Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie #1
May 26, 2014
The power is ON! ...Perhaps someone should shut that off. It's running up the electrical bill.
Linkara: Hello, and welcome to Atop the Fourth Wall, where bad comics burn. Today, we're talking about Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie. (beat) No, we're not! Another episode of Mobile Suit Gundabridged. (waves) Bye!
(The opening of Mobile Suit Gundam is shown briefly, before cutting through static back to Linkara)
Linkara: (laughs) Call back. But, uh, yeah, let's talk about "Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Adaptation: The Show: The Movie: The Comic".
(A shot of a deal between Lionsgate and Saban to produce a Power Rangers movie)
Linkara (v/o): And what timing! As it happens, Saban just announced they've signed a deal with Legendary Pictures...
(Cut to a message reading: "Yeah, I screwed up when this was first made and said Legendary instead of Lionsgate. Whoops.")
Linkara (v/o): ...to make a new movie.
Linkara: And I'm sure you're all very curious about my thoughts about the announcement. And here are my thoughts! That sure was a nice font choice for the announcement. (beat) What? There's nothing to talk about.
(A teaser trailer for two Pokemon games is shown: Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire)
Linkara (v/o): On the same day as that announcement, we got the news that they were remaking Pokemon: Ruby and Sapphire. We even got a teaser trailer. That at least gave us something to speculate on.
(Cut back to the Lionsgate-Saban deal on Power Rangers)
Linkara (v/o): All that the announcement was is that they were doing it, and that's something they've already been talking about since Saban got the brand back from Disney. We're not even sure that there's a script ready.
(Cut to the cover of "The Godyssey #1")
Linkara (v/o): This is like whenever they say they're making a movie out of a Rob Liefeld comic. I'll believe it's happening when there's a poster.
Linkara: (holds up hand) "But wait!" I assume you're typing on your keyboards in the comment section. "What would I want out of a new Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers movie?" (holds up index finger to speak, then shrugs) A good movie. (beat, then becomes frustrated) I don't know! I don't talk about movies, I talk about comics! ...Except when I talk about comic adaptations of movies. Or when I'm doing crossovers. (becomes rather embarrassed) Or when I become the Cinema Snob for a day... (becomes frustrated again) Look, I don't have any thoughts, okay?!
(Footage of the original Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers movie from 1995 is shown)
Linkara (v/o): I'm sorry, I don't think about these things! I don't think about what should or should not be in movie reboots, or who would win in a fight between people from two different franchises, or who should play a part in a hypothetical movie. It's just not something I do. I don't speculate about those kind of things like other people do; it's just not something I enjoy.
Linkara: And while that probably makes me a lesser geek for not speculating like that, it's just not my thing. My thing is pointlessly nitpicking franchises made for children.
Linkara (v/o): I've actually wanted to review the Power Rangers movie comic for a while. However, much like "Avengers #200", what held me back was that every copy I got my hands on was in terrible physical condition. And that especially worries me because I speculated that that comic was ripped apart because of how horribly offensive it was. So, how bad does a Power Rangers movie comic have to be to justify the wear and tear?
Linkara: So let's dig into (holds up today's comic) "Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie"... (slight pause) "The Comic #1", and we'll find out.
(AT4W title sequence plays, and the title card has the movie's theme "Go Go Power Rangers" playing in the background. Cut to footage of the movie)
Linkara (v/o): The movie's history is fairly well-documented at this point: stuff like the Rangers having no visors or mouthpieces in the initial parts of filming, ostensibly to show the actors' faces for, well, acting, or how they were still filming the TV show while also filming the movie, meaning they had to write in a trip to Australia to justify the fact that they were in Sydney. And of course, there are the new suits, which look, for the most part, pretty cool, in that they're armor instead of spandex that they wear for the TV show. Naturally, they were absolutely hellish to work in, weighing forty pounds and often filming in them for ten hours at a time. But let's talk about the comic... where things get a little strange.
(Cut to a closeup of the comic's cover)
Linkara (v/o): There are at least two versions of this comic. One is a standard comic with drawings, which is what I have, and then there's a photo comic version. I don't know what exactly motivated them to have two entirely different versions of this thing produced, but whatever. Adapting the movie into a comic makes sense.
