Power Rangers: SHATTERED GRID was arrived!
The most highly anticipated Power Rangers comic book event of all time has officialy kicked off with the release of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #25 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 on the incredible crossover event.
Check out our full interview below filled with never-before-heard stories from Kyle Higgins (Writer, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers), Ryan Parrott (Writer, Saban’s Go Go Power Rangers), Dafna Pleban (Editor, BOOM! Studios), and Brian Casentini (Executive Producer, Saban Brands).
How did the idea of Power Rangers: SHATTERED GRID come to be?
Kyle Higgins: It started very early on in the publication run of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers comics. I was at Emerald City Comic Con in 2016 with [fellow writer] Bryce Carlson having lunch at our favorite spot in Seattle, and he says “You know, if you look at the publishing schedule, 2018 is the 25th anniversary, which coincides with the third year of your book. That would be the perfect time to do a big event”. That’s when [Editor] Dafna Pleban and I sat down to roughly talk about what the shape of something like that could look like. So the backstory for Lord Drakkon came about, and he really felt like the natural way to get into this type of large-scale storytelling that we were interested in doing for the 25th anniversary. From there, it became “How does this work? What is the narrative that brings in these other teams of Power Rangers?”. So several conversations started happening, and we started developing an overall pitch for it, and we went into Saban Brands with Brian Casentini and Melissa Flores and presented what we were thinking. It was about a four-hour meeting, and things kind of continued from there. So we’ve been working on this for quite a long time.
How was the SHATTERED GRID name created?
Kyle Higgins: The name came up around the summer of 2017. We threw around a bunch of different things and landed on this. I will say though, I’m terrible at naming things in general, and finding something that was both specific and felt epic was really hard to come up with. I wanted something that when you heard it spoken years later, it was synonymous with Power Rangers, and this specific story. And I feel like we landed on something really cool.
Dafna Pleban: The name was really an effort between Kyle, Brian Casentini, and myself shooting names at each other for what felt like two months. And Saban Brands also shot some ideas our way, and this name kind of came about as a fusion between our ideas. And I think this perfectly encapsulates both the events that end up happening, and the feel we wanted to go with.
Can you talk about the design of the Ranger Slayer, who debuts in Saban’s Go Go Power Rangers #8?
Ryan Parrott: I have to give all props on the design to [Artist] Dan Mora. This was one the designs that just kind of floated around, and I think he did a phenomenal job. I love every aspect of the character.
How did the idea of the Ranger Slayer’s character come to be?
Ryan Parrott: When we decided we wanted Saban’s Go Go Power Rangers comics to be in the SHATTERED GRID universe, we started talking about how we could do that. And one of the ideas that we came up with was the fact that there was this wildcard of a Kimberly in the Lord Drakkon universe. So it seemed like a perfect idea for us to bring her back in the past and have her come face to face with her younger self. The story’s been so much about finding yourself in high school and preparing for your future, and what better way to do that than to bring these characters face to face. It’s a fun character to write and a fun character to bring into this world, because it has such a big impact on all of the Rangers in very different ways.
Who named the Ranger Slayer?
Ryan Parrott: Kyle [Higgins] actually came up with the name Ranger Slayer. But we had a lot of meetings about names on this one.
How did you decide which former Power Ranger teams to feature more prominently throughout the story?
Kyle Higgins: Every team and every Ranger that’s been chosen has been done so for a reason. One of the things I wanted to do in building a big event like this was to not just slam a bunch of characters together for the sake of seeing them on a page together. I wanted to find ways into these teams that was both respectful to what we’ve seen of them on TV, but also open things up to potential new avenues for their characters. What’s really cool about comic books and an event like this is that we’re not limited by any of the practical considerations that you’d have to take into account in live action. For example, I can have the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers team meet the Power Rangers Samurai team at the same point in their respective Ranger careers. You can’t do that in live action. What that means is that I can pick and choose where in each team’s timeline this event occurs. Sometimes it’s mid-season, other times it’s post-season. It really came down to what’s going to give us the most emotional mileage and story potential. As a fan and a writer, what I really respond to are the pairings. What does a scene between Jason Scott and Lauren Shiba look like? What does a scene between Zordon and Doggie Cruger look like? What do Kimberly Hart and Jen Scott talk about? How does Karone factor into things? Those are the things that get me excited as a writer, and every Ranger and point of view character that was chosen was picked with those considerations in mind.
If you could write a comic series on any team outside of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, which team would you pick?
Kyle Higgins: I’ve always really loved the concpt behind Power Rangers S.P.D., and the concept of doing something completely off roll by the pure nature of what Power Rangers S.P.D. is. I think something like that would be a lot of fun. I’m also really fascinated by the world of Power Rangers RPM, and I love myself a good 80’s dystopian story. Power Rangers RPM is basically a love letter to everything I love watching. So I’d probably go with those two.
Ryan Parrott: I’d have to say Power Rangers Hyperforce. And I’d want to do it exactly the same way they do it on the show, by having the people improvise it all, and I’d just type it up. Think about it – I’d get paid for doing nothing, which is fantastic. Really though, I think it’s a very interesting format and I’d love to be in the middle of all that.
Dafna Pleban: I really love Power Rangers RPM, so I’m really happy we get to play with them in this event and we can see a combination of their Rangers and mentors interact.
Would you like to continue working with non-Mighty Morphin Power Rangers teams once SHATTERED GRID comes to an end?
Kyle Higgins: I’d love to. I think it all depends on what story I have to tell, which is what it’s always been about. So if there’s a story for it that makes sense, then yes I’d be absolutely for it.
Brian Casentini: You’re seeing a lot of layering across multiple platforms including some that have not been revealed yet, that I think will surprise and excite fans. So how are all these stories layered across multiple platforms and bleed into one another in creative/innovative ways while still reaching their individual canon? That’s the challenge that we at Saban Brands have. And the entire team at BOOM! Studios has been really great partners as we endeavor to create this very layered franchise storytelling.
What are the chances of seeing Power Rangers Hyperforce or Power Rangers Beast Morphers join the comic book universe?
Ryan Parrott: I think they should read SHATTERED GRID.
Brian Casentini: I think fans will be really excited by what they’ll see across all the platforms.