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 Power Rangers, Television

Power Rangers Dino Fury, “The Matchmaker” Review (First LGBTQ Ranger!)

Power Rangers Dino Fury, The Matchmaker, Izzy and FernSERIES: Power Rangers Dino Fury
TITLE: S28:E13 – “The Matchmaker”
STARRING: Russell Curry, Hunter Deno, Kai Moya, Tessa Rao, Chance Perez
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Maiya Thompson, Guy Langford
DIRECTOR: Chris Graham
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: October 15, 2021 (Netflix)
SYNOPSIS: Javi tries to set Izzy up with someone from her training class.

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

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Let’s not bury the lede: This episode ends with the revelation that Izzy, played by Tessa Rao, is the Power Rangers franchise’s first LGBTQ Ranger. She walks off hand in hand with Fern, played by Jacqueline Joe.

It’s tough to look at this as anything but a positive. Though I suppose if one were fishing, one could chide the franchise for taking so long to have an LGBTQ Ranger. But let’s look on the bright side. This is a happy moment. And I’m happy it’s the Izzy character that gets this distinction. Unlike a lot of Rangers we’ve seen over the years, she’s got spunk and personality, both via writing and performance. Izzy represents the community well.

I maintain that the more diverse the Power Rangers cast is, the stronger it is. That’s not strictly a race or a color thing. It also applies to things like family structure, economic background, religion, or in this case sexual orientation. The days where three out of five Power Rangers are straight white kids should have been over a long time ago. Thankfully, Dino Fury reflects that.

When the monster is disguised as Adrian, he recites a poem to Izzy that’s written on a scroll. As in, “Hear ye! Hear ye!” It made for a funny visual.

Another funny visual? Zayto disguising himself as an old lady. Very Mrs. Doubtfire.

Utterly buried by the subject of Izzy’s sexuality is this episode’s other revelation: Void Knight is human (shown above). Knowing how monsters work on this show, he could have been just another big suit creature. But him actually being human definitely adds to his whole tragic villain vibe.

Mucus turning into slime during the spat with Void Knight was a nice touch. Or perhaps not slime. But, well…mucus.

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

Posted in Power Rangers, Television

Power Rangers Dino Fury, “Super Hotshot” Review

Power Rangers Dino Fury, episode 12, Super Hotshot, Zayto, IzzySERIES: Power Rangers Dino Fury
TITLE: S28:E12 – “Super Hotshot”
STARRING: Russell Curry, Hunter Deno, Kai Moya, Tessa Rao, Chance Perez
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Maiya Thompson, Guy Langford, Johnny Hartmann
DIRECTOR: Chris Graham
ORIGINAL U.S. AIR DATE: October 9, 2021 (Nickelodeon)
SYNOPSIS: Unbeknownst to her, Izzy’s new trainer has greedy motivations.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Izzy asks her dad if she can have an advance on her allowance so she can buy a membership to Coach Bella’s gym. To me, this begs the question…Izzy still gets an allowance? How old are you when you’re supposed to stop getting one? When you’re old enough to get a job? Izzy and Javi’s dad must be a softy.

Although maybe I’m a softy too. I thought Izzy’s “puppy dog” impression (shown below) was pretty cute.

Campbell Cooley’s performance as Slyther continues to be a pleasure to listen to. It’s reminiscent of his work as Cosmo Royale in Ninja Steel, which was equally amazing.

Zayto: “Oh, we’ve got all the toys!” The Power Rangers franchise went a little meta with that line, didn’t it?

Power Rangers Dino Fury, Super Hotshot, Javi, Izzy

I initially thought this episode was the first appearance of Fern, Izzy’s rival turned friend. Turns out “Winning Attitude” has that distinction. Either way, Fern is about to become one of the more notable civilian characters in the show’s history…

I’d argue the greed moral of this episode is even more poignant to adults than it is to kids. That moment where the other Rangers all give money to Izzy was really sweet.

