Power Rangers Beast Morphers, “Making Bad” Review (Goldar Returns…sort of)

***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!***

Goldar Maximus, Power Rangers Beast Morphers, Making BadSERIES: Power Rangers Beast Morphers
S27:E14 – “Making Bad”
Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Campbell Cooley (Voice)
Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Maiya Thompson, James Collins, Cameron Dixon
DIRECTOR: Simon Bennett
June 17, 2020 (UK), October 17, 2020 (US)
Evox’s forces debate which villain to revive to take on the Rangers.

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

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

“Making Bad” is a strange episode. Not necessarily strange in a bad way. But strange nonetheless.

The premise is that Scrozzle, Robo-Blaze, Robo-Roxy, and the other villains are debating about which villains to bring back next with the Reanimizer. They watch old footage of villains like Koragg, Astronema, Lord Zedd, and Psycho Red before finally settling on their choice. As a long-time fan that’s really cool to see, even if the footage is “watered down” (more on that in a bit).

But from a storytelling perspective, it’s odd that the episode spends so much time teaching us about villains we ultimately won’t end up seeing.  The four villains mentioned above have no impact on Beast Morphers whatsoever. So what’s the point in talking about them? Simple fanservice?

Lord Zedd footage, Power Rangers Beast Morphers, Making Bad

Incidentally, seeing how much Lord Zedd is emphasized in this episode and the previous one, I can’t help but wonder if at this point they already knew what they were going to do with Zedd in Dino Fury

Most of the retro footage we see in this episode has a “watered down” feel to it, as it’s all been re-dubbed by different voice actors. It’s not limited to actors inside suits, either. The “conventional” performances, where you can see the actors’ faces, are dubbed as well. For instance, in the footage we see from Power Rangers in Space, Melody Perkins (Astronema) and Christopher Kayman Lee (Andros) are dubbed over by new actors. And for the most part the original actors, like Perkins and Lee, weren’t used for the dubbing. (The only major exception is Koragg/Leonbow, whose actor Geoff Dolan does return).

According to research done by Linkara, this may have something to do with voice-only tracks for those old episodes not being available. Whether that’s actually the case or not, the effect is the same: It sucks. It really takes the punch out of seeing characters like Zedd and Astronema referenced in modern PR.

Trivia note: The actress who dubs for Rita’s voice, Susan Brady, also voiced the character during her brief appearance in Mystic Force.

After Robo-Roxy suggests Astronema be revived, Robo-Blaze says she should remember Astronema became a good guy from Ranger History Class. So wait, Blaze and Roxy took the class too?!? Who’s in this class, anyway? Did Nate take it too? Are Devon, Ravi, and Zoey still taking it as the series continues? I want to know!!!

Robo-Roxy, Power Rangers Beast Morphers, Making Bad

Robo-Roxy is batting a thousand in this episode, as she refers to King Mondo from Zeo as “King Mondu.” Whoops.

While the villains are debating about who to bring back, the Rangers spend some time hunting for a jewel thief who picks his targets in alphabetical order. It ultimately turns out to be a Robotron, who may very well be the stupidest jewel thief of all time.

Evox’s forces ultimately choose to revive Goldar, albeit an “upgraded” and enhanced version of Goldar. He’ll ultimately be referred to as Goldar Maximus, so that’s what we’ll call him here. Once again, Goldar’s original voice actor, Kerrigan Mahan, is not used. I’m not sure if it was a union issue (which Power Rangers has run into historically), an issue of not wanting to pay a certain amount to get him, or something else. Even more than the dubbed retro footage, that hurts the final product. No disrespect to Adrian Smith, who was ultimately picked to voice Goldar Maximus. But as a kid, a huge part of why Goldar had such an imposing presence, especially in season one, was because of the beastly and animalistic voice Mahan used. It just doesn’t feel like Goldar without him doing the voice.

Behind the scenes, the decision to use Goldar was dictated by the Sentai source material they’d been using for “Finders Keepers,” this episode, and the next episode, the movie Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger vs. Go-Busters: The Great Dinosaur Battle! Farewell, Our Eternal Friends. (Yeesh. That’s a title…) The film sees Goldar’s Sentai counterpart, Grifforzer, return in the altered form we see here. So to a large extent, if they wanted to use Kyoryuger vs. Go-Busters, they had to use Goldar…

Goldar Maximus, image 2, Power Rangers Beast Morphers, Making Bad

Or did they? Would it have been too lame to make the altered Grifforzer suit Goldar’s son, or some kind of relative? That would solve the Kerrigan Mahan issue.

