Justice League/Power Rangers #1 (March, 2017)
Writer – Tom Taylor
Artist/Colorist – Stephen Byrne
Letterer – Deron Bennett
Cover Price: $3.99
Sometimes the place that ships me my comics throws a little something extra in my box… whether it’s by mistake or by gift, I dunno. I gotta say, I was pretty surprised to see this bugger on the top of my stack. Definitely not something I would have ordered.
I figure as long as I’ve got it… I may as well give it a look-see. Before we proceed, just wanna make it clear… I have zero nostalgic attachment to the Power Rangers, Mighty Morphin or otherwise. So, for me this isn’t any sort of “dream match”… this is certainly not Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles… that being said, my take on this may not be as enthusiastic as someone who grew up with the Rangers.
Our establishing shot is of the city of Angel Grove… which is apparently the home of the Power Rangers… and over 376,000 other citizens. Well, at least is was… ya see, at present, Angel Grove is nothing more than a smoldering crater in the landscape!
Six teenagers are standing amid the wreckage… with the one named Zack on his knees claiming that this is all his fault. Superman lowers into the scene to assure the young fella that he is innocent in all of this, and they know who is really behind it all.
We next jump back in time 36 hours. We’re at the Power Rangers Command Center where Zack has just arrived to join his teammates. He mentions that he’s been having arguments with his parents of late about his Morphin-related disappearances. They are interrupted by Zordon who informs them that “Alpha Five” is missing… and before I read this, I has no idea what that meant.
The team splits up to hunt down this Alpha Five, and Zack (who appears to be our focus-character today) happens to find it… him. Alpha is a small humanoid robot with one of them Batteries Not Included robots for a head. All it can say is “Aye yi yi”… which makes me glad I’m only reading this. Zack reports his find and returns to command…
… where Alpha begins to melt… and then explodes! Well, that sorts that!
As the smoke clears there is a man-shaped mass of hamburger meat standing tall. This is Lord Zedd, and I’m assuming he’s our big bad. I always thought the Power Rangers fought a witch with Krusty the Clown hair? Anyhoo, he’s surrounded by some of Shredder’s Foot Soldiers… and so Zack decides “It’s Morphin Time” and changes into the Black Ranger. I’m a bit surprised, I thought “Morphin” would have an apostrophe after it… as though they were saying “morphing”… because, ya know… they’re morphing into their sentai suits… ehh, who knows…
A fight breaks out that ends with Zack grabbing Zedd by the arm and teleporting away. At this point the other Rangers return… and see the
Foot Soldiers Putties, so they pop into their work clothes to kick some butt.
We rejoin the Black Ranger as he battles some Putties on the streets of wherever he teleported to… which we will now learn is Gotham City. The Batmobile pulls up, and Batman advises the lad to drop his axe. Zack thinks that might be a bad idea… and worse yet, thinks Batman might be an agent of Lord Zedd… and so, he attacks him. This doesn’t work out so well for poor Zack.
That is, until the rest of the Rangers arrive. I know I’m kinda bagging on this issue a bit, but this is a spectacular image!
The Rangers team up and start whoopin’ on Batman… who has to call in some help. Mere moments later, after a bit of sass… the Flash arrives to disarm the entire Rangers team.
Batman falls back and fires a bat-missile type thing at the Power Rangers. The Pink Ranger decides that discretion may be the best part of valor… however, Zack refuses to leave… he knows Lord Zedd is on the loose somewhere in this dimension… and so, she summons her Pterodactyl Dinozord… which is her vehicle.
The vehicle grabs the Batmobile in its “mouth” and flies off… leaving Flash to report into the Watchtower, where he breaks the news to Cyborg.
This wasn’t a bad book… but, I really don’t have interest in seeing it through. The art is really nice, especially when the Power Rangers are in costume. The action scenes are really very well done. When they are out of costume, however, it has sort of that light-manga feel that Marvel was attempting to evoke around the turn of the century. The type of thing that would pop up in a filler story in an issue of X-Men Unlimited or something. Not bad by any stretch… just makes the story look a bit dated… at least to me.
This is definitely Power Rangers (guest-starring the Justice League)… at least for this opening chapter. Again, that’s not a bad thing… it just doesn’t speak to me. I’m sure folks a bit younger than me will receive this a lot better than I did. The Power Rangers hit when I was in high school. My younger brother liked it, however, I remember thinking the show looked really lame from just the commercials. I gotta figure if I were just a hair younger I’d have eaten this up with a spoon… I was always a mark for those shows that could double for action-figure ads.
In reading this, I feel as though I can begin to care for the characters… but again, not enough to continue along. Taylor did a good job of providing a brief introduction for the Rangers without heaping a load of exposition on the reader. Zack is the best fleshed out here… but if I had to guess, I’d figure each issue of this miniseries will “spotlight” a different Ranger… with this one being “Zack’s chapter”.
Overall… I’m really not sure how to rate this. I would have to assume you enter into a comic like this knowing whether you’re going to like it or not. Perhaps it’s unfair of me to discuss a book when I am so unfamiliar with half of the cast… but, I’m afraid that train’s already left the station. Even though this wasn’t for me, I couldn’t advise anyone against checking it out. If you dig the Power Rangers, there’s a good probability that you will also dig this. If you are open to the possibility of digging the Rangers… you also may like this. If you’re a stubborn idiot like me who doesn’t think the Power Rangers deserve to share panel space with Batman and Superman, ya might just wanna give it a pass.