Title: Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers Volume One Paperback Collection
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Storytellers: Kyle Higgins (writer) with Hendry Prasetya (art) and Matt Herms (colors); The Ongoing Adventures of Bulk & Skull: Steve Orlando (writer) with Corin Howell (art) and Jeremy Lawson (colors).
Taking place after the Power Rangers free Tommy from Rita’s clutches, the Green Ranger is the newest member of the team. Tommy is having some problems with adjusting to taking orders and his new life in Angel Grove. Tommy keeps having visions of Rita, who derides him, driving him to take risks and disobey orders. This is all part of Rita’s plan to use Scorpina to gather the chaos energies of the Green Ranger in order to open a portal. Sending Putties after Tommy while at home, Scorpina is able to make an imprint of the Dragon Dagger, which Rita uses to take over the Dragonzord. After the battle with Scorpina and the Dragonzord, the Rangers capture her and bring hero back to their base. The Rangers are angry at Tommy, who is constantly disobeying orders and getting himself into trouble, but it’s all too late as their anger activates the fake Dragon Dagger and opens the portal, destroying the Ranger’s base.
This is a fun and fantastic read, especially if you love the Power Rangers! I watched the original series, back in the day, and really enjoyed the concept and action of the show, while the dialogue is painful, especially today. But with that said, this series takes what I liked about the series and amps up the action and set-pieces, and gives us much better character interaction and dialogue, and frankly, a much better story! The art is also great, feeling a bit anime at times, and seeing as how the Power Rangers have a connection to Japan anyway, this fits. The main story is more serious than anything Power Rangers I’ve every read.
The back up feature focuses on the goofballs that are Bulk and Skull, and their attempts to get the girls to join their Power Ranger club. While it’s odd and the art doesn’t hold up to that of the main story, it’s still fun and reminiscent of the Bulk and Skull adventures seen on TV series.
All-in-all, this is a great collection, filled with great art and fantastic two fantastic stories, and I can not wait for this story to be continued.
Title: He-Man and She-Ra – A Complete Guide to the Classic Animated Adventures Hardcover Book
Publisher: Dark Horse Books
Author: James Eatock
This is the third massive hardcover from Dark Horse Comics, featuring He-Man and She-Ra. This time, get an extensive episode guide, featuring tons of information and art based on the many episodes of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe and She-Ra, Princess of Power.
Each episode gets at least two pages devoted to it (some with more), and provides the episodes original air date (in both the US and UK), the writer and director and even when the script was approved. We also get a cast list for each episode along with some trivia and memorable quotes, as well as an episode synopsis, the episode’s ending moral, and a review. We also get some info (as well as some art) on deleted scenes and a segment called “Same/As”, where Eatock tells us were characters, items and places were reused for episodes. With all of that, they greatest aspect is the included art. I have a He-Man and the Masters of the Universe episode guide by James Eatock, but because it was unofficial, it has no art, just the write-ups on each episode. It is also paperback and on lesser quality paper, than this guide. While I’ve found that most of the info in that book is the same here, this hardcover provides us with much more, including the added art and the inclusion of She-Ra, Princess of Power.
Even though I’ve already read a good portion of this book, this was a must have for my collection. The new layouts, and added art, add so much more to the enjoyment of this episode guide, which also includes episodes of She-Ra, which in my opinion, is the better series, make this one highly…
Title: He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Minicomic Hardcover Collection
Publisher: Dark Horse Books
Storytellers: Too many to list, with some going uncredited. However, the one’s listed on the back cover include Robert Kirkman and Bruce Timm.
This, novel-sized, think monstrosity, contain over 1230 pages of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe related minicomics, which were packaged with the original toys produced by Mattel. This hardcover collection includes comics from the Masters of the Universe (1982), Princess of Power (including the fashion guide), He-Man: The New Adventures, Masters of the Universe (2000), and Masters of the Universe Classics toylines, as well as some unpublished works and designs.
This collection is not for the faint of heart. It is a massive collection of some of the oddest and weirdest stories every told in the comics. The stories presented in the original minicomics are nothing like the animated adventures of He-Man or She-Ra. In fact, the first few issues of the ‘Masters‘ minicomics aren’t even comics, they are more like a Golden Book, where there is one picture/scene per pages with some text underneath. This collection also includes some commentary, which is present at the bottom of the page, giving you more insight into these classic tales.
I find myself enjoying these versions of the characters better than their animated counterparts, as the comics come off more serious and less childish, if that can be believed. One thing that I found interesting, is how, in the early issues, He-Man talks about changing outfits or armors depending on the situation. They were definitely toying around (pun intended) with the ideal of He-Man having different accessory packs, where he could change armors depending on how you wanted to play with him, which is odd, because changing outfits is a feature of dolls!
Anyway, if you’re a ‘Masters’ fan or someone who wants to read, or re-read, these unique promotional items, which were used to flesh out a world for the toys to inhabit, then this is the collection for you. I loved everything about this one and it currently sits front and center on my book shelf!
Title: The Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Hardcover Artbook
Publisher: Dark Horse Books
Writers: Alan Oppenheimer (foreword), Tim and Steve Seeley (captions) with James Eatock (captions chapter 4)
The first book of (so far) five announced He-Man collector’s books published by Dark Horse Comics, the Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe is curated by a host of ‘Masters’ experts and is a wonderful addition to the collection any MOTU or toy/animation enthusiast.
