Mighty Morphin Power Rangers’ Strange History in Comics

One of the world's most popular superhero franchises once struggled to find itself in the comic book format.

Recently, I walked into my local comic shop with a friend and saw something fairly morphinomenal displayed in the window – the first issue of the Pink Ranger spin-off series from BOOM! Studios.

My friend was amused. “So it’s all about her being the Pink Ranger?”

“Yes, but it’s more than just that,” I insisted. “Haven’t you heard about the new comic series anyway? They’re practically flying off the shelves like little ninja crane zords.”

He walked away from me then, probably because he didn’t understand what I just said (or bothered because he did). But that gave me time to pick up a copy of the first issue of that Pink Ranger special and leaf through it.

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Wow, I thought. A story that has the balls to play with the wacky continuity of the original three seasons of Mighty Morphin’ – and treat it with dignity? That’s really something.

Then I paused for a moment and reflected on how we got here. It’s been a bumpy ride for the Power Rangers in the funnies. Their franchise has passed through the hands of so many publishers that have tried to translate the unique (and redundant) experience of watching one of its episodes into a dynamic looking panel-to-panel story. Most of them didn’t quite work out the way the fandom wanted. And the ones that did fell into immediate obscurity.

But for the diehard fans, there’s always been a thrill to reading a comic that featured the Power Rangers. So what if the art or the writing wasn’t technically the best? That’s why I think it’s time we revisit the, um, “unique“ history of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers in licensed comic book land (also, to garner more more appreciation for those who are just starting to get back into the fandom through BOOM!’s legendary run so far).

Let’s morph into action! Wait…you in the back. You’re doing it wrong. That’s a henshin belt. Pick up the Dino Buckler. There we go!

THE HAMILTON YEARS (1994-1995)

In the early ‘90s, the Power Rangers were popular enough to incite riots and traffic jams in toy aisles and freeways across the globe. But they weren’t cool enough to get picked up by Marvel or DC – yet. In fact, they started off at Hamilton Comics, a publishing house that specialized in telling stories about Uncle Scrooge and other stale Disney characters that bored 9 year-olds to death.

Hamilton was gracious enought to take the newborne mega-franchise under its wing and and told fun adventures with the power teens that played with the show’s conventions while honoring them in the same breath. The creative team managed to strike a nice balance between the goofy nature of the series and an toss in more creepier overtones than usual (mostly since the same creative team that worked on Hamilton’s Tales from the Crypt revival had their hands in this too).

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And since they weren’t restricted by Dairanger or Zyuranger footage, well, the sky was the limit. Sort of.

Vol. 1, Issue 1: “The Menace of Dracula”

The first issue of a Power Rangers comic came out in December 1994 during the chaotic second season of Mighty Morphin’, so it features Lord Zedd. But it’s highly apparent the original script did not. Zedd’s mannerisms are practically identical to Rita’s. He forces Finster to make him a monster instead of doing it himself; he throws his staff down to the earth to make the creature grow; and he complains about having a headache when the Rangers defeat him in the end.

And the inconsistencies don’t stop there. As we all know, the Z-Putties will explode everywhere after you hit their Z-spot (mind out of the gutter…now!) But here, they evaporate just like Rita’s putties do in Season 1 after the teens throw them around the backyard for a few minutes. Oh, and the Thunder Megazord formation sequence is a direct copy of the Dino Megazord’s too, for crying out loud.

Continuity issues aside, “Menace of Dracula” is a fantastic way to kick off the Hamilton run. The story involves Zedd creating a monster out of Ms. Appleby’s Dracula Moth, which traps all of the Rangers besides Billy and Kimberly in its cocoons. The plot is structured much like an early Season 2 episode, so it’s formulaic enough to be familiar but original enough to break the mold.

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Vol. 1, Issue 2: “Switcheroo!”

Did you ever wish one of the big bads would turn Ernie into a monster? I mean, it happened to Bulk, right? Well in this particular issue, he did. A monster named Goat Man to be exact – who was suggested by a 10-year-old reader (or so an editor’s note says).

Like most stateside monster creations, Goat Man doesn’t have the most inspired design ever. Other than that, this story is pretty darn good. It establishes continuity with the issue that came before it (Ernie obtains a piece of the Dracula Moth’s cocoon for the Rangers to autograph) and the Green Ranger himself shows up, after spending all issue debating on whether or not he had enough power to morph.

