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Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers Issue # 25 Review

The stakes were already high coming into Shattered Grid, but… Wow. All I can say is, “Wow.” A MASSIVE SPOILER WARNING for the rest of this review, as one of the biggest players in the entire franchise of Power Rangers is removed from the board on Lord Drakkon’s quest for interdimensional dominance.

We open the issue on the aftermath of issue 24. Lord Drakkon, the parallel/future Tommy Oliver, has escaped from the Promethea facility where he was being held. We begin with the Time Force rangers, in the Time Megazord, trying to close a breach in time and space.

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Art by Daniele Di Nicuolo

The breach is accessed by a large, imposing figure silhouetted to appear as Drakkon. His size has been scaled up to match cosmic entities like Galactus. A massive hand juts forward and three of the five Time Force rangers are killed instantly, ripped from the Megazord and into space. We see a heartfelt farewell between Jen and Wes, before the Time Megazord is destroyed and Jen time travels to Angel Grove, circa 2018.

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Already, the stakes are through the roof here. Drakkon is not playing around, having already established himself long ago as a bigger threat than Rita, Zedd, or anyone else the rangers have faced up to this point. The ease with which he obliterates Time Force serves to reinforce this point, and we have even touched the A plot of this issue yet. Cutting back to the command center, we see the rangers picking up the pieces.

Saba is dead, killed by Drakkon, and we see Drakkon himself escaping to a massive library, or maybe a sanctuary that is run by Ninjor. Ninjor, unaware anything has happened, believes Drakkon is what he appears to be, a time traveling version of Tommy with a broken morphed and a new set of powers based on the black dragon. This is a great callback for long-time fans of the series, and serves to expand the scope of the comics continuity in a good way.

We see Ninjor repair the Black Dragon morpher, remarking that the components were, “Forced together with brute force,” and that the creation was “poor workmanship.”

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Ninjor, it seems, is making Drakkon even stronger here. The dialogue implies that the Black Dragon morpher as it was previously shown was imperfect. Ninjor repairing it and teaching Drakkon ninja techniques only escalate the threat of Drakkon even more. We see him morph for the first time, calling out the power coin as Black Dragon, and then he takes his leave of Ninjor.

Back in Angel Grove, the rangers attempt some normalcy while they process their situation and the next move they need to make. Billy and Trini work on blocking Drakkon’s known energy signature from the command center, while Tommy and Kimberly have a date. There is a cute, awkward exchange where Tommy tries to kiss Kimberly, but she swerves away at the last second. They part, and Tommy takes a cut through an alley on his way home. It is at this point that we see the gut punch of the entire series up to this point, and a character who is central to the Power Rangers mythos is effectively erased from it.

Drakkon, trying to recharge the black dragon crystal, steps out from a tear in spacetime and stabs Tommy through the back with his Saba, and the sound causes Kimberly to come back. Jen, the last survivor of Time Force, enters the scene. She opens fire on Drakkon without hesitation, telling Kimberly to do the same. Drakkon disappears quickly, but by the time the fighting is done, Tommy Oliver is dead.

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There is no more Green Ranger as we enter the next phase of Shattered Grid, and writer Kyle Higgins has stated in interviews that the next issue, due out April 18th in the US and UK, will focus heavily on how the Rangers deal with the loss. He has also said that Matt, Kimberly’s boyfriend from Go Go Power Rangers, will play a central role in what is to come. What role could that be? Personally, I believe he will take up the mantle of Green Ranger, but only time will tell.

In conclusion, Issue 25 is a fitting start for the first major comic book event in Power Rangers history, full of all the best elements of the franchise while adding familiar elements from its comic book contemporaries. Shattered Grid continues next in Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers # 26, and Go Go Power Rangers # 9, both out in April.

What did you guys think of this phenomenal issue? Leave your thoughts below!

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Power Rangers Shattered Grid Live Action Trailer Review

Last week, a live-action trailer was uploaded to social media advertising the upcoming Shattered Grid story arc of the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers comic line.  The trailer, created as a prelude to the story, opens with a series of shots showing iconic MMPR items, including a morpher and power weapons, in display cases with severe wear and breakage.  Overlaid are sound bites from across the series: Jason speaking of the importance of hope, Mentor Ji explaining the responsibilities of a Ranger, Jen Scott affirming the mission that brought her to the year 2000.  We then see the helmet of the comic-exclusive Tyrannosaurus Sentry, mouthpiece bare and flat, as a reflection of the In Space Rangers morphing glares in the eyepiece.

