For the Comic-Con@Home virtual event, BOOM! Studios held a panel today discussing the future of its Mighty Morphin Power Rangers comics. Starting this fall, the Power Rangers line will consist of two titles: Mighty Morphin will feature an all-new Green Ranger while Power Rangers focuses on the exploits of the Omega Rangers.
The panel was moderated by actress Erin Cahill; Cahill played the Pink Time Force Ranger Jen Scots in Power Rangers Time Force. Other attendees included Ryan Parrott, who will pen Mighty Morphin and Power Rangers; Francesco Mortarino and Marco Renna, who will illustrate Power Rangers and Mighty Morphin respectively; Power Rangers: Sins of the Future writer Matthew Erman, Giuseppe Cafaro, and Francesco Segala, who are the creative team behind the original graphic novel Power Rangers: Sins of the Future. Actor Steve Cardenas, who portrayed Rocky DeSantos, was also in attendance. Rounding out the panel was BOOM! editor Matthew Levine and senior editor Dafna Pleban.
The panel kicked off with everyone discussing their favorite Ranger and season; Cardenas broke tradition and said that he enjoyed Lord Zedd and Ivan Ooze, saying that the villains make the hero. Parrott said that he and Pleban had a breakthrough with Rocky, making him Parrott’s favorite ranger.
Next, Pleban and Levine discussed how far the comic series has come since #0 launched in 2016. Pleban praised Levine, saying that his knowledge of canon was integral to the series. She said that the relaunch came about as a way to expand the scope of the series and dig deep into the Power Rangers mythos. Pleban also said that the “unbroken narrative” the Rangers comics had was rare.
Levine chimed in, saying they have to “aim higher” now that fans’ trust was earned. Parrott then briefly discussed writing the new titles, saying that “it’s given me a lot more room for the story.” He described writing a scene between Jason and Rocky that was a key example of character beats, which he liked.
“Ever since I was a child, I watched the TV show every day. I’m very honored and very excited to have an opportunity to work on Power Rangers,” Renna said. Cardenas said that it was “amazing” that so many people across the world had contributed to the Ranger mythos; he said that the comic allowed greater depth for Rocky than the TV show did, and was thankful for that.
A look at the new Green Ranger was displayed, with Parrott saying that the identity is “exactly who you expect and who you least expect.” He said that the choice grew organically from events in the comics. Renna said that the Rangers’ athleticism made the drawing process enjoyable.
Levine discussed the level of trust between BOOM! Studios and Hasbro which lets the comic navigate the “porous” areas of canon. “We’re breaking all the rules while sort of coloring inside the lines.” Parrott likened it to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
When Pleban was asked about how the Omega Rangers would fare on their own, she discussed how the trio are now truly on their own. “They don’t have the benefit of a Zordon,” she said. “They’re gonna have to figure it out of their own.” She also said that readers will now get to see the larger Power Rangers universe.
Parrott discussed the excitement of exploring the universe, particularly how others view the Rangers. He also discussed how his writing serves as a metaphor, with the Omega Rangers’ journey likened to a first semester at college. Talk then turned to Mortarino’s art, which Pleban said brought a “continuity” to the ongoing story.
Next up was Sins of the Future. Cahill expressed her excitement for the project; she was happy to see her character’s story continue in another story format. The graphic novel will pick up after the Time Force/Wild Force crossover “Reinforcements from the Future” and focus on Jen and Wes Collins attempting to continue a relationship. However, they face opposition in the form of a Black Time Force Ranger.
Levine said that the comics give creators an opportunity to delve into characters that have been underutilized in the Rangers universe. Erman confessed that he had never watched Time Force until he was assigned to Sins of the Future. “I’m a big fan now!” Erman also said that Time Force was a hugely popular season because of the themes it tackled.
You can watch the full panel here.
Collier “CJ” Jennings is a freelance reporter and film critic living in Seattle. He uses his love of comics and film/TV to craft reviews and essays on genre projects. He is also a host on Into the Spider-Cast.