Posted in Power Rangers, Television

Power Rangers Beast Morphers, “End of the Road” 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:E3. “End of the Road”
STARRING: Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Colby Strong
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Patrick Rieger
DIRECTOR: Oliver Driver
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: March 16, 2019
SYNOPSIS: As Zoey tries to promote Morph-X-powered bicycles to save a forest, Blaze plans to steal the Morph X.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

I understand that kids shows often require dramatic actions that spell things out for developing young minds. But Zoey jumping in front of a bulldozer to save a tiny lizard…I mean, really? You sure about that? It’s noble, I’ll give her that. But it’s a little too much for my tastes.

Apparently, people in Coral Harbor are only impressed by bicycles powered by the Power Rangers’ Morphing Grid if they have two seats. Not just one. Apparently, the people in Coral Harbor are very stupid.

You can call the monsters on this show silly, but I’d be damn scared of Needletron (shown below). You never know what those needles have touched.

I don’t want to like that conversation Nate has with Zoey where he talks about not having much of a family, wanting a brother, etc. I’m still not warmed up to the Nate character. But I have to admit, they took an opportunity to develop his character and ran with it. It works.

I’m fairly certain this episode gives us the first “Rangers on bikes” sequence in the show’s history. The Beast Morphers suits made them look like BMX cyclists. Very well done.

Were those “banana rockets” the gorilla zord shot at Needletron? And did Needletron subsequently slip on a giant banana peel? You know what? Sure. Why the heck not?

“Virus eliminated” is a pretty cool post-battle phrase. Concise and to the point.

It’s interesting to me that we now know a parent of each Ranger. Devon’s dad is the mayor, Zoey’s mom is a TV reporter, and of course Ravi’s mom is Commander Shaw. If they was ever a time to do another “villain kidnaps the team’s parents” story, it’d be now.

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

Posted in Power Rangers

Power Rangers Beast Morphers, “Evox’s Revenge” 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:E2. “Evox’s Revenge”
STARRING: Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Teuila Blakely
WRITER: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Johnny Hartmann
DIRECTOR: Simon Bennett
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: March 9, 2019
SYNOPSIS: As Evox and the villains assemble, the Rangers face conflict over who their leader should be.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

The Blaze and Roxy avatars are teleported to the Cyber Dimension where they encounter Scrozzle, who will ultimately serve as one of Evox’s henchmen. He’s also the creator of the Tronics, the villainous foot soldiers for Beast Morphers.

Sometimes I find myself wishing this show would get a little more creative with its voice acting. Scrozzle has virtually the same scratchy, high-pitched voice we’ve heard from villain toadies over and over throughout the show’s life. Can’t we come up with something a little more fresh?

Evox, our computer virus and lead villain for Beast Morphers, takes the form of a big snake (shown above). It’s hardly the best CGI you’ll ever see. But other than that, no complaints. I buy it.

This episode introduces us to the Beast Bots, robot companions for our three Rangers. Nate quickly announces that their circuits infused with animal DNA. That’s one of those things that sounds cool at face value, but when you really think about it, makes no sense. At least not without further explanation. Are we supposed to believe these things are synthezoid robots, like Data or the Vision?

Kelson Henderson, who’s been cast on the series several times, once again returns as the voice of Cruise, Devon’s Beast Bot. He was first on the show back in 2005, as Boom on Power Rangers SPD.

Ben and Betty are our comedic side duo this time around, playing the roles previously filled by Bulk and Skull, Cassidy and Devon, Victor and Monty, etc. Historically, when comedy is incorporated this way, the show does a pretty good job of keeping it amusing rather than annoying. Cosme Flores and Kristina Ho are able to keep that tradition alive. I can also appreciate that they’re at the Rangers’ base, getting into hijinks with the tech, gear, etc. That’s a dynamic we haven’t seen in awhile.

Apparently one of the show’s ways of establishing that Devon is a video game nut is simply having him generically reference video games time and time again. At best it’s a little contrived. At worse it’s flat out grating.

These animal-related weaknesses, such as Zoey needing carrots to charge up because of her jackrabbit DNA, are silly and eye-rolling. But because this is a show meant for young children, it’s an acceptable kind of silly. Though in Devon’s case, I highly doubt cheetahs are afraid of dogs. Much less a friggin picture of a dog…

I don’t have any major complaints about the zord stuff here. Power Rangers obviously exists in part to sell toys. But I remember seeing some of the Ninja Steel zords and thinking the “toyification” of the show had become a little too blatant. Especially when we got to the Ninja Steel Megazord. But by modern standards, these zords are fine. At least so far.

I appreciated the way “Evox Unleashed” handled the question of who the team leader would be. Ravi and Zoey both wanted it bad enough to openly compete with one another, whereas Devon simply wanted to do a good job. Thus, not wanting to be the leader so badly ironically made him the perfect choice to lead the team. I like that moral for kids. It’s alright to want something, but not to the point that it supersedes all your other responsibilities.

