Can the Power Rangers handle peace?
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #17 is very much a fresh start for both the Rangers themselves and their readers. This issue marks the start of writer Kyle Higgins and artist Hendry Prasetya’s next major story arc. Predictably, it’s a bit of a slow burn for the series as it moves forward from the recent, climactic showdown with Lord Drakkon. However, it does afford the creators the opportunity to dig in a little deeper with their main characters and allow the team dynamic to shine all the more.
This issue opens several months after the battle with Drakkon and the apparent defeat of Rita Repulsa. An era of unexpected peace has dawned across the world, a fact which inspires a mixed range of emotions throughout the team. Some Rangers, like Trini and Kim, would like nothing more than to enjoy their newfound peace and quiet. Others, like Jason, can’t quite seem to let their guard down. This issue only really hints at the challenges to come for the team, but it does just enough to build anticipation for the months ahead.
Higgins takes full advantage of the fact that the Rangers are all finally together again. Kim and Trini enjoy some good bonding moments as they use their friendship to escape their unhappy home lives. The same goes for Billy and Tommy, who seems to have developed quite a bond after their shared exile. Their training montage is both amusing and a great testament to their growing friendship. This issue also does a fine job of exploring Jason’s increasing alienation and frustration, casting him as a solider without a mission. The only member of the group who seems ill-served here is Zack. However, the allusions to trouble in his personal life do suggest that this is by design and that we’ll be seeing plenty more of Zack in the near future.
With a character-driven issue like this, it’s really the little touches that stand out. The story opens on an especially memorable note, with Bulk and Skull offering a bit of recap and context via their Power Rangers-themed YouTube show. It’s also nice to see this issue take a more expansive look at the Rangers and their role in the world. They’re no longer the defenders of Angel Grove, but of the entire planet, and that fact becomes increasingly key as this issue moves along.
As usual, Prasetya and colorist Matt Herms keep the series humming along with their sleek, colorful visuals. Prasetya shows an impressive range in this issue, rendering epic fights and heist scenes as deftly as he does quiet character moments and bits of physical comedy. Occasionally Prasetya’s facial work is a bit too flat for my liking, but otherwise This series has succeeded and continues to succeed in replicating the goofy aesthetic of the original TV series while bringing a modern superhero comic flair.