Written by: Kyle Higgins
Back up by: Steve Orlando
Art: Hendry Prasetya
Power Rangers issue three written by Kyle Giggins with Steve Orlando on the back up, in my opinion, is a work of art! It’s not your typical Super Sentai action filled issue. That’s right! No morphin or fighting putties this issue, instead readers are treated with a unique approach. In this issue, Green Ranger, Tommy Oliver deals with a personal mental health issue. This is an issue that brings up a super sensitive topic, which is how do you talk about mental illness.
Tommy is struggling with residual affects of being under Rita’s curse. These residual effects mirror post traumatic stress syndrome. Kimberly who is Tommy’s girlfriend, helps Tommy with the first step of getting help. Tommy’s first action in overcoming the images of Rita in his mind is opening up to others about his problem and admitting he has a problem in the first place. Tommy admits he can’t handle dealing with these hallucinations by himself. Jason, after hearing this, is upset because he thinks Tommy shouldn’t be fighting when he isn’t in a sane state of mind on the battlefield. Zach is upset because Tommy was lying to everyone and saying he was fine. During the discussion, Zordon and Kimberly defend Tommy. Zordon and Kimberly share with the others that Tommy’s hallucinations are a very personal issue and that everyone needs to work together to help him overcome it.
It is also important to note in our American society, men have a hard time opening up about our inner most feelings. I am glad Higgins decided to are make this issue and the series feel real and bring up moral and societal issues. The authors do a good job in presenting the theme of dealing with mental illness and bring a top to light, that is often over looked.
Also in this issue, Higgins does a great job humanizing the Rangers by allowing viewers to feel apart of their conversation at the Angel Grove diner and also their time at school. We see some 1 on 1 time with Trini and Tommy. Trini helps Tommy by applying her scientific knowledge, with the use of some cool Power Rangers technology, to learn more about Tommy’s hallucinations. Readers witness his hallucinations first hand and if you put yourself in Tommy’s shoes, you would be screaming in terror too!
Another interesting scene we get to see is Gordon being punished by being imprisoned in a lonely cell at Rita’s palace. I wish this scene was a bit longer and drawn out. I would’ve liked to see some more depth in the villain conversations and monologues. These epic deep conversation scenes are spectacular, but unfortunately, like last issues we get plenty of scene jumping and sequences you wish were a little longer but are cut short to save space. Higgins would definitely benefit from a few more pages. I’d pay more for a little more meaty issue!
Now, regarding the continued plot, readers get a delicious taste of what’s to come. Rita’s latest attempt to dominate the world and crush the Rangers is finally revealed and at the end of the comic. We see that some really epic Zord artwork and foreshadowing of some awesome Zord fights in the future. My favorite panels of the whole comic is in the beginning when we see Tommy’s mom turn into a deranged Rita and at the end when we see the gigantic Dragonzord about to emerge from the ocean. Oh yeah! If you haven’t read any of the Power Rangers issues yet, it’s not too late and the series is just starting to get MORPHIN!
Overall, this issue is touching and has more tremendous artwork from Hendry Prasetya. The cover is eye catching and makes this comic an instant collectible and the variant covers aren’t to shabby either. A little bit of action and tons of heart-felt moments are a welcomed change in the power rangers series. My only cynical opinion is I think the issue needs to give more time to other characters like Zordon and Zach, which have not given a fair share of panel time yet. I am looking forward to, hopefully longer and more heartfelt, action packed issues!