Go GO Power Rangers #6 Review
In a similar way that Boom! Studios’ Mighty Morphin Power Rangers title takes place directly after the events of the original TV show’s Green With Evil story arc, their second ongoing title Go Go Power Rangers has been focused on showing the aftermath of the first ever episode of Power Rangers. Writer Ryan Parrott and artist Dan Mora’s main goal for this series has been to add depth and character motivation that connects to the main MMPR title and the original series in interesting unforeseen ways. Issue #5 continues with this mindset, contributing to the lore while ramping up the stakes to the second arc’s climax at the school dance.
The actual plot of the book follows the Rangers' further adjustment with their new status as teen heroes, the student body of Angel Grove High preparing for the Homecoming Dance, and Rita Repulsa's Putty double agent still masquerading as a friend to the Rangers' civilian identities, Matthew Cook. Though all of those plotlines definitely share the issue’s spotlight, a plot thread involving Blue Ranger Billy Cranston is the most expertly crafted. Billy is in the midst of deciding between a life-changing opportunity, interning with the organization Promethea, and whether or should pursue this chance or continue his duty as a Ranger. While the subject of Rangers juggling super-heroics with everyday life has been utilized in past iterations of the franchise, this is a great usage of the trope. It makes sense for Billy to be having doubts about his Ranger abilities early on what with his being the least athletic of the group. There is also a beautiful bit of continuity in this issue: eagle-eyed readers may note Promethea’s current role in the main MMPR book, with Billy even offhandedly mentioning how he almost accepted an internship there. Having those events play out in one book while being referenced in another is a great touch for readers investing time into both titles.
In addition to broadening Billy’s character growth, issue #6 also expands on other previously unseen backstories to the Power Rangers universe. Starting with issue #5, each installment of Go Go Power Rangers has contained brief 3-page flashbacks to the early conquering days of Rita Repulsa. Issue #6’s flashback shows how Rita Repulsa came into the acquaintance of her evil alien henchman Squatt. Backstories for antagonists can be a tricky double edge sword, offering insight into character's motivation on one hand, but also running the risk of de-legitimizing their threat by showing elements of the past that are too vulnerable. The Rita Repulsa flashbacks, however, have been handled very well, with Rita’s actions being in line with her core character but still offering surprising new insight.
The script is very tight; there are, however, a few hiccups keeping the book from being exceptional. While the subplot with Billy is well handled, beyond it, the issue does not really progress. Parrott is clearly setting up events for later in the arc, and while that is fine, it becomes increasingly distracting when those moves are played so transparently. It makes the story feel like filler and a less important read. There are, of course, hints at things like Bulk and Skull facing a reckoning at Homecoming, real Matt escaping, and Putty Matt having an existential crisis, but none get enough attention in the issue to feel substantive. Putty Matt is also at the center to the book’s biggest flub, with Parrott dipping into accidental spoon feeding territory. During a fight scene, Black Ranger Zack glimpses the putty Matt talking to other Putties. Putty Matt then informs Rita he suspects Zack viewed this interaction, with Zack then going on to explain just the encounter to Yellow Ranger Trini a scene later. It is all overdone taking up valuable page real-estate that could have been filled by other character interactions.
It is actually a shame considering artist Dan Mora’s spectacular job of conveying Zack’s initial interaction with putty Matt through body language. Mora’s art, in general, is fantastic, but feels especially suited for Power Rangers. His action choreography is creative and engaging, the way he frames scenes is brilliant and relevant to whatever emotion he needs to convey, and he does a spectacular job of instilling personality and emotions of the characters in their designs alone. The Rangers’ suits are nightmares artistically, considering their helmets block off the major distinctive facial features. Mora, however, makes the ensemble not only look incredible but identifiable with the reader understanding a Rangers' current state of mind from nothing more than a tilt of the head or the stance of their body.
For all of its faults as an individual reading experience, Go Go Power Rangers still has a lot going for it making it a worthy installment for fans. It is important to consider that this is a chapter in a longer serialized story and that reading it when all of the installments are available might help its flow issue. As is Go Go Power Rangers #6 offers a unique take on the Power Rangers franchise that, for better and worse, leaves the reader wanting more.