Papercutz joined the Power Rangers 20th anniversary celebration last year with the announcement of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Graphic Novels at San Diego Comic Con. Papercutz is known for their current line of Power Rangers Super Samurai and Power Rangers Megaforce novels. The new Mighty Morphin Power Rangers novels bring original stories to the Power Rangers timeline. A few weeks ago, Papercutz released the Free Comic Book Day issue with a story that took place directly during Mighty Morphin Power Rangers’ White Light Part 2 episode. 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 “Rita Repulsa’s Attitude Adjustment” (Issue 1) releases on June 3rd. You can pre-order your copy at Amazon. This review is filled with spoilers from the issue.
When an ancient stone idol comes to life and starts blasting everything in its path with a morphing ray, it looks like the world is in pretty deep trouble; but it’s nothing compared to the havoc unleashed when Rita Repulsa gets her hands on it! The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers join the fray, but this new baddie has extra muscle from Squatt and the Putty Patrol. If the team doesn’t get a little help of their own from a trusted friend, this latest mission may be their last!
The five Power Rangers and Rita are featured on the front cover. The Rangers are defined with the traditional comic muscle tone. Blue and Black Rangers appear to proportional muscles with small abs. The reflection on the helmets is a nice addition for the cover artwork. The ordering of the Rangers are Blue, Pink, Red, Yellow, and Black. This allows for the Red Ranger to remain in the center as expected. I’m sure that this wasn’t intentional but it’s funny to see the Red, Yellow, and Black Rangers together because they were the first Rangers to leave the show. Rita’s costume design looks amazing but the face rendering feels more like a plastic with the added light reflection.
I’m not a fan of the solid black background, but it does allow for a stronger focus on the character artwork. The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers logo is rendered in a cartoony style, which is the same design used in the recent Free Comic Book Day edition. The slogan “They’re Back!” has been used by Papercutz since their initial announcement at San Diego Comic Con. I have mixed feelings on the usage of the yellow font color on the title.
The back cover has a quick summary of the novel and four image panels. The first panel shows the Pink Pteradactyl shield on the Dino Megazord. The two Ranger panels reveal spoilers of the switched bodies, which can be confusing on the back cover if you didn’t know the context. In the first Ranger panel, Red Ranger has Pink Ranger’s helmet and Blue Ranger has Black Ranger’s helmet. In the second Ranger panel, Yellow Ranger has Blue Ranger’s helmet and Pink Ranger has Red Ranger’s helmet. The switched helmets are painted in the same colors as the suits. Squatt looks pretty bad ass in his panel with the Putty Patrol.
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 Laurie E. Smith (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).
Papercutz continue the novel formula with a set of profile pages to introduce the season and characters to the audience. The season profile resembles the Free Comic Book Day Edition with a few differences: stock photo of the five Rangers and different second paragraph which mentions Alpha-5, Zordon, and the teenagers. Zordon is coined as a sage in this page. Unlike the Free Comic Book Edition, the profiles are only dedicated to the five Rangers. Each character profile follows the same concept used in Papercutz’s Power Rangers graphic novels. The profiles have minor text changes and fixes from the Free Comic Book edition version. One subtle change was the removal of the Red Dragon Thunderzord, which was included in Red Ranger’s profile. Trini’s profile includes her last name Kwan, which was missing from the Free Comic Book Day issue.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: A Look Back
Papercutz gave me a fun opportunity to write a two-page article for the first Mighty Morphin Power Rangers graphic novel. I’m not a professional writer so my article did go through some revisions for the final version. The article talks about the history of Power Rangers and the celebration of the 20th anniversary. I want to give a special thanks to Papercutz for allowing me to share my thoughts to their audience.
The upcoming Power Morphicon event is promoted at the end of the book. This is the same poster used in the Free Comic Book Day issue.
Rita Repulsa’s Attitude Adjustment
The story begins with the single page panel showing the teenagers at the Angel Grove Youth Center. The title’s color usage of red and blue feels old school, which matches the theme of the graphic novel. The characters are wearing clothes that have been seen in a majority of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers episodes. Alpha 5 is hanging out with the Rangers, which is a very rare occasion. The page mentions that they are there after hours, which could explain why Alpha is free to hang out. Jason is training while Zack makes a limbo joke, which becomes the joke in this panel as Alpha thinks that he is learning the latest lingo. Trini mentions that the year is 1993, which places the expected timeframe of the first season. The character rendering for Alpha 6 is adorable in his panels.
