AN MMPR/TMNT II #2 Micro-Review – The Witch in Leather

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

MMPR:TMNT II 2, cover, January 2023, Dan MoraTITLE: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II #2
AUTHOR: Ryan Parrott
ARTISTS:
Dan Mora, Raul Angulo (Colorist), Ed Dukeshire (Letterer)
RELEASED: 
January 25, 2023

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

“Ranger X” is the name of Rita Repulsa’s new brainwashed Power Ranger. That’s a cool name for a Ranger…

Between this book and the storyline in the MMPR ongoing right now, there seems to be an impetus to put Rita in tight leather outfits. What’s the deal with that?

The TMNT and MMPR worlds seem much more integrated in this book. For instance, there’s talk of there being Rangers in Dimension X’s past. The two teams even shout “Power-Bunga!” together. Not sure how I feel about that last one.

Either way, Mora and Angulo make it all look epic.

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

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers – “Once and Always” Trailer and Images Released

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Pardon me while I scream like a little girl…

The trailer was accompanied by the following images. (Credit to Entertainment Weekly, obviously.)

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EW also reports that Barbara Goodson (the voice of Rita Repulsa) and Richard Horvitz ( the voice of Alpha 5) are on board for the special!

Do I seem excited? Because I’m pretty damn excited.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Once and Always drops on Netflix April 19.

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

An MMPR/TMNT II #1 Micro-Review – A Little Training

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

MMPR:TMNT II 1, variant cover, December 2022, Bon BernardoTITLE: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II #1
AUTHOR: Ryan Parrott
ARTISTS:
Dan Mora, Raul Angulo (Colorist), Ed Dukeshire (Letterer). Variant cover by Bon Bernardo. 
RELEASED: 
December 28, 2022

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

This is a beautifully drawn issue. Both in terms of the variant cover (which is a tremendous tribute to the original TMNT #1) by Bon Bernardo, and the interiors by Dan Mora and Raul Angulo.

It’s quite evident that Ryan Parrott has these characters down pat. Case in point: My favorite part of the issue is a quite little training scene with Jason and Leo.

We also see Don and Mike in “human” form. In a cool nice little twist, they’re both black. I don’t know that that’s something the majority of fans would call.

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

Power Rangers Beast Morphers, “Golden Opportunity” Review

***As big a Power Rangers fan as I am, I must admit: I’m a little behind on modern PR. Here’s where I attempt to fix that, as I check out episodes of Power Rangers Beast Morphers!***

SERIES: Power Rangers Beast Morphers
EPISODE:
S27:E16 – “Golden Opportunity”
STARRING:
Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Liana Ramirez
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Chip Lynn
DIRECTOR: Oliver Driver
PREMIERE DATE:
June 19, 2020 (UK), October 31, 2020 (US)
SYNOPSIS: 
Nate must choose between being with his parents and being a Power Ranger.

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

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

This episode gives us something I’ve been hoping to get from Beast Morphers: Some time with Nate’s parents. Devon, Ravi, and Zoey all have a parent that we know. It’s only natural that we meet at least one of Nate’s.

Incidentally, the Nate character has grown on me. I thought he was a little bit of a twerp when the series started. But time has softened my stance on him. Maybe it’s just a matter of spending a little time with someone…

This episode is pretty ambiguous about what Nate’s parents actually do overseas. Perhaps that’s on purpose. All the episode really tells us they move around, make things better, and then move on. Sounds like it might be a Peace Corps or American Red Cross type thing.

The little moments between Nate and Zoey in this episode are nice. Abraham Rodriguez and Jacqueline Scislowski don’t have a lot to work with in terms of giving their romance actual substance. But their performances are believable nevertheless. You can say what you want about the acting on Power Rangers, but those two are good.

If these were the Mighty Morphin days, I’d have actually been concerned Nate was being written off the show. This is one of those “move away” stories they always used to use to write characters out. Jason, Zack, and Trini went to Switzerland. Kimberly went to Florida. Now we’ve got an episode about Nate potentially moving to Costa Rica with his parents.

