Comic: Godzilla vs. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #5

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Godzilla vs. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #5


English Comic Title

Godzilla vs. Saban's Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #5

Authors:

Cullen Bunn

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

Freddie Williams II
Freddie Williams II
Andrew Dalhouse
English
2022
IDW Publishing
36

Covers:

Freddie Williams II & Andrew Dalhouse / Alex Sanchez

Comic

Monsters

Godzilla
Godzilla
Megazord
Megazord
Eye Guy
King Ghidorah
Kamacuras
Goldar
Kumonga
Scorpina
Kumonga
Grumble Bee
Rodan
Slippery Shark
Hedorah
Snizard
Ebirah
Dragonzord



Review

By: Christian Salabert

Well... It certainly is an ending.

King Ghidorah proves to be too much for Rita's army of monsters to handle; Grumble Bee, Slippery Shark, and Snizard are killed almost immediately. Goldar and Scorpina do their best to continue the fight, when suddenly the Megazord leaps back into action. Though the Zord's power is low, the Rangers do their best to fight the three-headed monster, keeping it at bay until Tommy is able to escape the Xilien Mothership and summon the Dragonzord. Taking King Ghidorah by surprise, the Dragonzord overwhelms the alien monster until Godzilla rises up from the harbor, wrestling Ghidorah into and beneath the water. With Ghidorah distracted, the Rangers link their Zords together and form the Mega Dragonzord, the sight of which causes Goldar and Scorpina to finally retreat.

As soon as Godzilla emerges from the water, bringing Ghidorah with him, the Mega Dragonzord opens fire, blasting the golden terror. Godzilla joins in with his atomic ray, and together the two blasts overwhelm and seemingly kill King Ghidorah once and for all. Not yet finished, Godzilla directs his ray skyward, blowing the Mothership out of the sky. The ship's resulting fall and crash causes Rita to drop her magic wand, fracturing the Multiversal Focus. Her minions ask if she'll still be able to get them home with the condition the Focus is in, and she says there's only one way to find out, teleporting them all out of this dimension. Godzilla turns on the Rangers, blasting the Mega Dragonzord with his ray, as the Zord is now the only thing left strong enough to challenge him. Just as the Rangers begin to defend themselves, Zordon contacts them: With Tommy having been rescued and Rita leaving that dimension, there's no reason to remain. Realizing that retreat would be the best course of action as it would leave Godzilla with no one to fight and thus let him calm down, the Rangers have Zordon teleport them home.

In the wreckage of the Xilien Mothership, the Controller of Planet X and his men plan to return to their home world so they can recuperate and plan the next phase of their invasion. Unfortunately for them, Godzilla takes notice and incinerates them all with an atomic blast. Back in their own dimension, the Rangers are welcomed home by Zordon and Alpha and congratulated on a job well done. When the Rangers inquire about Rita and whether or not she made it back as well, Zordon informs them that he cannot detect her in this dimension, and that for the time being, she seems to be lost between realities. Indeed, Rita, Goldar, Scorpina, and Finster are now floating in a neverending void, surrounded and tormented by alternate Godzillas and Power Rangers from throughout the multiverse.

So, after the noticeable drop in quality in Issue #4, does Godzilla vs. the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers manage to get back on its feet and finish things off in a satisfying-yet-also-explosively-awesome finale?

...Ehh, not really, if I'm being honest.

To begin with, Issue #5 starts off with the exact same problem Issue #4 did, with the army of monsters introduced at the end of the previous issue getting killed off quickly and unceremoniously - But Issue #5 manages to do it even worse. Grumble Bee, Snizard, and Slippery Shark never even make it past the first page, and to make matters worse, are never even shown dying. Snizard is last seen laying on the ground, so I guess one could suppose that he's actually dead in that panel, but Grumble Bee and Slippery Shark are both very much alive when they're last seen, and then they just completely disappear. They literally accomplish nothing and are barely "on-screen" longer than the monsters Rita imagined in her fantasy sequence in Issue #3. To top it off, with their allies gone, Goldar and Scorpina prepare to make one final stand against King Ghidorah... except nevermind that the Megazord is back now, and the two villains just stand there and do nothing but watch for a really long time before they finally just leave. They don't try to help the Rangers and Godzilla, they don't try to sabotage the Rangers and Godzilla, nothing.

