We've been closely covering Boom Studios' Power Rangers publishing since it launched back in 2016, outselling every comic Marvel published the month the first issue released in the process. We've also brought your attention to the new characters Boom, along with Radiant Black creator Kyle Higgins and current Rangerverse architect Ryan Parrott, has added like Lord Drakkon, Ranger Slayer, the Solar Rangers, and the new Green Ranger. But the debut of a new Green Ranger and the reveal of his identity is hardly the biggest thing Boom has planned for the Rangers in 2021.
For the most part, Boom's comics have been additive to the Rangers mythology… but this year, as we understand it, the comics will have a bigger impact on not only the future of the franchise, but previously established canon.
We covered the first sign of this with Power Rangers Unlimited: Heir to Darkness which revealed the true origin of fan favorite character Astronema aka Karone as written by L.L. McKinney, the first Black woman to write a Power Rangers comic. We also told you that these Power Rangers Unlimited one-shot issues were going to be anything but throwaway tales. Well, Heir to Darkness appears to have just been a warm-up.
The second Power Rangers Unlimited, entitled Edge of Darkness, features the first full appearance of another massively popular character – The Phantom Ranger. The Phantom Ranger is the Snake Eyes of the Power Rangers universe, a mysterious character whose true identity has never been revealed. And while the Phantom Ranger appeared in Boom's big event, Shattered Grid, he's never been stepped into the spotlight in the comics.
And while artist Simone Ragazzoni is back for this special, rising star Frank Gogol is taking on writing duties rather than McKinney. Gogol made waves in 2019 with his Source Point Press series Dead End Kids, which is still drawing collector interest in the aftermarket and turning the writer into one to watch. And a longtime Ranger fan, Gogol has been a promotional machine on social media promoting his first Power Rangers work heavily. And Boom's certainly armed him with plenty of eye candy with power (see what we did there?) cover artists like Dan Mora, Junggeon Yoon, and Derrick Chew to grab eyeballs (and replace Peach Momoko).
And from what I'm hearing, retailers, Power Ranger fans, and collectors might do well to pay heed to Gogol. Not only does Heir to Darkness pick up from the events from Power Rangers #8 and impact the stories building the top-selling Mighty Morphin and Power Rangers series, but Gogol peels back a portion of the curtain hiding the mysterious Phantom Ranger's origin and identity… secrets Ranger fans have been clamouring for. Nor is it the only major character in the Rangerverse who has a new piece of their origin story revealed (and how their history is intertwined with the Phantom Ranger) in Heir to Darkness.
With all of that in place, it does make one wonder if Boom has bigger things planned with Gogol? And what else they plan to reveal about the Rangerverse before the end of the year?
Retailers and fans will have their chance to make their own call on that this coming Monday, June 7th, when Power Rangers Unlimited: Edge of Darkness is up on Final Order Cutoff. It sounds to me like they shouldn't overlook it.