Hench-Sized Comic Book Reviews – 12/24/22
Merry Christmas Eve, everyone! By the time you’re reading this, I’ll be well on the road in freezing temperatures to meet my family for Christmas. Should be a blast! Meanwhile, you’re hopefully all warm and tucked in at home, reading a couple of my comic book reviews. Not many this week because I got lazy.
Comic Book of the Week goes to Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #103 for another exciting, character-driven issue of this new era.
Meanwhile, I’ve started watching the new Willow TV show on Disney+ and it’s pretty fun. Nothing too crazy good, but it’s nicely enjoyable. I’m still playing Pokemon Violet, but extremely slowly. I just haven’t found the time in what feels like weeks to just sit down and play for a few hours. It’s a bit of a shame. Also, tune into this next week’s List of Six on Wednesday to see my favorites list from 2022! Did Pokemon make the list? Maybe!
Comic Reviews: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #103 and Nightwing #99.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #103
Writer: Melissa Flores
Artist: Simona Di Gianfelice
Colorist: Raul Angulo
Letterer: Ed Dukeshire
The era of Melissa Flores is here and I’m all for it! I do hope she plans to do a full-sized run like Higgins and Parrott before her!
The Power Rangers are licking their wounds and angry at one another while Billy works to heal Lord Zedd. They’ve left Matt behind, and Kimberly and Aisha are very broken up about it. Meanwhile, up on the moon, Mistress Vile has stolen the Zeo Crystal, and Squatt and Finster have a frank discussion about how she’s changed and what it means to serve her now.
Rita sends a monster to Earth and the Rangers go to fight, finding him a particularly tough nut to crack. So Kimberly decides that she’s sick of the same old song and dance and she summons the Firebird Thunderzord to blast the creature from the sky. Back at the Command Center, Tommy is made at her for escalating the fight, which is one of Zordon’s rules, but Kimberly isn’t hearing it. Then they discover that Rita used the monster as a distraction to flee the moon with the Zeo Crystal and Matt.
Before the Rangers can go looking for her, they receive a call for help from the Red Omega Zord out in deep space. They go to investigate and find Alpha-1 waiting for them!
Comic Rating: 9/10 – Great.
Three issues in and Power Rangers is as good as ever. Flores hit the ground running with a shocking new (old) villain reveal, and she’s kept the motor running with fun and engaging character drama. I enjoy a good romance in my comics, and I definitely did not see Matt/Aisha coming, making it even more exciting. Especially with Matt captured already, and Aisha forced to confront her feelings before they’ve even had the chance to really blossom or be acted upon. That’s a pretty fun swerve to take on a traditional comic book romance. She gets a great scene with Adam in this issue.
Likewise, Kimberly is going scorched Earth in her anger over leaving Matt behind, and I am here for it like nobody’s business. Kim breaking the rule about escalation due to her anger is absolutely the sort of drama I want in my Power Rangers comics. Though if you look at that monster, he’s already pretty big. Where is the line to when the Rangers can call their Zords? Is there a height limit?
Semantics aside, this was an excellent issue that continued to amp up the action. We got classic Ranger action, what with the monster fight, and then the hits just kept coming. The monster fight was a distraction for Rita to flee, brilliant! Squatt and Finster having a discussion on serving Mistress Vile? Loved it! Always great to put those minions to good use. Forcing the Rangers to choose between going after Matt or helping the Omega Rangers? Classic moral dilemma! And then Alpha-1 shows up at the end, because why the heck not?
Also, I don’t know if I’ve said it yet or not, but Rita’s redesign into Mistress Vile is great! Rita is definitely ripe for an upgrade/revamp/redesign. And more closely aligning her with her father, Master Vile, is a brilliant touch. I’ve always liked that Master Vile is this supreme supervillain out there in the galaxy somewhere, with connections to most other villains. I know he shows up to menace some Rangers at some point, but in the Mighty Morphin era, he’s just out there. Mistress Vile is a great idea, and a great redesign.
TL;DR: The new Power Rangers era has not let up the gas pedal since it started, and it just keeps getting better and more interesting and complex. This issue has a lot of great, meaningful character moments across the entire cast.
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artists: Bruno Redondo and Geraldo Borges
Inker: Caio Filipe
Colorist: Adriano Lucas
Letterer: Wes Abbott
I still don’t think Melinda is a character that’s going to stick around, but she helps drive a pretty fun issue.
Now that Blockbuster and Maroni have been kicked out of Bludhaven, Tony Zucco shows up, eager to team up with his daughter, the mayor, to run this town. He has plans to steal a valuable diamond that Maroni has stored in The Hold, an ancient Bludhaven criminal bank that exists inside an old pirate ship underneath an old lighthouse. It’s neat. Nightwing follows him to The Hold and helps to capture Zucco when he tries to escape. The staff who work at The Hold let Nightwing go with Zucco, and tease that someone opened a safe for Nightwing in The Hold as well, some time ago.
Zucco is behind bars again and Melinda confronts him, letting him know that she has changed her name to Melinda Grayson-Lin.
Comic Rating: 8/10 – Very Good.
I don’t know what Taylor has planned for the monumental 100th issue in this run, but having Tony Zucco come back for a done-in-one tale at issue #99 is fun. Batman doesn’t have to go around dealing with Joe Chill popping back up all the time. So the issue is already off on a good foot when Zucco just walks into the mayor’s office, looking like the perfect mobster stereotype idiot. It’s a great moment. I wouldn’t want Zucco to become an ongoing Nightwing villain, because I think that’s a little too on the nose. But bringing him in for something a little silly/fun like this is perfect (though there are hints that he’ll be back). That he gets teamed up with Double Dare is a hoot, because they’re classic Nightwing villains and good for a scrape.
Then Taylor has a ton of fun introducing The Hold. Who doesn’t love some ancient, rule-based crime infrastructure? John Wick has built a whole franchise on that stuff, with planned spin-offs.
I am legitimately curious to find out what’s in Nightwing’s Hold account. When a mysterious, nautical-themed bank master tells you you have a mysterious bank box, how can you not be curious? And the scene plays out nicely, with Nightwing ready and eager to get revenge on Zucco, only to know that he has to defend the guy when the Hold gets mad at him. And then the Hold is cool enough to let Nightwing take Zucco, because that’s exactly what you want in your cool, ancient criminal infrastructure. Taylor introduced a lot of new ideas in this issue, while simmering the whole thing in some classic characters. That’s just more good comic book storytelling in my book!
TL;DR: Tom Taylor, Bruno Redondo and their team can do no wrong on Nightwing. This is a super fun, done-in-one story that brings back some classic villains, while introducing some fun new ideas. Good comics all around.
The comics I review in my Hench-Sized reviews are just the usual comics I grab from Comixology any given week, along with a few impulse buys I might try on a whim. So if there are any comics or series you’d like me to review each week, let me know in the comments.
Posted on December 24, 2022, in Comics, DC, Reviews and tagged Boom!, Dick Grayson, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Nightwing, Power Rangers. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.
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