A wider shot shows a broken chair sat in front of multiple scenes from the show, a pair of RPM clips being featured in particular, while the camera swings around and shows us the chair’s occupant: Lord Drakkon, played by Jason David Frank.

“So many Rangers.  So much potential.  Squandered for so long.”

Another sentry comes into view next to Drakkon, this time Sabertooth-class.

“My Lord, the generals are ready.  They simply await your command.”

Drakkon watches one more scene play out, this time from the original Command Center, Tommy Oliver in civilian clothing standing in front of his uniformed team.

“What’s important to me now is my friendship to all of you.  I never want that to change.”  Tommy motions across to each of them; Kimberly steps up to comfort him.

“It never will, Tommy.  You’ll always be one of us.”

Kimberly’s reply forces Drakkon to turn his head.  The black veins in his face become clearer as the green-tinted scene fades.  Drakkon’s resolve is clear.

“It’s time to set things right.”

He leans forward to stand from the chair, his now-iconic helmet materialising on his head.

“We will invade their worlds; we will tear down everything that might protect them.  And then, when it’s too late and they’re powerless and alone, they will realize the truth.”

Drakkon steps over to a nearby balcony, passing by the destroyed Ranger relics shown earlier, and looks down at the US Capitol building in a dark, battered, futuristic landscape.  His helmet tilts behind him as he speaks again.

“They could have been Gods.”

He turns back to the landscape, raising his arms, signaling to companies of soldiers arranged in lines below while a squadron of airships rise before him.

The final graphic shows the classic lightning bolt fade into view and cracking.  The words “SHATTERED GRID” follow.

The short film was interesting, to say the least; with the comic inviting more mature ideas about the fate of a world without victorious Rangers, this was the first real-life foray into showing what the comic has tried to portray, including a Tommy Oliver-inspired villain portrayed by Jason David Frank himself.  The popularity of the comic has created a space for fans to explore new ideas in the old formula, and this short teaser keeps in line with that idea.  In fact, the short seems to be celebrating the function of the comic through its use of Drakkon, representing the evolution of the oldest part of the franchise, watching multiple moments from the show and declaring his intent to destroy it all.

The visual design was fantastic, from the red and yellow sentry costumes to Drakkon’s fortress set to the superimposed clips of the original shows.  The only glaring issue with the short was the Lord Drakkon suit clearly being too big for Jason David Frank.  However, as a preview of what’s to come for the most anticipated Power Rangers event since the Super Megaforce finale, it has done its job in properly setting up the central conflict of the Shattered Grid event in the form of a fun piece of live-action exposition.

You can watch the trailer in full below:

The Shattered Grid story has begun with the release of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #25, available now in stores and online. Stay tuned to Toku Toy Store for full reviews and further coverage of the Shattered Grid event.

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Road to Shattered Grid

The Morphin Grid is in danger. A power and a force that no one has ever seen before is coming to destroy it and it’s going to take the combined might of 25 years worth of Power Rangers to stop it. How has this happened? What dark power could possibly shatter the very foundations of Rangerhood? And who will answer the ultimate call; It’s Morphin Time?

Welcome, my friends, to the Road to Shattered Grid.

To say that Boom! Studios have done for Power Rangers comics what IDW Publishing did for the Transformers franchise would be an apt comparison. Both taking something beloved but with much maligned mainstream counterparts and given fans fresh stories that add more to the characters we loved as kids.

Currently, the Boom! Studios Power Rangers comics are split between two titles; the 2016 Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series, written by Kyle Higgins and illustrated by Hendry Prasetya, which takes place shortly after the events of the seminal Green with Evil miniseries and sees the original five teens with ’tude struggle to adjust to a former enemy joining the team and Tommy suffer with various neuroses after suffering through such trauma, unsure if he can trust himself.

