- Writer: Ryan Parrot
- Illustrator: Daniele Di Nicuolo
- Colors: Walter Baiamonte
- Letters: Ed Dukeshire
- Cover: Jamal Campbell
- Editor: Dafna Pleban
Warning: This review will contain spoilers.
Long time no review Rangers, but I am back in action with Mighty Morphin Power Rangers issue 40! The start of this arc is titled “Necessary Evil,” and I have to say that I am interested in seeing where it will go. To start off, our story takes place after Shattered Grid and it feels good to see the ramifications of the event. We begin in London where a monster called Nefurious is attacking the citizens. In the bits of dialogue, readers will notice that it is not Zack given by what he is saying to Kim. Zack has some experience when it comes to fighting monsters whereas, our new Ranger seems to be in awe of what is going on. Tommy then bursts onto the scene as the White Ranger for the first time in the comics, not counting the annual issue. Together our Rangers defeat the monster, and return to the Command Center where we discover the Power Transfer recently occurred; we are presented with the Stone Canyon trio, Rocky, Adam and Aiesha!
Now, seeing Tommy as the White Ranger is great, but surprisingly fast forwarding to see the other Rangers is even better. This means the story is currently somewhere amid the second season. One thing I love about this interaction at the Command Center is that Kim and Aiesha are not vibing, as compared to the series. Ryan Parrot sets the issue up as a proper look at rookies coming in, and having to work veterans leading to conflicts between the two parties. In addition, our new trio of Rangers are seen talking among themselves and question their own abilities. Parrot gives the overall sense that an actual transition is occurring within the current team of Rangers, which does not mirror his own transition from Go Go Power Rangers to Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Given the work Parrot has done with the main cast thus far I am looking forward to seeing what he plans to do with Rocky, Adam, and Aiesha.
With Tommy as the White Ranger now, Parrot focuses on Tommy noticing the effects from having taking on the “White Light” powers. Tommy addresses how he has become stronger, faster, and even taller. I love this aspect to the character and powers, as it references the fan belief of being a sixth range makes the character stronger than everyone else on the team. Furthermore, even though it was addressed that the White Ranger was stronger in the television series, the show only seemed to focus on that element at specific times. For example, one of the White Ranger’s most overpower moment is during A Reel Fishy Story, where he single-handedly defeats four revived aquatic-themed monsters. Hopefully, Parrot will continue writing Tommy as someone exploring his new found powers, and if that is the case I will continue to be enthused by White Ranger-Tommy.
This issue is also the first proper appearance of the iconic Power Rangers villain, Lord Zedd, who previously appeared in the Justice League crossover and a previous annual issue. However, this is the character in all of his glory, as Lord Zedd comes off as someone that anyone should mess around with. Zedd is definitely more threatening than Rita Replusa, and his currently plan makes me wonder how far he will go to beat the Rangers. I personally feel that Lord Zedd is out for blood, and in this case he may receive it! This also brings a smile to my face especially with how the character got ‘nerfed’ in the television series due to backlash from parents over exaggerating Zedd’s menacing personality. Several fans like myself often choose to remember Zedd as the ultimate badass, seen during his time from the Mutiny towards the Power Transfer (episodes 61 to 88), rather than what he became. Yet, I do not entirely hate the character’s comedic side either, but I hope it is not seen as often within the comics. My expectations moving forward is simple, that the team working on MMPR continues to develop Lord Zedd as we, the fans saw him as, and push the limits with Zedd.
Finally, the ending to Issue 40 leaves me wanting more! Our veteran Rangers discuss the departure of Jason, Zack, and Trini to the ‘Peace Conference’ while Tommy goes off to teach kids karate having taken on Jason’s job. There is also a possible comedic jab at Jason David Frank/ Tommy, as the character says, “Training little kids to be my own personal army? Best way to spend a day.” However, as Tommy is leaving Billy mentions he needs to call them and he does, but it does not end there! Billy and Kimberly actually get to talk with them, but the reception is sketchy. This is when readers are met with Jason replying that they are “pretty far off the grid…,” as well as our former Rangers are seen wearing new Ranger-like attire. Now, I love these new suit designs, and I need to know what is going with them. My first thoughts are that they are somehow guardians of the Morphing Grid, or training a new team. Yet, I simply do not know what is actually going on, but I am loving the all fan theories based on this reveal!
Honestly I think it is safe to say that Necessary Evil is going to be worth reading issue to issue. This new arc will most definitely draw back in any readers who found fault in the Beyond the Grid arc, as well as bring in a newer audience. I welcome back the return of Daniele Di Nicuolo, as it is nice seeing his artwork in the main series again. I know Di Nicuolo took a break after Shattered Grid, having drawn for the series since Issue 0, but even with the break he still has it! Also, I will always love Walter Baiamonte’s coloring for Di Nicuolo’s pages. Overall, it feels like the creative team is back in full swing, even without Kyle Higgins there. I am confident that will not see any awkward twists and turns coming from Necessary Evil.