By Kyle Higgins, Goni Montes, Ed Dukeshire, Jamal Campbell, Tom Taylor, Dan Mora, Trey Moore, Frazer Irving, Jim Campbell, Caitlin Kittredge, Dajung Lee, Sarah Stern
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers is a strange property. Its superheroes are originally from Japan. They’re teenagers, but the wholesome kind. The 90’s show had an air of camp about it, but as the fans grew older they envisioned it through a darker lens.The dystopian fan-made film is one example of this. Either way is a valid approach, but die-hards will insist the camp way is the only way. This Week’s Finest runs the gamut between the two extremes, as different creators put the characters in different stories set with varying tones.
“Search Party” by Higgins and Montes deals with Tommy’s PTSD after being freed of Rita Repulsa’s mind control and his avoiding the other rangers out of guilt. It’s short, and something which we’re still seeing played out in the regular issues as Tommy regains the trust of his friends and the white ranger powers. Yet here, we’re left to question whether this is the Earth “our” rangers are on or the parallel one where Tommy willingly joined up with Rita and became evil.
“Forever Mighty Morphin Black” by Jamal Campbell is a fun nod to the Forever Red special from the Power Rangers: Wild Force TV series, but focused on Zack and the other black rangers such as his replacement Adam. This is more light hearted and another affirmation for Zack to maintain hope in the face of the rangers constant battles against Rita, but still a novel twist on a fan favorite.
“Trini’s Vacation” and “Sabrina’s Day Out” are more in the vein of traditional Power Rangers stories, mixing humor and action, but both with a twist: one deals with Trini facing Goldar completely alone without her zord, and the other involves Goldar and Scorpina saving the day to hide the fact they spent the day at a carnival having fun. Both are entertaining, and don’t take things too seriously as the point of both is for the characters is to avoid fighting the never-ending battle for a day.
“Perfect” is an apt title for a story involving Rita’s favorite monster maker, Finnster, as it shows his early days and his secret obsession with bringing his wife (who he killed in a fit of rage) back to life only to kill the creation again due to it resembling his wife in her final moments. It’s a dark and bizarre Frankenstein-esque tale, one that you wouldn’t expect from a Power Rangers story but its sublime.
Every story illustrated by their respective artists was well drawn with gorgeous art, so much so that it’s hard to pick a favorite.
The artist fit each story well, like Irving’s black and white art giving his story a Japanese horror feel, or Jamal Campbell’s frenetic tale of a dozen black rangers fighting a crystal monster. The art was as diverse as the stories, and its clear each team gave their all to do the characters justice.
It’s this wide assortment of tales, tones, and technicolor that made Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Annual 2017 This Week’s Finest and a personal treat to a lifetime MMPR fan.