The book is broken down into 10 chapters, each focusing on one aspect of the ‘Masters’ Universe, from the classic toys, to the comics, the 80’s motion picture and the current collector’s toy line. With hundreds of pictures and captions, this book contains a wealth of information on everything ‘Masters’, no matter your interest in the property. I really enjoy the first chapter, which goes over the creation of He-Man and the development of the toy line.
Whether you love art books, coffee table books, actions figures or the ‘Masters’ property, you can’t go wrong with this book!
This past Thursday, September 8th was the 50th Anniversary of Star Trek, a property that is very near and dear to my heart. While I didn’t become a “Trekkie/Trekker” until I was already in high school (and Star Trek: The Next Generation had already ended) I quickly devoured everything Star Trek that I could. I stayed away from the novels, which I wasn’t sure was continuity, and mostly stuck with the multiple series, movies and supplemental literature, such as the episode guides and technical manuals. I found the world…er, universe, very interesting and thought provoking, the kind of science fiction that I needed at the time. My first entries into Star Trek were Star Trek: Deep Space 9 and the movie, Star Trek First Contact.
I saw First Contact in the theaters, twice, once with the newly formed Star Trek Club in my high school and once with my dad, who was already a Star Trek fan, but had never pushed it upon me or my other siblings. My local Fox channel was airing DS9 at 5pm on weekdays, so after school I was able to catch up to the current season of DS9, which was airing on UPN (now the CW, after a merger with the WB). So, suffice it to say, after almost 20 years, I’m still the biggest Trekkie/Trekker that I know!
When 2016 kicked on January 1st, I knew that this was Trek’s big five-oh, and I couldn’t be happier! I couldn’t wait for the deluge of 50th Anniversary merchandise: models, die cast vehicles, novels, comics, action figures, collectable stamps and coins. While I haven’t purchased everything that I want, I have selected a few choice pieces to add to my collection, which now includes a Barnes & Noble Hardcover Collection of several TOS scripts, a Mega Bloks (think Legos) Guardian of Forever set, and all of the US and Canadian commemorative stamps, as well as one of the Canadian minted coins. There is still more to come and I can not wait, I just think my wallet wants this to end!
I did enjoy Star Trek Beyond, which was released in theaters this year and stared the crew of the reboot movies. I felt that the movie was great, better than Star Trek into Darkness, but about equal to Star Trek. I can’t wait for it’s release on BluRay, and will definitely pick up the copy with the best “extras”.
Now, as to celebrating Star Trek on it’s birthday, my roommates and I had a mini-marathon of Trek episodes, hand picked by yours truly. We waited until Friday to celebrate, seeing as how most of us are off on the weekends, but on Thursday, we did watch First Contact, and boy is it still as good as I remember. On Friday, we watched 5 episodes, one from each Trek series, accompanied by an ‘adult’ beverage, most of our own concoction. The episodes and drinks, are listed below:
- The Man Trap (TOS), drink: Romulan Ale (a generic ale with blue food coloring)
- Parallels (TNG), drink: Suarian Brandy (a strong concoction of my making, strong)
- The House of Quark (DS9), drink: Vulcan Ale (a store bought Red Session IPA, created for Star Trek’s anniversary)
- Tinker, Tenor, Doctor, Spy (VOY), drink: Klingon Blood Wine ( a concoction of my roommate, using red wine and some secret ingredients, very, very strong)
- Bound (ENT), drink: none, I had a desert planned which was Key Lime ice cream sandwiches, the green ice cream represented either the Orions or Vulcan blood, take your pick)
In all, it was fun night of Star Trek, laughs and lots of alcohol. I raise my glass to the many Star Trek crews, on and off the screen, may you, and this property, live long and prosper!
Title: Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers 2016 Annual #1
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Storytellers: Jorge Corona, James Kochalka, Trey Moore, Ross Thibodeaux, Kyle Higgins, and Marguerite Bennett (writers) with Jorge Corona, James Kochalka, Terry Moore, Rob Guillory, Rod Reis, Huang Danlan and Goni Montes (artists)
Yes, I’m a Power Rangers fan! While I haven’t seen an episode in years and have no idea about the current season of Power Rangers, I was really into the original team. I love the concept of sentai, which means team or force, and is the genre that Power Rangers belongs to.
I’ve been aware of this series, but new really found the issues on the shelves and decided to wait for the collection, which I will review. However, when I heard about this Annual, I thought it might be fun to pick it up and see if this will be something that I will enjoy, and I must say, it really, really enjoyed this issue!
This oversized, and a bit pricey, issue is an anthology, featuring multiple short tales, all with fantastic art, but a mix of serious, strange and just fun stories.
This issues gives us separate stories about the Red and Yellow Rangers, a Goldar origin tale, the adventures of Bulk and Skull, as they save the Power Rangers, a love-stricken Putty and a Megazord battle. As I said, tales that are all over the place, but are fantastic for Power Rangers fans! There is certainly enough in here to warrant it’s $8 price tag, which makes this issue…