Beware of spoilers ahead for Mighty Morphin #1!
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Relaunch Introduces the All New Green Ranger
Why the Power Rangers Needed a Relaunch
While this isn’t the first time BOOM! has published two monthly Power Rangers comics, this is the first time both books are taking place concurrently. Previously, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was published alongside Go Go Power Rangers, with the latter jumping back to explore the team’s earliest adventures. But now, both Mighty Morphin and Power Rangers are set in the same Season 2-era time period. Why did Parrot need two books to cover the same status quo?
“I think part of it was just simply to keep my sanity,” Parrott told IGN. “I’ve been writing Mighty Morphin for a few years now. I realized with the new Omega Rangers, I think I had 47 or 48 characters per issue that I had to deal with, and there’s only 22 pages in the book. Some of them, Adam would get to say ‘Hi,’ and ‘Isn’t that a great idea?’, and then that would be all he did in an issue.”
Parrott continued, “So it just felt maybe now if we wanted to see the Omega Rangers in action, which I think I felt we did, it seemed if we could split the books and have one focused on one team, one focused on the other, and allow them to exist in the same universe and interact wherever we wanted to… actually have enough room, to have a little bit of character and plot and actual backstory would be a little bit better. So it just seemed like the right time. Otherwise, it just felt like everybody was going to get the short end of the stick.”Parrott said he looked to both the Batman franchise and Marvel’s recent Dawn of X relaunch for inspiration in how to build multiple titles around the same status quo. And while both Mighty Morphin and Power Rangers will have plenty of overlap at first, over time the books will become more cleanly defined in terms of setting and cast.
“I outlined the larger scope of [both] series, just to see where they would fit in,” said Parrott. “They start pretty close together. And then once we establish the format and establish everybody’s goal, they branch out. And so they’ll be telling the same story, but in two different directions.”
The New Green Ranger’s Identity
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #55 doesn’t definitively reveal the identity of the new Green Ranger, even if it does strongly hint that Lord Drakkon (the evil version of Tommy Oliver from an alternate timeline) is wearing the suit. Nor does Mighty Morphin #1 settle that particular mystery. If anything, it casts new doubt on the Drakkon theory with teases that anyone from Skull’s girlfriend Candice to Zordon himself might have taken up the mantle. Parrott makes it clear readers shouldn’t expect an identity reveal right away, even if his plans have shifted in the wake of the relaunch.
“To be honest, when we decided to split the book, I had constructed the return of the Green Ranger in a different way,” Parrott said. “I expected it to be a five- or six-issue arc – sort of a Knives Out mystery and bringing in characters from the past and new characters and really messing with the audience a little bit… make it a whodunit.”
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Parrott continued, “Ultimately, though, with this split of the team and being able to set up the new status quo, I didn’t have the space to really do that. So the suspects got paired down immensely and the intent got shifted a little bit. So it’s a little less of a… anybody could be the new Green Ranger. Not to say that anybody couldn’t be. It’s just the suspect list is a little shorter.”
Even with this shift in direction, Parrott promises fans will be pleased with how the mystery is finally revealed.
“In order to do it properly, I felt we needed to extend it into the new run,” Parrott said. “And it actually ended up giving me a lot of fun runway to play with in regards to what it did to the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers as a team. But, ultimately, I feel as much as people are excited about who the new Ranger could be, I actually think it’s how we reveal who they are [that] is more interesting than who they are.”
Fleshing Out Zordon
As much as the mystery of the new Green Ranger is a driving force behind Mighty Morphin, the new series is also dealing with some big revelations regarding Zordon and his race, the Eltarians. Mighty Morphin #1 actually opens with a flashback to Zordon’s days as the original Red Ranger, followed by a poignant scene revealing just how much the Rangers’ mentor misses having a physical body.
Meanwhile, issue #1 ends on a very unexpected note, as readers learn Skull’s girlfriend Candice is actually an Eltarian spy. In short, it’s clear the new series will be delving much deeper into Zordon’s background and what role the Eltarians have to play in the modern era.