Linkara: (holding comic) What doesn't make sense is the situation I have. (points to comic) See, the comic I own, it stops halfway and says (makes a "finger quote") "End part one". Clearly, a second part exists for the damn thing because I have scans for the rest of the book, as well as damaged copies that are complete, (points to comic again) but this one apparently splits things in half. I've never seen this before, and I don't know what the second part looks like.
Linkara (v/o): But let's just get things going with the cover, which is essentially the Rangers leaping out of it. It's kind of cute in that way, giving a taste of the art instead of just lazily using the movie poster. And of course, the Rangers are doing lots of martial arts poses, like the Yellow Ranger telling us to stop in the name of love, the Blue Ranger performing the Jedi Mind Trick, and the Pink Ranger shrinking her fist so that it's actually smaller than her wrist.
Text: THE OFFICIAL COMIC BOOK ADAPTATION OF THE HIT FILM!
Linkara: Considering, as I said, there are apparently multiple versions of this thing, I have to question the validity of that statement.
Linkara (v/o): We open with the six Rangers skydiving in color-coordinated jumpsuits. Okay, seriously, guys? I'm willing to give some leeway on your regular clothes matching your colors, but really with the skydiving jumpsuits?
Narrator: Long ago and far away, an interdimensional being known as Zordon came to the city of Angel Grove to establish a vanguard in the never-ending struggle against evil.
Linkara: (as narrator) Instead of actually warning people of the approaching evil, he thought giving superpowers to thirty-year-old teenagers would prove more effective.
Narrator: With the aid of his assistant, Alpha 5, he sought out six extraordinary teenagers and gave them the power to transform into a super-human fighting force...
Linkara: (as narrator) He also took time out to install a child-kidnapping button and Christmas decorations button, just in case Alpha got sad on Christmas.
Linkara (v/o): The six break off to start spinning around rapidly so they can get extra dizzy before they release the parachutes.
Tommy Oliver: Hey, Kimberly! Get a load of this! Surf's up!
Linkara: (laughs) You're not surfing, Tommy.
Billy Cranston: And looking mighty good, Adam!
Linkara: (as Billy) I'm not checking you out or anything! Nice!
Linkara (v/o): Bulk and Skull, also participating in this for some reason, are a bit more hesitant to jump out.
Bulk: The Stealth Eagle is about to fly.
Skull: Ditto for the... Swooping Swallow.
Bulk: Be the Eagle. Be the Eagle...
Linkara: (as Bulk) Start preening your feathers and eating small mammals and fish. Be the Eagle!
Linkara (v/o): We cut over to the landing site, where we learn that the skydiving is being done as a charity event to save an observatory. And it's apparently a success! Hooray! ...Now someone explain to me why a bunch of teenagers were recruited for this instead of professional skydivers. Anyway, the Rangers all manage to land on the target perfectly.
Narrator: As the final teen nails the bulls-eye dead on...
Commentator: (to another commentator) That sixth perfect landing just set an Angel Grove record, Fred!
Linkara: Wait, "sixth perfect landing"? And they said that was the final teen? (looking somewhat sickly) Did Bulk and Skull never reach the ground?
Fred: Looking good up there, Tommy.
Tommy: Thanks. Maybe next time we can save a spot for you, Fred.
Linkara: Ah, yes, my favorite character from Power Rangers: Fred.
Linkara (v/o): Anyway, it seems Bulk and Skull did land, just somehow got sidetracked by the wind and ended up in a construction site. Coincidentally, this is the same construction site where a group of workers have uncovered a large egg held in place by a claw. And when one of the workers goes in for a closer look, he gets blasted by the egg.
Linkara: (pointing to camera) Cholesterol kills!
Linkara (v/o): While rollerblading on their way to the juice bar – because of course the teens are gonna be rollerblading right after skydiving; they wouldn't be EXTREME kids from the '90s if they didn't – they get contacted by Zordon and Alpha.
Alpha: Rangers, we need you at the command center, L.R.N.!
Rocky DeSantos: All right, but what's "L.R.N."?
Adam Park: Like right now!
Linkara: T.E.S.A.U. That's Extremely Stupid And Unnecessary.
