What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about Power Rangers: Ranger Slayer #1! Truth be told, I have never gotten to speak of my favorite of the unique content brought to the Power Rangers books. One of those things for me was always the creation of the Ranger Slayer. If the introduction of Lord Drakkon wasn’t old enough, there was that and so much more which came from his world. Including this version of Kimberly Hart who kicks all sorts of ***. This far into the book franchise, I appreciated that they still found the room to give us a book like this.
After ‘Shattered Grid’ and everything which came after that, it only made sense that she would have to return home. You would want her to be in the main universe with all the other Rangers, but in this alternate universe once ruled by Lord Dakkon, there is still unfinished business. Especially when it takes more than removing the head of the snake to save a world like this. From the minute this issue started, they were quick to remind us of what kind of world this is too. One where the people have nothing and spend most of their days in fear of the people who are supposed to protect them. Where the power of the Morphin Grid is used to power a whole army of Rangers who are weaponized as soldiers. I even found it cool that they took a step further to also show what it is like for these “soldiers” who abuse this power. It told us everything we needed to know about what is still the same. The problem of this world was clearly the fact that the corruption was rooted deep enough that one big bad from the equation was far from enough.
Yet this is also a book where we were looking for what was different too. When we returned to this world, we jumped into a whole new situation that these people are dealing with. I thought how they shook things up was clever. There was no better way to give us different than to create a threat which put everyone in danger. That says something when even an army of Rangers is not enough to preserve order.
Which brings us to why we would be getting this Ranger Slayer who is trying to show her universe that she’s become a hero. We already know she’s a hero, but why exactly would she need to prove that to everyone else? It’s not as if she didn’t already make it know that she didn’t stand for the actions of Lord Drakkon and his army in the past. That’s what you would think, but then remember that everything heroic that this Kimberly did was in another universe. So with that said, it was worth it to follow Kimberly into this arc of redemption. There was people she needed to apologize to, and things she needed to atone for. All things which obviously were going to be easier said than done. Because of that, the tension came naturally as well. If you weren’t expecting some drama, then you must have missed everything that happened when Lord Drakkon was still ruling.
That aside, by the end of the story I wouldn’t be so sure about calling this the perfect jumping on point for new readers. You could jump in, and there wouldn’t be any real issues. However, you do miss out on a lot of context that would make a world of a difference towards your investment and understanding of what is unfolding. Personally, I would suggest being caught up on everything involving this alternate universe.
For a book like this, I think it was wise that they still went with the same art team. Let’s first talk about Dan Mora as the artist. Not only is he very capable with this kind of stories, he is the same artist who was penciling these pages the last time we were here in this alternate universe. You could call it playing it safe, but this is just what it looks like when you do the smart thing to create consistency. Consistency in the quality of the pencils, uniformity in everything distinct to this universe, and consistency in the impact of the action. If there is one thing he never disappoints on, it is setting up a good action scene. The action jumps at you, and he is detailed in everything which goes on in a scene. As for Raul Angulo on colors, being seasoned with these books did wonders for the visual appeal. The interiors popped because Angulo is the kind of colorist who knows how to set the scene. His use of highlights, boldness, the range of his colors in general made simple scenes excitable. It takes patience as well to be a colorist who makes use of a wide pallete, rather than relying on a few to fill a page.
Through the events of Power Rangers: Ranger Slayer #1, we are now witnessing a hero on the rise. Well, a hero who was ready to redeem herself for a past of betrayal serving Lord Drakkon. The best takeaway from this story was seeing that there is a long-term plan for everything in these Power Rangers books. No one gets left behind, and this was the perfect way to make that statement.