Astonishing Art: MMPR by Raptor Ranger

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

I’m not really a fan of “dark” takes on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Certainly there’s a portion of the fandom that enjoys it, but it’s never really been my cup of tea…

Still, great art speaks for itself. And that’s exactly what we get from Raptor Ranger here. I’ve got a soft spot for season one Goldar, and the dark look definitely suits him. Especially with the glowing red eyes. Raptor Ranger definitely depicts him as someone you wouldn’t want to run into in a dark alley.

Also, note the little Easter egg on the far right. That little “Broom Beetle” poster is a nod to the season two episode, “The Beetle Invasion.”

MMPR, Goldar, Raptor Ranger

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

Power Rangers Dino Fury, “Ultimate Mystery” Review (Lord Zedd Returns…Again!)

Lothorn, Power Rangers Dino Fury, Ultimate MysterySERIES: Power Rangers Dino Fury

EPISODE: S29:E12. “Ultimate Mystery”
STARRING: Russell Curry, Hunter Deno, Kai Moya, Tessa Rao, Chance Perez, Jordan Fite
GUEST-STARRING: Teuila Blakely
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Johnny Hartmann
DIRECTOR: Robyn Grace
PREMIERE DATE: September 29, 2022

SYNOPSIS: Amelia goes looking for Bigfoot. The Rangers find a destructive new monster.

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

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Now that we’re caught up on Dino Fury and are into what some might consider the home stretch, I feel like I can finally talk about the big cast announcement for next season, Power Rangers Cosmic Fury. It was announced in conjunction with this summer’s Power Morphicon event that the cast of Dino Fury will be returning for Cosmic Fury. As has been widely publicized, this marks the first time since Mighty Morphin Power Rangers that cast members will return as ongoing cast members for a third consecutive season of the show.

Side note: I can only assume that Power Rangers Cosmic Fury will run for two seasons, as all PR incarnations have for the last decade or so. This likely means the cast is returning for both third and fourth seasons…right?

I’m happy for everybody who gets to come back. There are pros and cons to this team, as there are to any team. But as far as the sum of its parts is concerned, this is probably the best team of Rangers the show has brought us in at least 10 years. And as the actors, writers, directors, and everyone involved will now have more time to put into them, they’ll only get better from here.

Dino Fury Rangers, Power Rangers Dino Fury, Ultimate Mystery

All in all, it’s a great time to be a Power Rangers fan.

This episode is called “Ultimate Mystery.” So what do we think the real ultimate mystery of the PR universe is? For my money, it’s why the Rangers abandoned the Zeo powers so readily in Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie. I mean, we know the real reason: They had a Turbo movie to make. But I’m talking from an in-universe perspective.

Jane denies Amelia’s request to cover the alleged Bigfoot sighting, and tells her to stay on the Area 62 story. This is the first episode that I can really recall Jane acting like an editor, and not playing things up for comedic purposes. I liked it. It gives her character a little more gravitas.

Speaking of Jane, are Kira Josephson and Victoria Abbott coming back as Jane and J-Borg for Cosmic Fury? I don’t see why they wouldn’t…

Commander Shaw (played by the returning Teuila Blakely, show below) contacts the Dino Fury team and tells them there’s been a jail break at one of their facilities. And hey! There’s the Beast Morphers team! Via Sentai footage, yes. But it is them! A neat couple of scenes from Teuila Blakely as Commander Shaw. Nice that they got her to do that.

Whoa! Hold on! Did Lothorn say he was Lokar’s nephew?!? That little throw-away line is a deep cut from Mighty Morphin. Great little gem, there. We’ll ignore the fact that he inexplicably retreated when he had the Rangers’ backs against the wall.

Lothorn got another cool throw-away later in the episode with, “Hey, I can see Angel Grove from here!”