Linkara (v/o): And so the six teleport to the command center. Turns out the sound teleportation makes is "SHROOP!" The six arrive at the command center, where Alpha informs them that their sensors...
Alpha: ...have been hit by a cataclysmic surge of evil!
Linkara: Evil in the Power Rangers universe is a measurable force, measured in mega-Hitlers.
Linkara (v/o): Zordon, looking much better in this depiction than in any of the other comic depictions – he's actually a head instead of a smudge – explains the backstory. Six thousand years ago, a being called Ivan Ooze ruled the world. His empire was apparently interplanetary, since Zordon also says that he...
Zordon: ...rid planets of their adult populations, then brainwashed the young to follow his evil path!
Linkara: (stroking chin in thought) I always knew boy bands were evil.
Zordon: In a great struggle, he was lured into a chamber and buried deep underground by my faction of brave, young warriors-- the Order of the Meledan.
Linkara: (as Zordon) I still have the original decoder rings for the Order.
Linkara (v/o): However, the egg thing from before is what's containing Ivan Ooze, so they need to go and return it to the depths before Ivan is released.
Zordon: Use extreme caution, Rangers. You are dealing with an evil here that is beyond all imagination.
Linkara: Yes, what imagination could conceive of some purple guy with weird hair?
Linkara (v/o): So, I guess it's several hours later since it's dark now and the construction site is empty, save for the egg. The villains of the show, Lord Zedd and Rita Repulsa, have arrived to free Ooze from his prison. Naturally, they've been given a big budget upgrade to their looks as well, although some areas are more questionable than others, since apparently, despite every other part of Lord Zedd just looking like sinewy muscle and tissue, his hand is perfectly fine. It's the Robocop remake all over again. Anyway, they freeze [sic] Ooze, since apparently it's just that simple, and Zedd tells him that he wants him to destroy Zordon. Ooze naturally agrees.
Rita: Finally, a real man! And so handsome!
Linkara: Can this marriage be saved?
Zedd: We shall now leave you to weave your wicked ways.
Linkara: Lord Zedd is the kind of boss you want. No micromanagement at all.
Ooze: (thinking) Hmm, I detect an odious stench. Smells like--
Linkara: (as Ooze) Californians.
Linkara (v/o): The Rangers arrive and find the egg opened, but they spot a security guard nearby.
Kimberly Hart: You haven't by any chance seen a... morphological being lurking around?
Linkara (v/o): Yep, that is totally something Valley Girl Kimberly would say.
Guard: Wait a second... Did he look... anything... (reveals himself as a disguised Ooze) like this?
(To a dramatic sting, Linkara looks up in open-mouthed shock)
Linkara: (exaggeratedly) OH, MY GOD! WHY DID HE EVEN DO THAT?!
Ooze: I am the globally reviled, universally despised, totally demoralized, Ivan Ooze!
Linkara: You're demoralized? So... you're giving up? (shrugs in confusion)
Ooze: From this moment forth, the world as you know it, shall cease to exist! I leave you now in the capable hands of my Ooze Men!
Linkara (v/o): Yes, the world as we know it is over! Text boxes will be green and then suddenly not green! Ivan Ooze just... vanishes and leaves behind his aforementioned Ooze Men. The dude travels to the command center and, turning into a liquified form, slimes his way in the place. He quickly sets to work wrecking it, which is funny; this usually only happens at the end of a Power Rangers season. Back with the Rangers, they morph and start kicking ass. The Ooze Men look rather silly here. Apparently, they're just the same looking guy in armor with really long black hair. I've read that originally Ooze was supposed to summon really cheap-looking rat monsters and they were replaced by the Ooze Men for this scene. These guys in the comic seem to be halfway between the ideas. After defeating the Ooze Men, the Rangers are forcibly demorphed. They quickly head back to the command center to see what's up and find the place in ruins. Zordon, when he's not a giant floating head in a tube is apparently an old man. Yeah, it's been said that he's "stuck in a time warp" on the show, but when he was freed from that, he was still a giant floating head in a tube. Here, though, without the time warp, he's aging at a vastly accelerated rate.
Zordon: I must tell you... The power has been destroyed. The Zords, the weapons, all of it.