After Devon, Nate, and Steel destroy the Gigadrone with their zords, they rush back to rendezvous with the others as they fight against Robo-Roxy. As usual, they arrive via car. But I mean…couldn’t they have just gotten there in the zords? Why did they need to drive themselves there? And it again raises the question of why they can’t be teleported.

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

A Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #103 Micro-Review – Lord Zedd on Life Support

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

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers 103, cover, December 2022, Taurin ClarkeTITLE: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #103
AUTHOR: Melissa Flores
ARTISTS:
Simona Di Gianfelice, Raul Angulo (Colorist), Ed Dukeshire (Letterer). Cover by Taurin Clarke.

RELEASED: December 21, 2022

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Beautiful cover by Taurin Clarke, who’s also currently doing covers for The Flash.

We get yet another surreal Lord Zedd moment in this issue, as he lays in the Command Center on life support. We also get Kimberly essentially fire-bombing a regular-sized monster with her zord. Melissa Flores has been thinking outside the box.

Simona Di Gianfelice Is a great fit for MMPR, especially when it comes to drawing the Ranger suits and zords. I’m less a fan of these ’90s era characters being fashioned like they’re in the modern era. But that’s an editorial decision, not an artistic one.

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

Power Rangers Beast Morphers, “Grid Connection” Review (Jason Returns!)

***As big a Power Rangers fan as I am, I must admit: I’m a little behind on modern PR. Here’s where I attempt to fix that, as I check out episodes of Power Rangers Beast Morphers!***

Jason, Power Rangers Beast Morphers, Grid ConnectionSERIES: Power Rangers Beast Morphers
EPISODE:
S27:E15 – “Grid Connection”
STARRING:
Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez
GUEST-STARRING:
Austin St. John, Brennan Mejia, Yoshi Sudarso, James Davies, Davi Santos
WRITERS:
Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Chip Lynn
DIRECTOR: Oliver Driver
PREMIERE DATE:
June 18, 2020 (UK), October 24, 2020 (US)
SYNOPSIS: 
The Rangers (along with some friends) take on Evox, Goldar Maximus, and their forces.

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

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

The episode begins with Keeper showing back up to tell the Rangers about a vision he’s seen via the Morphin Grid. One of “many Power Rangers in a mighty battle” in which the Rangers are beaten. He adds that he can’t know which Ranger teams were fighting, as the vision was not clear.

So…Keeper couldn’t tell which Rangers were fighting in his vision? Y’know, these Ranger teams have pretty distinct costumes. They’re only similar in that they have a lot of the same colors. You’d think he’d be able to at least give them a hint or something. Was the whole thing blurry or something? Was he not wearing his glasses?

Keeper also says that Devon was hit by a meteor in his vision, which subsequently happens. Mind you, Devon isn’t even morphed when he’s hit, and he winds up totally fine. His clothes aren’t even tattered or burned. This could very well be one of the biggest affronts to the laws of reality in Power Rangers history. Like, right up there with being able to breathe on the surface of the moon.

Tyler transmission, Power Rangers Beast Morphers, Grid Connection

Moments later, Grid Battleforce gets a distress call from the Dino Charge Rangers, which Nate says is from “another dimension.” I get that the “another dimension” line is probably the best way to get us into the scene, get it moving, etc. But it also makes it sound like Nate has no idea where the message is coming from. And remember, Grid Battleforce has obviously had some degree of communication with the Dino Charge dimension before, as they have access to their records, weapons, and what not.

“It’s from a familiar dimension,” might have been a better line. It’s roughly the same length, and it doesn’t make Nate look stupid.

After the rest of the Beast Morphers team are bested by Goldar’s forces, Devon sends out a distress call through the Morphin Grid that’s answered by Jason, the original Red Ranger. Any time Power Rangers can bring back someone who either hasn’t been back on the show in awhile, or hasn’t been back at all since they left, it’s special. Often the further back you go, the more special it is. As such, having Austin St. John back to play Jason for the first time in roughly 18 years is a huge deal. “Grid Connection” rightly treats him with reverence. Though not to the point of worship, as we saw with Tommy back in “Dimensions in Danger.”

