Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer: Kyle Higgins
Artist: Thony Silas
Colourist: Bryan Valenza
Release Date: 20th July 2016
After that reveal at the end of #4, I couldn’t wait to pick up the next book. I’ve always been more of a Zedd fan than a Rita fan; he brought a menace to the series that I felt Rita often lacked. You can therefore imagine my disappointment to open #5 and find that it’s at this particular moment Higgins chooses to do a flashback!
One month prior to Tommy’s arrival in Angel Grove, the Rangers face off against a giant version of the Vitruvian Man (yes, you read that right; he recites Da Vinci quotes and everything). It’s only thanks to Zack that the team make it out unscathed; however his good deeds come at a price in drawing the attention of Rita Repulsa. The attitudes of the Rangers towards Tommy have varied thus far and in providing this flashback, Higgins fills in the subtext behind Zack’s distrust of the Green Ranger. The plot progresses little; instead, Higgins uses the opportunity to flesh out his characters and create more than one-dimensional fighting machines.
Would I have preferred to pick up with Lord Zedd? Of course I would have, and I’m certain it’s that fact alone that gives the book a slightly ‘filler’ feel. Apart from the kicker of an opening, the book progresses at a sedate pace that feels more designed to fill in the gaps rather than engage and excite.
However, what I would say is that in creating this book, for me Higgins continues to demonstrate his commitment to elevating the series beyond a child-pleasing, cheesy comic. Don’t get me wrong, we’re not exploring any hidden depths or childhood traumas, but we are provided with additional layers to the characters that slot in nicely alongside the otherwise light-spirited (and shallow) nature of the series (atrociously delicious lines, and all).
Hendry Prasetya moves over in this book to make way for guest artist, Thony Silas. The transition is seamless. Silas’ style fits well with that already established for the series by Prasetya. Perhaps it’s that the subject matter is well-suited to the medium, but this series really has featured some of my favourite artwork thus far for the year and this particular book is no exception. It would be unfair not to mention the contribution that the colourists have been making to that; Bryan Valenza’s work really makes the panels pop from the page. This is a vibrant, engaging book that’d I’d happily pick up just to look at.
Since this book is set prior to the first four books, this could be a good hopping-on point for those unfamiliar with the series to date. No prior knowledge is required, although new readers will miss the central point of the book in explaining Zack’s secret motivations and past experiences with the dragon coin. As for continuing readers, you may find it a bit of a bore after the dizzy excitement of the last one, but think of it as something to cleanse your palate before we dive back into the action in issue six.
Rating: 3.5/5 (because seriously, the ARTWORK).
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The writer of this piece was: Claire Stevenson
Claire Tweets from @cookie___raider.