Power Rangers: SHATTERED GRID continues!
The most highly anticipated Power Rangers comic book event of all time continues with the release of Saban’s Go Go Power Rangers #9 from BOOM! Studios.
Power Rangers NOW had a chance to catch up with the team at BOOM! Studios and Saban Brands to learn some behind-the-scenes details about all the action inside this monumental issue.
Check out our full interview below filled with never-before-heard stories from Ryan Parrott (Writer, Saban’s Go Go Power Rangers), Dafna Pleban (Editor, BOOM! Studios), and Melissa Flores (Director, Saban Brands).
*Spoilers for Saban’s Go Go Power Rangers #9 below this point.*
The Ranger Slayer debuts such an edgy, new look with her short hair, buzz cut, and ear piercings. Who came up with this look?
Dafna Pleban: That was all [Artist] Dan Mora. He has a lot of fun re-designing characters, he sometimes posts that on Twitter. Years ago, I found one of his biker Batman designs where he took the Batman characters and put them in new aesthetics. So he came up with this really immediately accessible, aesthetically pleasing, badass design that feels very in-character for Kimberly, while also depicting what a rebel leader would look like.
Melissa Flores: Dan is a beast. We’re lucky to have him.
With the Ranger Slayer, you can go in any direction you want. What’s your favorite part about creating a new personality like that?
Ryan Parrott: When we were thinking about having Saban’s Go Go Power Rangers be connected to SHATTERED GRID, I only wanted to do it if there was a way to have it emotionally reflect on our characters. What’s so great about being able to bring in a dark version of Kimberly is that so much of high school is about preparing for your future. So getting to see a kid face off with their literal future was such a great thing. Kimberly is trying to figure out how to be a Ranger and to show her the path she could be on…I thought that was too perfect. It worked too well for the protagonist and the antagonist.
Can you tell us where the Gravezord came from, or how the Ranger Slayer created it?
Ryan Parrott: When you create a dark Ranger, they have to have a cool Zord. It’s a must. So the idea of a Zord that was collectively pieced together from the remains of the other Rangers’ Zords became too fitting. We kind of pitched [Artist] Dan Mora the idea and he just came up with that. I actually went back and re-wrote some scripts because of his epic design. You’ll see a lot of the Zord in the next few issues and all of its capabilities.
Dafna Pleban: You’ll see it in action in a really cool way.
We don’t get to see anything from Matt in this issue. Can we expect more to come from his story?
Ryan Parrott: Yes. This arc is one of the most important of the Matt story thus far. He will play a large part in the story moving forward in this series.
Can you talk about tackling such real-life issues with Kimberly’s and Jason’s parents? They’re topics the franchise hasn’t really explored before.
Ryan Parrott: I’ve been really lucky in that I’ve been able to pull stuff from my own life and put it into the series in a way that I think has been very exciting for me. My parents were divorced around the same time, and then my mom was also diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when I was in high school. So I love the contrast of seeing the Power Rangers deal with life and death situations, while dealing with really personal matters at home. Plus, the seeds are already kind of sown with Kimberly. I remember her parents were split up in the original series.
Melissa Flores: One of the things that we really loved about Ryan was that he did the Power Rangers Movie Aftershock novel for us. And we were all incredibly impressed by the way he grasped those characters, and the way he gave them these tiny moments of beautiful development. So when his name came up for Saban’s Go Go Power Rangers, we absolutely loved the idea. Every script of his has these tiny moments of character, as well as bigger moments. It’s a side of Power Rangers we haven’t seen before.
Dafna Pleban: One of my favorite parts about a shared universe is that we can tell stories in “present day” through [Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Writer] Kyle Higgins, but also tell the more quiet moments that often get missed through Ryan. What Ryan really executes amazingly in is giving the emotional aftermath in what would be the biggest thing in these teens’ lives. This is their first year as Rangers, they have no experience with it.
Melissa Flores: And don’t forget the added tragedy that is Matt, and the team’s relationship with him. We know, based on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers that Matt isn’t around anymore. So what happened? How has it changed everything? How has it affected Kimberly? It’s fantastic.
With all the focus on characters ranging from the Rangers, to the Ranger Slayer, to Lord Drakkon, the faction of Rita Repulsa’s has almost become forgotten. Do you ever find it difficult to balance her?
Ryan Parrott: That’s one of the things that’s been the most surprising to me is how much I’ve really enjoyed working with Rita. I remember her as someone who just screams a lot, so it’s been fun to dig into the layers of who she is and why she does what she does and her relationships with her minions. That’s become one of the biggest parts of the stories for me – understanding her relationship and how it’s evolved over time. What’s been great is everyone on the team has been so instrumental in helping craft and guide that.
Dafna Pleban: What’s been really cool on the part of Saban Brands is they let us really dig into Rita’s minions and her first encounter with some of them, such as Goldar, Finster, Baboo and Squatt. That includes why they work for Rita and where their loyalties lie. I think we sometimes forget that this is Rita’s first year out of the dumpster, and even though she’s not a teenager, she’s also defining herself. She’s been away for a while and is coming into a new landscape with new roles. That sort of tension between a leader who’s learning and [her minions] who are constantly in a fight is something we’ve really played with. It’s become a really good foil to the Rangers in that they’re both just trying to find themselves.
Ryan Parrott: I also have to give [Artist] Dan Mora so much credit for what he’s done with Rita. The way he draws her, and the emotion her gives her, there’s an intelligence in his design. I think it helps balance my poor writing.
Perhaps it’s in the spirit of Avengers: Infinity War, but every issue always seems to end on some kind of cliff-hanger. Is that something you make a focal point in your planning?
Ryan Parrott: It’s not anything I specifically design for, it’s usually just the way the story breaks. But it is nice to always give a tease of where we’re going in the next issue. You want to tease something for the next month so we can come back and have an idea. It’s more of a preview than a tease.
Dafna Pleban: The cool thing about Infinity War is that it was the first comic book movie that gave me the thrill of what comic books do each month: which is having this epic scope, and interaction between characters that never really shared moments before. It leaves you wanting more. At least with comics we come back the next month, so I think the anticipation is just a little bit more manageable. We get to follow things up just a little bit quicker since we don’t have to wrangle a dozen A-list actors!
With the return of past Power Rangers being such a large focal point of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers comic series, can we expect any past Rangers to return in the Saban’s Go Go Power Rangers series?
Dafna Pleban: Keep an eye out.
Melissa Flores: One of the beautiful and exciting things about exploring the mythology of Power Rangers is that anything can truly happen. We’re not limited by a budget, we’re only limited by the creativity and talent of our writers and artists and story team. And given that we have so much of that, I don’t foresee any of that talent or creativity running up. So I think we should still be very excited for the future. I’m pretty sure it’s gonna blow your mind.
Anything you can tease us for what comes next in the next issue, Saban’s Go Go Power Rangers #10?
Ryan Parrott: There will be a lot more Zord action. And we will definitely get to see more of the Ranger Slayer and what her plan is, and her origin, and all of the elements of the character will start to come together in a way that leads us towards her intentions.