Linkara: (as Zordon) Admittedly, I really should have thought of better security for your powers than the high-pitched robot who is only good at pushing buttons.
Zordon: The Power Rangers are no more... You... must... be strong...
Linkara: (as one of the Rangers) Well, it's kind of hard for us to be strong without our powers, dude!
(Cut to Lewis holding up a Pokeball to a Bulbasaur doll)
Lewis: Get in the ball.
Lewis: Get in the ball!
Lewis: GET IN THE BALL!
Lewis: (looking up to see he's on camera) We'll be right back. (back to Bulbasaur) GET IN THE BALL!
(The AT4W logo appears in the corner)
Lewis: Get in the ball!
(We go to a commercial break. Upon return, Lewis stumbles around, holding out the Pokeball, which seems to be struggling)
Lewis: STAY IN THE BALL! STAY... IN... THE BALL! (looks up) We're back now! STAY IN THE BALL!
(Lewis stumbles offscreen as the AT4W logo appears in the corner. Cut back to the comic again as the review resumes)
Linkara (v/o): Alpha says there is a chance to save Zordon and restore their powers. There's a legend about a great power being stored on a planet called Phaedos. They have just enough residual power to be sent there, but not enough to bring them back. So, yeah, if the Earth is destroyed, congratulations, you six have to repopulate the human race. Whoops. And so, they're teleported off in all of their Power Rangers colors: red, yellow, blue, white... uh, brown and... orange. Well, I guess it's hard to depict black light, but no pink? Mmm, I suppose it makes sense; too much pink energy is dangerous. Meanwhile, in their palace on the moon...
Linkara: And boy, do I love a job that lets me say that.
Linkara (v/o): ...Rita and Zedd watch the Rangers teleporting off. Ivan Ooze arrives, and before the two villains can complain about him letting the Rangers get away, he zaps them and shrinks them down into a snowglobe. What, you thought the actual villains of the show would be the villains of the movie? What sense does that make? Nah, better it be one-off movie villain guy. Also, unnecessary comedic villain sidekick Mordent, invented solely for the movie for no good reason. He is a pig monster. And also, he's staring into the snowglobe quite intently.
Linkara: And then we pull back and reveal that all of Power Rangers takes place from the perspective of a young Mordent staring into that very snowglobe.
Linkara (v/o): Since Ooze still needs to deal with the Rangers, he can apparently spit out an entire horde of new minions – literally, except this time, they're bird monsters called Tengu Warriors – because. While they go off to pursue the Rangers, no doubt flapping their wings in the vacuum of space, Ivan puts together his next scheme: turning the children of Angel Grove into his own personal army... as well as the parents, too, since he says he's gonna turn them into zombies. And I guess he just can't turn them all into zombies? Anyway, the Rangers arrive on Planet Plot Point or whatever and are attacked by the Tengu, but the Tengu are repelled by a scantily-clad woman named Dulcea, who twirls around her yo-yos, or her whistling sticks as she calls them, but whatever. After Tommy gives the lowdown on what's happened, Dulcea says she'll help them, since she's an old pal of Zordon. Dude really gets around, despite the whole head tube thing. She gets them started on their new powers, that of the Ninjetti.
Linkara: Basically, in the movie, they become space ninjas. And still far superior ninjas to the ones fighting Chuck Norris from last week.
Linkara (v/o): She says that within them all is an animal spirit waiting to be released, and color-coordinated animal spirits at that.
Dulcea: (narrating) Tommy, the Falcon, winged lord of the skies!
Linkara: (as Tommy) But can't great horned owls and large eagles hunt and kill falcons? (as Dulcea) Winged lord of the skies! (as Tommy, defensively) Okay, okay!
Dulcea: (narrating) Rocky, the Mighty Ape!
Linkara: (as Dulcea) You are damned and dirty!
Dulcea: (narrating) Kimberly, the Agile Crane!
Linkara (v/o): The agility of the crane lets you change your hair color instantly!
Dulcea: (narrating) Adam, the Frog!
Linkara: Nothing special about the frog, just a frog.
Linkara (v/o): You know, Johnny Yong Bosch has apparently said that his reaction in the movie was ad-libbed.
