It’s morphin’ time at Comic-Con International in San Diego! “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” writer Kyle Higgins, “The Ongoing Adventures of Bulk and Skull” scribe Steve Orlando, editor Dafna Pleban, Saban Brands director of development and production Melissa Flores and Saban Brands director of global consumer products Jason Bischoff stopped by San Diego Comic-Con to discuss BOOM! Studios’ line of “Power Rangers” comics in a panel moderated by stunt performer and actor Yoshi Sudarso, who plays the Blue Ranger on the current season of “Power Rangers Dino Super Charge.”
Asked if BOOM! planned on creating a miniseries for each character, Pleban said, “No comment.”
“BOOM! really gave us the time and attention to care, and I think you can see that in the product,” Bischoff shared. “They’re amazing. They give it their all.”
“The idea behind the book is that it’s kind of our own thing. It’s the Mighty Morphin Rangers we all know and love, but I wanted to make it a more modern series,” Higgins explained. “In comics, we don’t have [the limitations of the show]… I didn’t want to write the Rangers as I remembered them; I wanted to write the Rangers as they made me feel when I was eight.”
“Power Rangers to me has always been about inclusion,” he said. “Exploring that through the lens of a new Ranger joining the team let me explore that without retelling an origin story.”
“The cool thing about this book and about the property in general is it’s a team book, and what interests me about a group of friends,” he shared. “It’s just playing off of those iteration, and paring up unlikely Rangers… that’s the stuff that I like to do. I’ve described it to people like we’re doing ‘Archie’ with superpowers.”
“It allows for some quiet, intimate moments,” he added.
“As the book came together, they were like, ‘There’s a place for this,'” Orlando said of his “The Ongoing Adventures of Bulk and Skull” backup stories. “They’re buffoons, but they’re lovable. Their hearts are in the right place.”
“Our main story is like the new ‘Archie,’ while the backup is like the classic ‘Archie,'” Pleban said.
“What the team has managed to do is remember how to be a teen,” she continued. “I think about bringing that spirit that was for kids and saying that it’s something you can still believe is really valuable… I think fans are really picking up on that… Everyone has their own story to tell.”
As to the Annual issue, she said, “What’s cool about the ‘Annual’ is that it allows us to tell a bunch of stories with a bunch of different tones… we have Trey and Tony Moore.” She went on to explain that their story will explore the background of a popular villain.
Jorge Corona, James Kochalka, Ross Thibodeaux and more will also contribute to the Annual issue.
“It’s a week in the life of Jason, and it’s about how someone like Jason navigates all of his responsibilities,” Higgins said of his story in the Annual issue. “He doesn’t navigate them as well as you imagine. He’s got a lot of stuff on his plate.”
“We were kind of allowed to loosen the leash [in the Annual],” Flores shared.
“The magic of the Power Rangers is that we’ve been around for 23 years,” she continued. “To be with these people that long — to know you have that magic with them — we really take it very seriously… we took the opportunity to service not only our younger fans, but our older fans.”
As to how the movie will affect the comic series, Bischoff said, “Perceptively, we see it like three separate brands. ‘Ninja’ is the continuation… of continuity that’s existed for over 20 years.” He went on to explain that the movie will introduce the franchise to new fans, while the comic throws back to the older series.
“There’s something really big coming, and we’re really anxious to tell you about it. We can’t tell you about it here today, but it’s really going to blow your minds,” he added.
“We’re going to keep building new stuff with BOOM!,” he said, “We’re also looking how to expand into more territories.” He promised that more “Power Rangers” would be announced at BOOM! soon.
“In the book, we’re looking to tread new ground, but it’s also a love letter,” Higgins said.
“I don’t like telling origin stories unless it’s in service of the larger story,” he explained, but added he would explain some villains in the series. “I have thoughts — it’s something I’m going to do.”
“The book is about their relationships,” he added. “Our version is an updated story… there’s a lot of story engine [with Bulk and Skull]. They’re going to change even more.”
“We are just focused on making the best comic we can,” Pleban concluded.
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