What was the point of any of that?

As previously mentioned, after having been severely damaged and left to sink to the bottom of the sea, the Megazord just... shows up out of nowhere, because now the heroes have to be there, I guess. While skipping over obvious or superfluous scenes is fine under the right circumstances, and obviously the Rangers and Godzilla were going to come back to save the day at some point, when last seen the Megazord was effectively defeated, so having it just show up completely unharmed is a little jarring. Perhaps it would've been better to have a scene set at the bottom of the bay where Godzilla uses his nuclear energy to re-energize the Megazord as a nice callback and repayment for the Megazord healing Godzilla with its power back in Issue #3. It'd be a nice moment of unity and teamwork between the two titans and would also go to show that Godzilla isn't just a mindless, rage fueled animal.

Speaking of showing any signs of teamwork between our heroes, the ultimate defeat of King Ghidorah is unfortunately rather lackluster, all things considered. The three-headed monster proved to be an absolute juggernaut in the previous issue, easily overpowering Godzilla and the Megazord simultaneously and leaving them for dead at the bottom of the sea. In this issue, though, they're both just immediately unharmed and ready to continue the fight, but now for some reason they're just capable of kicking Ghidorah's backside... Because reasons, I guess. To make matters worse, they defeat Ghidorah once and for all by simply blasting him with their beams. That's it. There were so many things they could have done to have some fun with this fight, a few of which I posited in my review of the previous issue. The Rangers and Godzilla could've united with Rita's army of monsters to beat Ghidorah. Rodan, Mothra, Anguirus, and the rest of the Monster Island crew could've shown up to lend a hand, teaching the Rangers that not all monsters are bad in this world. The Rangers could've summoned Titanus the Carrierzord, formed the Ultrazord, and Godzilla could've rode on its shoulders! Godzilla could've picked up the Megazord's Power Sword, charged it with his own nuclear energy, and stabbed Ghidorah through the heart with it. And of course, as previously mentioned, there was always the Mega Dragon Godzilla Zord, the most powerful and ridiculous thing ever created! But no, instead of anything cool and unique like that, Godzilla and the Mega Dragonzord merely defeat King Ghidorah by zapping him with their rays, which is pretty much the same way they've beaten almost every opponent in this crossover. And while the Rangers get the Mega Dragonzord, Godzilla still just fires his ordinary atomic ray instead of the Spiral Fire Ray, meaning that only one side of the crossover gets an upgrade for the big final blow. For a team up they'd been building up to for five issues, it's pretty anticlimactic.

What's also disappointing is what happens next.

With King Ghidorah dead, the Xiliens defeated, and Rita and her goons having left the dimension, Godzilla proceeds to turn around and begin attacking the Rangers, simply because... Well, because there's no on else left, essentially. Again, this is a really disappointing turn of events because it feels like Cullen Bunn simply couldn't figure out how to end things in the Toho world before the Rangers went back home to their own dimension. It's also to the detriment of Godzilla's character to have him attack the Rangers just because they're there after having been through so much together (and clearly working together all the while). I'm not saying there had to be a Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973) style handshake between Godzilla and the Megazord (though that would've been fun), but Godzilla has always been able to tell the difference between friend and foe, no matter what continuity the story takes place in. Hell, in Godzilla vs. Kong, he outright hates Kong for intensely personal reasons, and even there, after Kong helps him out with Mechagodzilla, he decides "You know, you're not half bad after all," gives Kong a little nod of respect, and swims off without trying to continue their previous fight. Something similar to that should've happened here. Instead, as it is, it just makes Godzilla look like a mindless, rage crazed beast, with no thought behind his actions or depth to his character. Alternatively, if Bunn wanted to portray Godzilla as a mindless, rage crazed beast who attacks everyone in sight with no rhyme or reason, then fine. It's his story, that's his prerogative. But then how is Godzilla teaming up with the Megazord without a problem for the last three issues?

