Written by: Kyle Higgins
Art by: Hendry Prasetya
After the heavy, action-packed pages of issue #0 to reintroduced us to this franchise, Kyle Higgins begins to sow the seeds of doubt into the readers’ minds as well as Zack’s and Tommy’s minds. Can we (they) trust the Green Ranger? Through the high school amateur film student point of view of the classic numskulls, Bulk and Skull, we see what the Rangers (although no one else knows that these five ordinary teens with attitude are actually the Power Rangers), the general public, and most important, Tommy Oliver (the Green Ranger) think of the Green Ranger now working with the Power Rangers. Compared to when I was a kid watching this series brand new, I don’t think I ever had to second-guess or think about any plots of betrayal. In this arc, the general public of Angel Grove isn’t so easy to accept that the once-destructive threat of Dragonzord and Green Ranger are now working with the good guys. We (the reader and citizens of Ranger Capital Angel Grove) want answers and an explanation as to how this once-evil opponent is now on our side. I’m really impressed with how deep and emotionally rich this series has become. This isn’t just as simple of a plot as the original live-action series was. This is beginning to play out as an intense drama with mistrust and self-doubt slowly becoming the main story.
The artwork of Hendry Prasetyo keeps the familiar faces of the Power Rangers in all their ethnically diverse Power Ranger goodness. Working in tandem with the script, we can really see these characters’ unique personalities come through in the pages. Again, if you are new to the series, it is easy to tell what each character is supposed to represent. Jason is the overprotective problem-solving (red) leader and Billy and Trini take to the tech issues as the stereotypical (blue) nerd and (yellow) supportive roles. Kimberly is the (pink) crush I . . . I mean ranger that Tommy wants to trust and love for her caring, and Zack rounds out the group as the (black) untrusting, do-everything-on-my-own type of hero. And the main focus for this arc is on the character of Tommy (green), who the Rangers were so quick to trust, but not everyone is ready to accept that he is on the side of good, even himself. Each of the characters are drawn and modeled to look similar to their live-action show selves. Admittedly it would have been hard to read this as a collective fandom if the names were the same but their faces and personalities were very much different from what is ingrained in us. As fans of a series, we gripe and moan when a reboot or revamp of the franchise comes along, and it isn’t exactly like the original, or at least what our mind sees as the original. I’m happy not too much has changed, but after a few issues, I will be ready to accept a change in appearance.
Of course, this issue isn’t the action-packed giant robot-on-monster battle royal that we got in issue #0, but it is very important, to me at least, to have the seeds of doubt start and to see it grow over the course of a single day. With Rita lurking in Tommy’s delusional mind as she prepares to unleash some kind of new terror, it’s only a matter of time before the Green Ranger/Dragonzord takes out more than just a bridge (symbolic of the burning bridges metaphor?). As a final note, the villains seem much more terrifying in this format, through a combination of the illustrations and lack of a goofy voice-over. A very high note for me on this series, only two issues deep, are the covers and variants. Issue #0 came out with the full color array of the Rangers, each with his or her own cover. This issue came out with nearly a dozen variants ranging from an epic Japanese woodblock-style painting of Green versus White Ranger, an action-filled scene with all the rangers, a cover similar to a poster I got as a kid for Easter (Kim and Tommy embracing), and the amazing cover of the Red Ranger standing on top of his Tyrannosaurus Rex Zord. I hope this series continues to do well, because I need more of these variants in my life!