Green with Evil is one of the most popular story arcs in Power Rangers history. This five-parter introduced Jason David Frank as Tommy Oliver, the first sixth Ranger. The great team of Papercutz delivers the story on how Rita Repulsa got the Dragon Coin. This issue takes place right before the Green with Evil episodes. Ryan Buell, the co-creator and host of Paranormal State, joins the creative team in this issue.
To learn more about Papercutz Power Rangers Graphic Novels, check out Graphic Novels page on Megaforce Cast and the Discussion Thread on RangerCrew. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers “Going Green” (Issue 2) releases on November 25th. You can pre-order your copy at Amazon. This review is filled with spoilers from the issue.
This is the story Mighty Morphin Power Rangers fans have been waiting over 20 years for—the untold story of the origins of Tommy—the Green Ranger! How did Rita Repulsa choose this teen over others to wage war against the Rangers? This is the only place to find out. Note to fans: This graphic novel takes place right after the classic Mighty Morphin Power Rangers episode “Green with Evil.”
Unlike past Papercutz’s Power Rangers novels, the front cover sports a warm color design. The cover is a great improvement over Issue #1, which had a black background. Tommy Oliver stands in front of the five Power Rangers, who are posed in a random order. The cover shows Tommy with his hair tied back, which is a style that he does after he returns as the Green Ranger. The novel’s title font is smaller than Ryan Buell’s name, which is an odd choice since the title should get the primary focus.
The back cover has a quick summary of the novel and three image panels. Two of the panels features Tommy fighting the monster of the day. The final panel has Rita and another character staring at the Dragon Coin.
The title page has the cartoony Mighty Morphin Power Rangers logo with a stock photo of the Power Rangers in the park. This page credits Stefan Petrucha (Writer), PH Marcondes (Artist), and Mindy Indy (Colorist). The credit page includes the previous names with Ranger Crew (Special Thanks), Beth Scorzato (Production Coordinator), Michael Petranek (Editor), and Jim Salicrup (Editor-in-Chief).
The profiles start with the season summary page, which is the same one included in the Free Comic Book Day and Issue #1. The character profiles features full page bios for each of the Rangers. Tommy Oliver’s profile plays the subtle card with the lack of weapon and zord data because this novel takes place before he becomes the Green Ranger.
The title page starts off in a non-traditional Mighty Morphin Power Rangers manner…with a fight against a giant monster. The design of the monster (Krooshar) looks like something out of Power Rangers Megaforce. The monster stands tall in Papercutz’s iconic monster introduction page as the morphed Rangers are preparing for their next move. I found it very odd that Billy was questioning on whether to summon the zord. In Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, there is no doubt that when the monster grows, you summon the Dino Zords. Without an explanation, the monster falls down and the Rangers are victorious.
After the battle, the Rangers mention that the teleporters are down, but they are able to use the Rad Bug. This is an error in the story as the teleportation system is broken after Green Ranger does the damage in the Command Center in Green with Evil Part 1. The Rad Bug is also first tested in the GWE episodes. I loved that the Rad Bug broke down and Billy has to do the repairs on the street. Jason mentions the Martial Arts Contest, which is a reference to the event that takes place in the first GWE scene. The character artwork is fantastic as expected from the previous issues. The chosen clothes match the old school fashion that we saw in the first season of Power Rangers.
At Rita’s Palace, Rita vents to her mirror. The dialogue feels out of character as she rambles more than vents. Rita remembers the past war, which is represented in a two-page spread. She mentions that she found the Sixth Power Coin around 10,000 years ago. The novel introduces the wizard Rooten-Toomen and the location Rutabaga system into the storyline.
The Dragon Coin was located in the Desert of Despair, which fans remember in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers season 3 as Ninjor’s home and the location of the Temple of Power, which is mentioned in the novel. Rita uses a cloaking spell to transform into a sage. This concept would’ve been fun to see in the actual show.
Ninjor is mentioned in the novel in the form of a statue. Rita’s disguise fails and she and her minions join the battle. The term “Peace Conference” is used when Rita is worried that Rooten-Toomen will figure out her location. Just as Rita makes it to the Ninjor statue, Rooten-Toomen arrives to the scene.
Rita tricks Rooten-Toomen to destroy the Ninjor statue and reveal the Power Coin. The two fight in the traditional duel of magic, which results in an explosion that favored Rita as the coins lands right in her hand.
After Rita’s backstory, the page reverts back to 1993 (MMPR Season 1) as Baboo and Squatt ask why Rita hasn’t used the coin yet. Her response is hilarious as she beats the heck out of them. Another icing is that Rita says “freaking thing,” which is not something that you would hear in the show.
The following page introduces Tommy Oliver as he arrives to Angel Grove to start his new life. Tommy joins the Martial Arts Expo as his first step to get to know the city. He meets a guy who tells him about Jason, a “teen with attitude!” Tommy looks forward to meeting Jason. This concept is a fun addition to the storyline because Green with Evil starts immediately with the Jason versus Tommy fight. In the show, we don’t get to know Tommy until after the fight as he meets the Rangers and take his place as the evil Green Ranger.
