As someone who has loved tokusatsu ever since I first saw Godzilla as a child, marvelling at this huge lizard monster, and being a fan of the Power Rangers franchise since it burst onto screens back in 1993, it’s astonishing that the two franchises have taken this long to meet. The Power Rangers routinely fight giant monsters to the point where it becomes noteworthy when an episode doesn’t include it, and when you consider that the original Dragon Zord was essentially a Mecha Godzilla style robot, it feels like the two were made to come together. Well, after close to three decades the two finally do meet in the new IDW comic series Godzilla vs Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
Taking place somewhere during the first season of the original Power Rangers series (context clues make that pretty apparent), the story begins with Tommy, the Green Ranger, having been sent on a recon mission to a remote tomb. The place seems to be some kind of ancient temple, guarded by monks, who’ve been dispatched by Rita Repulsa and her team of Goldar, Scorpina, and Finster. When Rita retrieves the item the monks were guarding, the Multiversal Focus, she works her magic and transports herself, her minions, and Tommy into a parallel world where the Power Rangers don’t exist.
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Whilst Rita celebrates the idea of being in a world without Rangers to stop her conquest, the celebrations are interrupted by two giant monster fighting in the ruins of Angel Grove: Godzilla and Megalon. Seeing that this world has no heroes, yet has such wonderful monsters, the ancient witch begins to make plans to use the kaiju to her own advantage; but little does she know that Tommy followed her to this world, and that the other Rangers are on their way to help.
Godzilla vs Mighty Morphin Power Rangers is a book that is absolutely packed to the gills. The breakdown I gave above for the premise of the story sounds like I’ve given step-by-step of the entire first issue, but is only the first half a dozen pages. A lot happens in this first issue. The benefit of this is that there’s not a moment of this book where it’s not being used well. The plot is always moving forward, the characters are always doing something, and there’s not long to wait for the next action scene.
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Whilst this is great, those who’ve been reading the Power Rangers comics from Boom! Studios, and have been enjoying the quieter scenes where we get a chance to delve into the Rangers’ minds and see how this kind of life affects them as human beings, might find this issue to be a bit lacking. The heroes don’t get a moment to breathe here, we don’t get to see what they think about going to another world, about the existence of kaiju, or even how seeing innocent monks murdered by monsters affects Tommy. I don’t know if this is something that is going to continue for the rest of the series, and if we do get moments where we can slow down and spend time with the Rangers as characters that’d be great; but even if that doesn’t happen it still feels entertaining enough to be good. After all, we never got characterisation in the original show.
Outside of the Rangers, the comic is full of awesome stuff for fans of Godzilla. As mentioned, the titular King of the Monsters makes his appearance fairly early on, along with another classic creature for him to fight. But he gets more to do other than just bash on another giant monster. I won’t say what that is, but let’s just say you don’t have to wait until the finale to get some amazing stuff. There are also some other characters and ideas from the existing Godzilla canon that make their way into this story, and the fact that we get some silly 1960’s style designs alongside the Power Rangers and their villains is wonderful. Cullen Bunn clearly knows a lot about both franchises, and doesn’t just want to rely on the titular monster as the only thing for Godzilla fans to find in the book.
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The art on the book is provided by Freddie Williams II and Andrew Dalhouse, who provide the drawing and colours respectively. The art is very nice, and feels very different to other Power Rangers comics on the market right now. The Rangers and their villains are all clearly recognisable, but they seem to have a stylised twist to them that makes them really pop; such as Goldar, who feels so much bigger and more hulking than normal. The art team also do the giant monsters justice, and the creatures look just goofy enough to not be totally frightening, yet feel wonderfully realistic too.
A far as first issues go, this is a fast paced one, packed full of story and action that don’t give you a chance to slow down too much. With how much gets packed into this first issue it does leave me wondering just what else might be coming, and what other surprises Cullen Bunn has in store for readers. As a fan of both franchises I had a blast with this one, and can’t wait to see what happens next.
Godzilla vs Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #1 is out now from IDW Publishing and Boom! Studios.