack from Mighty Morphin. Rorrie D. Travis injects a lot of charisma into the character. Mere minutes into the premiere, I can tell he was a good casting choice.

Jazz Baduwalia, who plays Ravi, is the first Indian actor to play a Power Ranger.  I remember being shocked when I heard that. Yes, diverse casting deserves to be celebrated. But the show also deserves to be called out for this one. Beast Morphers is the 26th season of Power Rangers, a show that has supposedly had diversity built into its DNA from the start. And yet there had never been a Ranger of Indian descent until now? To me, that’s more sad than anything else. Sadder still is the fact that we’re now on season 28, and we still haven’t had a Middle Eastern Ranger…

You really can’t blame Devon for sneaking into Grid Battleforce, can you? He’s a gamer, and Grid Battleforce sounds like it was plucked directly from a video game.

Devon’s dad, the mayor of Coral Harbor, references Rita Repulsa, Sledge, and Galvanax when talking about villains who’ve wanted to steal the Rangers’ powers. That’s a nice little moment, harkening back to not just the first season, but Dino Charge and Ninja Steel too.

Nate Silva, the genius “child prodigy” character played by Abraham Rodriguez, annoys me for some reason. Like Will Wheaton in Star Trek: The Next Generation, he’s got a very punchable face.

The Beast Morphers suits are…different. Even by kids standards, the spandex costumes on this show have always required a pretty big suspension of disbelief, not the least of which because of the zippers in back being clearly visible. In contrast, these suits appear to be made of a leathery material, with the zippers clearly visible in front for some reason.

I don’t dislike them, though. They’re an ingredient that makes Beast Morphers stand out amongst other seasons. Would I want the suits to be like this every season? No. But as a one-off they’re perfectly fine.

For whatever reason, Power Rangers loves to tinker with the DNA of its heroes. Case in point, Beast Morphers is merging human and animal DNA to give the Rangers animal-themed super powers. The speed of a cheetah, the strength of a gorilla, etc. As far as the risk/reward ratio is concerned, I wonder how that stacks up against being bitten by a radioactive spider. Or perhaps a radioactive jackrabbit…

Yeah, the Yellow Ranger’s DNA was merged with that of a jackrabbit. Cheetah. Gorilla. Jackrabbit. One of these things is not like the others.

For the uninitiated, Power Rangers is made using footage from the Japanese show Super Sentai. So the producers of Power Rangers are to a large extent beholden to what the Japanese creators do. In this case, I’d love to be able to ask those creators…Why a jackrabbit?

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Posted in Comic Books/Graphic Novels

Weekly Comic 100s: Mighty Morphin #4

***This is where we keep it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

TITLE: Mighty Morphin #4
AUTHOR: Ryan Parrott
ARTISTS: Marco Renna, Walter Baiamonte (Colorist), Katia Ranalli (Color Assists), Ed Dukeshire (Letterer). Variant cover by Eleonora Carlini.
RELEASED: February 10, 2021

We find out who the mysterious new Green Ranger is this month. As someone who read Parrott’s work on Go Go Power Rangers, the choice he goes with was rather obvious. But that’s not necessarily bad thing. It opens up some interesting story opportunities. Especially when it comes to the character’s apparent relationship with the news media…

The Dragonzord returns this month with a tweaked design courtesy of Promethea. I like it. But of course, the original can’t be topped.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Posted in Comic Books/Graphic Novels

Weekly Comic 100s: Mighty Morphin #3

***”Weekly Comic 100s” keeps it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

TITLE: Mighty Morphin #3
AUTHOR: Ryan Parrott
ARTISTS: Marco Renna, Walter Baiamonte (Colorist), Katia Ranalli (Color Assistant), Ed Dukeshire (Letterer). Cover by Inhyuk Lee.
RELEASED: January 13, 2021

Ryan Parrott has always been very good at putting the “teenage” in teenagers with attitude. Case in point, there are a couple pages in here that highlight a previously unseen rebellious streak in Billy. That’s something never even hinted at on the show.

On the flip side, Parrott seems to write Tommy a little more hot-headed than the show ever portrayed him. Marco Renna accentuates this on the art.

I nitpick, but these are still the best Power Ranger comics ever produced. So put it all in perspective…

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.