Alpha 5 sees Bulk and Skull outside but he doesn’t know who they are. It may be possible that this story occurs in the first few episodes before Alpha acknowledges their characters. As expected, the bullies take the ball from the kid, who ends up getting the ball back and moving them look like the fools. I love Bulk’s character art but not a fan of Skull’s rendering. The Juice Bar logo is seen in the background. Alpha watches the boy and that nothing is older than Zordon.
The next two pages is a desert spread revealing an unearthed monster of the day. The statue comes to life and stands tall in its panel, which is a signature concept that Papercutz has done in their Power Rangers issues.
The monster immediately reveals its power by firing a beam towards the human with a funny clothing and color hair swap between the male and female characters. We’ve seen the swapping characters concept used in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and Power Rangers Super Samurai. The novel allows for more visual swaps other than the actors pretending to be the other person. One funny addition is the swapping of items (phone to library card and laptop acting like a radio).
Back at the Youth Center, Billy upgrades the communicators to support a longer distance for communication. Kimberly makes a joke about adding internet access to the device, which is funny because the internet wasn’t really a big thing back in the early 1990s. Jason sees Bulk and Skull coming and tells the Rangers to keep their cool to protect their identities. Skull notices Alpha and assumes that he is Billy’s latest science project. The bullies turn their attention to Alpha, who remembers what the young boy did to outsmart them. There were a few episodes in Mighty Morphin where Alpha interacted with humans. It was fun watching Alpha at the Masquerade Party in the first Halloween episode. Another great moment was when Alpha teleported to the park to help a young boy find his mother.
Zack notices the news report on the tube tv…that’s right, I said a tube tv. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was one of the few seasons that utilize the news on television concept to inform the Rangers of an attack. Jason leads the Rangers out of the building as Bulk and Skull tease them for running away. The dialogue between Bulk and Skull feels like something that they would’ve said on the show.
The Rangers morph into action with the classic line: It’s Morphin Time! The panel shows the Rangers in the same order as the cover: Billy, Kimberly, Jason, Trini, and Zack. I’m still not feeling the character art for Billy and Zack. The morph page looks amazing but renders the morph sequence out of order with Jason on top. For consistency with the show, they should’ve considered a similar design with the proper order. Anyone who has seen Mighty Morphin Power Rangers has the morph sequence stuck in their heads: Mastadon, Pteradactyl, Triceratops, Sabertooth Tiger, Tyrannosaurus.
The Rangers arrive to the scene and prepare for the zord fight. Red Ranger summons the zord with “Dinosaur Power” line rather than “Dinozord Power” as heard in the show. The next three pages features the zord fight as the five Dinozords work together against the monster. The fight is fast paced with the heavy usage of action lines in each panel.
After the zord fight, the Rangers take it to the next step by rapidly forming the Megazord. The computerized dialogue (Megazord sequence has been Initiated and Megazord Activated) are rendered with a LED font. The panels show the formation of the sequence with two panels: Tank and Warrior Mode. One noticable thing is that the Megazord has a Pink shield from the Pteradactyl shield. In the show, this shield was red. Even though I am used to the Red coloring, I actually love the Pink color to symbolize the five rangers. The panel with the Megazord versus the Monster is one of my favorite panels in this issue. The panel is also seen in the back cover.
The monster sends a blast towards the Megazord, causing it to break down into the individual zords. The “Megazord Integrity Compromised” dialogue felt out of place in the panel. The Megazord had minimal computerized dialogues and I don’t recall that being one of them. Blue Ranger remembers a quote from Eli (the young boy from the beginning of the episode) to shift their handicap to an advantage. It’s nice that both Alpha and Billy were able to learn and utilize a lesson in the issue. This leads to a quick zord fight to defeating the monster. The Rangers recover in the zord graveyard and discover that the monster left them with a present. Not only have the Rangers’ helmets have been switched, the Rangers are being attacked by their own weapons.
Red Ranger (with Yellow Ranger’s helmet) contacts Zordon. We see a quick shot of the Command Center and Zordon in his tube. The novel once again addresses Zordon as an Ancient Sage. Their communicator swaps into the radio, which plays the same song as earlier in the episode. The Rangers hide in a nearby cave to remove their suits to prevent any more damage.
Squatt arrives to the scene to admire the statue’s victory. The novel states that Squatt was born on Venus. He learns that the statue is still alive. It’s funny to see Squatt outside of a comical role. In a few episodes, Squatt had the opportunity to participate in the plot against the Rangers.
