Comic Review: Power Rangers Universe 1 (Spoiler Warning)

Writer: Nicole Andelfinger

Artist: Simone Ragazzoni

Cover Artists:

  • Main Cover: Dan Mora
  • Incentive Cover: Dan Mora
  • Dark Ranger Incentive Cover: Miguel Mercado
  • Negative Space Incentive Cover: Goñi Montes
  • Incentive Cover: InHyuk Lee
  • FOC Reveal Holofoil Cover: Derrick Chew
  • FOC Reveal Incentive Holofoil Cover: Derrick Chew

We begin at Frontier Lab on Planet 0117, in the A47 Galaxy, in the distant past. The person in the White Phantom Ranger suit is the Morphinaut. After years of work, he has finally created an opening, called an Arch, into the Morphin Grid itself. But, upon entering the Grid, he is confronted by a giant monster that appears to be made up of hundred of smaller, monstrous creatures. In order to keep the outside world safe, he destroys the Arch, trapping him and the creatures in the Grid.

584 years later, Frontier Lab is known as Super Secret Hangout. A young scientist named Ori is trying to open her own Arch using the video notes from the flashback, but it doesn’t work. Unfortunately, she doesn’t have time to try again because the planet is undergoing a major evacuation. Masterforges are dropping all communications, leaving Planet 0117 as the last remaining Masterforge. It’s people are ascending to the Morphin Grid for safety. Despite her brother, Kartor’s, pleadings, Ori is running late.

Elsewhere, Ori’s friend Rhian overhears a discussion between her mom and Kartor in which he mentions that there is video from the Masterforge Namize, which dropped all communication just an hour ago. And since her sister was at that Namize, and despite her friend Phiro’s protestations, she wants to see the footage. For some reason they go to see their friend Telosi to tell him about the footage. A man named Xev is also missing from Namize, which has Telosi very upset. So he decides to tag along with the other 2 to find Ori.

Speaking of Ori, she’s packing up a few things from Super Secret Hangout to take with her on the ascension when she is surprised by Aleia. Aleia was doing a farewell tour before ascending, and couldn’t forget their old clubhouse. Then the others arrive, asking Ori for help hacking into The System.

Unfortunately all power is being diverted to the Master Arch, so they have to use their Morphin Hearts to power up the computer. Once in The System, they witness a horrific sight: Masterforge Namize had been attacked by some creatures that had fallen from the sky like comets. To prevent the attack from spreading, the Masters deactivated the local Arch.

Angered by the footage, and with a ton of questions, the kids leave the Hangout, but see what appear to be 4 comets heading toward the planet. So they race over to the Arch, but before they can ask any questions, a person is shot out of the Arch.

Despite protestations from Kartor, Ori and the others head out to try to help the mysterious stranger, while he says he’ll hold the Arch open as long as he can! When the kids find the stranger, it turns out to be the Morphinaut, but he’s covered in Grid Energy, and it’s hurting him.

With the Morphinaut in too much pain to help, several creatures appear to exit the Grid as the comets crash into the planet. And the giant monster from earlier returns!

Story – 3 out of 5: The problem here is that Nicole Andelfinger is seemingly trying to introduce too much into this first issue, and the art is not helping to clear things up. What are Masterforges? How are Xev and Telosi related? Brothers? Friends? Boyfriends? Can’t really tell at this point. Are the comet creatures related to the ones in the Grid? Is the giant monster supposed to be Master Vile? Granted, I’m sure these questions will all be answered in future issues, but it all makes this issue really confusing.

Art – 3 out of 5: Simone Ragazzoni’s art is influenced by Joe Madureira, who’s art has an anime influence as well. It looks great, but the layouts can be confusing. Each page is very busy, with a lot of overlapping. In some cases, such as page one, it’s only because of the dialog that I was able to follow the panel progression. But in other cases, such as when they were watching the video, with limited dialog caption boxes, I was completely lost. I thought the creatures were the ones we’d seen from the Morphin Grid earlier in the issue, and needed to look it over several times to realize they had crashed down to the planet from space. At some point, someone asks what happened to the Arch, but it doesn’t look like anything has happened to the Arch.

Overall – 3 out of 5: Hopefully future issues will help clear up things from this issue. I can see what they are trying to do, it’s just that the execution seems a bit off. However, we do have 5 kids in similar outfits, but with different color highlights (red, blue, green, pink, yellow), and this story is pretty good at bringing them together, and giving a reason to fight. I do look forward to seeing where things go from here.