The final shot of the cliffhanger ending, featuring Rita and her minions trapped within a multiversal void, is a fun one. It allows for a great visual, with them surrounded by the Megarogoji (Godzilla vs. Megalon), the Miregoji (Godzilla 2000: Millennium), the Sokogekigoji (GMK: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack), the RPM Power Rangers, the Dino Charge Power Rangers, and Lord Drakkon (an evil Tommy from another dimension who enslaved his Earth, an original character from the main series of comics from Boom! Studios). But unfortunately, the concept and the artwork itself is hindered by the fact that it's only one page. I don't know who in the creative process it is that decides these things, but this really should've been a double splash page, with Rita and her crew front and center, surrounded by even more alternate incarnations of Godzilla and Ranger teams. It would've been great to see Godzilla 1998, Shin Godzilla, or Godzilla Ultima to really help sell the "alternate universe" aspect of the other Godzillas, and seeing one or two more Ranger teams or villains, such as the 1995 feature film Power Rangers, Ivan Ooze, the 2017 reboot Power Rangers, or the 2017 incarnation of Rita Repulsa - as both MMPR movies are set in different universes from the TV show - would've been similarly good additions for the Power Rangers side of things.

Of course, the real gag they should have ended the series with is having Rita and her goons wake up in a new dimension and have one of them comment "I hope I never see another giant monster as long as I live!" only to look up and find themselves faced with Gamera, or Ultraman, or King Kong. Sure, it would've been silly for IDW to get the rights to a whole new franchise just for a brief one off joke (and also Toho probably wouldn't like it), but I would've loved it. Oh, well.

There are a few points where the issue seems to, perhaps unintentionally, severely underestimate the strength and power of the Power Rangers characters. One of these instances is the previously mentioned fight between King Ghidorah and Rita's monsters. Yes, King Ghidorah is a powerful foe and Snizard, Grumble Bee, and Slippery Shark are admittedly not among the more high end monsters of Rita's, but Ghidorah is still being faced with five monsters (including Goldar and Scorpina who are skilled warriors and consistently major threats to the Rangers and Zords), so to have him just beat them all basically immediately is a bit much. Throughout his film career, Ghidorah has been beaten by three monsters, two monsters, one monster in a one-on-one fight, and one monster when Ghidorah had help and the other monster didn't. And the only other time Ghidorah has faced more than three monsters at once, he died. Horribly. Another moment is at the very end, when Godzilla turns on the Rangers and engages in a beam war with the Mega Dragonzord. Look, I know we're all Godzilla fans here and we all love it when he's presented as badass and all-powerful and unstoppable and all that, but as this Godzilla is essentially the Heisei Godzilla, and he's using his ordinary atomic ray... No, I'm sorry, he is not locking beams with the Mega Dragonzord's finishing attack blast. The Mega Dragonzord's beam is plowing right through that atomic ray and blasting Godzilla in the face. Again, maybe if Godzilla was using his Spiral Fire Ray, it'd work better, but for some reason Bunn and Williams just seem afraid of using it (maybe it's some weird rule of Toho's that they can't). It's weird that the final issue of the story would pull this when the previous four issues overall managed to avoid it. Eye Guy and Rhinoblaster were presented as fairly equal with the Toho kaiju, and in Issue #2 the Megazord alone was able to stalemate with Godzilla. That the ultimate attack from one of the Rangers' strongest Zords is presented as equal to Godzilla's base weapon is silly and doesn't even make sense within this crossover's own logic.

