Comic: Godzilla vs. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers II #2

Order

Godzilla vs. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers II #2


English Comic Title

Godzilla vs. Saban's Mighty Morphin Power Rangers II #2

Authors:

Cullen Bunn

Pencils:
Inks:
Colors:
Language:
Release:
Publisher
:
Pages:

Baldemar Rivas
Baldemar Rivas
Andrew Dalhouse
English
2024
IDW Publishing
29

Covers:

Baldemar Rivas / Alex Sanchez & Matt Herms / E.J. Su

Comic

Monsters

Godzilla
Godzilla
Clawhammer
Clawhammer
Sting King
Sting King
Tentacreep
Tentacreep
White Tigerzord
White Tigerzord
Dragonzord
Dragonzord
Jet Jaguar
Jet Jaguar
Hedorah
Hedorah
SpaceGodzilla
SpaceGodzilla
Crocovile
Crocovile
Lanterra
Lanterra
Wrecking Ball
Wrecking Ball
Lionizer
Lionizer
Two-Headed Parrot
Two-Headed Parrot
Vampirus
Vampirus
Psycho Ranger Destoroyah
Psycho Ranger Destoroyah
Psycho Ranger Destoroyah
Psycho Ranger Megalon
Psycho Ranger Destoroyah
Psycho Ranger SpaceGodzilla
Psycho Ranger Gigan
Psycho Ranger Gigan
Psycho Ranger Hedorah
Psycho Ranger Hedorah
Psycho Ranger King Ghidorah
Psycho Ranger King Ghidorah



Review

By: Christian Salabert

Well, after an incredibly rocky first issue with Godzilla vs. the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers II #1, does the comic finally find its footing, delve more into the story rather than the action, and provide us a fun, coherent continuation to this sequel series?

Let's, uh... Let's just get into it.

As Godzilla does battle with Rita's and Astronema's monsters, Zordon reiterates to the Rangers that they need to use the Multiversal Focus to take the battle to a less populated world in order to reduce casualties. Calculating coordinates as best as they can, Saba and the White Ranger activate the Focus and send everyone into another world. As Rita and Astronema bicker with one another, the Zords, Godzilla, and the three monsters land in a new universe, smack dab in the middle of kaiju themed amusement park Children's Land. The Megazord finds itself faced with the park's Godzilla Tower, which is suddenly destroyed by Godzilla. As the Monster King finds himself about to be double teamed by Tentacreep and Clawhammer, a humanoid figure suddenly emerges from the destroyed park. Growing to giant size, the figure reveals itself to be the robotic hero, Jet Jaguar!

Jet Jaguar begins attacking the evil monsters, but Godzilla opens fire on the machine. The Rangers receive an oncoming transmission from Jet Jaguar's inventor, Goro Ibuki, who informs them that he and his creation are there to help. As Tentacreep, Clawhammer, and Sting King are finally destroyed by Godzilla, the Dragonzord, and the White Tigerzord, Goro informs the Rangers he's been detecting temporal anomalies all throughout the multiverse. Before the conversation can continue, Rita and Astronema's next wave of monsters attacks! Crocovile, Lanterra, Wrecking Ball, Lionizer, the Two-Headed Parrot, and Vampirus all drop down from the sky and begin attacking everyone in sight. The Rangers realize they need extra firepower and begin to form the Mega Dragonzord, but the Megazord is knocked out of position. With the Dragonzord still in docking mode, Tommy has no choice but to lock onto the nearest ally... Godzilla!

Surprised and enraged by the sudden, unwelcome combination, Godzilla blasts around wildly, while the Dragonzord adds its own firepower to the assault, which ends up destroying all the present monsters. With Godzilla distracted and the monsters gone, Jet Jaguar returns to human size and the White Ranger installs the Multiversal Focus into the robot's chest. Jet Jaguar immediately takes them to a world where they have detected another team of Rangers in peril. They arrive to find a reality where the Blue Ranger is seemingly the only surviving Ranger and the Megazord has been massacred. As our heroes get their bearings, they suddenly find themselves faced with the Kaiju Psycho Rangers - Not just one, but the entire team.

Good lord so much is going on in this issue I don't even know where to begin.

Jet Jaguar takes Clawhammer by surprise.
Jet Jaguar takes Clawhammer by surprise.

