SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” #9, on sale now.
Towards the end of the issue, which featured the Rangers going Green to stop Black Dragon, Rita conversed with a new Ranger garbed in elements reminiscent of the Green and White Ranger!
Though cloaked in mystery, the new Ranger apparently used the Black Dragon as a vessel and rules a world that looks like a destroyed version of our own! Worse yet, Billy and Tommy are trapped there!
CBR spoke with Higgins about this new character, his importance in the series moving forward and designing him with cover artist Jamal Campbell and interior artist Prasetya.
CBR: I was in attendance at NYCC when BOOM! revealed that all the Rangers would go green in #9, and everyone was psyched. Can you talk about how that idea came about?
Kyle Higgins: You know, this was actually one of the very first ideas I pitched. When I’m initially breaking a story, I go back and forth between “conceptual” character arcs and “concrete” plotting. It’s kind of an organic process for me, with one giving way to the other, pushing and pulling until I eventually find a way to plot toward the character arc that most interests me.
So, in this case, I knew Tommy joining the team was going to be my way into the world and my way to look at the complexities of a team dynamic. After all, Power Rangers has always been about the power of friendship and teamwork. So, what happens when that team is upended? For Tommy, that meant a journey from outsider to teammate, a selfish to selfless arc. And what better visual way to ingratiate yourself and show growth than to give up your powers because you’re able to acknowledge that at this point, the other Rangers are better at the job together than you are?
Moving over to the big reveal of #9, there’s a new Ranger in play — and he seems to be evil! What can you tell us about the role this new character plays moving forward?
Well, “evil” is something of a relative term, isn’t it? I suppose readers will have to wait a little while longer to learn more about our new Ranger and just what his deal is as well as what happened in his world. That said, our new Ranger’s desire to help Rita conquer our world is very much a part of this, particularly because he’s already succeeded in†his†world. He’ll be our main villain for a bit here. Tommy and Billy must go through him if they have any hope of getting home.
If Green Ranger-izing the group was an early idea, can the same be said of introducing this new Ranger?
It wasn’t necessarily in my first pitch, but it was part of my early plans, yeah. I love subverting iconography, so the introduction of the White Ranger — in a very different way — was something very exciting to me. Then, as I built out the backstory for this new Ranger, it made sense to introduce elements of the Green Ranger’s design. Why that is and how it happened, is something we’ll be doling out as we go. But, I will say, it’s a backstory I spent a lot of time fleshing out and can’t wait for people to see. I think it’s pretty dark, exciting, and tragic.
Can you tease how this new character may fit into existing Ranger continuity?
As you can probably tell from his design, there are elements of the Green Ranger mixed with the White Ranger. That’s a very deliberate choice on our part, and plays into this Ranger’s backstory in a huge way. Plus, I think this move — and the reveal of the giant statues at the end of the issue — firmly cement us in the “not-just-filling-in-gaps-from-the-show” territory.
From day one, my intention was to do something new, different and exciting with Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, updating the series to 2016 and finding ways to branch outside of what had been done before. This, really, is just the first step in that plan.
You’ve added plenty of new pieces to the Power Rangers puzzle so far, but how does creating a Ranger compare to that?
It’s pretty darn cool, I’ve gotta say. As a kid, whenever I saw a new Ranger show up on the series, it always felt huge and important and usually changed the status quo in some big, fundamental way. That’s a lot to live up to, but it’s the challenge we’ve taken on. Again, I’m really excited for people to see just what this means for the book and the very idea of “Power Rangers.”
What was the design process like for coming up with the new Ranger’s look?
Super collaborative. Jamal Campbell — our fantastic cover artist — worked up some initial designs that pulled elements of both the Green Ranger and the White Ranger. I weighed in with notes, Saban gave us some further direction, and then we settled on the final look which Hendry brought to life in one of the coolest splash-turn-reveal pages that I’ve ever been a part of.
What can readers look forward to moving beyond this wild reveal?
Who is this guy? What’s his story? What’s different about this world? How did this Ranger — and Rita — win? Oh, and how exactly are Tommy and Billy going to get home? And then, beyond that, there are all sorts of other things this introduces for us, which I’m being very careful to not spoil or hint at here. Like I said, this is a big one, and it’s just the beginning.
But before fully diving into those answers, “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” #10 will focus on Billy before returning to the main story with #11.
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