Justice League/Power Rangers #1
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Stephen Byrne
Publisher: DC/BOOM! Studios
A review by John Dubrawa
Ever wanted to see what would happen if one of the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers’ Dinozords went up against the Batmobile? What was once a fantasy reserved only for a vivid imagination and smashing toys together has become a smile-inducing reality in Justice League/Power Rangers #1. Like the recent Batman/TMNT Adventures, this new miniseries posits a series of ridiculous circumstances that places both titular teams in the same universe and fighting on opposite sides of a big misunderstanding. For as much as massive comic book events and films have worn me down on the idea of superheroes fighting one another, if there’s one person that can give that material weight, it’s writer Tom Taylor.
In the past, Taylor has been known to start things out on a bombastic note (see: Injustice) and Justice League/Power Rangers #1 is no different. The opening pages literally depict the complete and utter destruction of the Rangers’ hometown of Angel Grove. Whereas this might seem to signify a sharp detour into a Zack-Snyder-esque vision, Taylor manages to appease both sides of the fanbase with moments that stay true to all the characters involved. The way we see Superman comforting Zack over the loss of Angel Grove feels extremely appropriate, especially when compared to how Batman later treats the Rangers upon entering Gotham. Spoiler alert: Batman doesn’t like mysterious super-powered strangers in Gotham. Who knew?
But it’s not enough that Taylor writes all these characters well enough that they belong together; Stephen Byrne’s joyful art helps to make it feel like these two teams belong together in the same universe. His whimsical character designs are perfect for the Rangers’ childlike innocence while his renderings for the Justice League are intimidating, yet still retain a bit of comic book boisterousness. Byrne’s colors achieve a balanced color palette that lends itself well to the tonal shifts in Taylor’s narrative, evidenced in the opening pages that shows Angel Grove both before and after its alleged destruction. Yes, the 90s kid in me refuses to believe Angel Grove is actually destroyed, dang it, but I guess I’ll have to wait and see.
Buy! Justice League/Power Rangers #1 is the showdown I never knew I wanted before I read this first issue, but now I desperately need the rest of the story as fast as humanly possible. Tom Taylor is the kind of writer that excels in non-canonical, slightly darker narratives. Justice League/Power Rangers #1 doesn’t feature Superman punching a hole in The Joker (see: Injustice. Seriously.) or anything, but from moment one it’s obvious this is going to be a pretty wild ride. And I’m so ready for it.