BOOM!’s Mighty Morphin Power Rangers title has cemented itself as the publisher’s best-selling book as the creative team of Kyle Higgins and Hendry Prasetya get to explore the world of Angel Grove and flesh out these beloved characters. In this week's Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #6, Higgins and Prasetya present their own Doomsday scenario with giving the Rangers their most trying challenge yet.
Talking to Higgins back in October, he explained that the book would have a more serialized approach and Rita’s big plan is something truly repulsive.
“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”,he said.
Newsarama talked to Higgins again, this time about the latest issue, what's next for the title, and how it doesn’t necessarily have to follow the show’s canon.
Newsarama: Kyle, before we begin, in the first scene, Tommy’s mom asks what we’re all thinking: why would you want to move to Angel Grove in the first place?
Kyle Higgins: [Laughs] That’s always been the million dollar question, right? I remember an editor at DC telling me one time they never bought Blüdhaven, because it was described as “worse than Gotham,” and they couldn’t get their heads around why anyone would live there. But, you know, look at certain cities in America - and I’m not going to start naming cities for obvious reasons - there are plenty of places that, on the surface you might say “Yeah, no way would I even step foot in that state.”
I’m from Chicago and it tears my heart out every time I read the news. But, it’s still an amazing place and I have an emotional attachment to it. It’s my home, you know? So, yeah. I suppose this is all just a long winded way of saying people dig Angel Grove for all sorts of reasons.
Nrama: This week's #6 is the start of a brand new arc; can you catch us up real quick and where we find the Rangers at the start of this issue?
Higgins: Sure. When we last saw the Rangers - in present day - Scorpina had taken over the Dragonzord via a temporary Dragon Dagger molded from the corpse of a putty that Tommy slashed up (they are clay, after all), and was carrying out one last mega-attack in order to supercharge a mysterious crystal with Green Chaos energy and open a portal... for reasons we weren’t yet sure about.
As it happens, Tommy overcame his Rita hallucinations long enough to jump into the fray - against orders from Jason - and took down Scorpina, seemingly saving the day. But back at the Command Center, tensions boiled over between Tommy and the team, regarding Tommy’s defiance of Jason’s orders, Tommy almost took a swing at Jason, and that Green Chaos energy is what ultimately powered the crystal enough to open a portal, bring forth a new enemy called The Black Dragon, and blow up the Command Center in the process. Whew, I think that’s everything!
Nrama: Okay so there’s obviously still some distrust for Tommy and that’s evident in the way that Zack treats him in this issue. How are the other Rangers reacting towards Tommy at this point?
Higgins: I think, especially with the context provided in #5, readers can probably ascertain where Zack’s hesitation and frustration comes from. There’s a moment coming up in #7, where Kim sums up the dynamic rather well - they were a pretty good team before he showed up. Now, it’s a process. And different people come around on things at different rates. For Tommy, it’s just going to take time.
Nrama: Here we have everything falling apart around them and all hope seems lost for the Rangers that it sort of reminds me of the “Doomsday” arc in the first season of the show. Were you influenced by that at all?
Nrama: Not specifically, no. Although, I remember having that very feeling you’re talking about when I originally watched it. Honestly, I wanted to kick off our Power Rangers series in a big, bold way. What we have in store for this arc - and the revelations that are going to come out of it - are what got me really excited. I wasn’t initially a big fan of blowing up the Command Center so early in our run, since it kind of felt like low hanging fruit, but the status quo that comes out of it is really intriguing, and that coupled with the world-on-the-brink stakes that are coming in issue 6 felt like a pretty nice way to launch the book.
Nrama: Now, something happens to the Rangers at the end of the issue that doesn’t affect Tommy. Will that also affect how the rest of the Rangers have to trust him in the end?
Higgins: I don’t know if I would say it’s going to affect their trust in him so much as, they’re going to have to quickly get okay with trusting him.
Nrama: You’ve added a lot of to the mythos of what exactly is the Morphin Grid, how it’s accessed - especially in this issue--the Pocket Dimension and so much more. When you pitch these ideas, is there an approval process from Saban? How does this work exactly?
Higgins: Yes. There’s an approvals process on everything. Every idea, every outline, every script, every piece of art. They’re very collaborative, and to their credit, when I propose an idea - even if it’s a bit outside the box - they stay very open minded and usually come back with ways to make it work. Or, if it doesn’t work, there’s a specific reason and I’m able to iterate something new based on that.
Nrama: Let’s talk about the design of the Black Dragon. It definitely has this Neon Genesis Evangelion vibe to it. How much of that was yourself and how much was series artist Hendry Prasetya?
Higgins: I provided a bunch of reference to Hendry, but it was just a starting point. Hendry and Matt took the ball and sprinted with it. As we get more into the Black Dragon - who he is and where he’s from - I think his design will become more and more exciting.
Nrama: The recent annual had a Jason-centric story and you outlined the real world pressure these kids are under. Will this arc balance out more of their domestic life work Ranger duties or lean more heavily on the kids being Rangers?
Higgins: This next arc - which is really, like, just a mini arc within the year long story - won't, no. It's only four issues, and the Rangers - and the world - are in a state of chaos. So, there's not a lot of time for them to worry about their domestic lives. That said, I definitely plan to do more with their domestic lives in the book. The Jason story you're mentioning is definitely in the vein of what I want to explore more of.
Nrama: So lastly, the Green Candle arc has to come eventually, right? Tommy was only the Green Ranger for about a year as is. With the annual touching on things like Zedd and even the Aquatians, do you feel like the story is ready or do you think you’ll take more time to get there?
Higgins: Well, you're presuming the green candle story has to happen. I think, as this arc is really going to start to show, we're in our own timeline. So, all bets are off. Like, way off.