If you thought the previous issue was way too fast and didn't take enough time to explain anything, then oh boy! Issue #1 feels like it crawled at a snail's pace compared to this one. Things just happen and characters are thrown at us with no rhyme or reason or fanfare and we keep changing location at the drop of a hat and despite hints at a plot with a multiversal threat the story thus far is nothing but "PUNCH PUNCH PUNCH." And with the Kaiju Psycho Rangers finally arriving, there's no reason to think that's going to ease up any time soon.

I'm not even entirely sure how to tackle this issue. Usually I'd start by dissecting the story, but... There almost isn't one. It's just a series of vaguely connected fight scenes. I guess I'll begin by addressing the fact that the heroes travel to the Showa Godzilla Universe (or at least a very close approximation of it) and all we see from it are Jet Jaguar and the Godzilla Tower. We're very briefly teased with the presence and involvement of the Star Hunter Nebula M aliens only to have the rug yanked out from under us when the Godzilla Tower is destroyed by... something. It just randomly explodes. Did Godzilla blast it? Did Godzilla materialize in it, causing it to burst? Did Jet Jaguar plant explosives in it, like the heroes of Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972) did? Eh, whatever, I guess it's not really that important. But then Goro from Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973) is there, except now he's not just a skilled roboticist, he's also an expert in all things multiverse, which seems a bit much for the character as we know him (sure, it's probably "not the same Goro," whatever). Still, it's surprising to see an actual human character from the Toho films pop up, so even though the character isn't quite right, it's still a nice surprise.

I hope you weren't excited to see the Star Hunter Nebula M Aliens show up.
I hope you weren't excited to see the Star Hunter Nebula M Aliens show up.

However, it feels like a waste to take the heroes to the Showa Universe and not use it to its fullest potential. We don't encounter Showa Godzilla and have him at odds with Heisei Godzilla, with the two of them fighting until the heroes leave the Showa Universe, or have Showa Godzilla join the heroes and have the two Godzillas at odds with each other as they continue on. We don't encounter Mothra, King Caesar, Rodan, Anguirus, or Minya, and have them join the heroes in their fight. We don't pick up any Toho villains to join Rita and Astronema, such as the Nebula M aliens or the Spacemen from the Third Planet. I don't know why Cullen Bunn is so anti-everything Toho in this sequel. Even Jet Jaguar, as present as he is, feels kinda "Oh. I guess he's here now."

Sting King, Clawhammer, and Tentacreep, after being the main threats in the previous issue, are all finished off rather quickly and unceremoniously here (though at least they don't just disappear without explanation). Instead of this victory granting the heroes (and the story) a moment of respite, allowing them to recuperate and talk and strategize without being under attack for five minutes, it's just FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT as a whopping SIX new monsters show up and begin attacking Godzilla and the Rangers. This is honestly way too much and feels completely unnecessary, as not even a single page passes between the previous three monsters being defeated and the second wave arriving. For anyone not familiar with the monsters in this sequence and are interested in just who they are, they are as follows (in the order they appear in the comic):

  • Crocovile, from the Power Rangers In Space episode "The Delta Discovery."
  • Lanterra, from the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Season 3 episode "Passing the Lantern."
  • Wrecking Ball, from the Power Rangers Zeo episode "Song Sung Yellow."
  • Lionizer, from the Power Rangers In Space episode "True Blue to the Rescue."
  • The Two-Headed Parrot, from the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Season 1 episode "Two Heads are Better than One."
  • Vampirus, from the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Season 3 episode "Ninja Quest Part IV."

There is technically a seventh monster in this group, a spiky humanoid, but it's too silhouetted to be seen properly. Unfortunately, this battle royale comes off as just a waste of space, as nothing really comes of it, nor are the seven monsters ever really portrayed as a threat. Tommy latches the Dragonzord onto Godzilla's shoulders, and their combined firepower wipes the monsters out pretty much immediately. Contrast this to Eye Guy and Rhinoblaster in Issue #3 of the original comic, who were portrayed as genuine threats, more or less equal to Gigan, and who lasted long enough to let a bit of their personalities shine through.

Also, the presence of Wrecking Ball, one of King Mondo's monsters from Power Rangers Zeo, in the second group of monsters disproves at least one theory I had from the previous issue: I was worried that the presence of Tentacreep, a Power Rangers Ninja Storm monster, meant that head villain Lothor was involved and would be showing up at some point. However, it seems that Rita and Astronema are simply grabbing random monsters from various villains throughout the timeline to use for their own purposes, meaning that, hopefully, no further Power Rangers villains will be making an appearance.