Somehow, Squatt and the Statue helmet are teleported to the Moon, where Rita has a plan of her own. Finister does his magic to restore the statue into a new robotic form. This scene was brief but it would’ve been nice to have a quick glimpse of Goldar and Baboo.
Back in the cave, Alpha regroups with the Rangers. In the show, the Rangers would normally teleport to the Command Center but since their communicators are inoperable, they are constrained in the cave. I’m not sure how I feel about Alpha’s appearance in the cave. The utilization of the character is a nice touch but feels random because there isn’t a mention on how he got there. The Rangers as they remove their suits, belts, and helmets and fold them on the ground. It’s interesting to see the folded suits because in the show, we only see the traditional “Power Down” dialogue followed by the Rangers de-morphing back to their normal selves. The writer considered this fact and included a line to mention that this is the first time they took their uniforms off. Just as the teenagers think that they are safe from the statue’s spell, their clothes switch! Zack is wearing Billy’s shirt and Jason’s pants. Jason is wearing Zack’s shirt and Billy’s overalls. Billy is sporting Jason’s top and Zack’s pants. I enjoyed the line when Alpha is confused on whether to call their names based on their faces or clothes. For some weird reason, the girls were not affected by this change. I would’ve loved for some male and female clothing chances to spice up the humor. Bulk and Skull make their random appearance into the cave, where they bump into the teenagers. It is nice that they call Alpha the science project for the earlier reference.
The next page is a nice borderless panel featuring Squatt leading the Putty Patrols and the Giant Robot Statue. Squatt continuing his role as the episode’s leader is fun yet feels out of character. Rita placed him in charge because the status doesn’t speak their language. Back in the cave, the teenagers hear the rumbling from the robot. I love the Jason’s comical look when he tells Bulk to escape first. Bulk and Skull bolt out of the cave while the teenagers walk slowly to lose them. I’m not a fan of Kimberly calling them “losers.” In the show, we’ve heard Billy call them “Neanderthal,” but losers feels a bit much. Billy also calls Alpha by his full name Alpha-5, which is something that is rarely heard in the show.
The Rangers morph into action and we get one of the most interesting panels in this novel. The suits are correct, but the helmets are swapped. How awesome is it to see the Red Ranger with a Pink Ranger helmet? The next few pages are filled with panels featuring the mixed up suits. During this fight, we see more character personality references as Hip-Hop Kido and Mantis Kung Fu. Unfortunately, the weapons are still useless. The Rangers summon their zords again with the “Dinosaur Power” dialogue.
Papercutz continue their tradition with lengthy zord fights. I’m not a fan of zord fights in the show, but they are entertaining in the comics. My primary rant is that we don’t see enough of the Megazord fights. This has been the case in all of the Papercutz graphic novels. The Rangers use the zords to thin out the Putty army. The massive swarm of Putties against the Mastodon zord is hilarious. Graphic novels have more creative flexibility than the show due to less constraints.
Bulk and Skull realize that the science project (Alpha 5) is right behind them. Alpha gives them a blast and gets a moment to shine in this issue. The robot finds an undiscovered room, which may have the answers they need to stop the robot, who’s name is revealed as Olk. Alpha contacts Zordon for advice on defeating the monster. The focus on Alpha in this page is appreciated with a brief humor of Zordon informing Alpha to tell Billy about the plan.
The Rangers continue their battle against the Putty Patrol army, which now resembles the quantity count from Countdown to Destruction episodes. The monster raises a large chunk of land and prepares for an attack. Alpha climbs the robot with another reference to today’s lesson. As he spends time talking to himself, Alpha is successful in reprogramming the robot. One of the Rangers mention Olk’s name, which is an error because only Alpha heard the name.
Olk fires the beam at Squatt and the Putty Patrol. Rather than switching bodies or clothing, the villains have an uncontrollable urge to laugh and dance. Bulk and Skull hear the laughter and run towards the light…and turn back into the cave when they see Squatt. The Rangers return to their zords and join the Alpha-controlled Olk. The full page rendering of Olk, the Dino Zords, and the villains would make a playful poster.
After the long battle, the doctors return back to normal and admire Olk. The zords help to bury the statue back into the desert. The teenagers return to the Command Center, which has a nice gradient design. Once again, the teenagers refer to Alpha as Alpha-5. The issue concludes with a final joke from Alpha.