“Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Return” Issue 1 – Review

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers The Return issue 1 review
Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Return Issue 1 (Image: BOOM! Comics)

Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Return Issue 1 took fans of the long-running MMPR franchise to an alternate reality featuring older versions of the iconic characters dealing with loss and a new threat.

Co-written by Amy Jo Johnson (the OG Pink Ranger) and Matt Hotson, I have to be honest, I was a bit worried about what type of story Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Return would bring to the table. Without diving into too much detail, there was a bit of controversy surrounding the project after the initial announcement (involving the inspiration behind what the fandom knew about the narrative premise). And while Johnson has experience writing content, this 4-issue miniseries was her first foray into action comic books.

However, having read the debut of MMPR The Return, I can’t wait to see what happens in the upcoming chapters. Johnson and Hotson did an impressive job of creating a familiar yet very different fictional world where the original Power Rangers finally defeated Rita Repulsa and Lord Zedd twenty-two years ago. Their last battle cost them dearly and the remaining Rangers broke up and promised never to transform again. But of course, things were going to change for them when a mysterious threat emerged in the present.

I liked how the first issue took time to address the loss of Trini Kwan. She had gone on to serve the community of Angel Grove as the longest-running mayor. Billy headlined the inauguration of the Trini Kwan Memorial Park and Youth Center with Zack taking the mic to say a few heartfelt words about their dear friend. And while Kimberly was present, she decided to remain in the crowd.

A lot of the grief present in the story was showcased via Kimberly. She’s the one who made the Rangers promise never to use the Power Coins again about two decades ago. Trini’s loss also did a number on her. Turns out, Kim moved to Canada and changed her name to Emma Phillips. Kim also cut contact with the rest of the team.

I do hope the upcoming issues explain why Kim took such drastic measures. Billy and Zack calling her out made sense for their characters. But I want to hear Kim’s side of the story as well. I want to know why she thought making her teammates promise not to be Rangers anymore and keeping her distance from them in such a manner was a notion she landed on.

As of right now, I have a theory that she might be blaming herself for Tommy’s death during the final confrontation and thought that staying away from her high school friends would keep them safe somehow? Hmmm. As I said, I would like the narrative to give me details.

Billy and Zack seemed to be doing well during their hiatus from Ranger duties. Zack told the public about being the Black Ranger, became a celebrity hero, and was managing a concert that helped produce clean energy. Billy ran a successful company and was working on a teleportation device in secret for the general public to use. But the catch was that both men were tapping into the power of the Morphin Grid to ensure their projects were a success.

I mean, as far as someone as smart as Billy was concerned, no one would have been able to stop him from continuing to tinker with the Morphin Grid. Zack, being Zack, was going to try and help people, too. Again, with those two dealing with the past in such a manner, what’s up with Kim’s emotions?

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers The Return issue 1 review
Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Return Issue 1 (Image: BOOM! Comics)

While I was ready to side-eye Kim’s severe response due to it coming across as yet another unfortunate example of depicting women as overly emotional in media, I do feel the story was able to balance things out with how it handled Jason. While Kim completely shut herself out of the Power Ranger business, Jason decided to step back into it in an unhealthy manner.

I could see why Jason did what he did even if he went overboard. Jason had tried to continue helping others by working as a firefighter, but not being able to protect everyone by utilizing the boost that came with turning into the Red Ranger took an emotional toll on him. After what he continued to go through, Jason was willing to use the Morphin Grid to permanently remain the Red Ranger as he took on a vigilante role.

It’s Jason’s disappearance that prompted Billy and Zack to reach out to Kim, asking her for help to find Jason. They also needed to figure out what was up with a mysterious being also using the Morphin Grid.

Even though Kim refused to offer a hand, it’s clear that you can’t stop being a Ranger. As the quote goes, “Once a Ranger, always a Ranger.” So, of course, the chapter ended with Kim getting to meet Trini’s young relative, named Selena, eager to become the Yellow Ranger. Her introduction made me remember the recent Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: Once and Always live-action special on Netflix.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the current story ended with Kim and the others passing down the torch to a new team of Rangers. In a sense, that’s how the Power Rangers are supposed to work. Holding onto the Power Coins forever isn’t it.

Illustrated by Nico Leon and colored by Francesco Segala (with assistance by Gloria Martinelli), I really liked artwork. The character resembled their older live-action counterparts. Jason got a cool new look and the panels of him being in the dark with the only source of light coming from energy shorts from his blaster… so good!

The silhouette of the mysterious being did come across as a woman to me. But let’s see who they really are.

All in all, Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Return Issue 1 offered a highly enjoyable debut to a MMPR fan like me. While I’m interested in learning more about the cloaked figure encountering Jason, I’m very interested in seeing how Johnson and Hotson plan to explore the older versions of the characters I grew up with. 

What did you think of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Return Issue 1?

Let us know.

Author: Farid-ul-Haq

Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.


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