Sadly, the biggest disappointment of the issue is arguably what should've been its greatest highlight: The Godzilla/Dragonzord combination. Anyone who read my review for the first Godzilla vs. the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series knows I was hoping for some big team up combination attack from Godzilla and the Zords. The Mega Dragon Godzilla Zord, I called it. And sure, simply plopping the Dragonzord down on top of Godzilla like the Mega Dragonzord makes sense, I guess, but I feel like a concept as crazy as the Zords combining with a non-Zord, non-robot like Godzilla requires going all out and cranking the insanity up to 11, with something like the Zords forming some kind of armored suit for Godzilla, or the Zords transferring their powers to Godzilla and him firing a huge dinosaur blast, or some other wild idea. Instead, Godzilla simply standing in for the Megazord while the Dragonzord docks on top of him is just kind of... I suppose it's just too simple and unambitious an interpretation of the idea, at least for my liking. There's also the problem that it just sorta happens and it's merely to take out a bunch of monsters that essentially amount to Star Trek Redshirts. There's no real sense of "OH SHOOT THIS IS AWESOME," nor is it used as the final blow against the story's main antagonist in the grand final showdown. I guess they could always call back to it with a "Hey, remember when you put the Dragonzord on Godzilla?" moment and do it again later in the final fight, but as it is, it was kind of a lackluster first use of what should be a really fun, epic concept.

The Dragon-on-Godzilla's-shoulders-Zord. Great in theory, disappointing in execution.
The Dragon-on-Godzilla's-shoulders-Zord. Great in theory, disappointing in execution.

There is still no character to Godzilla. Shockingly, I think there's noticeably even less character to him in this comic than there was in the original series, and in the original series I was already complaining about him being portrayed as a rage-crazed beast who attacks everyone in sight with no thought behind his actions. At least there he was allowed the occasional glare of anger or something; Here it's just literally non-stop fight fight FIGHT and it is just exhausting. He's not even really adding to the plot, he's just there, with even Jet Jaguar being more relevant story-wise, despite being present a fraction of the time Godzilla has been thus far.

Lastly, this issue ends with the Kaiju Psycho Rangers making an appearance, leaving us with a cliffhanger of "Oh no, the Kaiju Psycho Rangers are a thing! Dun dun DUN!" Which means that this issue ends basically the same way the previous one did. How exciting and new. It's almost like we could've just skipped this issue entirely and, with the exception of "Jet Jaguar exists," it wouldn't have made any difference.

...Oh. It just occurred to me that Goldar, Scorpina, and Finster have been missing from the story thus far, even though they were stuck in the multiverse with Rita at the end of the first Godzilla vs. the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Did she just leave them there, falling through realities? Did she send them back home? Or are they intended to be here with Rita and we just haven't seen them yet? Who knows. Maybe Bunn just forgot about them.

I hope you weren't excited to see the Star Hunter Nebula M Aliens show up.
Because why draw all those pesky little details when you can just say it's too bright to see them?

Moving on to discuss the visuals of the issue... Baldemar Rivas' art still isn't great. Characters are still way too rubbery and noodley and there are some panels where the Zords are just woefully underdetailed. If Rivas can get away with leaving out any of the Zords' intricate designs and patterns, he goes for it... In fact, a lot of times, he goes for it even when he can't get away with it. One panel features a double whammy where what should be the White Tigerzord's fist holding its saber instead looks like the Tigerzord has a giant hook hand. On top of that, the Zord is just completely lacking the tiger head on its chest, one of its most obvious and defining features.

The White Tigerzord's unintentional hook hand. Where's the tiger head? Where are all the red and black markings? Only Baldemar Rivas knows for sure.
The White Tigerzord's unintentional hook hand. Where's the tiger head? Where are all the red and black markings? Only Baldemar Rivas knows for sure.

In one panel during the moment where the Dragonzord docks on Godzilla's shoulders, the Green Ranger's Zord is completely missing its head fin. In the one panel he appears in, Vampirus is missing his large red bat wings.

Do you ever get the feeling that something's missing?
Do you ever get the feeling that something's missing?

In what is possibly the worst offender in the issue, there are a couple cutaways showing the Psycho Rangers attacking the kaiju they're acquiring their new powers from. One of these involves Psycho Pink attacking Hedorah, and it is literally the most confusing panel in the entire issue. All we see are a couple of badly defined blob creatures with no hint of who they are or what's going on (there's some narration from Goro about tears in the multiverse in the panel, but it's only vaguely related), and the coloring in the panel, as well as the angle the character is drawn at, makes the tentacled Toho-born blob on the left look about as much as Gezora as it does Hedorah. It honestly looks like it could be part of the fight between the main heroes and the monsters going on at the same time.