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

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 Power Rangers, Television

Power Rangers Beast Morphers – “Real Steel” 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:E12 – “Real Steel”
STARRING: Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Colby Strong
WRITER: Chip Lynn
DIRECTOR: Riccardo Pellizzeri
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: October 5, 2019
SYNOPSIS: A rift forms between Nate and Steel. Meanwhile, a cloner robotron infiltrates Grid Battleforce.

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

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

It’s interesting to me that the physical manifestation of Morph X is bright green slime. Then again, it’s Nickelodeon. Maybe that’s to be expected.

Incidentally, Real Steel is an overachiever of a movie. It’s pretty tough to go wrong with Hugh Jackman.

I enjoyed the dynamic between Nate and Zoey in this episode. She acts as the voice of reason when his emotions and his inexperience get the better of him. It’s nice groundwork for the more romantic stuff that’s obviously coming.

We keep seeing that same female technician (shown above). In this episode she has the line about there being an intruder in Nate’s lab. It’s not a bad thing, I’m just finding myself wishing that we knew more about her. Or at least her name. All I know about her at this point is that she’s played by Amber-Rose Henshall.

After 12 episodes, I still find the Nate character a little annoying. But it has nothing to do with Abraham Rodriguez. From an acting standpoint, I think he’s actually quite good. Particularly by kids show standards. When he’s playing the clone monster, he has to pun “I copy that” to Colby Strong (Blaze). Not an easy line to motivate without coming off hokey. But he did it.

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 – “Tools of the Betrayed” 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!!!***

Striker Megazord, Power Rangers Beast Morphers, Tools of the BetrayedSERIES: Power Rangers Beast Morphers
EPISODE: S26:E11 – “Tools of the Betrayed”
STARRING: Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Liana Ramirez
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Johnny Hartmann
DIRECTOR: Oliver Driver
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: September 28, 2019
SYNOPSIS: A white lie tests Devon’s trust in Zoey.

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

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Coming off “Thrills and Drills,” Beast Morphers feels a little heavy on what I’ll call the “after school special” element lately. That kind of thing has always been a part of Power Rangers. But there’s something to be said for moderation and pacing.

As the episode opens, we see Devon coaching Ravi and Zoey in a blindfolded training session. From a writing standpoint, I get why Devon is coaching. He’s the Red Ranger, the leader, etc. But given his experience level compared to the others, shouldn’t Ravi be the one coaching?

If you ask me, Devon got what he deserved. He trusted his video game to Ben and Betty, the most accident prone people he knows. What did he think was going to happen?

Zoey, Power Rangers Beast Morphers, Tools of the Betrayed

Tooltron, the monster that can disassemble devices on command, threatening to use his power to take Steel apart was a nice touch.

New zord configuration, the Striker Megazord. (shown at top). Looks cool. But as always, modern zords lack a certain punch.

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

Posted in Power Rangers, Television

Power Rangers Beast Morphers, “Thrills and Drills” 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:E10 – “Thrills and Drills”
STARRING: Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Liana Ramirez
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale
DIRECTOR: Oliver Driver
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: September 21, 2019
SYNOPSIS: Ravi must face his fear of the dentist in order to defeat Roxy’s latest robotron.

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

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

We see Steel working out with the Rangers at Riptide Gym. Has Morph-X made advanced tech so common in Coral Harbor that they can just do that without anyone batting an eye? Seems strange to me. 

Along those same lines, Roxy is able to quietly steal a drill from a city worker. You’d think she’d attract attention walking around dressed like that.

The whole dentist/drill premise is something of a groaner. But when you really start to think about that drill…*shudders*…you realize it might not be so silly after all.

I know it’s kids show acting, but I love how Ravi is clutching the side of his helmet to indicate he has a toothache. That’s kinda like holding your hat when you have a headache, isn’t it?

Nate: “I won’t really panic unless I see something with eight legs.” Steel: “Don’t you worry, brother, there’s no octopuses here.” I actually laughed at that. Good line.

These Beast Morphers zords are starting to grow on me. Granted, they still don’t have as much personality as the older, pre-CGI zords did. But I’m warming up to them.

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.