Bulk and Skull also get lot to do here, eventually cosplaying as the Mauve and Puce Rangers and screwing things up like they normally do. But Zedd and the Thunderzords? Still written like their Season 1 counterparts. D’oh!

Vol. 1, Issue 5: “Grounded”/“Stranger in a Strange Town”

This marks the point when Hamilton’s format shifted into telling two different stories in one issue. The results are uneven, and I would say this is perhaps the single weirdest Power Rangers comic book ever produced – but there’s still plenty of odd stuff coming up, so I’ll hold my tongue and let you be the judge.

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In “Grounded”, the gang are excited about a Wild West show happening at the park but are bummed that Kimberly can’t go because her stepfather grounded her after going “over-budget” at the mall. Lord Zedd is surprisingly offended that the Rangers would have the balls to go to fun social events while he’s on the moon plotting their destruction, so he has Finster (sigh) make him a cowboy themed monster to terrorize the Wild West show.

(Man. For a skinless snake wrangler wearing nothing but a titanium speedo, Zedd’s kind of a psycho, isn’t he?)

Because Finster’s generic cowboy monster named Kid Zippo has a gun, the only way he can be stopped is by a bow. Naturally. So the team really really needs Kimberly to come out and play with them. But her stepfather won’t budge, and Zordon won’t get in the way of good old-fashioned parenting.

What’s a group of intergalactic city park defenders to do? Who cares. Kimberly’s stepdad is a prick.

Then there’s “Stranger in a Strange Town”, which is the part that gets my vote for weirdest (if not creepiest) Power Rangers comic ever. In it, the teens are seen skydiving out of a plane, doing formations and things like that – exactly like how the 1995 movie begins. Which is weird enough as it is, because this issue hit the racks months before the film was released to theaters…

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But instead of landing somewhere in Sydney, Australia, the gang is suddenly split up by a gust of wind. Aisha is sent spiraling off into a different part of the sky, eventually settling down in the middle of a busy Angel Grove intersection, but no one seems to notice or care.

Things get crazier when she stops by her house only to find that another Aisha is there, working on the book report she intended to do after returning from her skydiving trip. Uh…right.

As she flees from the angry crowd, Aisha runs into Lord Zedd himself. Except, hold on, he says that he’s actually…Rocky? He proves his identity by reminding her that when they were at the library the day before, she chose to write her book report on Jean-Paul Sartre’s The Stranger instead of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. Since this is the only intimate memory these two lifelong friends share, Aisha goes along with it.

Zedd/Rocky drags her to his earthly headquarters – a huge mansion where Alpha 5 waits for them at the door like a butler. But Aisha doesn’t recognize the friendly automaton, nor does she recall anything about being a Power Ranger either. I think.

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Fed up with Lord Rocky trying to brainwash her, Aisha tells him that if he really was the real Rocky DeSantos, he’d know that the true author of The Stranger wasn’t Sartre; it was Albert Camus – because it just so happens to be his favorite novel (wow…Rocky is so deep).

Lord Zedd finally gives up and admits that he’s not Rocky, he is Lord Zedd after all, trying to punk her like the hellish rendition of Ashton Kutcher he is. As he zaps Aisha, blocking her morphing abilities, the rest of the Power Rangers burst in with their Thunderzords and save her from this bizarre and elaborate trap that was more like a fever dream Karan Ashley had after eating too many sour Skittles.

See? What did I tell you. Weirdest Power Rangers comic ever. Well, until we get to the one with the tiny flying elephants. That one’s nuts too.

Vol. 1, Issue 6 – “Attack of the Gargantutron” / “Shop Till Your Drop Dead”

Oh, but wait – then there’s this issue, which also has a pretty crazy Power Rangers adventure towards the back of its pages.

Whereas the first story, “Gargantutron”, is a straightforward Rocky focused tale about a monster made out of space putty (with fantastic art by the way), “Shop…” is another twisted, surreal tale in the vein of “Stranger.”

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Lord Zedd and Finster build a new mall in Angel Grove that’s secretly full of dangerous booby traps set up to ensnare innocent customers and the Rangers themselves. In the center of it, they put an evil statue of a golden man to stand watch over everything. As shoppers are terrorized by greedy goblins and vampire cashiers, Zedd animates the Golden Colossus to battle the Rangers in Dairen’oh the Thunder Megazord.

