“Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Return” Issue 2 – Review

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers The Return Issue 2 Review
Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Return Issue 2 (Image: BOOM! Comics)

Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Return Issue 2 offered an enjoyable follow-up to a very strong debut as co-writers Amy Jo Johnson and Matt Hotson provided readers with a much-needed flashback to add emotional context to the current storyline.

As someone who has read tons of comic books, there’s always a lot of pressure on the second chapter to deliver after a stellar first issue. Unfortunately, certain creative teams fail to meet the challenge. However, I can’t say the same for Johnson and Hotson. The second issue of MMPR: The Return maintained the intrigue of the debut chapter. It’s got me excited to see what will happen next.

Opening the second installment with a flashback was the right creative move. Going back 22 years, we saw Lord Zedd and his wife Rita Repulsa celebrating the death of Zordon and Alpha 5 with the rest of their lackeys. Due to the Power Rangers Command Centre in disarray, it’s only a matter of time before Lord Zedd and his forces invade Earth. They are confident they will win this time.

Coming up with one final plan to defeat the forces of evil, the flashback featured the Power Rangers attacking Lord Zedd and the others head-on. Artist Nico Leon did an impressive job of visualizing the breadth of the battle as the Ranger Zords faced a horde of putties and, basically, the entire Power Rangers rogues’ gallery.

With Jason, Trini, Billy, and Zack holding the line, Kimberly and Tommy snuck into the Bandora Palace to plant a bomb called the Benevolator. According to Billy, it had to detonate in an area with a lot of dark energy. Once activated, the Benevolator would incapacitate all of the dark beings, including Lord Zedd and Rita. Apparantly, it was going to excise the dark energy and transform the iconic villains into good people. But then we got to learn that the levels of dark energy would make the bomb explode in a manner that was bound to blow a hole in the moon. I’m still confused about what the Benevolator was supposed to do. Why the switch-up?

Anyway, detonating the device was easier said than done. I liked how Rita was the one who walked into Kimberly and Tommy due to the history the characters shared, especially Rita and Tommy. Kimberly vs Putties and Rita vs Tommy was quite intense, with Rita constantly mocking Tommy for being still too weak to do what needed to be done even though sticking to the hero code of not killing dangerous villains had led to Zordon’s death.

I enjoyed seeing Kimberly being the one to take the dreaded step to save Tommy. In a way, Kim had no other choice at that moment. Either Kimberly shot Rita with her energy arrow or Rita would have killed Tommy (her husband and the father of her child).

Kim being shown capable of killing Rita in such a manner also highlighted the fact that the Power Rangers could have made quick work of their villains a long time ago if they weren’t adamant about being a team of “no killing!” good guys. When it comes to such fictional stories, certain villains really do take the good guys not busting out a kill shot for granted.

Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Return Issue 2 (Image: BOOM! Comics)
The rest of the team realizes that Tommy didn’t come back in Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Return Issue 2 (Image: BOOM! Comics)

The final battle involved the Rangers needing to retreat with Tommy deciding to stay back to ensure the bomb went off. The panels visualizing the rest of the Rangers realizing what had happened to Tommy after initially celebrating their victory were drawn beautifully.

The emotional trauma the young Rangers went through more than two decades ago justified their current emotional state. Of course, Jason went rogue and Kim distanced herself from the rest of the team to raise her daughter Olivia away from all of the Ranger business. I mean, it’s not the most healthy route for those two to take, but it made sense. As Kim said, they became Rangers when they were only 15 years old. They didn’t get to experience a normal teen life and learn how to properly cope with certain situations.

Jumping to the present, it’s revealed that Kim was narrating the action-heavy and emotional flashback to Selena. While Kim still thought the world didn’t need the Power Rangers anymore because threats like Lord Zedd and Rita Repulsa would never exist again, Selena was all about wanting to become a Power Ranger. And I can’t blame her. I too would become a Power Ranger in a heartbeat if possible. I don’t care about the color I got.

However, there’s more to Selena than meets the eye. I was quite impressed by how Johnson and Hotson handled unveiling Selena’s true identity. Selena asking Kim if she enjoyed killing Rita raised a flag and things only escalated from there.

So, yeah, Selena’s actually… drumroll… the daughter of Lord Zedd and Rita Repulsa!

Apparantly, she’s interested in collecting the Morphers. She already had Trini’s and got Kim’s during the latest chapter. I think she has Jason’s Morpher as well and will attack Billy and Zack next for theirs. I have no idea why she wants them but it’s definitely for something sinister.

With Olivia coming back home and seeing Kim on the floor, I guess it’s time for Kim to help Olivia accept her destiny. Olivia’s clearly being set up to become the next Green Power Ranger and continue Tommy’s legacy.

Now, I get Kim’s hesitance to not want to become a Ranger again, but her thinking the world doesn’t need the Power Rangers anymore because a huge threat will never appear again is wishful thinking. There’s always a threat around the corner waiting to take the place of the enemy you have defeated. 

My only gripe with the chapter would be how Lord Zedd and Rita Repulsa didn’t suspect the Power Rangers were up to something. They know the team has six Rangers on it. They should have anticipated some kind of surprise attack due to the Pink and Green Zords not being present on the battlefield. I think the creative team could have handled that situation a bit better.

Anyway, having said that, MMPR: The Return Issue 2 was undoubtedly a strong chapter. If the quality remains constant in the remaining two issues then it’s safe to say that Johnson and Hotson have delivered the fandom one of the best MMPR stories out there.

What did you think of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Return Issue 2?

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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