Rangers Nation the time has come! We now get our first solo Phantom Ranger outing. The storytelling in this 44-page book is like nothing we have seen yet! SPOILERS AHEAD!!
Where We Last Left Off With The Rangers
We pick up right after the world-shattering POWER RANGERS #8 with the Phantom Ranger on a desolate Hartunia with nothing in sight.
A TRIP Down Memory Lane For The Rangers
Well over 10000 years ago our story starts on a rescue mission. A rescue mission to save a Mother and her child, a child named Rita.
Do you mean THAT RITA?!
Yes, Ranger Nation this isn’t just a story about the Phantom Ranger it is part of Rita Repulsa’s backstory as well. She’s being hunted down by the Tenga Warriors for an evil ritual. The Phantom Ranger swoops in camouflaged and saves her. As they are running back to the ship with the Phantom Ranger providing backup she tells her daughter a story to calm her. While acting like a punching bag of a shield the Phamton gets severely wounded from a bulked-up Tenga. Lady Finnea and Rita both make it back to the ship only to turn back around and narrowly save the beaten ranger and get back on the ship in time before it takes off.
How to Fix a Phantom
Finnea convinces the ships onboard A.I. to get them somewhere that they can fix their savior. As the ship is in transit Finnea is astonished at the suit of the Phantom Ranger and how it’s leaking GRID ENERGY. Everything is interconnected and how the Phantom Ranger could be in fact a somewhat corporeal form of The Grid itself! She then tries to use he knowledge of Magic to put a Band-Aid on the situation.
They arrive at the MasterForge once used by the Morphin Masters. He goes on to explain that these places around the universe have a special connection to the Morphin Grid. He asks Finnea how she was able to control the grid energy. She goes on to explain that she and Rita’s father, Eldin, had been studying Grid energy and were able to even look into it and see visions.
Grid Energy Engaged
Finnea saw glimpses of an old wise witch. Eldin on the other hand saw something dark and vile. It called to him, it was Dark Specter. once he gave himself over to Dark Specter he was twisted into who we know as Master Vile. Finnea decided that she will use the MasterFroge to Embew Rita with grid energy. Therefore making her not a worthy vessel for Dark Specters influence.
Before the procedure starts Tengas start an assault on the Masterforge. The phantom holds them off and joins Rita in the chamber to keep her calm. At this point, we start to get another Fairytale this time about a knight and as the story progresses we see it being used as a metaphor for what’s happening on the page. Finnea overloads the Masterforge blowing it up. Master Vile disguised as his Human form was able to get his daughter back anyway. Disgusted with the smell of Grid Energy, he still keeps this child for his master mechanizations. and still, Phantom Ranger to float in the emptiness of space.
In The Here and Now For Rangers
On the last page we return to Hartunia with the Phantom Ranger speaking with Zordon. Still surveying the planet he comes across something that tells that the Empyreals aren’t the threat now. Dark Specter has crossed over… THE END?
Covered Like No Other
Thoughts From The Grid
Starting off this book delivers on backstory! You have to realize early that this story isn’t a spotlight on the Phantom Ranger per se. This is a story more about Rita. How she’s destined for something great and even though being hunted since birth she still carries hope.
The choice of using the narration style of the fairytales to bolster what what happening in parallel on the page was a stroke of genius!
The visuals are epic! Choosing to have large panels and the choice of background colors really give texture to the pages. Speaking of texture you gotta love the fact that even in his stealth mode the choice of giving the Phantom Ranger that rainbow effect was a smart choice! Cheers to making the nod to Mystic Mother! Let’s also applaud them for weaving this into the ongoing story with the current POWER RANGERS stories.
On the flip side to the power coin. We find out on page 3 that the kid is Rita. It was easy to put it together and jump to conclusions. Whereas we waited till page 22 to find out that Master Vile / Eldin really IS Rita’s dad. It would have held a bit more gravitas if it was dropped later in the book.
It’s unclear if Boom Studios is going to do any follow-ups with the Unlimited Series. I’m hoping they do because there is a lot to unpack with both the Phantom Ranger and Young Rita.
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