Comics

Godzilla vs Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #5 – Comic Review

The final issue of Godzilla Vs. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers is finally here, and it feels kind of good that the mini-series has come to a close. As a fan of both Godzilla, and Power Rangers, I was looking forward to this series, and was excited to see these two franchises come together. Unfortunately, thanks to a threadbare story, little to no variation in what’s happened issue to issue, and a lack of any real characters, this has ended up being one of the comics I look forward to least each month.

Over the last four issues the Power Rangers followed their evil adversary, the moon witch Rita Repulsa, to another dimension as she used an ancient artefact to leave her own world seeking out new places to conquer. However, despite finding a world without Power Rangers, they did not find a world free from conflict, as both groups landed in a version of Angel Grove under attack from alien invaders, and giant monsters called Kaiju. And since the first issue set up the basic premise of the story it’s been hard to keep track of what’s been happening. In the broad strokes it’s easy, there have been giant robots fighting giant monsters, but as to which issue had which bits, I’d be hard pressed to tell you.

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The series has been one long monster fight, and that’s essentially what we get more of here. The Rangers and Godzilla manage to find a way to beat King Ghidorah, not through any tactic or by gaining anything special in helping them in the fight, but simply by shooting him over and over with their big weapons. There’s nothing here that screams originality, especially because we’ve seen it in pretty much every other issue so far when they’ve fought against all the other monsters, but also because it feels no different from every other Zord fight that has taken place across the last three decades and 900 plus episodes of the show. They win simply because they keep on fighting even when they’re being beaten, because they never gave up, and because they kept on shooting.

Other Power Rangers comics have offered readers stories where the Rangers are given character, where they struggle through adversity and have to overcome stuff by learning and evolving. They have conversations about their lives, their hopes, their worries. In this book, the Rangers are barely more than one dimensional. Other than Tommy being given different things to do because he’s Tommy and Tommy is always the special one, none of the Rangers do anything that feels like that particular Ranger. None of their personalities are on show, and you could swap around any of their lines to any other Ranger and it’d read exactly the same. There’s nothing here that makes me think of these characters, other than their costumes and robots, and the Power Rangers have always been more than that, even back at the beginning of the show when they had nothing more than a slight gimmick each.

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Godzilla feels a bit better served, but only really because he has very little personality to get wrong. He does what he does in the films and other comics (fights other big monsters) and that’s it. And whilst that’s fine and you can’t really say that it’s bad, people who love the Godzilla franchise will tell you that the best films are the ones where interesting things are happening around the monsters. Some of my favourite films in the series have great stories with fun characters that just happen to include Godzilla. But it seems like this story is expecting to be considered that way simply because Godzilla is here, because nothing much else really happens.

After five issues of build up, the conclusion comes incredibly abruptly, and you get two pages of any kid of wrap-up to bring the story to a close. This results in the ending feeling incredibly rushed, and I can’t help but feel that perhaps if a monster fight or two had been lost or trimmed down along the way then we’d have been able to have some character moments and a proper ending. The only real highlight of the issue is the final page, which shows the shared multiverse with images from all the different Godzilla reboots and refreshes, and the various Power Rangers universes. But that’s about all. The biggest thing of note about the whole issue was one of the variant covers including the Zeo Megazord amongst Mighty Morphin Power Rangers stuff for some unexplained reason.

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The art on this issue is once again provided by Freddie Williams III, and is perfectly fine. Everything looks good, the action looks dynamic, and it’s great to see these iconic monsters and machines sharing the same panel. But decent artwork alone isn’t enough to save a book that has been testing my ability to care for a while now.

Overall, this is a series that had a great concept, but started to drop in quality very quickly out of the gate. Reading it all at once in graphic novel form, or with all of the issues waiting for you, might result in this being an okay, middle of the road kind of story. However, reading it month to month, seeing the same basic thing of monster arrives, they fight, beat it, new monster, with no real characters or story, had ended up with this being one of the biggest disappointments. As a fan of both franchises this felt like an easy win, but it ended up being a major loss.

Godzilla vs Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #5 is out now from IDW Publishing.

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