Vol. 2, Issue 2 – “The Yesterday Bomb”

The second phase of the Hamilton era – which begins here – was more solid but no less quirky than the comics that proceeded it. However, the stories featured in the second volume were even more experimental and high concept than before. “The Yesterday Bomb” is a good example of this, as it involves the Rangers being blasted backwards through time to the Mesozoic era where they get face to face with dinosaurs.

Who wouldn’t have liked to see that happen on the show? Nope, that Time Force episode with Wes and Eric running away from the T-Rex doesn’t count (Tommy wasn’t there).

Vol. 2, Issue 3 – “Bad Attitudes” / “Grey Skies”

Okay, here we go. If you can’t already tell from the cover featuring the Rangers battling miniature flying elephants, this is another off-the-wall entry from the Hamilton. “Bad Attitudes” is about the Rangers having, well, bad attitudes because of a “’tude tick” that Zedd planted on Billy to distract the Rangers from stopping his new Octozord.

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Zordon gets so P.O.’d that he strips the teens of their powers and kicks them out of the Command Center for good. That’s okay because they get them back just in time to vanquish Zedd’s new zord anyway.

Phew.

Meanwhile, in “Grey Skies”, Lord Zedd and Finster decide to take a different approach to annoying the Rangers this time. Instead of relying on one big giant monster to defeat the kids, he’s going to use a whole slew of tiny flying elephants called Aerophants to take over Angel Grove.

The Rangers try to stop the critters with their Thunderzords, but they’re too small that it’s useless to try. So what do the Power Rangers do to get rid of the citywide miniature winged elephant infestation?

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They order a semi full of bats and unleash them to scare away the Aerophants. Because elephants are scared of mice, see. And bats are considered winged mice…yeah. You get the picture.

So the Aerophants were run out of Angel Grove, “never to return.” Where did they go then? Did they invade Stone Canyon or something? They couldn’t have just disappeared. Whatever, Adam. Just make a bad joke about it in the end. You ecoterrorist asshole.

The Power Rangers Saga (3 Issue Mini-Series)

This may sound barbaric, but in 1995, you couldn’t stream episodes of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers whenever you wanted to. You had to wait until it aired on weekday afternoons (and Saturday mornings) to catch reruns of what you missed. True, there were a few episodes that were officially released on VHS, but if you wanted to get the whole story of the first two seasons of Power Rangers, you had to be patient. Or set the timer on your VCR like I did.

So that’s why Hamilton released this three-issue event in fall ‘95, which turned out to be the final big hurrah for their run. The bigwigs at Marvel had acquired the property over the summer. This adaptation covered all of the major events that had occured during the show’s run up until the debut of the White Ranger.

What about the Power Transfer and all the cool Season 3 stuff? According to a long letter by Don Markstein published at the end of the third issue, they had three more installments planned (along with a detailed overarching story to tie things up) but Marvel stole MMPR from them before they could even storyboard it. So there endeth the Hamilton days.

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We head to the Marvel years on page two!

And here we go on page 2…

THE MOVE TO MARVEL (1995-1996)

1995 was the year Power Rangers hit the big time. That is to say, it had a summer blockbuster movie that didn’t turn out to be the box office success 20th Century Fox expected it to be. And since we’re being honest, the ratings for the series itself weren’t as strong as they were the prior year, either. But the toys and merchandise were still pretty hot and tempting as ever. Which is why, in a sudden twist of fate that faintly resembled a Moebius strip, Marvel (who heavily influenced the creation of the Super Sentai programs MMPR is based on) swooped down like a huge bald eagle and snatched up the creative license from the modest yet eager hands of Bruce Hamilton.

Those power brats were now officially super heroes.

The fans cheered. No more anachronistic, cartoony renderings of our favorite characters! No more creepy, tonally inappropriate storylines with existentialist baggage! No more Lord Zedd acting like Rita! Now the Power Rangers could cross over with the likes of Spider-Man, Wolverine, Son of Satan, and Gilgamesh the Forgotten One! Images of the Shogun Ultrazord blasting Galactus, Tommy and Elektra whooping on drug lords, and Alpha 5 meeting Alpha Flight did roundhouse kicks in our heads. We didn’t have to put up with tiny winged pachyderms anymore. The world was our oysterizer.

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But guess what? None of those things actually happened. And most of Marvel’s MMPR comics themselves weren’t even as memorable as a majority of issues that Hamilton cranked out. Huh. Go figure.

