So I’m back again, this time to talk about something I have been waiting feverishly for since I first got word that it was being made. The subject in question is the Justice League/Power rangers cross over. Issue one was released on the 11th of January 2017, and this morning I finally got to read it.
The cross over series will span 6 books in total and is written by Tom Taylor, with Stephen Byrne providing the art work and Derron Bennet providing the lettering. The Series is published by DC Comics and BOOM! Studios. BOOM Studios! Are also responsible for the very entertaining ongoing “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” comic book series which started with a one shot Issue on 6th of January 2016, while the full series debuted in March.
The premiere issue is 22 pages of story which is good clean fun, pitting the Power Rangers against DC’s god like stars. The idea of mashing these two pop culture icons is not only a good one but an inevitable one with both franchises releasing films this year, with The Mighty morphing film due in March and The Justice League following in November.
*WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD*
Tom Taylor obviously knows that starting with a scene that makes an impact will keep the reader hooked from the start, as the book opens on Angel Grove, but rather than the peaceful all American town that Power Ranger episodes start with, we are shown Angel Grove as a smouldering crater, and as the other Rangers survey the devastation, Zack, the black Ranger, who blames himself for the scene, is being consoled by non-other than Superman. Taylor then quickly throws the story back 36 hours to show the rangers in the Power Rangers Command Centre.
With all the Rangers in the Command Centre, Zordon informs them that Alpha Five has gone missing and tells them to teleport out to the surrounding areas to search for him. Teleporting into a nearby cave, Zack finds an apparently malfunctioning Alpha and teleports him back to the Command Centre. It’s not until Alpha Five’s head starts melting that Zack realises something is wrong, but it’s all too late. It turns out that the Alpha Five he has found is actually a decoy and a bomb that tears a hole in the side of the Command Centre, allowing Lord Zedd and a group of his Putties to just walk in.
Zack gives his all to try and fight them off, and upon realising that fighting is not a viable option on his own, he grabs Zedd, and against the advice of Zordon, uses the now damaged teleporter to try and teleport Zedd and himself out of there. Whilst still in the process of teleporting, Zack lets go of Lord Zedd, and finds himself being slammed into the floor.
We then cut straight back to the Command Centre where the other rangers have arrived to find the place in chaos, and they morph to fight off the remaining putties. Zordon then informs them that Zach has been teleported somewhere far far away, not in our world. It then cuts straight back to Zack who is fighting the Putties that managed to make the teleport successfully. As he is fighting he hears a noise behind him, and when he turns around, Batman is stood there next to the Batmobile.
He tells Zack to put down his weapon, but in his confused state, he thinks Batman is one of Zedds monsters. Batman tells him he doesn’t know who Zedd is and that he is confused and may have a concussion. Still Zack won’t believe him and attacks Batman, who quite easily blocks his axe with his wrist and calmly throws Zack over the bonnet of the Batmobile, and starts to arrest him, but at that moment the other Rangers appear to back up their friend. Batman uses his communicator to call for assistance, telling the person on the other end of the line that he is fighting enhanced beings. In a very well written joke, as the rangers strike a pose with their weapons to quip at Batman, they are surrounded by an orange blur for a split second and then realise they have no longer got their weapons, and The Flash appears in front of them, tossing the Rangers weapons to one side.
At this point, Batman tells The Flash to move and fires a rocket at the rangers. In the confusion, the Pink Ranger tells the others to get Zack out of the area, but Zack refuses to go as he blames himself for bringing Zedd with him into this new world. Now this is the point every reader will be waiting for, the Pink Ranger decides that if they are going to go after Zedd, they will have to deal with Batman first and calls her Zord. As the Zord swoops down, The Flash calls Cyborg in the Watchtower and tells him that Gotham has been attacked by a hostile group of enhanced beings and tells him to send in “the big guns.” When Cyborg asks why? The Flash, in the final pane, tells him “Batman’s been taken by a flying pink dinosaur robot.”
Now, I will admit that this cross over is silliness of the highest order, but I’m left wanting more! Tom Taylors story is fun, silly and yet highly engaging, and Stephen Byrne’s artwork compliments this beautifully, giving the parts of the story featuring the Power Rangers a bright and cheery look, with very normal, human looking characters, and the parts featuring The Justice league a much darker and gloomier look. Obviously the plot line was always going to be make or break, but in my opinion they have pulled it off by keeping it light hearted, it is a cross over after all, you’re not going to expect the same level of dialog as say The Dark Knight trilogy or The Killing Joke.
All in all, I loved its fun approach, and the fact that its shortness is its biggest strength as it’s so easy to pick up and put down quickly, without feeling you may have missed something. All I can say is that it may come down to personal taste if you like it or not, but as a starting point, I feel it has hit the mark hard and I can’t wait for issue 2! GO GO GOTHAM RANGERS!