After I finished writing my glowing review of issue #1, I was eager to read the next installment of Power Rangers/TMNT. I hoped that the writer and artists would manage to match the high bar they set in the first issue, and I am happy to say I was not disappointed.
Issue #2 picks up right where the issue #1 left off, with the Rangers and the Turtles engaged in a rooftop battle in New York City. It’s soon clear to the Rangers that the Turtles are not creations of Rita Repulsa and the two hero teams call a truce, joining forces to confront the Foot Clan and find Tommy Oliver.
A point of confusion for me in the first issue is cleared up in the first few pages of issue two: The Turtles and the Rangers definitely inhabit the same universe. The Rangers are recognized by April O’Neil as being superheroes from Angel Grove. Speaking of April, it’s cool to see her in her element as a journalist, using her investigative skills to help track down Tommy and the Foot. This issue features additional cool cameos from characters and elements of the TMNT mythos, such as Master Splinter and Shredder’s mutant goons Bebop and Rocksteady. The Technodrome appears as the underground base of the Foot Clan but, surprisingly, Krang is nowhere to be seen.
Ryan Parrott’s writing is on par with the first issue, which is to say, it’s brilliant. Issue #2 gives us more funny banter between the Rangers and the Turtles. In particular, I chuckled at a scene of gentle one-upmanship between the teams’ two resident brainiacs Donatello (who, amusingly, is a Power Rangers fanboy) and Billy, the Blue Ranger. Michelangelo and Zack, the Black Ranger, also win laughs by debating the merits of various unusual pizza toppings such as pineapple or jellybeans. The comic moves along at a brisk pace with terrific action as well as some stunning plot twists and other awesome moments (more on those is the spoiler section below).
The Rangers and the Turtles fighting together as a unit is a joy to behold and is gloriously realized by illustrators Simone di Meo and Allessio Zonno. Although I do have one nitpick about the art: In certain panels the Turtles’ faces have a tendency to look a little wonky, with odd expressions. Besides that minor gripe, the artwork is spectacular. The bold colors by Walter Baiamonte and Igor Monti continue to leap off the page.
***Skip to the final paragraph to avoid SPOILERS for issue #2***
After the necessary set-up in issue #1, the plot finally begins to move forward in earnest in issue #2. Most of the interesting story action revolves around Tommy Oliver, the Green Ranger. It is revealed that Tommy has come to New York and infiltrated the Foot Clan (without the knowledge of his fellow Rangers) in order to rescue an old friend named Tyler who has joined the urban terrorists as a Footsoldier. When Tommy tries to talk his friend into leaving with him, Tyler turns on Tommy and incapacitates him, handing him over to the Shredder.
Tommy soon awakes and attempts to morph in order to free himself from the Shredder’s holding cell, but Shredder is able to subdue him with some kind of energy attack (I wasn’t aware he could do that…) and steals the Dragonzord Power Coin. In her Moon Palace, Rita Repulsa senses that the Power Coin has fallen into other hands and warps to the Technodrome with Goldar and her other minions to confront this “upstart.” In a final shocking splash page, Shredder uses the Dragonzord morpher to transform into Green Ranger Shredder! He challenges Rita to take the morpher from him, if she can. I must say, Shredder’s Ranger form is a fantastic combination of his normal outfit and the Green Ranger suit.
Power Rangers/TMNT #2 is another sensational installment in this fan-pleasing miniseries! I’m not sure where the plot is going from here but I’m confident that Ryan Parrott and company will continue to deliver Saturday-morning-cartoon-nostalgia thrills for the remaining three issues. Stay tuned for my review of issue #3, coming soon!