Justice League/Power Rangers #6 review

JL PR 6

After ten long months, we finally bring this team-up to a close. It began with so much great energy coming out of the gate: a first-rate writer, an excellent artist, and a premise full of promise. But instead of going out with the bang it probably could have and should have had, it sort of wibbles over the finish line too-long after it began for most casual fans to have any sense of continuity with it.

DC/Boom! Studios’ Justice League/Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers just doesn’t quite ever land, unfortunately.  As Tom Taylor races to wrap with the plot, we have just too many characters competing in a landscape with no real focal point. I mean, I guess you could call the big mecha fight a focal point, but it’s pretty lackluster stuff: angry toothy cucumber monsters, an overgrown lampshade-looking robot, and then Lord Zedd does the super-grow thing for a while, but that doesn’t make it any more interesting.

The book held the most promise in the relationship between the Justice League and the Power Rangers on a more intimate level, but we barely get a handful of panels outside of the action for them to interact. For the first time we finally see some of the Power Rangers out of their helmets, but it’s too late in the game (for me, anyway), to care about them as people.

This is about as thrilling as these pages come

To make matters worse, the Justice League aspect of this conclusion feels particularly weak. And I’m not just talking the usual problem with Batman’s never-ending forehead. I mean a huge and obvious absence of the Justice League from the resolution of the plot.

Continuing from last issue, Alpha Five takes up an inordinate amount of space.  We do get to spend some quality time with Cyborg as they piece him back together and the League does launch an assault against Zedd, but neither of these things matter in the scope of the bigger picture. Instead we continue to focus on Alpha Five. Even the Zords are kind of sidelined as we barrel toward the conclusion.

On the one hand the solution to the problem of Zedd and his creatures (Braniac is practically an afterthought at a villain at this point), is interesting in some ways, but it lacks the kind of teamwork and focus on character that Taylor normally excels at. In this way it’s weirdly disappointing and disjointed. There are things that need to be solved: saving their miniaturized world, preventing this world from being demolished in the fray, and almost everything comes out all right in the end–as expected–and without much legitimate tension to make this the page-turner it should have been.

And then we get a somewhat lengthy denouement that I feel doesn’t address the original opening dramatic question–it’s just clean up. The Justice League and the Power Rangers agree to keep in touch, there’s some joking about Bruce being scowly and rich that kinda falls flat, and that’s pretty much it. It’s weirdly void of emotional depth. I expected this to be a little more preachy even, perhaps–tied up with some moral lesson? But when the stakes feel lacking, there’s not a lot to be gained from returning to a status quo.

Aaaaand that’s about all the Justice League action we’re gonna get, folks

Stephen Byrne closes out the book on art duties, and as I have mentioned before, I appreciate that kind of continuity on a short-run series. Everything here is serviceable, but the action feels like the flattest it’s been all throughout the series. There’s one nice splash when Lord Zedd decides to jump into the fray, but most of the rest of the action is literally fuzzy from effects, happening in the background against nondescript environments, or just feels like it’s lacking any kind of dynamic energy.  When the Power Rangers race for their Zords, the Zords are just sitting there lined up like wind-up toys on a shelf. We don’t see them really leap into the fight, we don’t see any exciting interaction between them and the monsters and/or Zedd.  It’s all very generic.

A big splashy fight might have helped make this work a lot better. I found myself just flipping through because nothing was arresting my attention.

Recommended If…

  • You want to have the full set.

Overall

This story and its creative team feels like it just ran out of steam. Justice League plays second fiddle to the Power Rangers–and perhaps both play second fiddle to Alpha Five in this final epic battle that feels less epic than just a whole lot of heroes eager to wrap up and go home. So much promise at the outset, but one can’t help but feel there’s more than derailed this than just delays over the release dates.

SCORE: 6/10

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