Sunday, June 24, 2018

This Week In Comics: 6/27

Another New Comic Book Day is upon us! Hit the jump to check out some of the new comics hitting the shelves at your local comic book shop this week. I hope you like Power Rangers!

Disclaimer: I received advance copies of all comics featured this week courtesy of their individual publishers.
Opinions are my own.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Anniversary Special (BOOM! Studios)

This is a collection of five short stories, all standalone and unrelated to the main comic storylines. It’s effectively another annual. It’s also not part of the Shattered Grid storyline, which is a bit weird considering we’re right in the thick of it.

The first two stories take place during the second season of Mighty Morphin, the third is a prequel to Mystic Force, the fourth is a time-bending Super Ninja Steel adventure, and the final is an epilogue to In Space and Lost Galaxy. The first couple stories are fun one-off adventures, nothing special. The rest do a better job at playing with the lore and having fun with the rich Power Rangers universe.

The Mystic Force story sees Udonna chasing after the spirit of her late husband Leanbow. Mystic Force spends a lot of time retreading Udonna’s backstory, so it’s cool to actually see what it is that made her the way she is. The Super Ninja Steel story has some cool time travel elements and some hilarious moments between Mick and Alpha 5, with an ending that can possibly be considered Beast Morphers foreshadowing.

Each story in the Special is better than the one before it and the fifth and final story is a morphinominal climax. Karone is put on trial for her crimes as Astronema and must face the fact that being a Ranger for a short time does not make up for her years of galactic tyranny. It’s heartbreaking to see someone who has done so much to become good facing her past mistakes. And there are some wonderful surprise appearances by members of her defense team and a particularly awesome appearance by one of her accusers. Picking up the Special for this story alone is worth it!

Battlecats #5 (Mad Cave Studios)

Ho-mama! The first story arc of this phenomenally imaginative fantasy series comes to a conclusion - but we didn’t tie a nice bow on it or walk off into the sunset ready for a new adventure. It’s a real turning point that left me ready for the next one. I don’t want to get into spoilers too much, so I’ll save more thoughts for a full review ahead of the upcoming trade paperback release. But seriously guys - pick this one up!

Lumberjanes #51 (BOOM! Studios)

The rainy indoor activity day continues as April, Ripley, and Mal outrun a giant bug in the underground tunnels while the others play a board game. That’s such a weird combination and I love it. Lumberjanes always has goofy premises and this arc has been on point.

In the mess hall, the homebrew board game beta test is going off the rails as Jo and Diana concoct a plan to keep the game going. First by exploiting the rules, then by exploiting magic. Down below, Mal is coming to terms with the fact that she and Molly don’t always have to be connected at the hip.

It’s nice that the sweet and emotional part of the story is happening in the midst of the monster/mayhem plot while the rest of the issue is zany tabletop antics. It’s the perfect feel-good comic that we need right now.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Archive Vol. 1 (BOOM! Studios)
Collected for the first time ever, these remastered stories, originally published in the 1990s. The first volume focuses on the comics put out by Hamilton and Marvel and includes a whopping 37 stories across over 550 pages. Wow. Needless to say, I haven’t gotten through all of them yet. But I did sample one from each publisher… so I guess this is my first official Marvel review?

The Hamilton story I read was the first issue in the collection. It feels, to a tee, exactly like an episode of Power Rangers. It follows the same formula and got all of the characters and gimmicks and everything exactly right. I do think they overdid Billy’s technobabble though. I chose a random Marvel story because I saw that it was drawn by Steve Ditko but… It was basically a goofy filler type story starring Bulk & Skull and Squatt & Baboo where even Lord Zedd came off a bit too ridiculous.

These certainly aren’t as nuanced or well written as the stuff BOOM! has been putting out, but they’re honestly a lot of fun. It’s kinda like getting new episodes of the original Power Rangers released today. The art is super retro and super 90s and there are enough references to have me convinced the writers were more than familiar with the series. The collection is just pure fun and for the size of it all at just $19.99 retail, it’s a good deal for any hardcore Power Rangers fan. Pick it up at your local comic shop or pre-order it here.

What comics are you planning on picking up this week? Let me know in the comments below!