Last summer, Boom Studios made some waves by announcing that they’d acquired the comic rights to Saban’s POWER RANGERS franchise and planned on doing big things with the property in 2016 by launching a new series focused on the original MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS.

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Much as I did when I reviewed IDW’s BACK TO THE FUTURE #1, I feel that I should mention that I’m personally a fan of the POWER RANGERS franchise. While admittedly the various incarnations of the show are expressly for children (though certain incarnations such as TIME FORCE and RPM have some heavy adult themes) the inherent mythology itself is no more childish or fanciful than most superhero comics. Suffice it to say, I’ve been looking forward to this comic since pretty much the second it was announced at SDCC.

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The first of three stories that make MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS #0, from Kyle Higgins and Hendry Prasetya, begins with Rita Repulsa and the Green Ranger standing over the corpses of the Rangers, gloating about how they’re now free to conquer the Earth with no resistance. However, we quickly learn that it’s all in Green Ranger Tommy Oliver’s mind and that he and Jason Lee Scott (the Red Ranger) are driving to school. Tommy tries to play it off like he’s just nervous about his first day of school after becoming a Ranger (setting this series directly after the events of the “Green With Evil” saga from MMPR’s first season), but we quickly learn that Rita is actually speaking to him directly inside his mind.

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The two arrive at school and encounter the other Rangers, Kimberly Hart (pink), Trini Kwan (yellow), Billy Cranston (blue), and Zack Taylor (black). Through the school day, Tommy is continuously distracted by Rita’s voice in his head telling him he’ll never find a place on the team. He briefly finds solace in flirty texts from Kimberly, but it’s short-lived, as Angel Grove comes under attack from one of Rita’s monsters. While the rest of the school is evacuated to shelter, the six slip away and morph to confront the monster.

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The Rangers call on their Megazord and Tommy’s Dragonzord and begin battling the monster. Initially, Jason wants to move the beast away from the city’s bridge, but Tommy charges directly in, leading to the bridge being damaged and Kimberly needing to disengage her Zord briefly to rescue some civilians. The controls to Tommy’s Zord also freeze during the fight, though he’s able to push through and land a killing blow. Later, at the command center, Zordon warns the Rangers that they must learn to work together as a unit, especially since he believes that Rita was responsible for the Dragonzord failing. Meanwhile, one of Rita’s monsters, Scorpina, locates a crystal that Rita declares will mark a new beginning for them.

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In addition to the above A-Story, the book features two short B-Stories. The first features comic-relief characters Bulk and Skull pranking their principal, and then deciding that they must become better heroes than the Power Rangers in order to impress women. The second features the Rangers fighting Rita’s top general, Goldar, both in their morphed form and by using their Zords.

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As I said above, I had somewhat high expectations for this book, and the A-Story by the series lead team of writer Kyle Higgins and artist Hendry Prasetya didn’t disappoint. First off, it strikes an adult tone without becoming “dark” or “grim and gritty,” like many reboots tend to do. Secondly, it’s clearly marketed at people like myself who have some knowledge of POWER RANGERS canon, as numerous events from the series—and the “Green Ranger Saga,” in particular—are referenced without being laboriously explained. Prasetya’s art during the fight scenes is really well done, and the opening dream scenes of Tommy standing over the dead bodies of the other Rangers are truly haunting. His work on the characters out of costume isn’t quite as smooth, but it’s acceptable. The only problem I had with the issue was a lack of un-morphed character moments, though I have faith that that was more a page count issue than anything.

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Of the two short B-Stories, the Bulk and Skull one from writer Steve Orlando and artist Corin Howell was infinitely better. While it wasn’t essential to the book at all, it was amusing and perfectly captured the characters. The second B-Story, from Mairghread Harris and Daniel Bayless took everything that was good about the A-Story and ignored it. It read and looked like a children’s storybook aimed at kids and didn’t gel at all with the main story. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with POWER RANGERS material aimed at children—as I said above, it’s what the show is for—nothing about it fits here. Everything about this book, from the main story to the creative team to the covers is aimed at older fans of the canon. The children-friendly story isn’t advertised and it’s hidden at the back of the book, so it’s not even successfully drawing in readers on its own. Frankly, with all due respect to the hard work creators, I wish this had been dropped and the pages given over to the A-Story for characterization.

MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS #0 is a must-read for fans of the franchise. While the B-Stories may seem superfluous, the A-Story from Higgins and Praysetya does a great job of setting up their upcoming MMPR series.

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