Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #40
Writer: Ryan Parrott
Artist: Daniele Di Nicuolo
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #40 needed to knock it out of the park for me. When I read the summary for this issue before the issue actually came out, I was honestly ready to be underwhelmed and maybe even disappointed. Issue #40 kicks off a new story arc, Necessary Evil, which sees the return to “regularly scheduled programming” with the series finishing up Beyond the Grid, the solid follow up the massive Shattered Grid event from last year. Both were stories that went above and beyond what any of the Power Rangers shows could do on TV and to follow that up with the idea of the Rangers just going back to life as it was in Angel Grove seemed like a step in the wrong direction. Well, I could not have been more wrong.
Necessary Evil: Part One does see the return of the Rangers to Angel Grove and to their lives as they were before Shattered Grid, but it jumps forward in time a bit and gives us the long-awaited appearance of Tommy Oliver as the White Ranger! Also the first appearance of Aisha, Adam, and Rocky as the Yellow, Black, and Red Rangers (respectively), effectively catching the comic up to the middle of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Season 2. This is where the comic shines as it takes the new status quo of the Ranger team and delves into some great character development.
In the show, when Aisha, Rocky, and Adam came in, they were just kind of… there all of a sudden and the show carried on as normal. The comic, however, takes a beat and shows us how the three new team members struggle to keep up with their more veteran counterparts and struggle to adapt to life in Angel Grove after transferring schools. Along those same lines, Tommy is having issues adapting to his new White Ranger powers. Both of these are examples of why I love reading this comic – it gives us a chance to see this material, and these characters and situations elevated beyond the cheese of Saturday morning. I loved Shattered Grid and Beyond the Grid because it allowed the writers to take the mythos and lore of the Power Rangers and do insane, huge things with it that could never have been done on TV, but it looks like Necessary Evil will be leaning into more character-driven storytelling and I am 100% on board with that.
This issue not only marks the beginning of a new story arc but also brings in a new creative team, with Daniele Di Nicuolo handling the art. This series has always had a bit of a manga feel but I felt like Beyond the Grid leaned into that a bit too hard and my eyes often had a hard time deciphering what I was supposed to be reading. That is fortunately not the case with Di Nicuolo’s art. The action is clear and the settings and backgrounds are detailed yet unobtrusive. What really helps the art stand out though, is the color work done by Walter Baiamonte (with assistance from Daniele Ienuso). Every color pops off the page and helps give the comic that little bit of a Saturday morning cartoon feels.
As a kid, I loved Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and it did have a fair bit of character development, but let’s be honest, that incarnation of the Rangers was, and is, a kid’s show. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, the comic book, fantastically elevates that previously kiddie material and delivers a series that any fan of the Rangers should enjoy.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #40
This issue brings in some long-awaited fan favorite characters and character incarnations and elevates those characters with some fantastic character development and a twist ending that will shock any fan of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.