“I don’t know if I’ve actually said it yet, but I think you could make an argument that in this new run Zordon is, in some ways, the main character,” said Parrott. “Because I do deal a lot with the flashbacks. The Eltar flashbacks will be in pretty much every issue going forward.”
Parrott also revealed this increased emphasis on Zordon’s past allows him to answer some riddles that have fueled his own relationship with the franchise since childhood.
“When I was a little kid, I remember watching the first show for the first time and I saw a giant blue floating head and it’s an Eltar. And I’m like, what happened to him? What is Eltar? So I didn’t know any of this stuff. And when I realized, it was cool. The person who’s going to answer that question is me, 25 years later. Which is amazing to me.”
“I just thought there would be something really fun about finally getting a chance to see what Zordon was like,” continued Parrott. “What he would be like when he was younger and still learning what it meant to be a hero. And how did he become the wise sage that we know? And I thought there was some really fun twists and turns you could have there.”
Unsurprisingly, it’s no mere coincidence we’re seeing more of Zordon’s past even as Mighty Morphin #1 makes a big reveal about another Eltarian hiding in plain sight. The reveal of Candice’s true identity and motivations will play directly into Parrott’s long-term plans for Zordon.“I had planned on making Candice an Eltarian from the very moment that she was brought into the book,” he said. “If you go back and look at all her scenes in the first volume, she’s always talking about the color blue, which I just thought was a fun, a little Easter egg, if anybody wants to go back and look. And her hair’s blue. And there was a lot of stuff in there just playing out.”
Parrott continued, “f you’re going to learn about Eltar in the past, we needed to know what Eltar is like now. And Zordon understanding his place within that world. As we saw in the first page of Mighty Morphin, he was an integral part of the early days or the days of fighting with Eltar to protect the galaxy. And now he is in the custodial relationship. How is he perceived by people in Eltar and how does he perceive Eltar? And I felt the only way to do that would be to bring in an Eltarian.”
The Return of Lord Zedd
With Mighty Morphin set during the general time period of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Season 2, it goes without saying Lord Zedd is still the main villain of the series. Zedd was also one of the villains of Parrott’s previous Mighty Morphin Power Rangers run, but the writer will be the first to admit he hasn’t been able to utilize this iconic Power Rangers character to his fullest. That’s one thing that will definitely be changing in Mighty Morphin. Issue #1 gives us our first hint of what’s in store for Zedd, as the villain recovers from his near-death experience more powerful and more driven than before.
“That was something that I really wanted to focus on because I felt with the time jump, when ‘Necessary Evil’ started, there was that big time jump to the White Ranger and Rocky joining the team,” said Parrott. “Obviously, when you do that, Zedd’s arrival gets overshot. And I didn’t really want to redo his arrival. I think his arrival on the show was fantastic. There was no real reason to try and one-up it. But I also felt, because of the nature of the plot of ‘Necessary Evil,’ that did get sidelined. We literally jumped into a bucket and left the room for a little while. But I felt like, OK, since that happened, now we can bring him back into the forefront.”
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Parrott told us he hopes to use Mighty Morphin as a chance to do for Zedd what he did for Rita Repulsa on Go Go Power Rangers – lending new depth to an iconic but not terribly complex TV villain.
“I had such a fun time with Go Go trying, not to humanize Rita, but give Rita layers,” he said. “And that’s what I felt the show never had time to do. I do want to do that with Zedd at some point here. And I felt these first steps were towards that. That’s why with the arrival of the Green Ranger, I do believe there’s something fun about escalation and this idea that if you bring the Green Ranger on… I think there’s something interesting about what that does to the other side of the coin. So I felt there needed to be consequences to the arrival of the Green Ranger. And that means that when they shattered the cast, that there are going to be some unforeseen side effects that come with that. And I think they will affect Zedd the most.”
Mighty Morphin #1 is available to purchase in print and digitally now, and Power Rangers #1 will be released on Wednesday, November 11. Check back with IGN next week for the second half of our chat with Parrott, as he covers the big twists in Power Rangers #1 and the process of collaborating with artists Marco Renna and Francesco Mortarino. And until then, find out about Hasbro’s plans for a new Power Rangers cinematic universe.
Jesse is a mild-mannered staff writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter.