Monthly Archives: January 2016

COMIC REVIEW: MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS Issue 0

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Power Rangers may be in it’s 21st series on television with Dino Super Charge but for the new ongoing comic from Boom Studios readers are taken back to the beginning with a story set during the original Mighty Morphin era. Set very specifically after the five part television adventure Green with Evil which introduced Tommy Oliver as the Green Ranger. Originally a slave to the evil Rita he was eventually freed from her control and would join the team as the sixth Power Ranger.

The comics opening panels are incredibly dramatic with Tommy standing victorious over the fallen Rangers but it turns out to all be in Tommy’s mind as we cut to him riding shotgun in Jason’s car. The Green Ranger might be one of the good guys now but he is being haunted by evil visions and what might have been. Will he betray his new found friends and team mates?

While the original team of Power Rangers is still intact the comic has modernized a few things, it’s no longer 1993 but the present day though barring a few scenes which feature text messages and the fact the Rangers civilian clothes are a little more stylish (goodbye Billy’s blue dungarees hello trendy tight fitting cardigan) everything feels familiar and will transport any reader straight back to Angel Grove.

Not to go into the plot too deeply, Tommy may be one of the good guys now but he has a lot to learn about teamwork and the consequences of not towing the line. That’s not to say the fault is all on him and this conveys really well that these characters are teenagers being asked to battle evil space aliens with not a whole lot of life experience.

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The characters dialogue particularly that of the Rangers sounds just like it would on television and you can easily hear the actors voices in your head whilst reading. Kudos to writer Kyle Higgins for getting the tone just right. The artwork by Hendry Prasetya is superb, he makes the action scenes dynamic and flowing while plot heavy scenes never feel like a slog of exposition. Special mention to colourist Matt Herms who has got it all spot on in a variety of different locations.

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After the main strip come a couple of back up stories. The first focuses on everyone’s favorite comedy double act Bulk & Skull as they face the wrath of Mr Capaln the school principal (and the writers even sneak in a couple of toupee gags which will make older fans smile). The second sees the Rangers back in action and mid battle with Goldar, it’s a fun short but does seem to be there just to pad out the issue and is weaker than the main story and the Bulk & Skull short. Hopefully once issue 1 arrives they will settle into the main story and just a Bulk & Skull back up which will improve the flow.

So is it the perfect comic for nostalgic fans and newcomers alike? Both groups will find a lot to love with a story that is easy to get into for new fans but which also has just the right amount of continuity for the hardcore. A couple of minor niggles, the morphing sequence (one of the most iconic to be recreated from television) is in the wrong order, Tommy appearing at the end where he should be at the front and when the Zords are called Jason shouts ‘we need Megazord power’ where we all know he should be shouting Dinozord. If these kinks can be ironed out then the comic should go from strength to strength.

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Mighty Morphin Power Rangers by Boom Studios is an American comic so UK residents check your specialist comic shop to purchase a copy.

Images from http://news.tokunation.com/

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MOVIE PREVIEW: BATMAN v SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE

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In 2013 the movie Man of Steel established itself as the beginning of a new cinematic franchise. DC Comics and Warner Bros hugely successful re imagining of Superman for modern audiences told not just a compelling origin story for the Last Son of Krypton it also sewed enough ideas for a sequel and for many more films in the future. Here are just a few reasons you should be excited about Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ahead of it’s release on March 25th 2016.

A NEW TAKE ON BATMAN

Batman is being presented in a way not seen on screen before. Here is a grizzled veteran of forty something years of age. He has been fighting crime for decades but now is presented with a threat in the form of Superman the likes of which he has never seen before. The movie trailer cleverly shows how one of the buildings destroyed in the huge battle in Man of Steel was a Wayne Enterprises tower. Superman maybe a force for good but in Batman’s eyes he is an alien threat with power beyond what anyone should have and Bruce Wayne sees himself as the only person on Earth who can stand in his way. The casting of Ben Affleck could prove to be an inspired choice, the actor/director has been on a hot streak in the last few years hoovering up awards and critical acclaim for weighty dramas The Town and Argo. He should provide the character of Batman with a real gravitas and standing at 6ft2 tall an impressive physicality too.

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DEALING WITH CONSEQUENCES

The viewing public got their collective knickers in a twist at the amount of destruction shown in Man of Steel particularly in the final battle in which a huge chunk of Metropolis was leveled. Director Zack Snyder has publicly stated that the fallout of these events will be addressed in the sequel. How will the public see Superman, yes he saved the city and the planet from Zod’s schemes but could he have done more and who will hold him accountable? Scenes glimpsed in the trailer include the Man of Steel attending a Senate hearing and members of the public protesting about the issues of an alien and the place he has on Earth. Of course the actions of powerful opposition to Superman are ripe for exploitation especially from…

LEX LUTHOR – A NEW TAKE ON AN OLD FOE

The film makers took a bold step casting thirty something Jesse Eisenberg as Superman’s most famous foe. Usually presented as a middle aged bald headed grand schemer this new take on Lex re imagines him as young Millennial prodigy with an over the top exterior that you just know will be camouflage for his true intentions. It’s a wise choice after Gene Hackman nailed the original take back in the 70’s and 80’s any attempt to imitate would have been foolish. Eisenberg has proven himself adept at playing young and successful before after his superlative turn as Mark Zuckerberg the founder of facebook in The Social Network. He should bring an intensity and menace not seen in the role before on the big screen.

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RETURNING CHARACTERS AND NEW FACES

Man of Steel gave us in Henry Cavill not just a superbly cast actor as Superman it also provided huge amounts of talent amongst its supporting actors too. Amy Adams returns as Lois Lane, fully aware of Clark Kent’s secret identity and continuing to offer the troubled hero support and a down to earth perspective. Laurence Fisburne is back as Daily Planet editor Perry White and screen veteran Diane Lane once more fills the shoes of Martha Kent after her touching and tender moments with Clark in Man of Steel expect more from her in the sequel as evidence that even the strongest of people need their Mum to turn too sometimes.

With a new Batman comes a new Alfred and this time its classically trained British actor Jeremy Irons. Snippets in the trailer show him as strong and determined and not afraid to question Batman on the choices he is making.

A VISUAL CONSITENCY

Man of Steel doesn’t look like others superhero movies, it’s got a muted color palette so the more outlandish scenes are given a grounded sense. This works because if things had been turned up too brightly DC would have been seen as trying to copy the Marvel style. With such contrasts in visuals it should prove that there is plenty of room at the cinema for two very different sets of superheroes.

WONDER WOMAN

Glimpsed fleetingly in the trailers both in civilian wear and full costume the movie will introduce Wonder Woman in a big way. Snyder has been coy as to how much involvement she will have but confirmed its more than a cameo and she is seen taking part in a huge battle alongside Superman and Batman. Her appearance here will also serve to prime audiences for her solo movie in 2017. It may seem shocking with modern superhero movies being so common these days that not one has been headlined by a female hero before. Introducing her here should whet appetites for her own film and hopefully prove to studios that modern audiences want heroes that represent everyone.

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THE JUSTICE LEAGUE

This is the big one, it’s been known for a while that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will also introduce heroes Aquaman and Cyborg who alongside the title characters and Wonder Woman will go on to form The Justice League. Synder has already begun preparation for the two part movie which will follow Suicide Squad and Wonder Woman in DC’s ongoing series of films. Other than one publicity photo of Aquaman not much is known about the role these two will have but expect it to be just enough to make you want to see more and to make the wait for Justice League just that bit harder to endure.

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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is released on March 25th 2016