At New York Comic-Con, BOOM! Studios celebrated ten years of publishing by looking to the future. Its writer Kyle Higgins insisted today that, unlike old Power Rangers properties, its upcoming comic Power Rangers will hold diversity, progressivism, and that inclusion as a cornerstone. How refreshing. He says:
“When I watched the show growing up, I didn’t think about that at all. I don’t really have a great answer right now, but it’s something that I’m aware of, it’s something that’s definitely on my radar. I can’t really give too much info on what we’re going into at this point, but it’s definitely something on our radar.”
Higgins also said that the comic will deviate from the show’s formulaic storytelling and be a more serial, character-focused series. Additionally, the series will prominently feature Tommy as the Green Ranger, not the White Ranger. A special White Ranger comic was released a few weeks ago in anticipation of their release date announcement.
Hosting the panel was Filip Sablik, the head of marketing and publishing at BOOM!, who added insights on how the studio negotiates between creative liberties and licensor wishes with licensed properties such as the Power Rangers.
“When we tackle licensed projects — I’ll use Planet of the Apes as an example — a lot of the licensed projects we tackle we have a deep passion for, and there’s a fan base that’s established that obviously wants to see [their favorite things] represented in an authentic way. We’re talking of a property that originated in the ‘70s, but in the comic series we used it as an opportunity to do what Planet of the Apes did, which was talk about social issues, and the two biggest characters, even though they were apes, were women. And so it’s not necessarily something you hang a flag on, [but] you find ways to be authentic and true to the license.”
Though Power Rangers was and is silly and hilariously low-budget, it was one of the first mainstream superhero shows on American TV to feature ethnic minority teenagers kick alien butt. While the show gets flak for casting its black and Asian actors as their “Black” and “Yellow”-coded heroes, many geeks of color have gravitated to those characters.
In addition, BOOM! announced that Hendry Prasetya, who has drawn DC Comics stories like Green Lantern and Power Girl, will be drawing Power Rangers. Writer Steve Orlando, also of DC Comics, will be writing side-stories within the comic featuring Power Rangers comedic reliefs Bulk and Skull.
BOOM! Studios’ Power Rangers will be released January 2016.