Did they make Austin have to shave his beard for this? In virtually every picture I’ve seen of him in the last decade or so, he has one. I suppose it tracks that they might have wanted him to shave and look a little more like the Jason of old. But it’s still a little silly. Let him have the beard. What’s the big deal?

About two years after “Grid Connection” aired, “Morphin Master” dropped. That episode casually revealed that it was the Green Morphin Master who sent the Tyrannosaurus power coin to Devon via the meteor, which in turn called out to Jason. Why she chose to send the coin via a meteor is another question entirely…

The revelation in “Morphin Master” flew in the face of a headcanon idea I had: That whatever allowed all the past Rangers to morph in “Legendary Battle” had restored all lost powers. So for instance, the original Mighty Morphin Rangers, including Jason, would have gotten their powers back permanently. As we see with “Grid Connection” and “Morphin Master,” that’s probably not what happened. But it might have simplified things as far as explaining how different Rangers have gotten their powers back. It also might have explained how Tommy got his Master Morpher.

Unfortunately, Austin St. John’s return largely overshadows the Dino Charge actors being back again. This includes Camille Hyde and Michael Taber providing the voices for Shelby and Riley, who only appear in morphed form. Let’s not take them for granted, though.

Jason and the Dino Charge Rangers are ultimately confronted by Goldar and his forces, leading Jason to reveal his four Mighty Morphin teammates, along with the Red, Blue, and Yellow Dino Thunder Rangers, already morphed. Obviously, none of the original actors were back, even in a voiceover capacity. But it’s still amazing to see these three dino-themed teams on screen together. Granted, it was only done because they had the Sentai footage of all the counterparts being brought back for Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger vs. Go-Busters. But let’s not look a gift horse in the mouth. We got a big dino-themed team-up, with presumably as many of the original actors as they could afford to bring back.

What’s interesting about this to me, both on the Sentai side and the PR side, is that the Go-Busters/Beast Morphers team is largely cast aside in favor of the big dino battle. Granted, Devon comes in at the end to lend a hand. But usually these team-ups at least try to give everybody equal emphasis. It’s hard to deny that the Beast Morphers team, the incumbent team mind you, gets pushed aside here. That’s a shame, as after 30 episodes, they’d earned the right to get their due in a big team-up like this.

Dino Charge also gets a little more emphasis in the battle than the other two dino teams. That makes sense on the Sentai side, as the story was ultimately about their counterparts teaming with the Go-Busters characters.

Let’s talk about Trini. Thuy Trang, who played the original Mighty Morphin Yellow Ranger, was tragically killed in a car accident in 2001. As of this writing, we know that a young actress and martial artist named Charlie Kersh will be playing Trini’s daughter in the upcoming Power Rangers 30th anniversary special. So it might be safe to assume that from a story perspective, Trini has died in the Power Rangers universe. I think that’s probably the right route to take. We certainly wouldn’t want anyone else trying to play Trini.

As Trini is presumably gone, it would make sense that Aisha, Trini’s successor as the Yellow Ranger, is the one in the costume here. Unless they retroactively tell us in the 30 anniversary show that Trini’s daughter took on her mother’s role.

Dino Thunder may be, top to bottom, my favorite series PR has ever produced. So to see those Rangers (shown above) represented here is, of course, a thrill. But as thrilling as it is, it’s also a little frustrating that neither James Napier (Conner, the Red Ranger), Kevin Dunahey (Ethan, the Blue Ranger), or Emma Lahana (Kira, the Yellow Ranger) were able to come in for a voice cameo. It really would have added an extra layer of authenticity and awesomeness to the whole thing. I’m assuming their absence has something to do with the show not wanting to spend extra money for what would ultimately amount to a few lines.

If there were ever a time to play “Go Go Power Rangers,” it would have been during Jason’s morph, on into the opening minutes of the fight. Preferably the classic Ron Wasserman version, obviously. But I’d even have taken the edgier version they used for Samurai and Megaforce. I’m extremely curious as to why PR seems so averse to using old theme songs for team-ups like this.

