Having A Heart-To-Heart With Yourself: Reviewing ‘Mighty Morphin Power Rangers’ #108

The mind, body, and soul. A trinity of concepts that are believed to be what makes a person truly complete. In essence, they are what makes us what and who we are, differing for every person. What might happen though if any part of that trinity is removed from the equation? Perhaps that portion will linger on trying to decipher just who and what it truly is without the other parts of its being.

Bet you didn’t think these are the sorts of questions that would arrive from reading an issue of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.

Yet, not only is that what we get with the 108th issue of the series, but it also is nothing new to the franchise. Sure, most episodes didn’t go into a ton of depth about mind, body, and soul (it is a 20-minute action show for kids after all) but even simple things like the Green Ranger Saga and the subsequent struggles Tommy had as a character stemmed from this sort of stuff. Zordon, the time-displaced spirit that is the leader and mentor of the Power Rangers, is a character that is ripe for that sort of exploration.

That’s just what Melissa Flores has done.

So, the previous issue showed us the shocking cliffhanger that the mysterious being known as the Vessel that is working for Mistress Vile (Rita) is in fact the long-thought missing body of Zordon. Rita was the one that stripped him of the body and trapped his mind & soul in a time warp.

In this issue, we take a step back from the battle that Mistress Vile is currently waging against the Rangers, their allies, and Lord Zedd on various fronts. Instead, we see not only the how & when of Vile’s creation of the Vessel, but we see a meeting and reckoning between the Vessel and Zordon.

Beyond the origin, beginning the issue with the aimless Vessel wandering through the various battlefronts (therefore reminding us of the overall happenings) is a great choice. Especially as it’s brought to life through the work of  Marco Renna and Francesco Segala, with assistance from Gloria Martinelli. This art team brings the same energy as regular artist & colorist Simona Di Gianfelice and Raúl Angulo.

Each of the panels sits right in that sweet spot where we get the feeling that the world is standing still as the Vessel wanders through but there is also tons of kinetic motion & movement. They are a spectator to the events just like we are, this point of view allowing us to be the proverbial fly on the wall at ground level.

This issue was just truly awesome. Almost all of it takes place within the Command Center, but also in the mind space of Zordon, as he and the Vessel take a trip down memory lane. Their journey into Zordon’s past comes with an exploration of the sacrifices he has made, those made by others in his name, as well as the shame but also an acceptance that he has reached with his situation. Through this focus, artistically we’re able to see a lot of fragments of moments from both the comics as well as the television series, those that we know and those that we don’t.

Flores has done amazing work at mining the various levels of the franchise to make her run truly sing, pulling from the various TV shows but also the elements set up within this series as well as its other volumes/spinoffs. Zordon’s past is one of many aspects that has gotten the most development in recent years through the comics.

Renna finds ways to incorporate those flashes smoothly into the pages, both by fully ‘transporting’ the characters there and other times playing them out in the mind space void. A great mixture of unique panel types helps move the story forward and really narrow our focus, as well as great full-page spreads that are gorgeous. There is a slickness, but also a weighted detailed real feeling quality to Renna’s work that fits this series well.

This is an issue that is heavier than the others so far in the run, and the colors continue to reflect that heaviness and the darkness that lingers around them always. Sure, there are still the vivid bright colors that come from the alien and superhero bits of this universe, but mixed in are plenty of shadows and choices that bring a bit more toned-down sort of effect to many of the colors. Segala easily slides into bringing the same sort of fun/lighthearted energy of the franchise but also elevated almost menacing energy that the previous issues had tonally.

We see this in all the art and writing overall, as this team digs deep into the lore and characters and has created a space where things don’t just resolve themselves within the span of a 20-minute episode. There are true stakes, as the villains are pushing back hard and could very well kill the Rangers and their allies. We see a reference to the Power Rangers of the 60s (introduced in the comics years ago), where all but two of them died on the Moon because Zordon threw inexperienced teenagers into battle.

Part of the heaviness of the issue is the fact that these two beings, Zordon and the Vessel, are having an emotional confrontation. Anger, pain, sadness, regret, and so much more are brought to the surface here. We can feel it as we see it played out across the artwork, as the facial expressions/body language (even for the formless Zordon) are top-notch.

It can also be heard because of the solid lettering work that Ed Dukeshire brings to the series every month. Little changes here or there can make the words using the same font or position feel entirely different, cluing us into the tone of those words.

I love everything about what this series is doing, but especially the choices made for this issue.

It doesn’t shy away from the sins of Zordon’s past nor the personal sacrifices he’s made in part to try and make up for those sins. Zordon isn’t a flawless being, but he’s trying his best and cares about his Rangers even if they are not always on the same page.

The Vessel has a natural struggle with their identity tied into Vile’s dark magic and wants to co-opt Zordon and take him in to complete them rather than be a vessel for Dark Specter as Vile wants. Zordon refuses and fights back, pushing aside the temptation to be complete again because it would be a tainted complete. Having them part ways with Zordon giving his former body the grace to go out and discover who and what it wants to be is just such a powerful way to end things.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #108 is now available from BOOM! Studios.


The mind, body, and soul. A trinity of concepts that are believed to be what makes a person truly complete.COMICONRead More

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