Retrospective snark aside, I have to admit that the Marvel run was hands-down the coolest you’ll find from the salad days of Mighty Morphin’. Marvel was experienced with heroic iconography – heck, they invented it – so they knew how to present the MMPR brand in a way that balanced kid friendly with ‘90s aggression which felt more timely.

The stories themselves are perhaps some of the worst of any era, strangely enough, because they’re mostly uneventful. Instead of playing with the structure of a Power Rangers episode as Hamilton did, Marvel strictly adhered to it. Except in their Ninja Rangers line of comics, which was treated as its own spin-off line. In the end, there was little to no continuity shared amongst them.

 

The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Movie Special

What better way to launch a new title based on the hottest kids show around than by adapting its big summer movie?

Although movie adaptations are always either hit or miss (or completely ignored), this one falls somewhere in the middle. It doesn’t capture the glory of the film, nor most of its hubris, but it gets the story told in 30-something pages. In that sense, it’s efficient.

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And since most of the character designs used throughout the comic are based on those from the movie, it feels as though the MMPR Marvel universe is an extension of the film’s timeline rather than the show’s. Which I totally dig.

 

Vol. 3, Issue 4 – “Glutton for Punishment” / “Revenge of the Nerd”

Marvel had a fetish for bringing back classic monsters from the show’s previous seasons. I guess it had to do with that whole brand recognition thing. Or maybe it was because they were easy to draw, since there were detailed photo references handy at all times. For instance, in Issue #3, they brought back Pirantishead (but acted like he was a new creation for some reason).

In this issue, we are treated to a nicely plump and resurrected Pudgy Pig, who’s looking to gobble down an Angel Grove power plant. He grows big, the Rangers kill him with their Ninja Zords and…that’s about it. Snore.

“Revenge of the Nerd” might not have a cameo from the blown-up monsters of yore, but it is gross. Meet Myron Zitzner. If you can’t already tell by his last name, Myron’s face is covered in pimples. Two bullies pick on him at the, uh… wait, is that the Juice Bar? It must be, because Tommy walks in like he owns the place and tells those little douchebags to go douche themselves (but in a Fox Kids kind of way).

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Myron gets upset and runs off because he wasn’t able to defend himself. Tommy is confused. Why would someone not want him to protect them? Maybe he secretly doesn’t like others to be empowered, because then they too might have the flowing hair of a ninja god. And we can’t have that, now can we?

(I think we just figured out the real reason why Aisha was replaced…)

 

Oh, what’s this? A giant Tenga? Why?! That would never…Well, the Rangers are sent to stop them by a very scary looking Zordon. Oh hey. It’s Kat. We’re getting deep into Season 3 now, aren’t we?

Squatt and Baboo kidnap Myron and Zedd and Rita turn him into a giant disgusting ball of pimples that spits corrosive acid instead of pus everywhere.

What’s sad is, Tommy thinks there’s something familiar about the huge glob. So he summons the Ninjazords (no Shogunzords?!) and has Aisha’s Bear Zord give the huge zit a big ol’ ninja bear hug. It pops. Myron Zitzner flies out. Tommy catches him on the tip of the Falconzord’s wing, because ew. He goes on to win a science fair and have a threeway with two random classmates so they can copy his Physics homework.

The end.

 

Ninja Rangers #1-2: “Cheaters Never Prosper & Winners Never Cheat” / “Let the Buyer Beware”

Right out the gate, the Ninja Rangers comics tell more interesting stories than the parent MMPR line did, mostly since they focused on the adventures of individual Rangers rather than the team as a whole as the show always did.

The debut story “Cheaters Never Prosper & Winners Never Cheat” sees Tommy follow one of the members of his basketball team across town to discover that he accepts bribes from thugs to rig the game. Because high school basketball games are hot to bet on in Angel Grove. Lord Zedd wants in on the fun, so he turns two sharks that the gangsters own into The Loan Sharks. Tommy goes up against the gangsters like a boss and takes down the sharks with his ninja skills and ninja ponytail.

The second issue’s “Let the Buyer Beware” is all about Kim and Aisha, who look like 38-year-old real housewives shopping at Wet Seal.

Kimberly is reduced to a shell of a parody of her character, driven by nothing but trying on clothes and lookin’ purty. Aisha is bored and ready to do something productive like laugh at the offensive coffee mugs at Spencer’s. But no. This is 1995. Kimberly is a girl, an airhead, and she’s wearing booty shorts. Thanks Marvel.

