JUSTICE LEAGUE/POWER RANGERS #1
Written by Tom Taylor
Art by Stephen Byrne
Published by DC Comics/BOOM! Studios
Release Date: January 11, 2017
In an attempt to once again feed on my deepest bits of 90s nostalgia, DC Comics and BOOM! Studios have concocted the crossover that makes me grab my Power Morpher Green Lantern ring and shout with joy. Justice League/Power Rangers is finally here, written by the great Tom Taylor with art by the wonderful Stephen Byrne. I could hardly wait to grab this off the shelves and go go, power read the hell out of this issue.
Justice League/Power Rangers #1 carefully sets the series up by sending the Power Rangers to the DC Universe. When one of Lord Zedd’s attempts to defeat the teenagers with attitude goes horribly awry, the rangers are sent to an alternate dimension and quickly run into the Batman, fully poised to kick their butts across the DCU.
Under the assumption that the monstrous Batman is one of Lord Zedd’s cronies, the power rangers fight back and soon find themselves battling not only the Dark Knight, but the Flash as well, with promise of other Justice League members to come.
I’m not going to pretend that a deep shiver didn’t roll over my body upon those opening pages. Between Taylor’s striking ability to narrate utter devastation and Byrne’s talent in depicting staggering emotions, I was ruined in an instant. Taylor has scripted the rangers in a mature fashion. Gone is the goofy 90s slang and cheesy Saturday morning dialogue, replaced with an intense show of camaraderie, challenges, and courage from the young rangers.
It was great to see the focus on Zack throughout the issue, as I’m looking forward to getting to know his character better. The Power Ranger world is a little bleaker than usually depicted, the goofy theatrics tossed aside for a slightly grittier take on Angel Grove and its heroes. However, this helps blend it with the Justice League’s universe, offering a rather seamless transition into the other dimension.
What helps this transition, along with the stellar writing and character focus, is the fantastic art from Stephen Byrne. Byrne has a soft approach to art, favoring dynamic linework with less of an outright black and bold feel, and more of a clean and blended approach to linework and color. The rangers are instantly recognizable, and Byrne captures the soft costumes filled with strength carefully and accurately.
Lord Zedd looked incredible, like he was ripped right from the pages of my memory book–creepy, powerful, but vulnerable. The paneling itself moves along well, creating a constant feeling of action with diagonal frames diverse panel sizes. The look of this book compliments the current MMPR ongoing at BOOM! Studios, and does well to create a dark atmosphere for the story. I’m looking forward to spending more time in the DC Universe next issue, as I enjoy the emotional and clean way that Byrne draws the Justice League characters.
While the set-up for the story and intertwining of universes wasn’t the most original I’ve seen, the roller coaster action certainly made up for it. For what it’s worth, I really enjoyed this first installment of Justice League/Power Rangers. Taylor and Byrne handled the material wonderfully, synthesizing the two properties in an entertaining manner. This is the crossover I’ve been waiting for, and every page was captivating. This book drips with glorious action and powerful emotion, and I’m overjoyed that this exists.
The Verdict: 9.5/10