Jason’s lines about Zordon and Serpentera were nice little fan service moments. Incidentally, when he compares Serpentera to Evox’s Chimera Zord, he says the latter has six heads. But…*goes back and counts…it has seven. Whoops.

The big zord fight at the end featuring the three Megazords, including the original Mighty Morphin one, was nice. At least in theory…

Granted, this is all on the Sentai footage. But like a lot of modern zord fights, it was too much CGI and not enough suit work. The Chimera Zord is, conceptually, amazing. But there wasn’t anything that looked mechanical about it. Then, once we got into the fight with all the lasers and the flying, it looked like a big video game. Seeing the original Megazord during that big CGI assembly clip just felt wrong…

The device that Jason uses to open the portal at the end of the episode is just like the one Wes used to do the same thing in “Dimensions in Danger.” That might imply there’s been some kind of contact between Jason and Wes that we don’t know about. Or maybe Jason and Time Force.

I nitpick because that’s part of what I do with these reviews. But in truth, we were lucky to get what we got in “Grid Connection.” This feels like an anniversary episode, though it isn’t. Realistically, they didn’t have to adapt this Kyoryuger vs. Go-Busters footage for Power Rangers. They also could have done it really lazily, without Austin St. John or any of the old cast members. Instead, despite its flaws, “Grid Connection” feels like a labor of love. A love that’s been dishearteningly absent from other PR seasons.

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

Power Rangers Beast Morphers, “Boxed In” Review

***As big a Power Rangers fan as I am, I must admit: I’m a little behind on modern PR. Here’s where I attempt to fix that, as I check out episodes of Power Rangers Beast Morphers!***

SERIES: Power Rangers Beast Morphers
EPISODE:
S27:E8 – “Boxed In”
STARRING:
Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Jamie Linehan (Voice)
WRITERS:
Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Cameron Dixon, Maiya Thompson, James Collins
DIRECTOR: Oliver Driver
PREMIERE DATE:
April 18, 2020
SYNOPSIS:
Devon and the Red Racer Zord are forced to run a Gigarone gauntlet.

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

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

I can’t even tell you how big a kick I get out of this episode being centered around the Pan Global Games, in essence the PR universe equivalent to the Olympics. From a writing standpoint, the games were simply used as a way to write Kimberly off the show way back in season three. And yet here we are talking about them more than 25 years later in season 27. As a long time fan, that attention to detail is really cool to see.

Speaking of the Olympics, I assume this episode was scheduled to coincide with the the 2020 Summer Olympics. Which of course, thanks to COVID-19, didn’t happen. Not on time, at least.

Wait…the Rangers themselves have to check the various Morph-X towers in Coral Harbor? Again, I find myself asking: Doesn’t Grid Battleforce have workers that can do that sort of thing?

I suspect there are some folks behind the scenes at Power Rangers who are wrestling fans. We see a Powerbomb and other wrestling moves used in this episode. Also, the commentator borrows several catchphrases Jim Ross or Michael Cole have been known to use on WWE programming, including…
– “He’s tougher than a $2 steak!”
– “Vintage Alphadrone!”
– “Business is about to pick up, here!”

The zord action in this episode was a step up from what we usually see. I suspect I’m biased toward it because of the lack of CGI sequences. They used the heck out of those zord and Gigadrone suits.

Ravi was a massive dick in this episode. I mean, I get it. That’s his arc. He has to be selfish about wanting to see the games, and then apologize for it at the end. But still. I mean, damn dude…

The other Rangers get caught in traffic, and thus are delayed in coming to help Devon as he’s trapped in the bizarre pocket dimension. I’ve posed this question before. But I’ll do it again: Do the Rangers not have a working teleporter? It’d be a heck of a time saver. Just sayin’.

