Mighty Morphin Power Rangers are returning to comic books -- and revisiting a classic era from the franchise.
Yeah, that's right: Tommy's back.
In January, BOOM! Studios launches a new Mighty Morphin Power Rangers ongoing series with writer Kyle Higgins and artist Hendry Prasetya, taking place at the seminal point in the long-running show where Tommy just broke free from mind control and joined the team.
Newsarama talked with Higgins about the rise of the Green Ranger, the return of the Power Rangers, and for uber-fans -- the whereabouts of Zedd and Zeo.
Newsarama: So, Kyle, you’re taking on writing the new Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series from BOOM! and as a creator, what is it that appeals to you?
Kyle Higgins: Well, I was a fan growing up. I was like 8 or 9 years old when it premiered and I think looking back on it now, what resonated so much--and still resonates--is the idea of these teens of different walks of life that come together in order to save the world. So even down to their Zords working solo, but coming together to make the Megazord becoming stronger that way, it’s a testament to the powers of teamwork and friendship. Those themes resonate as a kid and just a very empowering concept and a powerful wish fulfillment angle. Who doesn’t want to be a superhero endowed with special abilities?
Nrama: Especially at that age.
Higgins: Right, exactly. With school, especially around that time, I definitely felt like an outsider. I was quiet and kinda sensitive and introverted so I think it’s the same reason I was attracted to Spider-Man and the X-Men. I mean, who doesn’t want to pilot a giant Zord?
Nrama: Now, where in the MMPR timeline does this book take place? BOOM! had Tommy in the Green and White Ranger costume on the covers, so was that just for having a cover sake, or actually integral to the plot?
Higgins: No. Those are just covers. I think the White Ranger is a variant cover. It takes place when Tommy is the Green Ranger. You know, his story in the first arc is focused on his time as the Green Ranger.
Nrama: Are we talking “Green With Evil”, or are we talking about when he’s already on the team and we’ve moved past that?
Higgins: I’m trying to be very careful with what I say here. I’ve made this joke throughout New York Comic Con, but I’m pretty sure BOOM! and Saban have snipers stationed at different corners of the convention. I’ll say this though, yes, it’s after “Green With Evil”.
Nrama: I was wondering if we’re going to get an origin story or if we dive right in. Are we going to get to any origins like Zordon of Eltar and Rita or anything like that as well?
Higgins: Yeah, I mean the series is not an origin story. It’s in some ways similar to the update with Archie as what we’re looking to do. We’re taking this thing that we love about the show and we’re doing kinda our own thing in a more contemporary way. It takes place right now and I just got some initial character designs of the cast that look pretty awesome. They’re very 2015. It definitely takes place in a specific era of the show and has some of the continuity of the show, but it’s not going to be diving into origin stories or deep mythology.
If there’s mythology to explore in a story that I want to tell, I’ll explore it, but this isn’t a series about mythology. It’s a very character-driven series.
Nrama: Okay, sure. So no origins? I was wondering if you were going to explore the other characters outside of the team, like Goldar. I think he is a fascinating character, especially when Zedd appears and gives him back his wings which were taken from him by Rita. Why doesn’t he have his wings? I mean, yeah, we know outside the show that they didn’t have the full costume in America until much later, but with things like that, are you going to explore?
Higgins: I would never say never to those type of things, but I’m telling new stories. I’m not telling stories for the sake of filling in for continuity or for the sake of answering mythology questions like that. To me, that’s a bulls--- reason to tell a story. If it has an emotional truth to it and it’s part of what I’m trying to tell, that’s great, I’ll use it. First and foremost, my focus is on these six rangers and their interactions and their lives and the drama that comes out of being both a Power Ranger and a teenager.
Nrama: What is the storytelling pacing with each issue? Is it a monster an issue or is it something more serialized?
Higgins: Oh, this is a serialized story. That’s actually what excites me the most about the concept of the series and why I took the job. I’m not doing one and dones. The limitations the show had, both budget and logistics, with what they wanted to do on that kind of scale is really, really tough. With the book and Hendry’s art, it’s so dynamic we’re able to do things and space things out into one big story that the show was never able to do.
Nrama: Yeah, that was a big concern for me as a fan. How will the monsters be incorporated, I mean, you can’t have the second issue have Dry Bones and then he’s dead. Rita will run out of monsters soon and Finster will be out of a job if they kept that up.
Higgins: Yeah. that’s actually something that I’m very aware of and it’s something I thought a lot about. Rita’s plan in our series, again, I’m not going to get into details, but it’s a big one and it’s something that builds. So it’s not the monster of the week, but I’m sure I’ll work in at least one bake sale somewhere [laughs]. When I say it’s a serialized story, the best thing about comics is the way you can explore people and ideas over long periods of time. That’s what we’re going to do with this.
Nrama: Okay, last question, and you probably can’t comment, but I figured I’d try: Zedd and Zeo down the line?
Higgins: [Laughs] I cannot comment on either Zedd or Zeo, but I appreciate the question.