Tommy and the Dragonzord thankfully waste no time getting back into the story, joining the fight on the third page. Williams' art holds up nicely, providing some really nice images in this issue - I'd love to see the double splash page of Godzilla and the Mega Dragonzord standing triumphantly over Ghidorah's body without the smaller insert panels blocking part of it. Thankfully, despite being overwhelming in the previous issue, the accursed "helmet eyes" are nowhere to be seen in this final installment. It's disappointing to see the Xiliens be incinerated at the end of the story, but I suppose there are plenty of alien races for Rita to interact with if there's ever a sequel to this story - Which isn't out of the realm of possibility, as a sequel to the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles crossover comic has just been announced, so there's always a chance! Maybe next time the Toho characters can cross over into the Power Rangers' world. I don't know how much of a difference that'd make, really, but it's an idea.

As far as this issue's covers go, the default cover is once again brought to us by Williams and Andrew Dalhouse. It features the Dragonzord, Godzilla, and the Megazord standing together, staring down King Ghidorah. Despite some questionable 'anatomy' decisions concerning the Dragonzord, this is probably the best cover this go 'round. It's a really nice "our heroes facing the danger together" type piece. The next cover, by Fatima Wajio, is a cute idea, but feels incomplete. It features a couple of little kids, one wearing a Red Ranger mask, the other wearing a Godzilla mask, playing with the Imaginext Pterodactyl, Mastodon, and Tyrannosaurus Dino Zords; Hasbro's Zeo Megazord; and a non-descript Godzilla figure (and yes, I'm well aware of what a nerd I am for being able to recognize the Zord toys from mere artwork of them). The Zeo Megazord's inclusion is a bizarre choice, considering that it's from Zeo, not Mighty Morphin, and doesn't even appear in the comic. The distractingly empty gray walls are an odd choice as well, making it seem like the kids and their toys are just out in a void somewhere. It probably would've worked better if they'd been sitting in a child's bedroom, surrounded by plenty of Godzilla and Power Rangers toys. The next cover is another of Williams and Dalhouse's "view screen" covers, this time featuring King Ghidorah, Rita, Xilien saucers, and Rita's lunar palace. The next one, by Alex Sanchez and Matt Herms, is nice, if a bit sparse. It features Godzilla (almost resembling the Final Wars incarnation) bending down and posing for battle, while the six Rangers pose in front of him, with a row of Xilien saucers behind them all. It's good, but the empty yellow space around everything is a tad distracting, similar to Wajio's cover. The fifth and final cover is again by Williams and Dalhouse, a great image featuring Godzilla and King Ghidorah facing off in a fiery war zone. Unfortunately, instead of the Zords, Williams opted to have the Rangers down at the bottom of the image, mostly off in the left corner, staring up at the two monsters. The Rangers almost do the cover a disservice, feeling as if they were added to it instead of being part of it. Ultimately, as tends to happen, the default Williams/Dalhouse cover wins this round once again.

Now, there's something concerning the "view screen" covers by Williams and Dalhouse that I've somehow completely managed to neglect mentioning before now, so I'll mention it here, while I still have the opportunity. These covers are all designed to interlock, to be placed together and form one huge, epic piece of artwork, featuring the Rangers, Zordon, and Alpha looking up at a huge view screen (apparently taking up an entire wall of the Command Center), showing them the Dragonzord, the Megazord, Godzilla, Goldar, the Xilien fleet, Rita, the lunar palace, and King Ghidorah, with what appears to be the moon looming in the distance. It really is an impressive piece of artwork, featuring all the major players, good and bad, from throughout the crossover. Of course, it still makes me chuckle that Billy and Alpha are looking up even though the screen is behind them.

Despite various problems that really should've been addressed before release, this final issue of Godzilla vs. the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers is an okay finale. It has a few notable cool "hero moments" where both Godzilla and the Rangers/Zords get to show off, but it clearly feels rushed, and there are even more "Did I miss a scene?" moments present here than in the previous issue. I've seen worse endings to stories, even including Godzilla comics from IDW, but overall it could've used a bit more fine tuning.

But, as this is the final issue and thus my last review of the series, how did I like Godzilla vs. the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers as a whole?