Although, maybe these kids should have been paying closer attention to the franchise they’re in. C’mon noobs. The Red Ranger is always the leader…

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

Posted in Power Rangers

Power Rangers Dino Fury: “Sporix Unleashed” Review

SERIES: Power Rangers Dino Fury
EPISODE: S28:E2. “Sporix Unleashed”
STARRING: Russell Curry, Hunter Deno, Kai Moya, Shavaughn Ruakere, Kira Josephson
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale
DIRECTOR: Charlie Haskell
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: February 27, 2021
SYNOPSIS: Ollie devises a plan to catch the Sporix monsters on the loose, and executes it without the knowledge of his teammates.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

I’ve got a beef with modern day morphs: They’re way too wordy. It goes, “It’s morphin’ time! Dino Fury key, activate! Link to Morphing Grid!” C’mon, folks. We’ve only got about 22 minutes here. Let’s move things along…

Also, link to Morphing Grid? I suppose that’s practical. But much like “Activate Beast Power!” in Beast Morphers, it’s not very creative. What’s the deal? If you can’t think if something quick and catchy for them to say, just stick with “It’s morphin’ time!”

I suppose I’m just old, but the notion of drones being used on Power Rangers is quaint to me. It’s a good thing, though. The more this show can keep up with the times, the better.

When Zayto, who’s been asleep since prehistoric times, asks where all the dinosaurs are, Amelia says: “Well, they’re mostly in the movies.” Mostly. I love that. Nice subtle nod to…you know…28 years of continuity.

Power Rangers Operation Overdrive doesn’t get a lot of love. Simply put, it wasn’t very good. That being said, I did enjoy the small Overdrive reference in this episode. During the scene at Buzz Blast, “Hartford Robotics” is printed on the box the android comes in (shown left). That kind of thing is cute, harmless, presumably easy to do, and fans get a kick out of it.

So the henchgirl’s name is Mucus. Again, I’ve got to call them out for lack of creativity on this one. Was Phlegm taken? I do like that she can turn into green slime, though.

While I’m not a fan of the morphing call, the CGI portion of the morph sequence is pretty awesome. I can’t bring myself to complain about that.

Thus far the music, composed by Bert Selen, really adds a lot to Dino Fury. It’s heavily synthesized, which I’m sure isn’t for everybody. But it gives the show a particular flavor, and the heavy percussion adds a lot to the fight sequences.

The “toyification” of Power Rangers, which many see as the show’s entire purpose for existing, is in full effect here. The Rangers have swords with a t-rex head on the hilt, and can manipulate the jaw to do various super-powered stuff. Are they selling that sword at Wal-Mart yet? Even as an adult, I’ve got to admit it’s pretty cool.

I saw some fans on Twitter were happy to see the Rangers teleporting. Frankly, it’s hard to believe teleportation ever left Power Rangers. During the first several years of its existence, it was a big part of the show’s DNA.

You know what would be nice? If Ollie’s mom figured out he was a Power Ranger. Not because he told her, but because she…you know…recognized her own son’s voice and body language. I don’t expect characters on a kids show to be that competent. But this woman is supposed to be a brilliant scientist, right?

I hope kids get a kick out of the zords they see on Power Rangers. Because as an adult, they generally don’t do much for me. All the CGI that’s been integrated into zord sequences for the better part of 20 years now muddies them all together, making them less distinct.

That said, the T-Rex Champion Zord looked pretty good. The CGI and practical effects were blended together fairly well. By modern zord standards, it scores high.

Well how about that? The Rangers are, in essence, using crowdsourcing as their monster alert system. Civilians can call, text, or DM Sporix sightings to the Rangers. I like that a lot, and I don’t believe anything like it has been done before.

Void Knight and Mucus (shown above) are using an abandoned base called “Area 62” as their lair. I’ve got no issues with that. Obviously it’s a take-off of Area 51. It does, however, make me wonder what happened to Areas 52-61…

Dino Fury has come out of the gate strong. I’m mostly pleased with what I’ve seen so far. I’m legit looking forward to the next episode!

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

 

Posted in Toys

Toy Chest Theater: Goldar by Josh Wentworth

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Depending on where in the world you live, Goldar (or at least a rough imitation of Goldar) recently popped up in Power Rangers Beast Morphers. The footage is available on YouTube, for those of you who haven’t seen it. Austin St. John makes a guest appearance as Jason, the original Red Ranger. So it’s worth it for that alone.

Goldar’s re-emergence of sorts inspired me to post this shadowy image from Josh Wentworth. If they’d had the means, or even the desire to make Goldar look this cool on the original series, I imagine this is how he would have entered the Dark Dimension. You know, that enclosed smoky setting out in space? A setting in which we originally saw him fight, ironically enough, Jason.

Very much worth noting is the fact that this is a customized Lightning Collection Goldar (see the above image for reference). I hate to say it, but Wentworth’s paint job actually makes the original figure look that much more…well, plastic. In our little world, that’s not always an insult. But in this case, a darker Goldar is definitely an upgrade.

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

Posted in Power Rangers, Television

Jenna Rae Frank Coming to Power Rangers?

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Is Jason David Frank’s daughter about to turn Power Rangers into a family business?

PopLurker.com stirred up the Power Rangers fandom Saturday morning, with the story: “Actress Jenna Rae Frank Rumored to Lead Power Rangers as the Next Red Ranger.”