(Cut to a clip of the movie)
Dulcea (Gabrielle Fitzpatrick): Adam, what's wrong?
Adam: I'm a frog.
(Cut back to the comic)
Linkara (v/o): And considering this comic's script, I can believe it. Everybody else gets cool adjectives to describe their animal spirits, but the frog is just... the frog. Neat.* Oh, and of course, Dulcea can't go with them because plot convenience, and she transforms into an owl and flies off. Back on Earth, at the home of Fred... Remember him? He was in the comic, like, thirty pages ago. ...his dad finds a jar of Ivan's Ooze that Fred apparently got from a vendor at the park. And naturally, he's just talking out loud to himself in exposition about where it came from, and he just decides to randomly stick his hand in the jar of goop. So, Ivan Ooze's plan depended on the parents of Angel Grove just randomly sticking their hands in whatever random Play-Doh their kids owned? I mean, I can't say I'm surprised that the adults of Angel Grove are like that.
- NOTE: Linkara forgets to mention this, but Billy's spirit animal is "the Wolf, cunning and swift!"
(Cut to a clip of the movie, showing a runaway baby carriage)
Linkara (v/o): I mean, these are the same people whose reaction to seeing a runaway baby carriage is to leap out of the way as if it was a speeding Killdozer. I'm just wondering how Ivan Ooze knew they were this stupid.
(Back to the comic again)
Linkara (v/o): Anyway, Fred spots his father just wandering off into a crowd of other adults and decides to follow him.
Linkara: Aw, man, it's a good thing they kept this subplot from the movie. It would've ruined the whole thing if we didn't see Fred's story.
Linkara (v/o): The Tengu arrive to tell Ooze of their failure, and he promptly zaps them, ordering the parents to get to work digging out his ancient giant robots, the Ecto-Morphicons. And by the way, "Ecto-Morphicon" would make a killer band name. Or possibly a joint Ghostbusters and Power Rangers convention. Anyway, naturally, he orders them to start digging... and then we cut to hours later, where they're done, and he orders the parents to leap to their doom, because when you're evil, you've got to waste valuable resources like that. Fred, observing the situation, laments about the lack of Power Rangers to help.
Linkara: You and me both, Fred.
Narrator: After a grueling trek over unrelenting terrain...
Linkara: (as narrator) ...that happened completely off-panel...
Narrator: ...the Power Rangers face the magnificent structure before them. They stare at weathered, indifferent walls. They have at long last reached the object of their desperate journey-- the Monolith...
Linkara: Oh, crap! Rangers, run! It's gonna turn you all into Star Children!
Linkara (v/o): Three stone gargoyles emerge from the monolith and attack the Rangers, but they're able to kick their asses and enter the door of the monolith, which unveils a pyramid with a coin featuring their spirit animals. So, I guess it was destiny or some crap for their six specific spirit animals. This does make me wonder if other groups tried to make it, but couldn't get in because one of their spirit animals was a dung beetle or something. But yeah, the new powers restore their armored Ranger forms and they warp back to Earth... now all of them on white streaks of light. Damn whitewashing! The Rangers return just in time, too, since Ooze's Ecto-Morphicons, Scorpitron and Hornitor, are on a rampage through the city. And because this is Power Rangers, there is no military to actually engage the giant robots, nor a giant alpha predator lizard to restore the balance. As such, it's up to five teenagers with attitude to summon their new Zords, which I guess just came with the new ninja outfits – and this is why you always read the end-user agreement for these things – and begin their fight with the Ecto-Morphicons. Aaand then over to Fred, since he's really the lynchpin of the whole movie. He's recruiting the kids, I guess, to save the parents from leaping to their doom. And then back over to the Zord fight. I do like that we're at least seeing the Zords individually fighting against them first. Too often in Power Rangers, they use the individual Zords, like, one or two times throughout an entire season, and then the rest of the time, it's straight to Megazord. I mean, what's the point of even having individual Zords if you're not gonna use them? They destroy Scorpitron... I guess. All we see is the Ape Zord giving it a noogie, but I guess that destroys it, since Ooze then decides to merge himself with Hornitor, forcing the Rangers to form the Ninja Megazord!
Linkara: What? Giant gestalt robots are totally a ninja thing! Just like dancing! Isn't that right, Ninja-Style Dancer?
