Justice League/Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #1 Review

jlvmmpr1

By Tom Taylor, Stephen Byrne, Deron Bennett, Karl Kerschl

DC continues its latest round of crossovers by pairing with BOOM! Studios to mash the Justice League with the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. The result is not as cool as the Space Rangers teaming up with the TMNT and letting them surf in space…

Bridging two separate and unaffiliated properties together is a tough alchemy. Usually, writers just use the parallel dimensions shtick to justify the story and allow the characters to go back to their respective status quo’s. Disappointingly, that’s probably what will happen here.

Tom Taylor you may remember as the second writer of DC’s Earth 2 and the original writer for the Injustice tie-in comic. What those two series shared is a complete lack of restraint or fear of “going too far” If nothing else, they were entertaining by being balls-to-the-walls in a way other monthly comics just couldn’t be. Taylor’s script here reminds me of the beginning of Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe story: characters from another reality get into a teleportation hiccup, travel here and meet Batman. There’s a novelty in seeing Batman get his ass kicked in a way that’s totally justified (the Power Rangers are experienced fighters in their own right, fight as a team, and utilize weapons that Batman could only dream of), and its nice that Lord Zedd is the main villain for the Rangers as Rita Repulsa is featured prominently in BOOM!’s main MMPR series. I was frankly hoping for more from this series and despite it being a first issue, it doesn’t offer a lot to entice me back.

That said, the art by Stephen Byrne is perfect for the series. His illustrations are colorful and sleek, conveying the camp of the Rangers transforming or leaping into action. He manages to draw the DC characters in a way that mirrors the Power Rangers while still being distinguishable. I actually would enjoy seeing Byrne draw for the main MMPR series, as it nicely translate the 90’s influence that’s present in the MMPR TV show. His action choreography is spot on, the rangers look like teens with attitude, while their costumes and zords look epic as well.

To Taylor’s credit, every “voice” feels authentic. He balances the large cast of different characters well, I just wish there was more to the story. The rangers seem to be easily capable of jumping back to their home dimension or bringing their zords to the DCU. Right away the stakes disappear since their not deprived of resources.

In retrospect, this may not be a good pairing for a crossover. The Power Rangers embody a style of superheroism that DC will never truly regain or even desire to and the DC Universe is a million times more convoluted and ridiculous than the PR Universe. For those hoping for a basic mash-up between their childhood heroes, this is a decent offering. For everyone else, there’s other comics on the shelf this week that will likely entertain you more.

Rating: Poor, Fair, Good, Great, Excellent

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