This review for Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #31 from BOOM! Studios, the beginning of Power Rangers: Beyond The Grid, is SPOILER-FREE. The issue goes on sale September 26, 2018.
Power Rangers: Beyond The Grid has arrived, and there’s just one word to describe it: dark. Very dark in fact.
It’s not because of the issue’s gloomy colored cover, or even the new artwork from debuting series artist Simone Di Meo. Power Rangers: Beyond The Grid has a legitimately grim tone to its storyline that the franchise has so seldomly explored. It begins in the issue’s opening pages, and doesn’t stop even as the issue reaches its bewildering conclusion.
Power Rangers: Beyond The Grid revolves around a cast of Power Rangers being outcast from their world, their friends, and their powers. With Lord Drakkon’s defeat having just passed, a select group of Rangers who were imprisoned aboard Promethea suddenly find themselves in a world unlike any the Power Rangers franchise has ever seen. It’s mysterious, twisted, and of course, dark.
It’s the first story arc for the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers comic book series following the massive 25th Anniversary crossover event, Shattered Grid. And if fans thought Shattered Grid was dark, Power Rangers: Beyond The Grid is here to ensure that you haven’t seen anything yet.
Two icons from the comic book series’ past play a major role in the opening pages. Grace Sterling, the former Red Ranger from the year 1969 who lost her entire team, and the Psycho Green Ranger’s Dagger. Both appear set up to play a bigger role down the line as the story arc progresses.
New series writer Marguertie Bennett doesn’t waste any time giving hardcore Power Rangers fans exactly what they want – Heckyl. When the story arc’s team of heroes was revealed, fans were immediately drawn to the fact that Heckyl would be the Dark Ranger from Power Rangers Dino Charge. Many questions still remain about Heckyl, and how he got these powers, but fans will be treated to the character’s perplexing arrival in the opening pages.
It’s been stated before that Power Rangers: Beyond The Grid will focus on the team’s inability to morph, but that appears to have been understated. The concept of Power Rangers who can’t become Power Rangers is set up to be a focal point of this story in a big way. The issue provides a couple super juicy quotes in regards to this topic quotes that could prove to transcend the ranks as some of the franchise’s very best.
And as you would imagine, not being able to morph helps make the story just that much darker.
With shadow, mystery, and a feeling of lost hope hovering over the entire issue, it’s the story’s closing pages that really deliver on what Power Rangers has become iconic for: action.
The final pages provide nonstop drama that include the debut of a brand new character, as well as a massive cliffhanger (because what Power Rangers comic from BOOM! Studios doesn’t include one at this point?).
The ending is everything a reader of Power Rangers: Beyond The Grid could ask for: the entrance of a cryptic new character, an untimely plot twist for our heroes, and all the ingredients needed to kick off an intriguing new Power Rangers storyline.
On the artwork side, Simone Di Meo presents a very different style from what Power Rangers comic book readers will be used to as the visuals take reader’s eyes all over the page, from corner to corner.
Putting the Power Rangers in a twisted new world also calls on the need for twisted new colors, and the artist team behind Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #31 delivers with worlds so vivid, you’ll feel like you’re looking at Pandora from Avatar.
Specifically, the issue contains one full-page team shot that’s so strikingly beautiful, fans will be left clamoring for action figures of our newest team of Rangers.
All in all, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #31 kicks off Power Rangers: Beyond The Grid with dark suspense, ending with the promise of our new Rangers finding themselves in a pickle that will force six wildly different characters to have to band together.
And if that’s not what Power Rangers is all about, then what is?
FINAL SCORE: 8.5/10
Power Rangers: Beyond The Grid kicks off with a lot of promise as the newest storyline features dark worlds and grim twists that will test the Power Rangers’ abilities to stick to the franchise’s core messages.