Written by Kyle Higgins
Art by Giuseppe Cafaro
Colored by Marcelo Costa
Even with Kyle Higgins’ absence from the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers title for the past three months, with this great story of old habits, acceptance, and parenthood, it’s as if Higgins had never left. It is yet to be made clear if this story is completely canon, but major easter eggs Higgins has left in the story may confirm that this is in fact the future of the ongoing title Boom! Studios is currently publishing. The official description is as follows;
“It’s been a long time since Tommy Oliver has served as a Power Ranger. He’s defeated space witches, brought down evil armies, protected the galaxy, but now Tommy leaves protecting the world to the Power Rangers at Space Patrol Delta. But when his son goes missing, it’s up to Tommy to discover a secret in his past, in order to save his future. Now Tommy will call on all his training, his friends, and maybe even some of his enemies as he sets out on his most important mission: find his son and bring him home.”
As introduced in the 25th Anniversary Special episode of Power Rangers earlier this year on Power Rangers Ninja Steel, Tommy Oliver is in the possession of the Master Morpher, which gives him the ability to morph into any of his Ranger forms at will. Higgins put a small twist on this story with the Master Morpher: we find out Tommy only has one charge for each of his Ranger forms before the Master Morpher is completely useless. Giving us a little more of Tommy Oliver opposed to this being a Ranger filled story.
There is plenty of action while he is in his Ranger forms, but we get to see the old, somewhat broken and aged Tommy for the majority of the book which becomes a major flaw in Tommy. Fans will see that their hero is no longer as invincible as he once seemed. As age has become his worst enemy, he has developed back problems from his heroic past.
With the disappearance of his son JJ, Tommy returns to some familiar and not so familiar faces to help in his search. First, we get reacquainted with Sky Tate, former Blue Ranger of B-Squad, he became Red Ranger and eventually lead B-Squad, but is now Head of the SPD Earth Division. JJ being a SPD cadet plays a major role in Higgins story but quickly crumbles after a minor “bump” in Old Man Tommy’s adventure. A fellow cadet and friend of JJ’s, Anara, tags along with Tommy. Anara may be a special kind of easter egg because of her parent’s untold past. Anara has a lot of knowledge of older Ranger tech, particularly Tommy’s Master Morpher. Anara shares a small detail of her father once worked for SPD in the R&D department. Fans of the Power Rangers franchise can make the same assumption that Anara’s father is in fact Boom from the Power Rangers S.P.D. series. As far as why he is no longer in her life, that remains to be a mystery.
The one major clue that Power Rangers Soul of the Dragon is canon for the ongoing title of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers is the old enemy Tommy approaches for help finding his son. Finster, the putty creator, and he is way too happy to see Tommy. Even Anara is a bit confused at the interaction the two have. Finster explains that Zordon dispersed an energy wave so powerful that it purified the souls of those who were once evil, including Rita and Zedd. The relationship Tommy and Finster have is nothing new to fans of the ongoing title of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. In the most recent work of Kyle Higgins (Shattered Grid), the evil Lord Drakkon had a similar relationship with his version of Finster. Which leads me to believe, that regardless of the dimension or universe, Tommy and Finster are destined to become friends.
Unfortunately this book does have its flaws. For one, the now overused trope of “Old Man/ Old Woman”. It was disappointing to not see (spoilers) morph as well, being JJ’s mother means she too would have mustered the courage to do whatever she could to help her son. And the lack of seeing more Rangers from Tommy’s personal past. This story was a Tommy Oliver centered story, but as a former leader of a team that became his family, having just a minor easter egg for those characters was a little bit of a let down.
And the plot device for why JJ went missing was found out too fast. If it had been drawn out for just one more encounter, it just seemed like JJ spilled the beans way too fast and in turn made the ending seem a bit rushed. Overall, Higgins wrote a fun story that ended a legacy and leaves room for the possibility to expand on the ending not only in a volume two, but possibly in the ongoing title. The art was great, except a panel here or there that needed a little more detail on character features. Not only is this story for Green Ranger fans, but it is for sure made for all Power Ranger fans.
You can pick up your copy of Power Rangers Soul of the Dragon at your local comic book shop or at the Boom! Studios website.