Awesome ’90s ‘Mighty Morphin Power Rangers’ Comics Pop Up On Facebook
Before Papercutz started telling new Mighty Morphin Power Rangers comic book stories (in addition to its recent Power Rangers Samurai and Power Rangers Megaforce offerings), the franchise spent most of the past two decades bouncing between Hamilton Comics, Marvel Comics, Disney and even -- in a glorious style lampooned by the official Super Sentai parody series Hikonin Sentai Akibaranger -- at Image Comics. Depending on how much nostalgia you can muster, your enjoyment of these various 1990s releases as pure comics will... vary, to say the least. However, thanks to the official Official Power Rangers Facebook page, you can read some particularly wild short stories from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Magazine circa 1994-1996 by Paul Kirchner and others.
The comics are illustrated and by and large written by one Kirchner, who -- it turns out -- is 100% rad. Before kicking out Power Rangers shorts (with occasional writers like Adam Philips, and inkers like Steve Montano and Ralph Reese), he was an assistant to Wally Wood; drew a bunch of cool horror comics; worked on fun He-Man, GoBots, ThunderCats, and G.I. Joe comic stories; designed, wrote background stories for and drew pack-in comics for Tyco's Dino-Riders, Crash Dummies and Spy-Tech toy lines; created MEGO's G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero-like action figure line Eagle Force; and, oh, he wrote and illustrated Dope Rider for High Times and The Bus for Heavy Metal.
Rather than adapting episodes of MMPR or its Japanese source material Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger, the Kircher stories currently posted on Facebook are fresh six-page adventures that pit the Rangers against original monsters such as Zozore, The Cuckoo Clockster and Hunkajunk. The setup is similar to the show: The Ranger kids are out doing unbelievably wholesome stuff to benefit their community before the evil Rita and/or Lord Zedd turn the Rangers' task-at-hand (say, a pile of garbage) into a monster, which they cleverly defeat using all the weapons at their disposal. Aside form some very basic coloring typical of the era, Kircher's hyper-condensed storytelling is way sharper and more thought-out than it had to be. It's fun stuff.
The Power Rangers FB page hasn't gotten around to posting my personal favorite story, "Victims of Vegetabully!" yet, but you're all in for a treat should it surface online. No, the monster isn't Dragon Ball Z's Vegeta, but it is a sentient pile of produce that -- I'm not kidding -- nails the Blue Ranger in the stomach with sliced beets while proclaiming "Here -- I'll beet you up." Here's hoping it, along with other '90s Power Rangers comic book material, surfaces online soon.