There’s a moment in the new Justice League/Power Rangers comic that, on paper, sounds completely ridiculous — and yet it’s utterly unforgettable. The Power Rangers, having teleported to another dimension (more on that in a bit), go toe to toe with Batman and The Flash, only for the Pink Ranger to summon her pterodactyl zord and kidnap the Dark Knight before he can escape.
Or, as The Flash puts it, Batman’s been taken by a “flying pink dinosaur robot.” And that is what this supercharged team-up is all about.
Written by Tom Taylor and artist Stephen Byrne, Justice League/Power Rangers #1 is the first in a six-part series from DC Comics and BOOM! Studios. It finds the Black Ranger transported to Gotham after a run-in with iconic Power Rangers supervillain Lord Zedd. His friends Jason, Kimberly, Trini, Billy, and Tommy follow him into the void, only to get into a scuffle with the Bat. Of course, this leads to a misunderstanding between the Power Rangers and DC’s finest superheroes, the Justice League, which results in a whole lot of fun for fans of both franchises.
“That’s exactly what this book should be,” Taylor told MTV News ahead of the comic’s release on Wednesday (January 11). “The word ‘fun’ comes up a lot when we’re talking about our approach to this,” Byrne added.
As exuberant as the book is, there’s also a lot of heart. It opens with the shocking destruction of Angel Grove, leading to a poignant moment between Zack and Superman. It’s no coincidence that it’s also Zack who pushes Lord Zedd through the teleporter 36 hours prior to the city’s demise. Taylor wanted to use the oft-overlooked Black Ranger as the entry point for the crossover.
“He’s often off to the side,” Taylor noted. “There don’t seem to be as many stories just about him, but he’s a really fun character. He’s the character that you first want to meet Batman because that dynamic is just hilarious and entertaining.”
When it comes to hilarious and entertaining, there’s nothing more amusing than picturing a conversation between Batman and Kimberly Hart, the diplomatic Pink Ranger. For a Power Rangers superfan like Byrne — who used to draw his own Power Rangers comics as a kid — he couldn’t wait to draw the Dark Knight and the Pink Ranger’s comical first encounter.
“I laughed out loud when I read that on the page,” he said. “I was annoyed that I had to get through 22 pages to draw it. ... You can’t go wrong putting Batman and Pink Ranger in a panel together.”
As for what’s ahead for Kimberly and Bruce, Taylor promises that there’s a “really interesting coming together” of those two characters. “It’s something that I don’t think anyone will see coming,” Taylor added. “It was this ridiculous idea, and I said yes to it.”
Of course, if Stanley Lau’s Forbidden Planet–exclusive cover is any indication, Kimberly will also get some one-on-one time with Wonder Woman in Issue #2. When outlining the specific dynamics between teams, it was important for Taylor to give each of his 12 major characters a memorable moment.
“Some of them make a lot of sense, like Batman and Zack,” he said. “Here’s a very funny guy against the most stoic and unfunny person you could imagine. Instantly, that’s a great dynamic. Seeing Billy and Cyborg together makes a lot of sense as well. Billy is far more scientifically minded and hyperintelligent, and he’s meeting a guy who’s literally half-computer. Characters like Alpha 5 are going to have interactions later on. I was really excited to put Kimberly and Wonder Woman together for the first time because Kimberly is quite diplomatic, and she’s meeting the ultimate ambassador for peace.”
The second issue, out February 8, will also find Lord Zedd teaming up with a legendary DC Comics villain, while the Putty Patrol continues to make itself at home in the DC universe. (Taylor called the Putties his favorites because they’re not human and therefore “Batman can totally unleash.”) Justice League/Power Rangers may seem like total fan service, but there’s one thing you probably won’t see in this action-packed crossover: a Justice League zord.
“Everybody wants to see a Justice League zord, and while I won’t say that we’re not doing it, I could say that we’re holding on to that for a potential sequel,” Taylor said. (So that’s a no. Sigh. In a more perfect world, Batman would build his own zord.) But that doesn’t mean there won’t be exciting and unexpected homages to these beloved properties. And yes, more Bulk and Skull.
“That is part of the fun of this book,” Taylor said. “It’s all the things you love about these two teams and these characters and the great moments they have — and mashing it together. It’s like grabbing all your toys when you’re a kid and saying, ‘And now this happens!’ The only difference is that now we can actually make it happen — and we get paid to do it!”