Let’s Talk About POWER RANGERS UNLIMITED: EDGE OF DARKNESS #1

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Power Rangers Unlimited: Edge of Darkness is now available and it is very interesting. The comic is written by Frank Gogol with art by Simone Ragazzoni, colors by Igor Monti, and letters by Ed Dukeshire. It ties directly into the events of the main comics and shows us some history that Power Rangers fans have never known. Plus, it sort of reveals the identity of the Phantom Ranger. BOOM! Studios provided me with a digital copy to read and you can get yourself a copy of the comic from your local comic shop, comiXology (affiliate link), or wherever you like to purchase comics.

ENTER THE PHANTOM RANGER! Answering Zordon’s call, the Phantom Ranger investigates the aftermath of an Empyreal attack. Only to discover their connection to an ancient evil he encountered long ago… which may have finally returned to threaten the entire universe.

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In the preview, we saw the Phantom Ranger checking on Hartunia after the events of Power Rangers #8 and he’s working with Zordon. We then flashback and see Tengas chasing after a girl named Rita and her mother on the planet Da’Quar. Yes, this is Rita Repulsa. The Phantom Ranger saves the pair and has them running to his ship while he engages with the Tenga who hulks out to fight him. The plan is to get them to Zordon and safety. Rita’s mother, Lady Fienna, refuses to just leave the Phantom Ranger behind and she saves him. However, the Phantom Ranger is hurt and needs healing.

Something I want to address real quick is that while running to the Phantom Ranger’s ship, Fienna tells Rita a story about a brave girl as many parents do and it’s very cute. Now, Rita’s telling the Phantom Ranger a story about her family and talks about Master Vile arriving and taking away her dad. This is important for a few reasons. First, it shows how good Rita was and could’ve been. We’ll get to another reason later. Hint, imagine Rita is Luke Skywalker from Star Wars. The storytelling does help the Phantom Ranger cling onto life long enough to get him to a Masterforge. This is when things really get interesting.

On the ship, we learn that the Phantom Ranger’s life force, suit, and Power Ruby are all connected. The Masterforge is a station built at a grid-sensitive place in the universe. Fienna apparently used to study the Morphin Grid with her husband Eldin. We get some exposition I’ll get to in a second, but it’s here that we learn the Phantom Ranger is made of Grid Energy! This means they can use the Masterforge to heal the Phantom Ranger.

So, what was the exposition I skipped? While researching the Morphin Grid, Eldin and Fienna saw into the grid and were shown visions of their unborn daughter. Fienna saw what Rita might become one day with art reminiscent of the Mystic Mother from Mystic Force. However, Eldin saw a vision of Rita Repulsa and he heard a voice revealed to be Dark Specter who corrupted Eldin to be brought into our dimension. It’s here that we learn that Eldin became Master Vile. We also learn that for Dark Specter to enter our dimension, he would need a vessel. The vessel that Master Vile had chosen was Rita and the Tenga from earlier were going to try to help make that happen. We also briefly learn that Zordon helped Fienna escape.

Fienna then comes up with the idea of blasting Rita with Grid Energy. This would prevent her from being a vessel for Dark Specter. The Phantom Ranger agrees to let her try this. Unfortunately, more Tenga show up and a fight ensues. Things aren’t looking great for the Phantom Ranger, but we do see him do a classic chest beam. We also see him or a facsimile or something of him comforting Rita as she’s being blasted with Grid Energy. Enter Master Vile. The second Phantom Ranger (honestly, that was a little confusing to me, but whatever) and Fienna are unable to stop Master Vile from getting Rita. He initially shows Eldin’s face and Rita’s excited to see her dad, but then he sense the Grid Energy in her and he tosses her aside since she’s been ruined for his purposes. The Masterforge then explodes and the Phantom Ranger is left to die in the vacuum of space. Dang.

Fast forward back to the present and Zordon is talking with the Phantom Ranger. It’s here we learn that Dark Specter has entered our dimension. The thing is, it doesn’t feel super clear to me if he crossed because of the Empyreals or if there’s something else going on. I just wish that had been a little clearer. Overall, this was a great comic though.