Zedd is bored too, so he turns all to the shoppers into huge, exaggerated pig people with giant mouths that consume everything in sight. The girls call upon their Ninja Ranger power to help, but they don’t want to hurt the innocent shoppers because they’re nice neon colored ninjas of justice. So Aisha picks up all the price tags, rings them up at the register with super ninja speed, and shows the mob of grotesque gluttons the bill. When they see it, they throw-up and turn back to normal.

The lesson of the day is this: Binge and purge, kids.

 

Ninja Rangers #3: “Dark Thunder”

If any one of these comic tie-ins were to have any lasting impact on the Power Rangers overall legacy, it’s “Dark Thunder.”

It starts off with the Ninja Rangers in Japan, rescuing people from the damages an earthquake caused that Zordon sent them to handle. One of the citizens runs off with a car stereo after Tommy saves him. Zordon says that saving a thief’s life was “regrettable” (because he is a cosmic jerk deep down). He’s more worried about what’s causing the earthquake, though, which just happened to awaken a dormant volcano. He reminds Alpha 5 that the Rangers’ old powers were destroyed by “Rito Revulto and Vampirus“, even though Vampirus technically hatched after the Rangers were given their new powers by ”Ninjoi“ who is supposed to be Ninjor… but whatever. Zordon warns that energy can only be transferred, not destroyed.

Meanwhile, Zedd and Rita are deep below the earth, salvaging the remains of the Thunderzords and searching for the Tigerzord, which was supposed to emerge during the big earthquake in Japan. But it’s missing! So Zedd takes action and rounds up a new group of teenagers with bad, dastardly attitudes from across the world (including the thief Tommy rescued) to be his new set of Dark Rangers. And they don’t look like goobers this time. They actually look like Power Rangers! (i.e. They don’t have cheesecloth covering their faces this time.)

Zedd transports them to somewhere in Mongolia and gives them the ability to speak English. (Uh…) When the Thunder Megazord rises up from the ground, the Dark Rangers jump inside. The Ninja teens freak out and summon their Ninja Megazord to stop it from destroying the nearby Mongolian city (?). The Megazords wrassle around for a bit, and both sets of Rangers hail communication like they’re on the friggin’ Enterprise.

As the fight goes on, the Tigerzord leaps out of the volcano after all, surprising everyone. It merges with the Thunder Megazord to form the Mega Tigerzord and then it flies off into space, leaving the Ninja Rangers – and the audience – scratching their heads.

Even if “Dark Thunder” isn’t a complete PR story, it’s still the finest of Marvel’s bunch, and it told more of engaging story that played with the show’s lore than any of the other ones from their line felt comfortable with.

The possibilities of “Dark Rangers” inspired Amit Bhaumik when he wrote the infamous Wild Force episode “Forever Red”, citing it as a source of justification for the return of Jason’s power coin. I’ll buy it.

But seriously, what was up with the Tiger Zord?

 

Masked Rider Issue #1

We’re only focusing on the Power Rangers related comics here, but the first (and only) issue of Masked Rider comic is Power Rangers related. It’s a crossover event just like “A Friend in Need”, and it ties into the end of the very last issue of Marvel’s MMPR run.

If you don’t know much about Masked Rider or have never seen the show, I won’t go into much detail here (although Den of Geek wrote about the show somewhat extensively here). But I will say that the show is frowned upon for being more of a poor man’s sitcom than an action show, even though it was technically both. The comic felt more comfortable exploring his world and his mythology than it ever did with the Power Rangers. That’s because Masked Rider’s premise fit in pefectly with traditional comic book storytelling. Power Rangers did not.

Even so, there they are: the Ninja Rangers, jumping in at the end to help Dex save the day from Count Dregon’s large rhino beast. They distract the monster with – guess what – the Ninja Megazord while Dex goes off on a quick spirit pilgrimage back to his home planet Edenoi to save it from blowing up. And he does! And he sees his grandfather again. And he stops in to visit Zordon and Alpha for a bit.

The Rangers finally blow up the giant rhino, after waiting for Masked Rider to get back, because that’s the best part for them. Then everyone has dinner at Dex’s house with his very progressive for 1996 multi-racial family. And we’re done.

THE PAPERCUTZ REVIVAL EXPERIMENT (2013-2015)

As the many different incarnations of Power Rangers continued to roll out through the following years, so did new comics. (Including an excellent Zeo one-shot at Image that was intended to be ongoing, a bizarre team-up between Turbo and Beetleborgs Metallix, and those fun little comic strips you’d find in various Power Rangers magazines). But it wasn’t until 2013 when the original Mighty Morphin’ brand were prominently featured on the pages again. Papercutz (the comic studio who now holds the rights to the Tales from the Crypt brand, ironically enough) began publishing new MMPR adventures 20 years after the series began.

