Power Rangers Turns 25 by Jerry Whitworth
Upcoming in 2018, the Power Rangers franchise turns 25 years old. As part of this advent, Boom! Studios will publish a crossover event beginning in March called “Shattered Grid” across its titles Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and Go Go Power Rangers. Therein, comic book original character Lord Drakkon, an evil Tommy Oliver of an alternate dimension, will unleash his armies upon the Power Rangers leading to an assembly of Rangers and their allies from across time and space. The Power Rangers, of course, are no stranger to crossovers having hosted Masked Rider, Beetleborgs, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and the Justice League across various media as well as nearly annual team-ups with past Ranger teams in such notably storylines including “Forever Red,” “Once a Ranger,” and “The Legendary Battle.” The story of Lord Drakkon shares some similarities with a concept pitched for a season of the television series.
During Power Rangers’ tenth anniversary, a special was produced uniting most of the franchise’s past red rangers called “Forever Red.” During this production, groundwork was laid by the episode’s writer Amit Bhaumik for the series’ eleventh season. Therein, Tommy Oliver had secretly formed an organization called Hexagon where he assembled an army of rangers based on the past seasons of the show. Trying to finally be ahead of the constant invasions Earth faced from alien beings, Oliver eventually became corrupted by the power leading to a civil war within the ranks of Hexagon. By season end, Oliver would have come to see the error of his ways and disband the organization clearing the slate for future seasons from eleven years of mythology.
The pitch didn’t come to pass but has been discussed by the fan community ever since. For Drakkon, Oliver decided to remain in Rita’s service following regaining control of his own mind and defeated the rangers to form his own army in their image. The massive team-up aspect of “Shattered Grid” also bears similarities to “Legendary Battle” which saw most rangers and their allies unite against Emperor Mavro’s Armada. However, given the “unlimited budget” of the comic (in that characters are drawn rather than hired and filmed) and an additional five years of Power Rangers (not to mention Boom!’s additions in All-New Power Rangers and 1969 Power Rangers), this event will be even bigger (although, “Legendary Battle” incorporated the fifteen previous Super Sentai teams as unseen previous rangers and it’s unknown if these groups will be incorporated in the comic).
Further, promotional artwork appears to confirm the inclusion of Phantom Ranger, Shadow Ranger, Kat Ranger, Nova Ranger, White Mystic Ranger, Wolf Warrior, Lauren Shiba, Ninjor, Auric, Blue Senturion, Sentinel Knight, Black Lion Warrior, Spirit Rangers, and various past evil rangers that did not appear in “Legendary Battle.” Bulk and Skull also appear to be adopting their Boom! Purple and Orange Ranger identities, respectively, rather than the Mauve and Puce Rangers of the Hamilton comics’ continuity (which admittedly were only just costumes in the latter).