The dream crossover of ‘90s-obsessed millennials will take place next January, when the Justice League of DC meets the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers in a limited series from DC Comics and BOOM! Studios. Justice League/Mighty Morphin Power Rangers is written by Tom Taylor, and the sole cover art released thus far is as bright as Saturday morning TV. There’s a possible snag, though: While the Justice League lives up to its name, the Power Rangers take a more permanent approach to vanquishing their enemies.
Saban’s Power Rangers franchise is engineered for children, but one of the oddest aspects to its mythos is that the heroic Power Rangers kill their enemies. Armed to the teeth with weapons, blasters, and colossal robots called Zords — which can combine into an even bigger robot, the Megazord — it is debatable that the Power Rangers are less superheroes and more exterminators who act as judge, jury, and executioner for their arch-nemesis’s minions.
And it’s happened throughout nearly 25 years and 800 episodes of television. Except in 2001’s police-themed Power Rangers Time Force and 2005’s Power Ranger SPD, the Rangers do not have any formal judicial system or even a high-tech confinement facility to humanely jail their enemies. There’s no Arkham Asylum in Angel Grove, and nothing resembling the S.T.A.R. Labs’s meta-human prison on the CW’s The Flash. In the Power Rangers universe, punishment is always death by artillery.
Of all the League members who would take issue with the Rangers, it would be Justice League founding member and the Dark Knight himself, Batman. And in Tom Taylor’s upcoming crossover, it just so happens that Batman apprehends one of the Power Rangers. In the summary revealed in the press release, Batman takes Zack the Black Ranger into his custody after a mishap flings the Angel Grove teen through a wormhole and into the DC Universe.
The most likely reason that Batman keeps Zack is that Batman is merely being his usual overprepared self, ensuring Zack isn’t a dangerous threat posing as a teenaged superhero. But given that the series writer is Tom Taylor, it shouldn’t be unexpected if Taylor chooses to explore this philosophical kerfuffle.
For three years Tom Taylor was the writer of Injustice: Gods Among Us, the prequel comic to the 2013 video game. Throughout Taylor’s run, themes of freedom, responsibility, and due process were explored to set up the plot in which a power-hungry Superman rules Earth with an iron fist, leaving Batman and his rogue Insurgency to take him down. No one is expecting a crossover comic book with the Power Rangers to explore similar ideas, but no one expected a comic based off a fighting game would spend years on the bestseller list either.
While the Justice League is indisputably the more classic and prestigious of the two superhero teams, the Power Rangers have long stood out from the rest due to their method of defending Earth. Something will allow these two sides to cooperate — the book has no “vs.” between their names, hinting at a team-up and not a war — but maybe don’t expect them to be friendly either.
Justice League/Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #1 will be released January 11.