Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #26 // Review
The Shattered Grid continues to break and crack as the Power Rangers comic event continues to trailblaze on. Issue 26, by the creative team of Kyle Higgins, Daniele Di Nicuolo, Walter Baiamonte, is comparatively slower than the last issue in ways that compliment and detract from the ongoing narrative. The book loses some of its earlier momentum, but retrieves it quickly, ultimately ending the installment as another insightful and enjoyable piece in this larger story.
Tommy Oliver, the Green Power Ranger, is dead. Slain in issue #25 by an evil version of himself known as Lord Drakkon from a twisted timeline. Drakkon has returned to the timeline with a kidnapped Ninjor in tow, and plans sinister machinations with dire consequences for the entire Power Rangers multiverse. The Rangers, meanwhile, mourn their fallen comrade in both their heroic and civilian identities, while planning the next step to ensure his death is not meaningless in the conflict with Drakkon. Teaming up with the Time Force Pink Ranger Jen Scotts, the Rangers learn about the cosmology of PR multiverse. Through further exposition, Scotts reveals Drakkon’s actions have upended the multiverse at its root, resulting in various eras of the Power Rangers timeline to be splintered off into individual pocket dimensions. The Rangers use this new information to travel to the different Ranger pocket dimensions, recruit the various teams, and protect them from the surprise attacks of Drakkon’s forces.
A good portion of Power Rangers #26 deals with the loss and remembrance of Tommy Oliver. There is speculation that Tommy’s death will be undone by the end of the storyline, and that all of this is just shock value and drama. However, those theories do not change the fact that, in-universe, he is dead as of now, and the consequences of that death are treated seriously. The Rangers and their friends are understandably heartbroken. Even if his death is undone by some sort of deus ex machina, for now, it is real, and that reality is handled with the dignity that would warrant a character death. There are a few other subtle character moments, particularly with Lord Drakkon himself and businesses he attends to after regaining his throne, that does continue to elevate Shattered Grid as something more than just another comic book blockbuster.
As great as these moments are, there is a bit of a disconnect in regards to flow. As interesting and different an introspective slower paced issue is, all of the momentum from issue #25 is brought to a grinding halt as a result. There is not any sort of wind down at the beginning of the issue, or wind up for when the action sequences begin anew. Which is unfortunate considering how strong those quieter character moments are.
The art is once again brought to the issue by Daniele Di Nicuolo, with colors by Walter Baiamonte. Di Nicuolo does a first-rate job composing the variety of scenes within the issue, whether they are the emotion-focused character interaction scenes or explosive action scenes. Walter Baiamonte’s contributions to the issue are also a huge boon, using dark moody scenes with bright highlights for tragic scenes, or the tense sunset colors straight out of a Western for the issues big fight scene at the Samurai Rangers’ Shiba House.
Like most issues of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers comics, issue #26 contains a humorous backup story written by Ryan Ferrier with art by Bachan. The backups for Shattered Grid revolve around the minor character from Power Rangers Turbo: The Blue Senturion. In the backup story, Senturion is trying to get support from his robotic police precinct in the future to apprehend the Power Rangers for nefarious deeds he believes to have witnessed. It is comedic in nature and should be considered more a bonus like any good backup. Of potential note is some character design in regards to a new character, The Senturion’s police chief. His design is exaggerated complete with stereotypical “beer gut.” What makes this notable is the fact the Japanese series Power Rangers Turbo utilized stock footage from, Gekisou Sentai Carranger, was a more comedic series with suit designs for the monsters that had similar exaggerated appearances. It is hard to tell if The Chief’s design is an homage to that suit design, or simply the artistic style of Bachan.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #26 is still an incredibly strong installment in the run, as well as a continued piece in the Shattered Grid story arc. Its biggest problems come from a lack of cohesive transition between the types of scenes both within this issue and the prior, but those issues do not overall hinder the strong character moments and compelling action the book offers.