Thursday, October 17, 2019

Saban's Power Rangers: The Psycho Path (graphic novel) - Paul's REVIEW

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Saban's Power Rangers: The Psycho Path
Writer: Paul Allor
Illustrators: Giuseppe Cafaro & Marcelo Costa
Recent Release Date: October 15, 2019

Synopsis: The Psycho Rangers are back! Created by Karone when she was still the evil Astronema, the Psycho Rangers were programmed with overwhelming hate for all things Power Rangers. They were defeated at great personal cost, but now someone has brought them back and they are more murderous than ever before. Who brought them back, and why? And can Former Lost Galaxy Pink Ranger Karone and her brother, Red In Space Ranger Andros, stop them before they bring the universe to its knees? From writer Paul Allor (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Clue) and the fan-favorite artist Giuseppe Cafaro (Suicide Squad, Power Rangers: Soul of the Dragon)!


Review: This is the first of the BOOM! Studios Power Rangers comics that doesn't focus on at least one of the rangers from the original Mighty Morphin series. Karone/Astromena is the protagonist. The Psycho Rangers first appeared in In Space and returned in Lost Galaxy. The Green Psycho Ranger was previously introduced in the main comic series. Keeping all that in mind, this graphic novel may seem like it has the most barriers to entry than any other of the current comics but I think there's enough given context and a self contained story that you don't have to be too familiar with all the characters. You just need to know the basics of Power Rangers or be willing to do some RangerWiki searches. 

I absolutely loved this book. You're dropped into the middle of the action with little exposition. The necessary information is given in a natural way. I'm hoping for more books like this that follow more obscure characters to come in the future. I'd even be up for a follow-up to this book. 

Karone/Astronema is the star of this book. The moral grayness is a welcome change for Power Rangers. Boom! Studios is taking the stories from a campy, fun children's show and giving it more depth. The depth is there in the show, but it isn't delved into like these comics. This book is about finding your own identity. Your own community. Your own family. Names are also a big part of this story. The idea that contradictions create personalities. My favorite quote that really sums up the story is "Learning about other people's stories helps us take control of our own."

This is a modern story about empathy, identity and moral complexity. I would love to see a continuation of this story, whether in a direct sequel or having these characters appear in one of the main series comics. 

At the end of the book is a short comic story featuring the Supersonic Power Rangers and the origin of the Green Psycho Ranger. I was so happy to finally read this story. It was originally printed in the Year Two Deluxe Edition collection.

I give this book a 5/5. This is what Boom! Studios is doing so well with the Power Rangers franchise. Adding interesting stories that give a different perspective while adding to and inhancing the expansive Ranger mythology.


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