In August of 1993, the immortal words “It’s Morphin’ Time!” were first broadcast to an unsuspecting public on the Fox network. More than twenty years later, it is apparently still time to morph, because the Power Rangers are poised on the precipice of another pop-culture explosion thanks to the upcoming comic series and third major movie.
To celebrate this enduring pop culture phenomenon, we've compiled a gallery of art inspired by the show’s earliest incarnation, along with some great ideas for redesigns and updates of the classic characters.
The Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers have seen their fair share of reboots and adaptations, but did you know Saban went all out to add new sequences to better suit its 1993 American premiere? Or that Walter White himself, Bryan Cranston held an early role? Break out your morphers, it’s the 16th episode of ‘You Think You Know TV?,’ which go-goes to Angel Grove for the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers!
Q: Are there any missed opportunities in the way Super Sentai has been adapted for America? - @franzferdinand2
A: When you consider how weird it is that Power Rangers even exists in the form that it does, as this adaptation that, more often than not, has almost nothing in common with its source material other than a focus on problems that can only be solved with giant robot dinosaurs, it gets pretty difficult to figure out things that they could've done differently. I mean, when you get right down to it, they did almost everything they could've done, from stitching together pieces of multiple series into one show to throwing out everything except the robot fights and rebuilding the plot from scratch, all the way to trying to stick as close to the source as they could.
But that said, there's one big missed opportunity that stands out, and it's something that happened just this year: They didn't do an American adaptation of Go-Busters.
This week, Boom Studios --- which, in the interest of full disclosure, is a company I've done some writing for --- announced that they'd acquired the rights to Power Rangers with plans to launch a new series sometime this year. It's pretty exciting news, but at the same time, the news about a bunch of teenagers with (shockingly positive) attitudes coming to comics always gets me a little bit down, because it reminds me of one of the biggest missed opportunities in the history of the franchise.
See, this isn't the first time that the Power Rangers have made an attempt at conquering the world of superhero comics, and there was a time when they only made it through one issue with a story that was more notable for the books that it advertised and never came out than what happens in the issue itself. The year was 1996, the comic was Power Rangers Zeo, and the man who had the license... was Rob Liefeld.
For those of you who don't devote at least a half hour a week to the adventures of Teenagers With Attitude, Power Rangers Super Megaforce is the latest series in the long-running franchise, built around the core idea of the current rangers teaming up with the previous heroes from the past 20 years of the franchise. As you might expect, there's been a lot there for adults who grew up with the Power Rangers (ie, me), and this Saturday on the show's series finale, they're dropping the biggest nostalgia bomb of all: Jason David Frank's return as Tommy Oliver, the original Green Power Ranger.
And he's not alone, either. As revealed in a clip from the final episode, he's joined by Rangers from 2001's Power Rangers Time Force, 1999's Lost Galaxy, 1998's In Space, 2000's Lightspeed Rescue and 2012's Super Samurai. It's a lot of dang Power Rangers, folks.
t's pretty common knowledge that Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was based on the Japanese show, Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger, but even most fans who loved the show as kids (or in our case, as adults) have never seen the source material. Despite twenty years of popularity for the American adaptation (and fan-subbed releases over the internet), the original shows have never had an official release on this side of the Pacific -- cue dramatic music -- until now!
Q: How spooky/goofy is the Power Rangers Zeo episode “It Came From Angel Grove”? -- @aleams
A: I didn't realize it until I went back to check, but I've written about Power Rangers Halloween episodes two years in a row in my spoooooky October Ask Chris columns. At this point, that's about the closest thing that ComicsAlliance has to an actual tradition, like carving a Jack O'Lantern that then attempts to get paid to write about superhero shows from the '90s.
So let's dive into it, but I'll tell you right now, folks: I'm going to go ahead and guess that this thing ends up leaning pretty heavily towards the "goofy" side of your proposed Spooky/Goofy axis.
Friends, this is the sort of comic book movie news I enjoy writing about: Naoki Urasawa (Monster, 20th Century Boys, Pluto) can now add the honor of becoming the first manga author to have his work adapted into film in Spain. Spanish director Javier Yañez obtained the rights to one of Urasawa's early short stories, Mighty Boy, from publishers Shogakukan, gaining approval from the master himself in the process. Although the film was largely privately financed, Yañez took the initiative to crowd-funding platform IndieGogo in order to raise the final $10,000 it required, and now it's finished and available to watch in full, for free (subtitled in both English and Japanese).
I spent a bit of time trying to track down Urasawa's original story online, with no luck (it's not been translated in English, and was published as part of an anthology volume), so I'm unable to comment on how the adaptation translates, or how faithful it is, but I can tell you what the film is about and if it's any good.
You may have noticed that here at ComicsAlliance, we are pretty excited about the Power Rangers, and Power Rangers Super Megaforce. In addition to having 300% more adjectives than other adventure shows, is probably the most exciting of all. It’s built around the theme of Power Rangers who celebrate more than two decades of the franchise by transforming into past Rangers (and unlocking their secret powers with the help of guest stars returning from previous seasons), and that’s definitely something we’re into.
ComicsAlliance's Chris Sims and Caleb Goellner (who returns from self-exile in a totally different job) sat down with the cast of Megaforce at Comic-Con International in San Diego to have what is doubtlessly the best conversation about Power Rangers ever had by anybody in history.
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