I’m finding myself wishing the fights were a little less jokey. Lothorn is supposed to be this big, tough monster who fended off some of the Rangers’ most powerful attacks. And yet everybody’s quipping. I get that it’s a kids show. But despite its inherent cheesiness, this show has proven over nearly 30 years that it can be serious and dramatic when it needs to be. I was looking for some more of that seriousness and drama here.

This episode squeezes a lot into its last couple of minutes. First, some important last-minute character development for Amelia. We learn the reason she’s so interested in the mysterious and the paranormal is because of the mysterious circumstances surrounding her parents’ disappearance.

Then, we learn that Lord Zedd was behind the breakout at the Grid Battleforce facility, and that he was aiming to free Scrozzle (also from Beast Morphers). That’s an interesting pairing. I’m looking forward to seeing them together in episodes to come…

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

Power Rangers Beast Morphers, “Ranger Reveal” 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:
S26:E17. “Ranger Reveal”
STARRING:
Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Jamie Linehan (voice)
WRITERS:
Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Denise Downer
DIRECTOR: Oliver Driver
PREMIERE DATE:
November 16, 2019
SYNOPSIS:
The Rangers face the threat of their identities being made public.

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

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Early in the episode, Ben and Betty are catapulted into the back of a truck filled with leaves via a giant selfie stick. I almost hate to keep comparing these modern comedic duos to Bulk and Skull from Mighty Morphin. But they’re the precedent they’re all following. So I think it’s fair.

Bulk and Skull got into messy and cartoony situations, obviously. But I don’t remember them defying the laws of physics and reality the way cartoons do, and the way Ben and Betty sometimes do. That would be my one big criticism of what they do on this show. I’d argue that even little kids understand the basic rules of reality, and if you bend the rules of reality too far, it takes the viewer out of the moment.

In other words, the less likely it is that something can happen in the real world, the less funny it is. Just my opinion.

Vargoyle is voiced by Jamie Linehan, who also does Steel. Once you know that, it becomes difficult not to hear Steel when Vargoyle is talking. Even though Vargoyle’s voice does have more of that trademark Power Rangers villain growl.

Zoey and the other Rangers clearly don’t want their identities revealed to the public. And yet, they sit out in public with Steel. They’re the only ones hanging out with a friggin’ robot!!! How big a secret could their identities possibly be?!?

Still, I appreciated that they established how much more difficult it would be for the Rangers to do their jobs if they were famous. It was a nice way to set up stakes for the episode.

What we have here is a nice build on what we saw established in previous episodes, with Zoey’s mom (played by Sia Trokenheim) being a reporter. We had a nice message about her doing the right thing despite what it could do for her career. But this episode poses a similar question to the one posed by “Taking Care of Business” from an in-universe perspective: Why can’t Zoey just tell her mom she’s a Power Ranger?

Granted, we know why she can’t from a writing standpoint: Because that’s not how superheroes and secret identities work. Plus, the conflict makes for a good TV episode. But Zoey confiding in her mom would nip the problem in the bud pretty quickly.

Oh well. I’d wager their identities get revealed at the end of the series anyway. That’s often what happens on this show.

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

Power Rangers Beast Morphers, “Sound and Fury” Review

SERIES: Power Rangers Beast Morphers
EPISODE:
S26:E14. “Sound and Fury”
STARRING:
Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Madeleine Adams
WRITERS:
Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale
DIRECTOR: Riccardo Pellizzeri
PREMIERE DATE:
October 26, 2019
SYNOPSIS:
Zoey is blackmailed after a date(?) with Nate.

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

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Devon to Tubatron: “You’re nothin’ special, tuba!” That’s one of those lines where I’d love to be inside the actor’s head when they said it. I don’t care what acting school you go to, you’re never trained to talk to a tuba…

It’s always cool when you can see the actor’s face inside the Power Ranger helmet. So I dug it when the monster broke Devon’s visor with the soundwave. It brought back memories of scenes from seasons like Lost Galaxy and Time Force.

