Spoilers for Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #50 ahead.
June 24's Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #50 lived up to the milestone of a fiftieth issue, as two teams of Rangers - and friends - went into a final battle against an ally-turned-enemy, Kiya.
Spoilers: they win.
But when the dust settled and the various heroes went their separate ways, writer Ryan Parrott and artist Daniele Di Nicuolo conclude this arc with a bang: the return of Lord Drakkon, but he’s not looking as all-powerful as he once did in "Shattered Grid."
That's right, the alt-reality Tommy Oliver - arguably the greatest Power Ranger ever among fans - that turned evil, is now back.
With fan reeling from the events of these events in the just-released Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #50, Newsarama reached out to Parrott to go over what happening, and what's to come. We discuss what adventures we can expect from the Omega Rangers moving forward, a teaser for Parrott and Dan Mora’s upcoming Ranger Slayer one-shot, and, of course, dig deeper into what the Lord Drakkon cliffhanger means for the future of Power Rangers.
Newsarama: Ryan, this issue felt like an end of an era, will the Omega Rangers still be involved in the series or is this the end of their story?
Ryan Parrott: For me, the goal of “Necessary Evil” was always to show the fallout of “Shattered Grid” by creating the Omega Rangers and the Anointed. Even though the Power Rangers don't remember what happened, it doesn't mean their actions didn't have consequences.
If you think about it, “Shattered Grid” ultimately led to the fracturing of the Power Rangers and set Jason, Trini and Zack on a unique path into a larger world. The Anointed may be gone, but there are other more dangerous threats out there. So, this isn't the end of their story. In fact, it's just the beginning.
Six-page preview from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #50
Nrama: Why do you think it was important that Trini was the person to have the final battle with Kiya?
Parrott: Of all the Omega Rangers, I think Trini and Kiya bonded the most. In the course of just a few days, Kiya gained superpowers, lost her entire family, was branded a demon by her people and forced to flee her planet. And I think Trini genuinely felt sorry for her and went out of her way to try and be a friend. But ultimately, Kiya was too full of anger and rage. So I saw their relationship as one defined by toxicity.
There are some people in your life that, no matter how hard you try to connect with, you eventually have to let go of for your own survival. That was Trini's arc and why I always wanted their ending to take place at the same place it began, with Trini finally deciding to stop trying to save Kiya. Enough was enough.
Nrama: How are the events of your Ranger Slayer one-shot going to piggyback off of this issue?
Parrott: Since the end of “Beyond the Grid," Ranger Slayer has been running from her past. She did a lot of bad things in the Coinless Universe while she was under Drakkon's influence and I think she was scared to face up to those things. But with the discovery of the Master Arch, Kimberly finally has a way to return home... so she chooses to step through the gate in the hopes of going back and potentially setting things right, once and for all. How and if she'll be able to do that will be revealed in Ranger Slayer #1.
Nrama: Do you have plans for more Ranger Slayer in the future?
Parrott: Oddly enough, my plans have already happened. Dan and I were lucky enough to get to create Ranger Slayer for "Shattered Grid," and we always talked about wanting to work on Power Rangers again together. So, this Ranger Slayer One-Shot was our chance.
I actually wrote it a long time ago so that Dan could have enough time to draw it while still dealing with his other numerous projects. But the goal was to make it something epic. I approached it as if I were writing a giant blockbuster, featuring everything I ever wanted to see from the Coinless Universe. So, it's my swan song with Ranger Slayer for the moment.
Does that mean she won't pop back up in MMPR at some point? Never say never. But for now, I'm happy to pass the character off to others for Drakkon: New Dawn.
Nrama: We’ve seen Rocky, Aisha, and Adam step up in this arc. What can we expect from the new team members for the next arc?
Parrott: For the Stone Canyon Trio, "Necessary Evil" was about seeing them go from the outside to the inside. I always imagined that stepping into the shoes of the previous Rangers had to have been difficult, so I loved that I got to explore that through their eyes, both emotionally and physically. As you saw in the finale, they're a part of the team now, having more than proven to be up to the task.
So, going forward, my goal is to try and dig into them now as individuals. What drives Aisha? Where does Adam stand on certain issues? And what makes Rocky tick? Just like the early days of "Go Go," I'm hoping this next run will allow me the time and space to explore each member of the Stone Canyon Trio in new ways.
Nrama: One of my favorite aspects about Rocky, Aisha, and Adam joining the team on the show was seeing Kim and Billy really step up as leaders. Are we going to see this in your comic book run as well?
Parrott: If you were paying attention to the finale of Go Go Power Rangers, I've already begun laying track for the next Power Rangers story and both Billy and Kimberly will be at the center of it. I'm looking forward to trying to take those characters to places you might not expect them to go, but... I'm getting a little ahead of myself.
Nrama: You have a pretty huge reveal at the end of this issue, can you tell us a little bit about the character that appears?
Parrott: You mean the thing people will be talking about instead of the ending to the event I spent over a year writing? Yeah, sure. Why not.
I'm kidding, but obviously the return of Lord Drakkon will cause some significant ripples in the worlds of both the Power and Omega Rangers. We've been talking about bringing Drakkon back for a while, but I wanted to make sure that, when we did, he would be a different character.
This isn't the same guy that came inches away from conquering the Ranger multiverse. This one has seen a few things out there in the big scary universe. He's scared, wounded and maybe even a little insane. So it's my hope that this will allow us to tell some different stories with him than ones we've seen in the past.
Nrama: How is the main universe's Tommy going to react to it?
Parrott: Not well. But that's half the fun, right? It seems like everyone's doing evil alternate reality heroes these days, but as both a fan and as a writer, I love them because they not only create a worthy adversary, but they also remind you of what makes the hero special. So you can be sure that Tommy is gonna be forced to look into the mirror in many different ways in the next arc and... he's not always gonna like what he sees.
Nrama: To wrap, what can you tease about Mighty Morphin Power Rangers post #50?
Parrott: Well, we've already teased the return of the new and improved (spoiler warning) Dark Rangers, something I've been wanting to do for a long time, but they might not be the only thing making a sudden and unexpected return.
The goal of my next run is to use the Ranger Teams to both expand and connect the existing Ranger mythology in new and exciting ways. And most importantly for me, to slow things down, spend some time with these characters and try and make it all feel like one coherent universe.
In the past, I've been a little gun-shy about trying things that might shake up what we've come to suspect from the Power Ranger comics, but that's about to change.