The other is Go Go Power Rangers; a much more light-hearted affair, written by Ryan Parrott and drawn by Dan Mora, that takes place immediately after the pilot Day of The Dumpster and takes a more slice-of-life approach to the original five Rangers trying to find a work-life balance between typical high school drama and their new-found Ranger duties. Personally, I find this to be the stronger series of the two as it shows that the original five weren’t always a tight-knit group and were powered just as much by their hormones as they were by the Morphin Grid.

Now we’ve got that out of the way we can focus on how these two titles built the stage for Shattered Grid. Be ye warned; SPOILERS AHEAD!

Arguably, this story starts off in the pages of GGPR with the Billy wishing to relinquish his powers to work as an intern for Promethea. Promethea is a S.H.I.E.L.D-esque research & development organisation determined to advance technology for the benefit of mankind and was founded by Grace Sterling; billionaire, philanthropist and former Red Ranger.

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Yes, Grace was the leader of a covert Ranger team in 1969, sent to the moon by Zordon to deal with the imminent return of Rita Repulsa thanks to the untimely arrival of Psycho Green. To say that this event was a suicide mission would be putting it lightly, however, the mission was a success albeit with only two survivors, Grace being one of them.

Discarded by Zordon, and seeing what an utter mess he made of the operation, Grace vowed that humanity would defend itself from any alien menace and embarked on her decade-long crusade with nothing but her iron will and the dagger of Psycho Green.

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Flash-forward an unspecified number of decades and we get the first real threat to the MMPR team outside of those known from the show; the Black Dragon. Rita Repulsa entrusted Scorpina with the Green Chaos Crystal. After taking control of the Dragonzord with the crystal and further exacerbating the underlying tensions of the team due to Tommy’s presence, the crystal reacts and explodes inside the Command Centre, partially destroying it along with Zordon’s energy tube and Alpha. A portal opens and out of it emerges the Black Dragon, a fearsome mechanical monster that can disrupt the Rangers’ connection to the Morphin Grid.

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He makes short work of the Rangers, forcing a retreat but captures Billy in the process. Using his coin, Black Dragon severs the original five’s connection to the grid, leaving them powerless. With Billy trapped in the Dark Dimension and the Rangers losing control of their zords to Rita, things had never seemed more dire.

While the remaining Rangers partially reconnect to the Grid using Tommy’s coin (gaining new Green variants of their Ranger forms) and take the fight to Black Dragon, Billy is discussing this new foe with a begrudging Goldar. It’s revealed that not only does Goldar not care for Rita’s new favourite but that he’s not of this Earth, coming from a different Earth after making a deal with Rita.

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Noting that Black Dragon seems more Zord than monster, Billy and Goldar come to an agreement and Billy is freed to assist in taking Black Dragon down. They succeed but his rapidly shrinking body teleports the pair to safety, albeit the safety of a different world, the world of Black Dragon’s puppet master; Lord Drakkon.

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While the Rangers on Earth-1 (they don’t really give designations so let’s go with a formula that works) try to find out what happened to Billy and Tommy, they find themselves getting a history lesson for Earth-2 while evading the Mastodon Sentries (awesome militarised troops using Ranger tech) and eventually find their way to a destroyed Command Centre and to a new, old friend; Saba.

Having moved part of her moon base and fused it with the decimated Command Centre, Rita begins plotting the conquest of Earth in earnest with the revelation of a new plan; the Goldar Troops.

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Meanwhile, after narrowly escaping Lord Drakkon and his troops, Saba recounts the Fall of The Rangers to Billy and Tommy, including how Jason was chosen to wield the white light of good and that many long-time Ranger allies rallied to defend the Command Centre from Rita’s final attack in a gorgeous two page spread.

Billy, Tommy and Saba are soon captured by the Coinless, a resistance movement made up of ex-Rangers and what remains of the Angel Grove citizens. Zack, their leader, vouches for them after talking with Saba and plans are made to battle Drakkon’s forces with the newly acquired Falconzord.

We take time out to find out that Earth-1’s Zordon is free-falling through time and space, without a tether to the physical realm. In this state we see him gain insight into Earth-2’s history and see the demise of his counterpart, only to be found by Saba. Being in a timeless state, Zordon relays to Saba that Rangers from Earth-1 will arrive and assist Earth-2, thus explaining why Saba implicitly trusts Tommy and Billy.