Jason David Frank, of course, played Tommy, the Green Ranger, on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers in the early ’90s. He stuck with the show until 1997, returned for a season in 2004, and has done a few one-offs since then. He currently co-owns Power Morphicon Express, a traveling fan convention making its first stop next spring in Pasedena, TX.

Mind you, the article is only a “What if they did this?” fan pitch. It offers nothing in the way of evidence. But lets not be foolish enough to dismiss it outright.

For one thing, this is obviously something the Franks want. I suspect they were actually involved in getting the PopLurker story published, as it conveniently coincides with this “action audition” posted to 14-year-old Jenna’s YouTube page…

According to her IMDB page, Frank’s only on-screen credit, outside of appearing in her father’s YouTube show My Morphin Life, is an episode of 6 Rounds of Chloe, which is labeled as “filming.”

For the record, I’m not saying putting her on the show would be a bad decision. A sort of “legacy” choice like this would drum up a lot of good will with older fans. Which, now that the franchise is under the new ownership of Hasbro, would be a wise publicity move.

Plus, you’ve got to believe JDF would want at least a little on-camera time with his daughter, so it would give them a nice excuse to bring Tommy back again. The Christmas episode of Power Rangers Super Ninja Steel just did something like that with brothers Yoshi  and Peter Sudarso.

Power Rangers Beast Morphers premieres premieres on Nickelodeon this February, and is expected to run through 2020. So the soonest we might expect to see Frank on screen with a morpher in her hand would be early 2021.

Follow Primary Ignition on Twitter, or email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com.

Posted in Comic Books/Graphic Novels

MMPR: Shattered Grid: 25 Morphinominal Moments, Part Four

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

As it happens, these last two installments of our countdown are largely going to be monopolized by Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #29 and #30 respectively. Naturally, Kyle Higgins, Daniele Di Nicuolo, and the crew at BOOM! Studios have ramped things up as we move toward this week’s finale. You’ll see that here, as four spots are occupied by moments from issue #29.

(Part One. Part Two. Part Three.)

16. Lightspeed Rescue appearances.
Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue is a perennially underrated season, in my opinion. Sadly, that point is accentuated by the fact that Lightspeed is fairly underrepresented in Shattered Grid. Not as bad as, say, Operation Overdrive. But still.

However, we do get a few appearances from Carter, the Red Lightspeed Ranger. And issue #29 does start with an appearance from Kelsey, the Yellow Lightspeed Ranger. Oddly enough, she’s in a push-up contest with TJ. Mind you, her hair is the wrong color. But I’m just grateful she made the cut!

17. Andros, Karone, Zordon, and Kruger.
One thing I’ve complained about as it relates to the main MMPR comic, is how characters are learning too many things about their future. The appearance of Saba, the Thunderzords, etc. But of course, I threw my hands up once we got to Shattered Grid, and simply opted to enjoy the story. So this little moment with Andros and Karone managed to be a highlight for me. The story obviously isn’t about them specifically. But this relationship is an important one in the annals of Power Rangers history. So to see it get spotlighted like this is pretty cool.

Zordon and Kruger also get a little scene on the same page. I wouldn’t have mentioned it, were it not right after this Andros/Karone exchange. But it’s cool in its own right.

18. Terra Venture revelation.
Outside of what we saw in the outstanding MMPR #20, the Grace Sterling character hasn’t done much for me. I appreciated the Promethea concept, though. Even moreso when we got this little gem of a revelation…

Promethea is Terra Venture, the space colony that serves as the setting for Power Rangers Lost Galaxy. I mean, c’mon! How damn cool is that? They didn’t have to go there. But they did. And I love ’em for it!

19. Reinforcements from the Future
This is a beautiful moment. Conceptually, artistically, or virtually any way you want to look at it.

As they prepare to face Lord Drakkon’s forces, our heroes discover the cavalry has arrived…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holy crap, that’s gorgeous. The splash page on the right even has a Kevin Maguire, Justice League International feel to it.

While I highly doubt this was intentional, I appreciate that Daniele Di Nicuolo put the Quantum Ranger at the front of the pack. Jason, Kimberly, and the others are seeing the future here, after all. Also, note the appearance of the Rangers from the upcoming Power Rangers Beast Morphers.

20. Tommy’s “second chance.” (Go Go Power Ragners #12)
Up to this point, Go Go Power Rangers had been Tommy-free. Present-day Tommy, at least. That ultimately works to the book’s advantage. The Green Ranger isn’t hogging the spotlight, and we get to focus more on our five heroes.

However, the series makes an exception in issue #12, when Ranger Slayer tracks Tommy down. She shoots him with a super-powered arrow. The future Green Ranger is hurt, but not killed. Kimberly says she’s giving him a second chance. I suspect we’ll find out what she meant in the finale.

It’s definitely a thrill to see Dan Mora draw Tommy, the Green Ranger, and the Dragonzord. By the by, we find Tommy working out at a gym while it’s closed. I suspect that’s meant to imply that his family doesn’t have a lot of money, so he can’t afford a gym membership. Not sure where they got that notion, though. To the best of my recollection, it was never established on the show…

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