On Evox’s order, Goldar kills Sledge for his insolence. That’s a nice little feather in Goldar’s cap, as Sledge was, of course, a lead villain. And I have no doubt Sledge will be back somewhere down the line. Beast Morphers was the third consecutive series he’d appeared in, after Dino Charge and Ninja Steel. The guy is hard to keep down, that’s all I’m sayin’.

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

A Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #20 Review – Summer of ’69

TITLE: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #20
AUTHORS: Kyle Higgins, Ryan Ferrier
PENCILLERS: Daniele Di Nicuolo, Bachan. Cover by Jamal Campbell.
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASED: October 25, 2017

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

One thing you can’t take away from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #20? It knows how the moon works.

Throughout the show’s history, Power Rangers has had a really weird take on the moon. The most notable example is probably the iconic “Forever Red” episode, where we see 10 years worth of Red Rangers fighting unmorphed on the lunar surface. They can breathe freely, and the gravity is the same as on Earth. The entire sequence looks suspiciously like it takes place in California somewhere…

That’s not the moon we get here. This is the genuine article. How do we know? Because the issue opens with the moon landing in 1969. In true Power Rangers fashion, our astronauts accidentally unleash an alien threat. And so, decades before Jason and the others take up arms against Rita Repulsa, Zordon must choose a team of heroes to protect the Earth. They are Earth’s first Power Rangers, and their story isn’t quite as happy as that of their successors.

I initially frowned upon the idea of Jason’s team not having the distinction of being the “original” Rangers of Earth. But transplanting the Power Rangers concept into the ’60s is too good an idea to pass up. It’s just a shame we don’t have time to flesh it out. Everything gets crammed into this one issue, and certain elements suffer as a result.

Our leader and Red Ranger is Grace Sterling, whose older self we’ve met in previous issues. She’s a secretary at the PR equivalent of NASA, with dreams of going into space. At her side are a British rock musician, a Russian communist, a Vietnam War veteran, and an idealistic youngster. Obviously these characters are written to clash. The problem is making it believable and organic in such a short time. For instance, there’s an exchange between the Pink and Yellow Rangers about whether the war is right or wrong. But they’re on the moon! Plus, because we know so little about these people, and the conflict only lasts about two panels, it’s almost not even worth it. In a perfect world, giving this story three or four issues would have granted it much-needed breathing room.

As this MMPR series has progressed, we’ve seen Kyle Higgins cherry pick elements and ideas from around the Power Rangers timeline. He does that here with the use of Psycho Green, a villain spinning out of the evil Psycho Ranger team from Power Rangers in Space.  I’ve gotten on Higgins’ back for muddying the pre-established continuity, but this is harmless enough. It’s a nice little tribute to PRiS. Interestingly enough, Psycho Green is apparently the right hand to another PRiS villain, Dark Specter.

MMPR: Pink artist Daniele Di Nicuolo is back for this issue, and is also solicited for issue #21. Di Nicuolo does well in the Power Rangers universe. But I was a little caught off guard by how jacked the male Rangers looked in morphed form. It’s fairly consistent with what he gave us in Pink. Maybe the alternate costumes distracted from it?

Either way, Di Nicuolo draws an awesome Psycho Green. The gender swap element in this book is also interesting to look at. Our Red and Black rangers are women, while our Yellow and Pink Rangers are men. That’s a nice little twist on things.

The scene with our five new Rangers in the Command Center is an issue highlight for me. Zordon has been absent for much of this series (the amazing issue #15 notwithstanding), so it’s great to spend a little time with him. It’s also the only time we get to see our unmorphed heroes interact with one another. Di Nicuolo gets to play with facial expressions, body language, etc.

“The Ongoing Misadventures of Squatt and Baboo” continue as well. For whatever reason, I’ve found these a little more palatable than the Bulk and Skull stories we got in earlier issues. Squatt and Baboo fight the Megazord this issue, which goes about as well as you’d imagine.

Considering how much hype MMPR #20 was given, not spending more time with this 1969 team seems like a wasted opportunity. Obviously what we saw here will factor into the coming issues, as Grace continues to interact with the Rangers. So in all fairness, we don’t have the whole story yet. But my immediate reaction is that they could have done so much more with this idea. But I’ll credit the BOOM! Studios crew for at least making it a reality. It’s a nice bit of world-building, in a series that’s already given so much to the Power Rangers mythos.

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