Attention '90s kids: A totally new Green Ranger who isn't Tommy Oliver is joining the Power Rangers in an upcoming relaunch of the popular comics from BOOM! Studios.
What's more: This new Green Ranger has two unconfirmed but very obvious Easter eggs that recall various eras of Power Rangers lore.
What Happened? — On Saturday of Comic-Con@Home, the 2020 iteration of the annual San Diego Comic-Con, comic book publisher BOOM! Studios held a panel previewing what's to come in the future of its popular Power Rangers comic book series. The panel was hosted by Erin Cahill, who starred as Jen the Pink Ranger in 2001's Power Rangers Time Force.
The panel included a dive into what Comic Book Resources previously reported: BOOM! Studios is ending its two Power Rangers comics, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and Go Go Power Rangers, to relaunch with two new titles: Mighty Morphin and Power Rangers. (Yes, that's two separate book titles.) The relaunch will also feature a seventh Power Ranger, a totally new Green Ranger whose identity is currently not known.
What BOOM! was saving for Comic-Con, however, was the look and design of the new Green Ranger, who will appear in Mighty Morphin #1. As drawn by illustrator Dan Mora, the new Green Ranger looks kind of the same as the Green Ranger you remember from your childhood, but there are some special details you might miss.
Easter Eggs of the New Green Ranger — First, the design of the new Green Ranger costume looks uncannily like the Green Ranger in a 2014 episode of the YouTube show Super Power Beat Down. In "Green Ranger vs. Ryu," Power Rangers star Jason David Frank reprised his role from the TV show in a fight against Ryu, the protagonist of the Street Fighter video game franchise. The episode unveiled a new version of the Green Ranger costume designed by Snakepit Studios.
Like the Snakepit costume, the new Green Ranger has prominent gold trims, "superhero movie"-style padding, and somewhat similar design principles in the gauntlets and boots.
Naturally, there are some major differences. There's no white belt on Dan Mora's design, and the the Snakepit costume had curved, rounded edges on the gauntlets and boots, whereas Mora has them sharpened like the edge of a diamond. But put the two designs side-by-side and it's not hard to see the similarities.
Second, and this is a real fun Easter egg for hardcore fans, the new Green Ranger's Dragon Dagger has an eerie curve that gives the iconic weapon a sinister look. Fans of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers TV show may remember the Season 2 episode "The Green Dream," in which an American-produced scene of the show featured a broken Dragon Dagger prop that the production team couldn't bother (or couldn't afford) to fix.
With the "new" Green Ranger's Dragon Dagger, a goofy TV show blooper has become official canon.
Who is the new Green Ranger?
As the identity of the new Green Ranger is a dramatic plot point, no one is naming who is behind the helmet of the Green Ranger. Writer Ryan Parrot teased on the panel, "It's exactly who you expect, and who you least suspect. It's a familiar face, but for others, it will feel like a whole new character."
Parrot added, confirming this new Green Ranger isn't Tommy Oliver (who is now the White Ranger): "We did choose the character to become the Green Ranger organically, and more importantly because of the impact on the other Rangers and not just Tommy. That's the point of doing this. So it's been a lot of fun to write."
Parrot's phrasing suggests the Green Ranger may be Matthew Cook. Introduced in Parrot's Go Go Power Rangers #1, Matthew was Kimberly's boyfriend until she was chosen to become a Power Ranger, leaving Matt behind. When Matt is abducted by Rita Repulsa and subjected to experiments, he is rescued by the Power Rangers but develops post-traumatic stress disorder. After his recovery, Matt learns Kim is a Power Ranger, and promises to keep her secret.
Matthew has just recently reappeared in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, but it's possible he may return in the relaunched Mighty Morphin — and this time, as a Power Ranger himself. As Parrot stated, Matt is a "familiar face" who may have undergone a huge change to feel like "a whole new character." Matthew also has some stakes with the other Power Rangers, mainly Kimberly, which can only lead to tension with Kim's new boo, Tommy the White Ranger.
The Inverse Analysis — The Power Rangers comics from BOOM! Studios have been a huge hit with fans. As demonstrated in event stories like Shattered Grid and Necessary Evil, the creators of the comics aren't afraid of diving deep into obscure Power Rangers history to mine new content. Taking inspiration from a fan film and an infamous moment that showed just how wonderfully awkward Mighty Morphin Power Rangers actually was is only to be expected.
The first issues of Mighty Morphin and Power Rangers will be released in November 2020.