When this series was first announced, it was a dream come true for me. This was literally a match up I've been wanting to see since I was nine years old. I haven't read much of IDW's latest run of Godzilla comics other than a few issues of Rivals and I've completely lost interest in Boom! Studios' Power Rangers comics due to various reasons, but I was nevertheless still excited for this. And to my shock and fanboyish glee, the crossover started off really strong. It was great seeing Godzilla take on the Dino Zords and the character interactions, mainly taking place between Rita and the Controller, were really fun, seeing the comparisons made between the two universes and the villains' clashing methods of global conquest. This momentum carried on pretty solidly, all the way up through the battle with Gigan, Eye Guy, and Rhinoblaster in Issue #3... at which point the comic clearly lost steam and Bunn no longer had any idea on how to keep this story going. Comparisons between universes had been made, the heroes from each universe had already teamed up against monsters from each universe, and that was apparently all Bunn had in mind. Issues #3 and #4 just resorted to copying Issue #2's ending and Issues #4 and #5 dismissed the monster squads introduced at the end of the previous issue so insultingly quickly that it almost felt like they resented having to deal with them.

The Rangers had some nice moments in the earlier issues, such as helping the fleeing citizens get to safety or interacting with the Xilien pilot, but then have basically nothing to do for the last three issues. There should've either been something for the Rangers to do - perhaps a human Toho character on the heroes' side for them to interact with, like the Shobijin, or Miki Saegusa, or Captain Gordon, or Jet Jaguar, or anyone, really - or they probably should've cut the series down to just four issues, as there clearly wasn't enough story for five. Tommy being sidelined from the action is understandable at first, as obviously Bunn didn't want the Rangers double teaming Godzilla with the Megazord and Dragonzord, but it goes on for far too long. As the Megazord and Godzilla begin working together and start fighting through wave after wave of monsters, the Dragonzord's absence becomes more noticeable and more frustrating. The fact that Miss Namikawa was kept out of this story and wasn't the one to free Tommy is still baffling to me. The fact that Mothra was never so much as alluded to, not even in Rita's monster army fantasy sequence, is equally shocking, as is the fact that we never saw Pudgy Pig and Pumpkin Rapper, two of MMPR's most iconic monsters (Shellshock is another big one that I'm surprised didn't at least appear in the fantasy monster army). And the fact that the ultimate defeat of King Ghidorah is achieved because the Zords and Godzilla essentially just forget the damage he'd inflicted to them in the previous issue, and then just zap him like they have every other monster in this series, is severely underwhelming.

Are there things I would fix or change outright about this crossover? Absolutely. Am I still glad that it happened, though? You'd better believe it.

Despite its noticeable flaws, Godzilla vs. the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers is still a really fun crossover featuring a pair of tokusatsu titans that I honestly assumed would never meet in any official capacity. For me, this crossover is right up there with any potential Godzilla vs. Gamera or Godzilla vs. Ultraman. As previously mentioned, the Power Rangers / Ninja Turtles comic is getting a sequel, so hopefully this one does some day as well. It'd be great to see Godzilla - maybe a different one, more akin to the good guy Showa incarnation - along with fellow heroic kaiju like Mothra, King Caesar, and Jet Jaguar, meet up with the Rangers. Maybe they could set the Rangers somewhere in Season 2, allowing some new faces such as the White Ranger, the Thunder Zords, Lord Zedd and his evil Zord Serpentera, and some of Zedd's more freakish monster creations like Pirantis Head or Silver Horns. But even more importantly than that, they need to focus on the story, tweaking and perfecting it, until it's more tightly paced, feels less repetitive, and capable of filling out five whole issues. Once that's done, I feel that the concept of Godzilla vs. the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers will at last meet its full potential.

And I'm still mad about the Mega Dragon Godzilla Zord, darn it.


Variant Covers

Fatima Wajio Cover
Freddie Williams II & Andrew Dalhouse Cover (No Text)