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

Astonishing Art: Jason David Frank by Bon Bernardo

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Bon Bernardo has been featured on this site before. That’s not an accident. As far as Power Rangers art is concerned he’s one of the best, if not the best, I’ve ever seen. He captures everything almost perfectly. And several days ago, he posted what’s undoubtedly one of the most important and emotional pieces he’s ever done…

I’m still torn up about Jason David Frank’s suicide. I probably will be for a long time. And during a period where so many of us are mourning the loss of this titanic figure from our childhoods (and adulthoods, for that matter), Bernardo came through with this stunning image of JDF ascending into heaven via a white light. Fittingly, it’s not unlike the way the White Ranger descended into the Command Center in “White Light, Part II.”

You are missed, Jason. For more than just Power Rangers. We love you.

Jason David Frank, Tommy Oliver, Bon Bernardo

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

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #102 Micro-Review – Under Zedd’s Mask…

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

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers 102, cover, November 2022, Mateus ManhaniniTITLE: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #102
AUTHOR: Melissa Flores
ARTISTS:
Simona Di Gianfelice, Raul Angulo (Colorist), Ed Dukeshire (Letterer). Cover by Mateus Manhanini.

RELEASED: November 23, 2022

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Have we ever seen Lord Zedd with his mask off? I don’t think we have. Either way, he gets it ripped off in this issue and we see what’s underneath…ouch.

“Mistress Vile” is an interesting alternate shade to Rita Repulsa. It feels weird to call her “Dark Rita,” as Rita is already evil. But that’s what she feels like.

This issue gets pretty dramatic toward the end. Very nicely done by Flores, Di Gianfelice, and everyone involved.

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

Power Rangers Beast Morphers, “The Blame Game” Review

***As big a Power Rangers fan as I am, I must admit: I’m a little behind on modern PR. Here’s where I attempt to fix that, as I check out episodes of Power Rangers Beast Morphers!***

Steel, Power Rangers Beast Morphers, The Blame GameSERIES: Power Rangers Beast Morphers
EPISODE:
S27:E6 – “The Blame Game”
STARRING:
Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Jamie Linehan (Voice)
WRITERS:
Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Johnny Hartmann
DIRECTOR: Oliver Driver
PREMIERE DATE:
April 4, 2020
SYNOPSIS:
Steel takes lessons in discipline a little too far.

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

The inciting incident for this episode is when Steel sees a father punish his daughter for littering by telling her to pick up extra pieces of trash. His initial instinct is to say that the father is being mean, but the Rangers quickly explain to him what punishment and discipline are.

The funny thing about this is that the way the incident plays off, Steel is actually right the first time. The father does come off disproportionately harsh about his daughter letting a single piece of trash fall to the ground. I say that as a parent myself. And the funny thing? Steel proceeds to act disproportionately harsh about matters of discipline for the rest of the episode. So if the Rangers had been paying attention from the start, a whole big mess could have been avoided.

Steel goes on to punish workers at Grid Battleforce for very minor infractions by having them sweep the parking lot, clean toilets, etc. Do the Rangers really hold rank over grunt workers like that? Do they actually have the authority to tell someone to clean toilets? If so, why? Or are the workers just intimidated by a robot Power Ranger making demands of them like that?

Ben and Betty, Power Rangers Beast Morphers, The Blame Game

Betty says that the leaf blower she and Ben are using “sucks.” She might be the first person in the show’s history to say that something sucks. I’d thought that distinction went to Izzy a couple seasons from now. But Betty may have beaten her to the punch.

Incidentally, if Bulk and Skull had done that Morph-X powered leaf blower bit back in Mighty Morphin, it totally would have ended with Bulk’s pants being vacuumed off his body. Oh, how times have changed.

Controlatron takes control of Cole, and subsequently Nate, using what Blaze refers to as a “virus-infected puppet.” That terms sounds like something you’d call someone when you want to insult them. “Dude, you’re just a virus-infected puppet!”

Abraham Rodriguez, who plays Nate, had a tall task in motivating that “I’m a good little puppet” line. Perhaps note quite as hard as his “I copy that” line in “Real Steel.” But still…

Back in “Save Our Shores,” I wondered how the show would handle the co-existence of Blaze and Roxy with their robot counterparts. Apparently the show’s answer to that dichotomy is to simply not feature the good versions of Blaze and Roxy at all. Have we even seen them since?

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