The next monster of the Day, Korruptor, makes his appearance. Unlike most of the monsters in the Papercutz novels, Korruptor didn’t get the full spread as his first panel. The monster finds the teenagers, who are still discussing what’s wrong with the Rad Bug.
Tommy overhears Korruptor’s plans and decides to take matters in his own hands. This is the first untold interaction between Tommy Oliver and Rita’s monsters. Tommy gets a few hits in and gets slimed by the monster’s attack, which only works on the Rangers’ weapons. In the show, Tommy’s first fight was against the putties in the alley. I’m not a big fan of Tommy, but I was when I first watched the show with my younger brother. These two pages featuring Tommy fighting the monster shows great representation of Tommy’s character as he is always ready for a fight.
Rita and her minions are surprised to see a human (Tommy Oliver) having no problems against the monster. In the show, Rita admires Tommy’s skills against Jason and then the putties. My only rant about this scene is Rita shouldn’t see Tommy fight until his interactions with Jason because the show expectation would have Rita remembering Tommy taking down the monster, which would give her more confidence in her decision.
Rita makes the monster grow, which is represented in a full page spread with Tommy looking up at the monster.
The teenagers also seen the monster and morph into action. My rant from the previous Mighty Morphin issues continues as the morph page looks great but has the wrong morph ordering with Tyrannosaurus, Pterodactyl, Saber Tooth Tiger, Triceratops, and Mastadon. The page does allow consistency with the morphed Rangers order in the bottom panel.
While the Rangers fight the putties, Tommy tries to fight the monster’s feet. The Rangers summon their Power weapons, which is exactly what Korruptor was waiting for. I don’t know why but the renderings of the Rangers look cheap on this page. The weapons panel had great potential with the weapons art and the action strokes. Korruptor slimes (coined as ooze in the novel) the weapons. The Putty Patrols return in large numbers to overtake the Rangers, who retreat from the scene.
Tommy watches as the large monster walks away. The novel takes a fun direction with a few hilarious pages. The first page has Tommy borrowing a car and ramming it into the monster’s foot. This is definitely something that you will never see in a show.
Rita admires and acknowledges Tommy’s mad skills. I’m not sure how Rita knows Tommy’s name and more importantly why Papercutz would have Rita interact with Tommy to offset the show’s storyline. Rita orders Baboo and Squatt to find the Power Coin. One of my favorite panels in this issue is when Rita introduces herself to Tommy. This scene is playful as Rita fails to charm Tommy to join her team.
Rita uses her powers to learn more about Tommy’s past. Another great panel shows Tommy at various ages. The artist did a wonderful job to portray Tommy in his younger ages.
Tommy wants to help the Rangers, who still haven’t summoned their zords to fight the large monster. Tommy feels that he can help the Rangers by stalling Rita. The Rangers finally summon the zords and form the Megazord. Papercutz has fixed the Pink shield bug that was spotted in the previous Mighty Morphin issues.
The first panel with Korruptor and Dino Megazord is another fine panel with the usage of thick strokes on both characters. Blue Ranger (Billy) is distracted for a second to ponder about the Megazord and the Rad Bug. Red Ranger lectures Blue Ranger to focus on the fight because even he doesn’t know what to do next The Dino Megazord looks awesome as it runs towards the monster.
Rita continues to charm Tommy as her son while the Dino Megazord is about to be defeated. Tommy plays along by calling her “Mommy Repulsa.” I’m not sure how Tommy is able to break the wood structure holding the water tank. This action and the following page feels off as the Rita and Tommy are able to safely swim through the flooded scene. The flood helps the Rangers as the monster is knocked on its feet and the Megazord is cleansed from the acid.
The next few pages have a solid Megazord fight with beautiful shots of the Dino Megazord. I loved the subtle addition of the water to illustrate that the Megazord isn’t going to dry off immediately…especially as the monster continues with his acid attack.
The Rangers summon the Power Sword and put an end to the monster. Another odd duck was that it was Billy’s idea to call the Power Sword. The battle felt as if this was one of their first fights, which is not the case. The Dino Megazord’s renderings look slightly different in the final panels.
The teenagers celebrate their victory with the “Rangers Rule” quote, which was never used in the show. Tommy’s success indirectly showed how vital his role will be in the show. With or without the powers, Tommy always proved to be resourceful with his quick thinking and martial arts skill. Tommy does have flaws (forgetful) but this untold story is only the beginning of one of the most popular characters in Power Rangers history.
In her final scene, Rita finds the Power Coin under her vanity mirror. She mentions Zedd’s name, which is unknown to the audience at this time. Rita is confident that Tommy is the chosen one for the Power Coin. The decision of making Tommy the Green Ranger makes more sense from this novel because it provides a hint of a back story rather than Rita picking a random dude because he was an equal match for Jason in the competition.
Billy finally fixes the Rad Bug on the day of the competition. The final panel with Tommy walking into the building was the icing for the ending. This issue had some head scratching moments, but overall was a nice read. After reading the novel, I rewatched the first episode of Green with Evil and gained appreciation for both forms of media representing this iconic story.
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