Writer: Ryan Parrott
Artist: Daniele Di Nicuolo
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #45 is sort of a mixed bag. The issue starts off quite strong and, as with previous arcs, continues the current story arc’s trip into territory previously unexplored by the original MMPR series, but doesn’t quite stick its landing.
MMPR #45 thrusts us straight into the action, picking up directly from where #44 left off as Jason (now part of the elite covert squad of Omega Rangers) faces off in one-on-one combat against Lord Zedd. The battle with Zedd leads to conflict between the Omega Rangers and the new lineup of the Mighty Morphin Rangers. Jason, Zack, and Trini are torn between a desire to reveal their identities to and assist their friends and their new responsibilities as Omega Rangers, while the Mighty Morphin team deals with internal friction and disagreements with the Omega Rangers’ objectives. Finally, Kiya, the fourth Omega Ranger, still suffers from lasting psychological trauma caused by Lord Drakkon, the despotic Tommy Oliver of an alternate universe, and decides to rebel against her allies to prevent the rise of a potential new Drakkon.
Overall, the issue’s story isn’t bad. It’s great to see a real fight between the rangers and Lord Zedd, who only ever fought the White Ranger once in the TV series. The fight gives Zedd a chance to demonstrate his power, outclassing even the united Omega Rangers, while also giving the Omega team the opportunity to show off their skill and experience. The character interactions are strong as well, particularly those involving the ex-Mighty Morphin Rangers and Tommy, and they provide depth and development that was always missing from the TV series. For one thing, we get to see how Jason has progressed since he was first chosen to lead the Power Rangers, as opposed to his non-presence in the show after his, Zack’s, and Trini’s departure. At the same time, we see more of Tommy struggling to adjust to the responsibilities passed on to him, again, in contrast to the lack of attention given to that transition in the source material.
My problem with the story and with the issue in general lies with Kiya and the direction in which her arc appears to be heading: while her motivations are believable, her objective –” no more rangers” –feels cliche, as does her betrayal of her team. “Character we thought was an ally turns out to be the villain” is a trope that has been done several times in just the past few years: three times on the CW’s Flash and once in the MCU’s Doctor Strange, to name just a few. Hopefully Ryan Parrott has some curveballs planned for the rest of the arc, but for now, I’m not quite sold on it.
The issue does benefit from strong art by Daniele Di Nicuolo, who gives her characters exaggerated poses to emphasize the action. There is also a great deal of expression visible in the characters’ faces, and the choice to have some of the rangers’ eyes visible through their visors is an effective way to maintain that level of expression without unnecessarily removing the rangers’ helmets.
MMPR #45 is, for the most part, a fun and exciting read. It’s one major flaw comes in its final pages as the story takes a turn for the trite. It’s not enough to totally drag the issue down and there’s still an opportunity for some unexpected twists, but on its own, the ending doesn’t impress. Still, the Lord Zedd fight, stylized art, and some moments of emotional vulnerability from Tommy and Jason make the issue worth checking out.
Power Rangers #45
MMPR #45 is, for the most part, a fun and exciting read. It's one major flaw comes in the final pages as the story takes a turn for the trite. It’s not enough to totally drag the issue down and there’s still an opportunity for some unexpected twists, but on its own, the ending doesn’t impress. Still, the Lord Zedd fight, stylized art, and some moments of emotional vulnerability from Tommy and Jason make the issue worth checking out.