Sina Grace may seem new to Power Rangers, having just been announced as co-writer for the Go Go Power Rangers comic alongside Ryan Parrott, but he’s been with the franchise since the start of Boom’s run. He contributed a variant cover for the very first issue and even wrote/drew a short story, but now he gets to put his own mark on the Power Rangerse universe.
At Wondercon we spoke with him about what he wants to bring to Go Go, diversity in the series, and his history with the franchise including both Power Rangers and Super Sentai!
Tell me about your experience with Power Rangers just growing up or your past experiences with it.
I feel like this is very obvious, but it’s worth saying every step of the way. I grew up being a huge fan of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. I loved it so, so much as a kid and always, always held it close to my heart. When Boom got the license, I immediately wrote editor Dafna Pleban and was like, “Listen, I need to do something on this. I love Power Rangers and I just want to show my love.”
I did a variant cover for the very, very first issue, which is of Tommy and Kimberly holding each other romantically while an army of Putties comes at them and then the Dragon Megazord is fighting Goldar. That was how Power Rangers permeated my brain. Then, I did something for the 25th anniversary (the story Golden Ideas), which after it came out, I felt this little bit of regret that I had sort of played too safe. I love these characters so much and all I wanted to do was honor them.
When the opportunity came to help Ryan on Go Go Power Rangers, I was really excited because he’s the architect, and he’s steering both ships, Mighty Morphin and Go Go, but he’s teaching me how to not be so delicate with the toys and how to have some fun. How to trust my instincts as someone who is a fan, but is also a storyteller and how to move these characters in a way that’s meaningful and still a thousand percent true to the canon.
Tell me a little bit about that 25th anniversary story.
Last year the 25th anniversary came out, and Boom was kind enough to empower me to write and draw stories. So, at the time, I felt like fans and readers really hadn’t seen much of Aisha and Adam. Even on the show, it was still kind of more about Rocky. It was a challenge for myself because I think I also never paid much attention to them as a kid. I really was excited to go and look at them and make them the main characters and take the themes of friendship and how these teams can become family for each other and really put that in the book and have them learn a really quick lesson. Then also do some cool fun stuff that maybe wasn’t possible with the TV series in terms of like, oh, they can interact with Goldar and they can interact with monsters growing in a different way than we’ve seen previously.
It was just a way for me to kind of do everything I love and put it in eight pages and I was so lucky to have a nice healthy deadline with it, too. I really just got to go and give everything when I drew Goldar and just really get into his armor. I still have all of my toys from being a kid, so I was actually photographing my Goldar toys and my Ranger toys to pose them just right. It was great because the approval’s process was the fastest I’ve ever gone through in my entire career because it’s like, “Yeah, I’m 1000% on model.”
That story felt like an homage, whether intentional or not, to the old comics and how they were very simple one-and-done stories.
I do remember those older comics, and they were very classic one-and-done and safe. Yeah, it was meant to have that pastiche vibe.
Obviously, you can’t tell us too much about what’s going to happen in Go Go but what are things that as a fan that you’re excited about writing?
I love what Ryan did on Go Go to date and it’s so crazy because I remembered picking up … I think it was the third issue at a comic store, and I was like “What? Dan Mora is drawing Power Rangers? What is this?” I was just like “Holy crap, this book is amazing.” I think that’s what’s exciting. I don’t feel like this was done or explored as much in Mighty Morphin because that one, the scope, is so big and so epic. I think Go Go is a lot more grounded.
So, what I’m really excited about is continuing on with what Ryan did in terms of really making these teenagers today who are still the characters we know and love. There was a throwaway line Zack said in either the first or second arc where he’s like, “How come I have 147 followers on Instagram, but the Black Ranger fan account has 11,000?” Stuff like that where I’m not going to bog the reader down with those kinds of subplots, but those moments, I think, are going to make Go Go its special thing. Even if you haven’t watched the show in decades now? You should still pick this book up because it’s so much fun and the action is so great.
I’m excited to actually play with the characters and get in their brains. I also love his take on Kim and how she’s a lot tougher than we’ve seen her in the show. I love exploring her family and really getting to go in there with that. Even just the stuff I’ve done so far based on Ryan’s outlines have already been the best. Honestly, I was kind of afraid to play with the Jason/Trini dynamic but after Ryan broke it down for me? I love them. I love what their relationship has become in this book, and theirs has been a relationship I really have enjoyed writing and exploring and building upon.
Going back to your history with the show,and this is not “Oh, how deep of a fan are you”, but have you watched all the seasons? Have you watched the Sentai? How deep does your love go?
It’s always best to answer with honesty. I was a hardcore devote and then sort of trailed off around and after Turbo. I had a friend who really, really kept up with it, and he would tell me all the characters and the dynamics and I did lose track. I did spend a summer, a really warm summer, just camped out in my living room next to the AC unit watching (Zyuranger) with york peppermint patties straight out of the fridge and white wine; lovely way to spend a warm summer, and I super loved that. I actually ended up watching the two or three seasons after because I really wanted to see what the Ranger iteration of the Thunder Megazord footage, where that came from, and I wanted to see what that was about. (Dairanger’s) a trippy season.
I think I’m going to dive in and play a lot of catch up because Time Force super intrigued me, especially because some of the other books I’m doing in comics are time travel-related. But yeah, no, I’ll be honest. I feel like I do what I have done with a lot of things and I’ll just keep re-watching the seasons I’m familiar with over and over again. I do want to spend the spring and summer watching a bunch of the recommended seasons.
Obviously Power Rangers is very known for its diversity throughout the run and even up to the new movie where they had Trini be a lesbian or however she was identified. Do you plan to add more diversity to the comic or highlight different aspects of diversity within it?
Like I said, I am super, super, super Ryan’s co-captain on this. It’s Ryan ship and all I want to do is make these characters as three-dimensional and human as possible. I think with the cast makeup as it is, that’s bound to happen and I’m certainly not going to shy away from it. At the end of the day it just boils down to what fits with Ryan’s plans, but yeah, it’s like look at the cast. That’s obviously going to come into play.