From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays, No.176
Hello ya’ll, and welcome back to our all ages comics column, From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays! Although the USA is sadly out of the World Cup, I hope you are still having a rocking 4th of July weekend with fireworks, corn dogs, and of course comics!
Pop culture and nostalgia. In the anime Macross, which would be used here as the first part of Robotech, the concept of pop culture and nostalgia through a simple song becomes the Earth shattering weapon that leads our heroes into victory. It sounds bizarre almost, but when you think on it, it makes sense. Why do you think some countries in the Middle East have banned rock music through the course of history? Or even more so, why when you see a movie you loved as a kid in a store on DVD are you most likely to pick it up and buy it? It’s the impression of something that in your mind became such a standard for even just a moment on a personal level that it overrides your future logic and actions. Now you may be saying this is all getting pretty deep, pretty fast for some all ages comics column, but really it brought us to this week’s comic we are covering:
That’s right, School House Rock may have taught you knowledge is power, but they never had a song about how nostalgia and pop culture is power, too. Jim Salicrup, the leader of Papercutz, would be a great tactical adviser aboard the Macross with this move. As he admits, people were coming up to him at conventions when they heard Papercutz was publishing Power Rangers comics again, but when they found out it was the latest incarnation of the Rangers and not the original Mighty Morphin they grew up on as kids, they were a little bummed. Jim had the right idea, and that was to publish some new comics based on the classic characters. Hell, if we can publish comics based on He-Man, Transformers, G.I. Joe, My Little Pony, Rocky and Bullwinkle, just to name a few because the list goes on and on, why couldn’t he do it too for the Ranger-fans?
Bam! Along comes the new line of graphic novels based off our beloved heroes that started 20 years ago. Volume 1, “Rita Repulsa’s Attitude Adjustment,” functions essentially as a lost episode of the TV show. The plot is fairly straight forward: a giant ancient stone idol is unearthed and Rita sends out her henchmen to try and control it, leading into battle with our five teenage heroes. During the battle they are hit from a ray by the idol which causes things to come apart, and when recombined later they don’t quite come back correctly. From Zords to their costumes, everything starts to go awry as they face down this latest danger from Rita, with a little help from Alpha-5 of course!
Story by Petrucha is great and fun to read, and although it feels a little too advanced – the TV show could never pull off special effects wise what goes on here, and Alpha-5 seemed to get a little out of character towards the end – it still is great and works way better for a modern audience while hitting enough classic notes for old fans to love it and hit that nostalgia button for them. Marcondes’s art looks great, and his battle scenes are clear from start to finish, providing the much needed action a title like this needs. Anyone who is a little hesitant on the title, don’t worry, this art alone will sell you on the book.
Green Ranger/White Ranger fans never fear; Tommy will appear in the next volume to come.
All in all the new series from Papercutz is off to a great start, so if you are looking for an updated walk down memory lane this weekend, perhaps one you can share with a child on top of it, you don’t have to look any further than this.
That’s it for this week, see you soon!