(The Ninja-Style Dancer is seen dancing to "Dreams" by Van Halen. Cut back to the comic again)
Linkara (v/o): Also, for some reason, the Ninja Megazord is using the Shogun Megazord's fire sword... unless their sword actually has the spirit animal of a fish or something. Anyway, Ooze slaps them around a bit before Tommy comes in with his robot, forming the Ninja Megafalconzord, which remains of the most awesome and stupid names for a giant robot ever. Just rolls off the tongue: Ninja Megafalconzord. They fly up into space, Ooze chasing after them, and we cut over to Fred and the others approaching the adults. Wow, it's so great that we have this one panel insert showing this happening. After all, we've learned so much about Fred in this comic, seen him develop all throughout the story. We're just totally invested in his storyline. Anyway, in space, the Ninja Megafalconzord is getting its ninja mega-ass kicked, but Billy gets an idea: shoving Ooze into the path of Ryan's Comet, something that they had mentioned all the way back at the beginning of the comic, but I deemed not worth mentioning since I was just gonna do it here. Unfortunately, we do not get to see the Rangers knee Ooze in the crotch like they did in the movie, instead just kicking him into the comet and destroying him. Also, Fred saves the parents with a small water hose, as opposed to the larger fire hose used in the film.
Linkara: Oh! (wipes his forehead) Man, that's a weight off my mind. I wouldn't have been able to sleep without knowing how that subplot ended.
Linkara (v/o): The Rangers return to the command center, but Zordon's dead. Huh, maybe you guys should've stopped here first. Or maybe Alpha should've repaired the damn tube while you were gone or something. Or maybe we can just have this last-minute bit of the Rangers using the power of love or the heart of the cards, or they believe in magic, or there's mystical healing properties in Tommy's suddenly gold crotch. Whatever. Zordon's alive and he's the Great and Powerful Oz.
Zordon: Rangers... Alpha... It's good to see you all again, too.
Linkara: (as Zordon, eyes closed) Well, I mean, in theory anyway. I don't seem to have any eyes.
Linkara (v/o): And so, our comic ends with the six teens at a party celebrating the defeat of Ooze and the beginning of the reconstruction efforts of the city, since that seems to be the only business besides the juice bar to actually turn a profit in this town. Also, the heroes congratulate Fred on saving the parents.
Adam: Maybe you'll be a Ranger yourself one of these days.
Linkara: Ha! No.
Linkara (v/o): Fireworks in the sky announce the city's thanks to the Rangers.
Narrator: Six extraordinary teens... the stuff of legend, indeed-- THE MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS! Believe it!
Linkara: Well, it wouldn't have brightly-colored ninjas without someone yelling to (makes "finger quotes") "believe it". (holds up comic) This comic is... (hesitates) eh... Yeah, it kinda sucks.
Linkara (v/o): It's not awful, though. It's perfectly readable and a decent adaptation of the movie. Where it fails is in keeping lots of unnecessary bits, like the completely superfluous Fred subplot, pairing down a lot of the action scenes to just two pages, and the art is bleh for the most part, just being average mid-'90s art, though more restrained than, say, over at Image Comics at the time.
Linkara: So yeah, I say just stick to the movie itself. Or in my case, the TV show that had nothing to do with the movie and offered a different version of the quest for the ninja powers, (holds up index finger) but with Dudley Do-Right instead of Dulcea. (throws down comic, gets up and leaves)
(End credits roll)
And nope, I have not gotten the Power Rangers comic given out during Free Comic Book Day. I'll try to get my hands on a copy for a future review.
I'm guessing my spirit animal is a gopher or something.
Fred was the true identity of the Phantom Ranger.
(Stinger: Linkara is seated again)
Linkara: Psst! (whispering) Hey, guys! (makes a "come here" motion, then leans in close to camera, holding up a DVD of his show) "Atop the Fourth Wall, Volume 2: Editorial Mandate" is now available for purchase. It has (holds up two fingers) two new episodes of Atop the Fourth Wall, three new episodes of Longbox of the Damned, and two new riffs! You should go buy it! There are links below the video. Go buy it now! (nods) Why am I whispering?