Happy Wednesday heroes, as we start to transition from January to February, we normally receive annual issues for comic books. However, this time we are getting an all-new issue of Power Rangers Unlimited, which is centered on the Morphin Masters. Now, while fans can start with this title without reading previous issues, I would still recommend MMPR 116 for more context. Especially, since it will give some context to the current situation being discussed in this special issue. Also, thanks to Boom! Studios for providing Hero-Club this review copy yet again, and fans please read with some discretion. Anyway, with that said, let us go check out how Ranger Slayer finds the Morphin Masters…
- Artist: Daniel Bayliss
- Colorist: Arthur Hesli
- Lettering: Ed Dukeshire
- Writer: Ryan Parrott & Rachel Wagner
- Designer: Nancy Mojica
- Assistant Editor: Kenzie Rzonca
- Editor: Allyson Gronowitz
- Cover Artist: Toni Infante
- Hasbro Special Thanks to Tayla Reo, Michael Kelly & Ed Lane
Now, this issue begins with an inner monologue from Ranger Slayer explaining how archery is similar to gymnastics. During the monologue we are presented with panels depicting her history fighting Lord Drakkon time and time again. Additionally, it gives depth to how long the two have been fighting one another. Interestingly, this is one thing that was lacking during the Shattered Grid event, which was exploring their relationship. Whereas, the current issues are defining how Ranger Slayer endured Lord Drakkon abuse, which fans mostly theorized about. So, props to Daniel Bayliss, and Arthur Hesli for the panel layout for the first two pages. Although, without getting too ahead of myself, it feel like these panels were drawn with purpose. Specifically, to define the monologue as Ranger Slayer recounting her past before transitioning to the present day. However, I could be reading too much into the panel layouts, and the issue’s entire story structure or progression.
Then as we enter the present day, we discover that Ranger Slayer is no longer in the Coinless’ Universe. Instead it appears that Kim has been teleported elsewhere, on alien planet possibly within the Morphin Grid itself. However, as soon as Kim encounters a familiar face, she is met by peculiar opponents, animal spirits to be exact. Like I assume these creatures are references to the animal themed Rangers and Zords throughout the years. For example, there is a lion, an ape, a scorpion, a mantis, and a rhino that attack Ranger Slayer. Also, I love the coloring for these animals and the book overall, as everything appears vibrant on this planet. Especially, when compared to everything else occurring now, it is nice to see less “doom and gloom” being presented. So, this is another huge shout out to Arthur Hesli for his use colors throughout this book.
Anyway, Kim manages to escape the corrupted animal spirits thanks to the appearance of the Pink Emissary. Coincidentally, this is the character’s either third or fourth appearance since having made their official debut back in August 2022. For those unaware, it was after Necessary Evil, Tommy and Kim messed with the Metallic Armor. As a result, timeline issues occurred as several villains from the past and future appeared during MMPR’s current events. However, as time has progressed fans have learned that the Pink Emissary was formerly the Pink Squadron Ranger, Aleia. Whereas, returning to this story, it is cool to see another version of Kimberly interacting with the Pink Emissary again. Although, unlike the younger Kimberly who was content meeting Aleia, Ranger Slayer seems to be done with everything. Yet, I cannot blame Ranger Slayer, given how everything has gone down since the Darkest Hour began. Like Ranger Slayer Kim’s universe was in a phase of recovery, but presently, it is utterly decimated by Dark Specter.
So, with the appearance of the Pink Emissary, we learn that she is here to guide Kim to the Morphin Masters. Unfortunately, Aleia can only guide Kim so far, and will not interject herself in any battles. Yet, that makes sense seeing that most Emissaries can only observe, and take action when it is necessary. Then from their various conversations, one line from Aleia really stood out to me, as it summarizes how Emissaries act. Specifically, the quote I am referring to is, “We allow you to fail so that you may grow.” Like in hindsight readers can understand why things played out when the Blue Emissary first formed the Omega Rangers. Additionally, this explains why the Yellow Emissary waited so long to help the Omega Rangers when Trini needed aid. However, many would think that the corruption of the grid would force the Emissaries to break their principals. Yet, the Emissaries do not and they stick to their guns, which is something I can respect to an extent.
Eventually, the Pink Emissary guides Kim to her destination, the Fountains of Knowledge, where we meet the Coinless Billy. However, without spoiling too much, Kim gives this specter a test to realize it is not the spirit of Billy. Thankfully, this shows how Ranger Slayer Kim has the experience to see through traps like this one. So, our heroes manage to escape, and Kim goes on about her asperations before becoming a Power Ranger. Coincidentally, I find this to be fascinating since the television series barely focused on what Rangers wanted to be. Like during the Zordon Era, most Rangers never discuss what career they want, and usually, it is a throwaway line. As a result, many fans probably assume that once someone is a Ranger they might not ever want to stop. For example, during Zeo when Billy was lessened to a supporting role, he mostly lived at the Command Center. Therefore, I enjoy the more human aspect in the comics, like what Ryan Parrott and Rachael Wagner presented here.
Unfortunately, as that conversation ends, our heroes encounter two corrupted Emissaries looking to acquire the White Tiger Power Coin. Also, they look to corrupt the Pink Emissary, as it seems that Aleia is the sole survivor unaffected by Dark Specter. Whereas, the accompanying battle to this encounter is cool, and the action is top notch. Personally, I love seeing how powerful the Emissaries are in combat, because they draw their power from all the teams. Like as Emissaries are constantly shifting between Rangers, they get access to whatever weapons are associated with them. Sadly, the battle does come at a significant cost even though our heroes manage reach their final destination. However, I will not spoil this part since the stakes are high here, and Ranger Slayer has a significant revelation. So I highly recommend people reading this issue for further context, as I assume this story will be revisited. Specifically, the lesson that Ranger Slayer learned here, and what the comics’ Morphin Masters have become.
Overall, this book is another solid issue within the larger Power Rangers Unlimited series. Currently, I cannot wait to see how this will connect to the main series when Issue 117 releases in February. Surprisingly, Boom! Studios continues to deliver consistency with the Power Rangers brand, which I am certain fans do enjoy. Nevertheless, I am Ben Odinson, and I am morphing out of here for now!
Final Score: 5 Power Coins out of 5