Power Rangers: Aftershock Review

Written by: Ryan Parrott

Art by: Lucas Werneck and Robert Carey

Publisher: BOOM!

After nearly 20 years, the Power Rangers have returned to the big screen. Well, at least two of the Rangers have. Only Kimberly and Billy were in the big screen release back in 1995 while Jason, Zack, and Trini were replaced by other characters. In reality, this is the first movie to feature the five original Power Rangers, and it’s a lot of dumb fun. But that’s not the point. What matters is that Boom! Is continuing the story with a new series in Power Rangers Aftershock. The premiere issue follows the teenage heroes and serves as an important companion to an enjoyable movie. More importantly, Aftershock actually answers some of those questions that plague moviegoers.

Set briefly after the events of the movie, Power Rangers Aftershock follows the newly formed Power Rangers as they deal with the effects of the Rita’s attack on Angel Grove. As it turns out, going back to normal isn’t the easiest thing to do. I don’t know if you are aware, but superheroes tend to destroy entire cities with their major battles, and the Power Rangers are no different as they cause utter havoc while learning to be true heroes. Just ask the owners of Krispy Kreme.

Luckily, rescue workers are around to help with cleanup efforts and ease the stress load of the local police force. Their assistance frees up the Rangers for important training and team building exercises, which is quite important given the expected dysfunction in the new friends. It’s quite difficult to meet an entirely new group of people and become an unstoppable force in only a matter of days. Unless you are the New England Patriots.

Of course, no training ever goes smoothly as Jason and his team learn over the course of Aftershock. New enemies, random emergencies, and pure cockiness disrupt what could have been a good learning experience. And this is where Ryan Parrott’s story shines. He has crafted a plot that both makes sense in the cinematic universe but also stands alone as its own separate story. Aftershock doesn’t feel like a retread or useless tie in. No, this comic feels like its own entity that can stand with the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers and Justice League/Power Rangers.

Granted, it does help that Parrott does a solid job with the comic’s characters. Aftershock’s author takes established characters from the movie and mostly recreates their quirks and personalities in the panels while trying to show their growth. Sure, Billy isn’t quite as talkative as his cinematic version, but his style of comments still work. The same can be said for Zack. The movie version, played by Ludi Lin, is a headstrong fighter that doesn’t particularly care for leadership, and he is the exact same in Aftershock. Jason shows more insecurity than you would expect from the leader of the Power Rangers, but this vulnerability actually makes sense after watching the film.

But the most interesting characters by far are Trini and Kimberly. The Yellow and Pink Rangers are important members of the squad, but neither said too much during the movie. Sure, Kimberly was talkative, but she didn’t truly open up until later on. Trini, on the other hand, was pretty mum throughout the movie. In Aftershock, however, both of these Rangers are decidedly more talkative with important things to say. It feels like a nice evolution of the characters that would actually happen after such a momentous event. Plus, it makes up for the main villains of the issue being slightly lackluster.

Power Rangers Aftershock isn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but it is the the exact thing you need after watching the new movie. The story does a great job continuing the newly established trends, and it opens up new opportunities for character interactions that wouldn’t be possible in a big budget blockbuster. Most importantly, Aftershock also explains how a city can get destroyed in a massive battle but end up completely rebuilt by the sequel. That’s been bugging me for years.