Warning, this article spoils the end of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Issue #50
After the shocking twist ending of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #50, fans were left with a lot of questions. Who was that person that showed up at the command center? Why is here? Will we see the Omega Rangers again? What’s next for the Rangers on Earth? What about that cover that was previewed that had the new Dark Rangers made up of Rita and her minions?
We sat down with Ryan Parrott to get some answers and teases to these questions. We talk about trying to free the comics from being in lockstep with the TV series, the new Dark Rangers, and his hints of what we’ll see more of going forward including more references to things that were only hinted at in the TV series!
Note: This is part two of our interview with Parrott about issue #50. Check out the first part where we delve more into the issue itself.
DEN OF GEEK: In an interview that you did with Games Radar just before Go Go 32 came out, you mentioned that the events of Necessary Evil would set up a new status quo. One where infinite stories in the MMPR universe could be told and that was freeing you up from my running in lockstep with the TV series. Can you talk more about what that means?
RYAN PARROTT: Yeah. I mean, this is going to sound negative, and I don’t mean it to be, one of the hardest things about writing Go Go Power Rangers from issue 21 to 32… When you open Mighty Morphin 40, with the arrival of the White Ranger and the Stone Canyon trio and Zedd’s already there, it felt like that’s a big jump. For people who watch the show, they all know what happened, but for everyone else, it just felt like, “Wow, did we miss this? Did all this happen exactly the way we thought? How did they get here?” We just felt that with Go Go, we owed it to fans to not jump over so many major pillars of the Power Rangers universe and so that’s what that story became.
But I will be honest, it was really, really, really hard to write a series that was half of an ongoing event tied to a television show from 25 years ago and write a narrative that somehow floated through all of that. And it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever written and I just know that I don’t ever want to try and do that again. It’s frustrating for the fans because they’re seeing things that they already kno and you’re trying to give them new context, but if you change it too much, is it even the thing that you love? It was just a really complicated process. I knew that I wanted to go back to a status quo that was similar to the way that we did Go Go and the way that Kyle (Higgins) actually did his beginning run of Mighty Morphin, which was that we’re going to basically step into a period of time after this where everything slows down immensely and we can just do stories that don’t tie into episodes of the show.
In the same way that Kyle’s run was like, “These are all the stories that happened right after Tommy joined the team. Do they happen between episodes 17 and 18? Sure.” Because you can look at all of his run and say they all happen between those two episodes, and I think we’re going to do something similar now to try and create a universe that can stand on its own. This will allow us to, because we have the Omega Rangers and those Omega Rangers do exist outside in space, maybe be able to see elements of the Power Ranger universe that we’ve only hinted at in seasons of the show, but see them through the Mighty Morphin lens. The best example I can give is The Mandalorian, how they’ve used that show to basically tap into the entire Star Wars universe. We’re going to try and do something similar in the sense of trying to unite all of those future seasons but doing them in a way that feels organic to where we are in the timeline.
So will we be ping ponging from the Rangers on earth and the Omega Rangers out in space? I know the cover for issue 54 came out recently that had the Omega Rangers on it.
Yeah. I don’t think it’s a spoiler. We’re going to follow both teams and we’re going to see how they’re both interacting out in the world. And what I like about it, even if you look at those covers, I’m not going to break the book up the way that I broke up A Necessary Evil, this will be more a trade off. You’ll understand.
Much of Kyle Higgins work was set right after Tommy joined the team in mid season one and Necessary Evil was the middle of season two. Will the comic going forward cover the later part of season two and everything that was generally happening there?
Yeah. We spent 80 something issues, if you count all of it, building this universe. We had the Solar Rangers and The Coinless and the Omega Rangers and the Power Rangers and Drakkon and Zedd and Dayne and all of these characters. We’ve built this universe, let’s not rush through it. Let’s use it and try and tell stories in it that can bring in stuff from the other shows. I want to, I really desperately do. I have ideas that I’m very excited about doing, but we have this superhero universe, let’s use it. Let’s not just tell a story that gets us to the moments in the show that we already know is coming. Let’s spend some time and mine this area and maybe take some chances and do some stuff that you wouldn’t expect, which you’ll see. We should talk again in about a month.
Well you’re already adding new things like the new Dark Rangers made up of Rita and her henchmen. Are these different from the Dark Rangers in the show or are they simply “this is my version of the Dark Rangers”?
Oh, I’ll be honest. I remember that episode, and I hated those guys. I was like, “They just stand there. They don’t even fight. And they look like they made those out of nothing.” And now I said, “Oh, we got to redo them.” I think that was my first pitch. “Can we bring in the Dark Rangers again? Can I do a new version of the Dark Rangers?” And they were like, “Sure, sure. Sometime.” And so, finally, after all this time, I said, “Yeah, Zedd’s got that power. Let’s use it. Let’s have him use it and let’s do it in a way that they couldn’t do it on the show because they didn’t have the time and the money.” And so that was the first thing I said. “Let’s do that.”
And then I thought, “Well, we could take the time to build out a whole new group of angsty teens that just happen to reflect the exact same group.” But I was like, “It would be really more fun to try and use the minions that we’ve created. What if you gave the minions a little bit of power? What if they actually had some actual ability? In the same way that the Power Rangers are better when they have Morphin energy, what are the minions like when they have Dark Ranger energy in them? And how does that change them? How do they function? If they fight together, how do they fight?”
I just thought it was a really fun, quick way. And also, when we got the designs in, Dan Mora helped on the designs, and the minute that I got them, I went, “I love them so much.” Maybe some people call that fan service but I always look at writing that stuff as in, take an idea that wasn’t able to fully form itself and then try and do it in a way that would excite you as a kid. So, maybe that’s fan service, but I’ve always been writing the book for me anyways so I’m a fan.
Is there anything else you can tell us about what’s happening next with the comic? You have that big cliffhanger at the end of issue 50. What sort of things can fans look forward to for this next, I assume, big arc for the comic?
Drakkon coming back is going to be fun to see people react to. We talked a long time about when we wanted to bring him back and if this was the right moment. And I said, “He’s a very popular character. There’s no denying that.” And I said, “I’m very excited about bringing him back, but if we’re going to do it, I want to do it in a different way. I don’t want him to come back and being the same Drakkon.” So, for me, this character is, if you can just see from the last panel, has gone through some stuff and is a very different, a very broken, and damaged character and doesn’t have the powers that he had and the army behind him and the massive plans. I wanted to bring him in and try and use that. If we’re going to do that, then we can tell different stories with him.
I think he drives a lot of interesting emotional stories but also he’s bringing some plot with him. That’s what I got excited about. If you like Drakkon, it’ll be fun to bring him back, and I thought there was a lot of potential in just changing who he was because of what he’s seen. That’s the best way I can describe that.
When it comes to plot stuff, now that the Omega Rangers have defeated the Empowered and are out there, what is their goal? What is their task? What are they doing now? And they also don’t have a mentor anymore. The Blue Emissary’s gone, so now you’re on your own. And so if you looked at the Omega Rangers as bring in college? This is you just got out of college and now the world’s your oyster, and where do you go and what do you do? I think that’s one of the fun things about playing with them is seeing where in the Power Ranger universe they’re going to go, who they’re going to run into, and how that’s going to change their focus and their perspective.