Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Once & Always, out tomorrow on Netflix, is a fitting tribute to the storied 30-year old action franchise. Original cast members Walter Emanuel Jones and David Yost return in a new adventure that sees the team reunite to face a foe long thought defeated. As Rangers across the world are captured in order for their powers to be used as an energy source for the villain’s plan, the original Power Rangers team must once again save the world.
This week, Netflix released the hotly anticipated trailer for the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Once & Always anniversary special. Thirty years may have passed since their debut, but when it comes to the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, the more things change the more they stay the same.
This week on Hard NOC Life, Britney and Keith remember Jason David Frank and discuss how much grief has preoccupied the nerd spaces with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and the most recent episode of Andor.
By the time the Power Rangers craze first swept through in the early ’90s, I was just starting college, paying $290 a month in rent for a studio apartment in the Whittier neighborhood of South Minneapolis with a bed that pulled down from a wall, going to see Hong Kong flicks like Swordsman II and The Bride with White Hair Fridays at midnight, organized by Asia Media Access. I was still into nerd shit, but honestly the Power Rangers seemed, to me, corny and commercial. I thought it was funny that the Black Ranger was Black, the Yellow was a Vietnamese woman, and the Pink Ranger was a white woman.
My love of all things nerd grew in Phillips: Minnesota’s largest, poorest, and most racially diverse neighborhood, not all that far from my college apartment. As refugees from war with not a lot of money to spare, I learned to walk to the Franklin Avenue library where reading and checking out books was free. Comic books were less than a dollar, and watching television shows like Robotech and Dungeons and Dragons just meant having the discipline to wake up in time. I had friends of all colors and genders and backgrounds, and bullies of all colors and backgrounds. Things were difficult for us since my family were among that first wave of refugees that became the first large visible concentration of Asian American people in Minnesota. But there was also joy, and love, and friendship to go along with all the pain and conflict.
If you told anyone that the movie that was going to shake up the superhero genre in the best way would be the film adaptation of Power Rangers, they would be shocked and probably, in some strange, elitist, I’m-too-old-for-Power Rangers way, appalled. But Power Rangers has come out of the blue as the film when it comes to portraying a diverse group of people in a way that is both organic and makes sense for today’s world and today’s multicultural and diverse audience.
This past Saturday, I attended the 3rd annual Awesome Con in Washington, DC. I’d actually never been to the show in previous years, though I was aware of it. I kinda hated the name, plus I felt like Baltimore and New York Comic-Con were superior to it, so I spent my time and money going to them instead. This year, however, I’m going to be missing both of those shows due to weddings, so I figured it was time to see what Awesome Con was all about. My verdict? It’s a pretty good show.
Since The Nerds of Color is not the only awesome thing on the internet, here are five links you should click on.
Seems that Jenn isn’t the only person who identifies with the Yellow Ranger. Over on The Toast, cartoonist Shing Yin Khor finds inspiration from everyone’s favorite Asian American Mighty Morphin’ Power Ranger to deal with a lot of unfortunate questions and comments from a lot of unfortunate people.
To some degree, I think it’s inevitable that all of us who were born and raised in the 80’s, who now look back at that decade with equal parts mortification and nostalgia, and most importantly, who share the special brand of being born and raised an 80’s kid of colour, are to some degree nerds with a special connection to comic books and all other things fandom.
Personally, I stumbled into the role of fangirl, and I still have a hard time fully claiming the title. There are plenty of folks out there with obviously better nerd cred than me – I spot several of them within the esteemed ranks of this site’s bloggers. These are the folks who can quote verbatim Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns and Alan Moore’s From Hell, who can keep straight what happened and who died in which Crisis (and might even be able to point you at which issue of which title is relevant to your particular question), and who can gleefully cite the names of each X-man created by Chris Claremont before descending into a heated debate over whether any of them would win in an epic deathmatch against Iceman.