In the heat of battle, when Zoey and Ravi ride away on Cruise, they’ve still made the time to put their helmets on. I understand it’s a kid show, and they probably had to do that. But I can’t decide whether it takes me out of the moment or not.

Then again, I suppose if you have to consider such things, then you’re not in the moment, are you?

Madeleine Adams plays Megan (shown above), our sinister zord techie who’s secretly out for Nate’s job. She did a fantastic job. Very flamboyant. Great facial expressions. In another life, she could have played the Roxy character.

Nate says the word “phenomenal” a few times in this episode. Just for old time’s sake, if a character on this show is going to use that word, they should take the extra fraction of a second to say “Morphinomenal” per Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. I mean, why not?

I’m a little sour on the Nate character. I think he’s kind of a twerp. That being said, I love that Zoey was the one to pursue him in this episode, and not vice versa. It’s a great character moment for her. We know she has a shy side. But this shows us she can still be assertive when she’s going after something (or someone) that she wants. Perhaps I’ll come around on the Nate character if I start to see him through Zoey’s eyes…

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

Power Rangers Dino Fury, “The Hunt” Review

SERIES: Power Rangers Dino Fury
EPISODE:
S29:E9. “The Hunt”
STARRING:
Russell Curry, Hunter Deno, Kai Moya, Tessa Rao, Chance Perez, Jordan Fite
WRITERS:
Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Maiya Thompson
DIRECTOR: Catherine Bell-Booth
PREMIERE DATE:
March 3, 2022
SYNOPSIS:
The Rangers must decide whether to trust their apparent new ally, Void Knight.

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

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

This is how much of an old school Power Rangers geek I am: Snageye instantly reminded me of the lipstick monster from season two of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Then, once he started capturing the Rangers, I thought of “Power Ranger Punks,” the first PR episode I ever saw.

On the subject of mental association, when Jane and J-Borg saw the ghost, I immediately thought of Amelia’s thing for the paranormal. Is that good character work? Or just me remembering trivia? I’m inclined to think the former, but maybe I’m wrong…

Actually, the episode itself points out some nice character development: Ollie’s shift from a pure skeptic to someone who gives the ghost story a chance.

After Snageye knocks him down for the count, Void Knight gives Zayto the source of his power: the Dino Knight morpher and key. There’s our explanation for why the Dino Fury Rangers and Void Knight have similar looks. Their respective powers are apparently meant to go together.

So does the Dino Knight armor count as our Red Ranger’s battlizer for this season?

When Jane thinks the magician is in trouble, she jumps off that balcony to save him. Then, when J-Borg thinks Jane is being attacked by the ghost, she rushes in to save her. Our resident comedy characters have noble intentions, which is nice to see. They’re like Ben and Betty from Beast Morphers, in that sense.

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

The Essential Clone Wars: “Revenge”

***I must confess that, despite being a huge Star Wars geek, I have yet to see the landmark Clone Wars animated show in its entirety. I’m aiming to rectify that to a large extent here, as we look at pivotal episodes of the series in, “The Essential Clone Wars.”

SERIES: Star Wars: The Clone Wars
EPISODE:
S4:E22 – “Revenge”
WITH THE VOICE TALENTS OF:
Clancy Brown, Sam Witwer, James Arnold Taylor, Nika Futterman, Barbara Goodson
WRITER:
Katie Lucas
DIRECTOR:
Brian Kalin O’Connell
PREMIERE DATE:
March 16, 2012
SYNOPSIS:
Maul and Savage Opress enact their plan to kill Obi-Wan Kenobi.

***New around here? Check out our Star Wars review archive!***

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Very early in the episode, we hear Maul repeating the name “Kenobi” over and over again. Last time, I questioned how the Jedi knew Maul’s name. This time, I question how Maul knows Obi-Wan’s name. Did Nute Gunray know? Did Sidious know?