The Papercutz team got the tone of Mighty Morphin’ right, but updated it just a little. Not as much as BOOM! mind you – it was still a period piece set in the ‘90s – but their approach had a similar degree of self-awareness and humor. The art, too, had just the right balance between East and West that made it look truly in the vein of MMPR’s Japanese/American fusion style.

Sadly enough, the Papercutz era was incredibly brief. Only three issues were released, one of them being a free comic book day giveaway. In some ways, the creative team got the short end of the stick. But they still produced a couple of solidly fascinating comic books that slightly altered the way we view MMPR.

Vol. 4 Issue #1: “Rita Repulsa’s Attitude Adjustment”

If you want a good example of how Papercutz would handle the Power Rangers from issue to issue if they kept the property, look here. This plot juggles just enough elements to keep all demographics happy while playing it safe for Saban’s benefit and not deviating too much from the status quo. This story works beyond its main plot points because it makes you laugh with a few meta-nods and it also gives Bulk and Skull (and Alpha 5) something to do that’s related to the main action storyline.

After archaeologists accidentally resurrect an enormous stone idol (that looks like a faux-anime mecha) in the desert outside of Angel Grove, the Rangers are quick to knock its head off with their Megazord. But when they do, something unexpected happens – it blows apart their Zords and mixed up their helmets, throwing off everyone’s color scheme. Not okay. Meanwhile, Rita steals the idol’s head and takes it back to her moon base where Finster attaches it to a new gargantuan mechanical body, which creates a new problem in itself. Can our heroes defeat Rita’s new hybrid zord when all of their powers are mixed up?

Issue #2: “Going Green”

The strongest entry from the Papercutz lot is its second and last. After defeating another one of her monsters without calling upon their Zords in a funny sequence, Rita Repulsa starts waxing nostalgic about the good ol’ days when it was easier to conquer worlds. She tells her minions the story of how she obtained the Green Power Coin. It was during one of her many battles with the good wizard Rooten-Toomen, ruler of the Rutabaga galaxy (who looks a lot like Zyuranger’s Barza aka Zordon’s Super Sentai analogue).

Because she knew it was in located somewhere in the Desert of Despair (where Ninjor lives!), she gets Rooten-Toomen to agree to meet her there for a fake “peace conference” (ha-ha) and disguises herself as one of Ninjor’s mysterious apostles. She eventually realizes that it’s underneath the statue of the ninja master the they’re busy worshipping. When Rooten-Toomen catches her, she tricks the vegetable head into blowing up Ninjor’s effigy with his magic staff so she can get the Green Coin…and she does.

Even though they were there for most of it, Rita’s crew enjoyed hearing the story. But they have to ask ask her why she hasn’t used the coin’s powers yet. She complains that she hasn’t found anyone worthy yet. Cut to – a young man in a green tank ‘top and a ponytail arriving in town, preparing for big the Martial Arts Expo at the Youth Center. Rita sends down a new amphibious monster named Korruptor to take down the Rangers, but this new strange teenager spots it first and takes it on himself without any powers. Rita is impressed with the size of this young man’s balls, not to mention a little embarrassed, so she makes Korruptor grow.

While the Rangers take on the goblin with their Megazord, Rita comes down to earth and tries to convince Tommy to be the bearer of the Green Power Coin’s powers – and her surrogate son! Tommy humors her for a while but winds up kicking over a water tank that spills all over her, ruining her hair. Back on the moon, Rita announces that she’s made her decision: she has found her champion, and she won’t take no for an answer.

The comic – and Papercutz’s criminally brief Mighty Morphin’ tenure – end with Tommy walking into the Youth Center for the martial arts competition, right behind the five teens. This winds up being unintentionally symbolic, seeing as how Boom! Studios’ MMPR series picks up right after Tommy and the Green Ranger are accepted into the team. Coincidence? Affirmative. But it’s a morphin’ one.

Stephen Harber’s got a power and a force that you’ve never seen before. He’s got…a twitter account, a website, and a comic book project that will even up the score. He also has a tumblr devoted to nothing but classic Power Rangers gifs, if you’re into that sort of thing. It’s okay if you are. We won’t judge you.