As the Coinless offer surrender to Drakkon on Earth-2, a captured Trini on Earth-1 enacts a clever plan to harness the Black Dragon armour for herself, since she previously tinkered with the Dragonzord’s inner workings and can apply the same knowledge to the Black Dragon. She tears through Rita and her throne room, regaining Billy’s power coin and restoring the powers of the Earth-1 Rangers. Rita, seemingly outmatched, retreats.

Similarly, Earth-2 Trini and Billy use Earth-2 Billy’s power coin and morpher (the last remaining coin not being used for Drakkon’s forces) and uses it in a similar way to the Black Dragon armour, severing Drakkon and his force’s connection to the Morphin Grid, putting them on equal footing with the Coinless.

Tommy and Drakkon engage in their big match-up, trading insults and platitudes about friendship until the Earth-1 Rangers arrive to turn the tide. With defeat at hand, Drakkon chooses to fall from a cliff rather than surrender, seemingly perishing. There’s some neat bonding and sweet goodbyes and the Earth-1 Rangers return to the demolished Command Centre, hopeful that they can restore it and Zordon to their rightful places.

In the middle of the desert, however, a beaten and bloody Drakkon awakens to find himself surrounded by the US military leading us into the current arc which has several connections between MMPR and GGPR.

In the months that follow, the Rangers are slowly regaining the public trust, attending natural disasters and helping the public without Rita throwing giant monsters at the planet every two days. After rescuing the Infinity Tower in Dubai, the Rangers are introduced to Grace Sterling. See? And you thought that plot point wasn’t coming around again…

Grace introduces herself and Promethea, and request their help rescuing two of her pilots that have gone missing in Romania and are being held by Finster. The monster-maker’s broken out on his own since Rita’s departure and has been experimenting with human/clay monster hybrids; sleeper agents that act perfectly normal until activated.

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This ties into the events of GGPR, and kinda screws up the continuity in a big way… There’s a fully functional sleeper agent amongst the group for a protracted period but here, in the future, they’re fairly limited and noticeably on holiday in the uncanny valley.

As Finster’s sleepers begin to activate, the Rangers reach out to Promethea since Grace offered her advanced scanning tech to them. Grace reveals her history to the team and they begin to work closer and closer and Promethea begins actively assisting with their own Mechazord.

While visiting the Promethea HQ, Billy wanders off, curious about what could power such an advanced facility. He comes across a heavily guarded room and, after moving out of sight. When he teleports inside the room, he comes face-to-face with the last person he expected to find: Lord Drakkon.

Meanwhile, Rita returns, having gone on a quest to find the Wizard of Deception and seek his aid in crafting a familiar looking candle. She breaks Finster out of the dimensional and, once learning of his schemes while she was gone, demands the activation of all of his hybrids at once, much to his chagrin.

After a hard fought battle, Billy reveals what he knows to the team and they confront Grace. She explains how Drakkon ended up in her position and vehemently defends her actions when Jason pulls her aside. Jason, reluctantly, decides to cut ties with her because, as he sees it, she’s taking an “any means necessary” approach and he refuses to compromise his values because she makes his helmet lighter (not a euphemism)

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After the Rangers discuss their options with Zordon, Saba pays Drakkon a visit, knowing the weakened state he’s in, intent on killing him. He misses the killshot, allowing Drakkon to break free and decapitate Saba. Using the blade, and a little bit of magic, Drakkon carves a portal into the wall of his cell and with a quiet mutter, disappears through it.

And that’s the story so far. While MMPR has been doing the lion’s share of the story building for the Shattered Grid event, I highly recommend giving GGPR a read too, not only for the improved character building but also for the origins of Rita Repulsa and her band of misfits.

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Shattered Grid will kick off in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #25 then continue in Go Go Power Rangers, alternating between the titles and having a dedicated Annual and Free Comic Book Day Special, as well. With Rangers new and old, tie-ins with the HyperForce RPG on Twitch, and the kind of loving tributes that only the infinite budget of comics can provide, Shattered Grid has the potential to be the best part of the 25th Anniversary of Power Rangers.

Are you looking forward to Shattered Grid? Which teams do you hope get some significant panel time? Let us know your thoughts on this article and the event itself in the comments below!