Barbara Goodson, who voices Mother Talzin, also provided the voice for another famous witch: Rita Repulsa on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. When she’s chanting and casting her spell on Maul, it’s the closest she comes on this series to sounding like Rita again. As a Power Rangers geek, that was pretty cool to hear.

As should be obvious to anyone who’s read the story, Maul’s new look is based on his appearance in the short comic book tale, “Old Wounds.” That story highlighted the Star Wars: Visionaries graphic novel released in 2005. It saw Maul, complete with robotic legs, travel to Tatooine to go after a toddler-aged Luke Skywalker. He was, of course, met by his old rival Obi-Wan Kenobi. Maul’s look, and the story itself, came to us courtesy of Aaron McBride.

Right before the fight with Maul and Savage Opress ensues, Obi-Wan does “the pose” (shown above). That’s what I’m calling it, at least. The one where he brings his saber-holding hand behind him, and holds his free hand out front. He did this in Revenge of the Sith, then later in Rebels, then again in Obi-Wan Kenobi. He even did it in Star Wars: Brotherhood. At this point, “the Obi-Wan pose” would be an apt name for it.

Obi-Wan and Asajj Ventress teaming up is a fun little arrangement. The episode ends with them fleeing together in a ship. I wish we could have seen how they parted ways, given their bitter history. Did they come to a mutual understanding and decide, in fitting with the episode’s opening tagline, the enemy of my enemy is my friend? It would have made for an interesting scene.

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

A Mighty Morphin #22 Micro-Review – Forever Pink

***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 22, cover, 2022, InHyuk LeeTITLE: Mighty Morphin #22
AUTHOR: Matt Groom
ARTISTS:
Moises Hidalgo, Raul Angulo (Colorist), Ed Dukeshire (Letterer). Cover by InHyuk Lee.
RELEASED:
August 3, 2022

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Considering what happens with Kimberly in this issue, it’s kind of a wonder that there’s no trace of the Pink Ranger on the cover. (It is a really pretty cover, though.)

Kim gets some reinforcements from the future in this issue, leading to a team-up one might call “Forever Pink.” It doesn’t get a huge number of pages, but what we get is short and sweet. As far as BOOM’s Power Rangers comics are concerned, this is a red-letter issue for this team-up alone.

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

The Essential Clone Wars: “Nightsisters”

***I must confess that, despite being a huge Star Wars geek, I have yet to see the landmark Clone Wars animated show in its entirety. I’m aiming to rectify that to a large extent here, as we look at pivotal episodes of the series in, “The Essential Clone Wars.”

SERIES: Star Wars: The Clone Wars
EPISODE:
S3:E12 – “Nightsisters”
WITH THE VOICE TALENTS OF:
Nika Futterman, Barbara Goodson, Corey Burton, Matt Lanter, James Arnold Taylor
WRITER:
Katie Lucas
DIRECTOR:
Giancarlo Volpe
PREMIERE DATE:
January 7, 2011
SYNOPSIS: 
Count Dooku turns on Asajj Ventress, who returns to her home planet to plot her revenge.

***New around here? Check out our Star Wars review archive!***

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

To my knowledge, the Nightsisters and the planet Dathomir were created by Dave Wolverton for his 1994 book The Courtship of Princess Leia. Here, nearly two decades later, those elements were used to further the story of not only Asajj Ventress, but as we’ll later see, Darth Maul.

I was surprised to learn that Mother Talzin is voiced by Barbara Goodson, who is widely known as the voice of Rita Repulsa in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Surprised, that is, because Talzin doesn’t sound anything like Rita. I’m always so impressed at the wide range that so many voice actors are capable of. You can now count Goodson among them.

On the subject of that range, this series has turned me on to the greatness of Corey Burton, who voices Count Dooku. He’s been active since the early ’70s, and the list of characters he’s lent his voice to reads like a laundry list. Several laundry lists, actually. On The Clone Wars alone, he voices Dooku, Cad Bane, and Ziro the Hutt. But his Wookieepedia page indicates his connection to the franchise actually goes back to 1979, when he voiced Luke Skywalker for a Disney read-along adaptation of the original film.

