BOOM! Studios shocked Mighty Morphin Power Rangers fans when an evil White Ranger appeared in the pages of Kyle Higgins’s issue #9. That “White Ranger” was unmasked to reveal Lord Drakkon, the new identity of a scarred Tommy Oliver. Higgins explores Lord Drakkon’s origin in issue #12 in a story he describes as a warning: Never normalize injustice.
Spoilers for Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #12 follow.
As Tommy and Billy remain trapped in a dystopian, alternate Angel Grove, they meet Saba, the sentient sword that should belong to the White Ranger. But Saba isn’t on Lord Drakkon’s side and Saba leads the heroes to a clearing where Saba explains this alternate timeline of the Power Rangers universe.
As fans know, in the main storyline, Tommy breaks free of Rita Repulsa’s control and joins the Power Rangers. But in this reality, Tommy remains loyal to Rita and continues to fight on her behalf. The scales tip towards Rita’s favor as the world “normalizes” and excuses Rita, prompting Zordon and the Power Rangers to engage in a full-blown war. Higgins includes amazing Easter eggs, including future allies like Aquitar’s Alien Rangers and the mysterious Phantom Ranger.
“This is the battle to end all battles,” Higgins told Inverse in an email. “It would make sense that the Rangers would call on all available allies — new and old — to come to their aid.” Through this alternate timeline, Higgins says he gets to build a whole new world and events that play off established mythology. “To me, if you’re not looking for ways to integrate existing canon staples in different ways, you’re not taking full advantage of the concept,” adds Higgins.
In the original TV show, Zordon and Alpha 5 create the White Ranger powers shortly after Tommy completely depletes his Green Ranger energy. In Higgins’s comic, Zordon creates the White Ranger as a last resort and bestows it to Jason, the Red Ranger, until Tommy crashes the Command Center and kills Jason, absorbing the ultra-strong White Ranger powers into his own, thus creating his new hybrid costume.
As silly and apolitical as the Power Rangers have been, Higgins includes language alluding Rita’s rise to power to President Trump. Regardless of party affiliations, Higgins warns against normalizing injustices. “The important thing for us as a society is that we should not accept injustice and oppression as ‘standard operating procedure,’” says Higgins. “In fact, the worst thing we could do is normalize and shrug … staying docile, afraid, and quiet is what dictators, authoritarians, and Moon Witches want from us.”
The end of issue #12 alludes to the “never give up” ethos that has made the Power Rangers a winning team for over 20 years. The “Coinless” are a resistance group made up of ex-Power Rangers in this alternate Angel Grove, and Tommy and Billy are “welcomed” by a hostile Trini, Bulk, and Aisha, who replaces Trini as the Yellow Ranger in the TV show.
“The Coinless have had to battle Drakkon all these years without the power that made them so formidable,” explained Higgins. “That takes a lot of courage, strength, and resolve. They’ve been through hell facing off against Drakkon’s regime, but they still fight. They’re older, wiser, and a bit more grizzled. Opposing authoritarian rule has a way of doing that to you.”
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #12 is available now.