Ryan Parrott Talks About the Twists and Changes in MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS #40

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I am continually blown away by how awesome the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers comic series is. Issue 40 recently dropped to start off the new storyline, “Necessary Evil.” This brings us back to the original group of Rangers after the events of “Shattered Grid.” There are some spoilers ahead, so be warned.

In MMPR #40, we find that Tommy is now the White Ranger and we now have Adam, Aisha, and Rocky as the Black, Yellow, and Red Rangers respectively. That’s right, we’ve gone to the second half of season two of the TV series. That means that we also have a new villain, Lord Zedd! Fans love this classic villain and writer Ryan Parrott told io9 that they took this opportunity to really flesh out Zedd so that he wasn’t just a more menacing version of Rita Repulsa. Part of how they’re doing that is having Zedd bring in a new character, a Sirian like Cruger of SPD named Dane.

Well, I think with Rita I was originally excited about digging into the...like you said, she has a very predictable attack. And so I thought, well, there’s got to be a reason behind the madness, which was the important thing for Rita. With Zedd, though, I think what was different for me was trying to find a way to differentiate him. He’s a rival of hers in the series, and he’s terrifying. He is a force to be reckoned with. So I was like, “how do we make him a threat, how do we make him somebody who doesn’t use the same tactics all the time?” Let’s find a way to really make him up the game, to make his approach and his attacks smart and aggressive. And hopefully find a way to differentiate him in both the same way he treats the Rangers and his own minions, sort of flesh him out as a character. That was the fun part for me—he’s such a visually stunning character, now we have to try and find a way to make him as rich, personally.

Another nice touch was how the story addresses how the new Rangers really have problems they need to sort out for themselves and with the other Rangers. We didn’t really get that in the show, so this is a very nice touch.

You know, the original Rangers all became Rangers at the same time, barring Tommy. But they got their powers at the same time, they went through all the same experiences, they’d learn and they’d grow—that’s what Go Go grappled [with]—growing from fledgling Rangers to, you know, seasoned Rangers. What was so cool about bringing the Stone Canyon Trio in is that you’ve got these Rangers, who for the first time have to deal with a legacy that they aren’t involved with. In the first issue, you see them using catch phrases and commands that are shorthand—that they already have.

In the TV series, they were pretty seamless. They sort of stepped right in and they worked ostensibly, but I feel like, what was fun about bringing them in now was it wasn’t really as seamless as that. You’ve got the Old Guard and the New Guard. And you’ve got a brand-new leader like Tommy stepping in, to balance those two sides and points of view. That was one of the most fun things I found while writing the series—looking at the divide and seeing, “How did they eventually come together? How did they coalesce into a team again?” And so, just also as a writer, I’ve written the original five for so long, bringing in Aisha and Adam and Rocky, I’m finding their voices the same way they’re finding their place on the team. And that’s been really exciting.

Of course, after I read the issue, there was one big question on my mind: what heck is going on with Jason, Trini and Zack!? At the very end we see the three not in Switzerland at the peace conference like they say they are, but rather somewhere that looks like an alien planet still being Power Rangers. WHAT!? Once again, Parrott talked about this moment and how he wanted to deepen the mythology and thought this would be a cool way to do it. He doesn’t give us much info though because he says there’s a lot in MMPR #41.

You’re very astute! Well, we talked about this in the early days of Shattered Grid. It was always, “when we end this, what the hell are we going to do?” And so there was a lot of conversations about...obviously, knowing that the original actors left the show in a very different way, [so in the TV show] they left to go to this peace conference. It always didn’t sit well with me—I didn’t understand that move, in the show. I’ve always had an issue with it. And so, I just thought there’s this opportunity to answer that question, while at the same time resolving the previous [Shattered Grid] storyline if that makes any sense. There’s a lot more in issue #41, so I don’t want to give away too much.

But yeah, it just felt like a great opportunity to beef up the mythology, and also show the consequences that came out of that event. Yeah, it was fun to write. The way we’ve been thinking about it narratively is, like, Mighty Morphin’ is going to show you the inner workings of the Mighty Morphin’ team, and also this new Power Rangers team [with Jason, Trini, and Zack]—but also tie into it in a way that shows you how we got there, the way Shattered Grid carries over. That’s the last thing in #41, we’ll see how we got there.

And so it ties together in the same way we tied Go Go and Mighty Morphin’ together with Shattered Grid. They’re very much more than the father-daughter correlation. The books are going to be much more connected, and they’ll be teaming up each and every issue.

I’m really happy with how these comics are going and can’t wait for #41 to drop on July 24.

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