Me? I’m just impressed he provided the voice for both Dale and Zipper in Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers. What can I say? I’m on a kick because of the new Disney+ movie.

Apparently, if you want to kill a Sith Lord, your best shot is when they’re sleeping. We know from Revenge of the Sith that Palpatine killed Darth Plagueis in his sleep. And Ventress and the Nightsisters come pretty close to doing the same to Dooku here. They must be really sound sleepers…

This episode is written by Katie Lucas, daughter of George Lucas. She wrote numerous episodes of The Clone Wars. She was also one of the writers of an unproduced story arc that would have seen Asajj Ventress fall in love with a Jedi, and ultimately wraps up her story at large. Said story was later turned into the novel Dark Disciple, which is one of the better Star Wars books you’ll ever read.

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

Power Rangers Dino Fury, “The Makeover” Review

Power Rangers Dino Fury, the Makeover, Pop-Pop, AmeliaSERIES: Power Rangers Dino Fury
TITLE: S28:E19 – “The Makeover”
STARRING: Russell Curry, Hunter Deno, Kai Moya, Tessa Rao, Chance Perez, Jordan Fite
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Maiya Thompson, Guy Langford
DIRECTOR: Michael Hurst
ORIGINAL U.S. AIR DATE: October 15, 2021 (Netflix)
SYNOPSIS: As Amelia gets Pop-Pop ready for a date, the Power Rangers face a body-swapping monster.

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

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

In the Power Rangers universe, there’s a legendary pirate named “Purple Beard.” That sounds about right.

J-Borg is a host at Buzz Blast? I thought she was just an assistant for Jane. And yet, I love how the woman she’s interviewing doesn’t bat an eye at being interviewed by a cyborg.

Our monster for the episode is Boneswitch, a monster that can swap people’s bodies. He demonstrates his powers on Slyther and Mucus, and then later swaps Zayto and Amelia, as well as Ollie and Javi.

I think they missed a cool acting opportunity in this episode. They could have had Campbell Cooley and Torum Heng, the voices of Slyther and Mucus respectively, impersonate one another’s characters, and then had the Ranger actors impersonate one another. It would have made for a lot of fun. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers did an episode like that in its first season.

Power Rangers Dino Fury, The Matchmaker, Group Shot

Instead, they had Slyther speak with Mucus’ voice, Zayto speak with Amelia’s voice, etc. Lame. Even lamer? Pop-Pop apparently doesn’t realize that Amelia has a different voice. A male voice.

I did chuckle a bit when Aiyon got body-swapped with a pigeon. Corny, but amusing.

When the Rangers are body swapped, they can’t link to the Morphin Grid. At least not with their own powers. So they have to swap powers along with their bodies. I scratched my head at that one a little bit. But I suppose it’s fair enough.

Seeing the Mosa Razor Zord leap out of the water and grab Boneswitch was one of the cooler zord moments I’ve seen in the show’s recent history. Certainly the coolest one in Dino Fury thus far. 

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

A Mighty Morphin #13 Micro-Review- Getting Faces Right

***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 13, cover, 2021, Inhyuk LeeTITLE: Mighty Morphin #13
AUTHOR: Ryan Parrott
ARTISTS: Marco Renna, Walter Baiamonte (Colorist), Sara Antonellini & Katia Ranalli (Color Assistants), Ed Dukeshire (Letterer). Cover by InHyuk Lee.
RELEASED: November 10, 2021

Great cover by InHyuk Lee. Not just because of the coolness with Zedd’s staff, but the rendering of Billy/David Yost’s face.

I tend to say that if an artist can’t get Darth Vader’s face mask right, then it ruins a big portion of the book. The same can be said for Lord Zedd. Thankfully, Marco Renna gets it right here in a really cool scene at the moon palace between Zedd and one of the Eltarians.

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