Hedorah or Gezora? You decide!
Hedorah or Gezora? You decide!

Honestly, the only reason I was even able to eventually piece together what the panel was, is because it is soon followed by a panel of Psycho Blue attacking SpaceGodzilla... although Psycho Blue is unrecognizable, as well. He's clearly not in Ranger form, but he doesn't resemble his Psycho Monster form, either. In fact, he seems to already be in his Psycho SpaceGodzilla form, even though that doesn't entirely make sense either since one would assume he wouldn't gain those powers until after fighting SpaceGodzilla (he's also noticeably lacking the long tail he's supposed to have). Lastly, when the Kaiju Psycho Rangers show up for their big debut on the final page, the wings of Psycho Destoroyah are just solid red blobs without any detailing on them at all. Colorist Andrew Dalhouse seemingly tries to rescue the image by using a darker shade of red to make it look like the wings have 'arms,' but he can only do so much. It's all just so lazy-feeling and unpleasant to look at. I do want to clarify that I am not putting Rivas' art down in general. He's clearly a very talented artist, and with the right franchise, something more cartoony and less detailed, I'm sure his art would compliment it wonderfully. I just don't think he's a good fit for something like Godzilla and Power Rangers.

I hope you weren't excited to see the Star Hunter Nebula M Aliens show up.
Because wings are hard, apparently. [side note: it's spelled "Destroyah" rather than "Destoroyah as well]

The issue has some nice covers, at least. The main cover, by Rivas is nice. It features the six MMPR (White, no Green) leaping down at Godzilla from an even greater height. Godzilla is really nicely detailed and has a cool-looking red lighting going on, but honestly, the cover would be better if the Rangers simply weren't in it. The next one, with art by Alex Sanchez and colors by Matt Herm, is a fun group shot of the Rangers and Jet Jaguar posing together... although the Red Ranger is in a really weird pose, as if caught in the middle of a crazy dance move or something. Noticeably, the White Ranger is missing from this cover, even though the upper left corner, next to the Blue Ranger, has a suspiciously large empty space where he'd fit perfectly. It's odd that thus far only Freddie Williams II's cover for Issue #1 has used both the Green and the White Rangers together, even though all seven Rangers are present for this story. Lastly, E.J. Su gives us a rather nice third cover featuring Rita Repulsa, Astronema, Godzilla, the five main Rangers, and the Psycho Rangers. Rita and Astronema look rather nice, with Rita especially recognizable as her Zyuranger actress, Machiko Soga. Godzilla looks rather good as well, as do the two teams of Rangers, even if them facing off head-to-head never actually happens in the issue itself (and likely won't happen at all, as the Psychos are already in their powered up Kaiju forms). Oddly, the Green Ranger and Psycho Green (who has become Psycho Gigan) are both absent from the cover. Despite the story inaccuracies and the fact that Godzilla being surrounded by so many Power Rangers elements only furthers the "Godzilla feels unneeded in his own crossover" aspect, E.J. Su's cover is nonetheless the best-looking one this go-around.

Our heroes arrive in another world to take on the Kaiju Psycho Rangers.
Our heroes arrive in another world to take on the Kaiju Psycho Rangers.

Ultimately, Issue #2 of Godzilla vs. the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers II does not fix any of the problems from the previous issue and in fact doubles down on most of them. It's a shame, too, because the idea of kaiju-powered Psycho Rangers is genuinely a great idea, but the Psychos have barely been present at all in these two issues. Perhaps instead of the second group of monsters with Crocovile, Lanterra, etc., the normal Psycho Rangers could have appeared and done battle with Godzilla and the Zords. The Psychos would start to overwhelm our heroes, only to be forced back by the sudden arrival of Jet Jaguar and the unexpected Godzilla/Dragonzord combination, at which point they would activate their new Kaiju powers. This would leave us with a reasonable cliffhanger of "The Rangers and Godzilla were barely able to defeat the normal Psycho Rangers, how are they going to handle these super powered kaiju versions?" Instead, we're simply getting a group of hybrid characters that neither Godzilla fans nor Power Rangers fans may be very familiar with thrown at us with barely any explanation or build up. The big reveal on the final page doesn't even really give us that good a look at our new villains.

Oh, well. Maybe, at least, we'll get some good fight scenes out of the next few issues.


Variant Covers

Alex Sanchez & Matt Herms Cover
E.J. Su Cover