I really didn’t think I’d ever have to type an article that said “Stop punishing new fans.” Again. Yet here I stand with a copy of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Year One and a brand new problem: a story only included in this deluxe, out of print, hardcover edition.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Year One is the deluxe collection of the BOOM comic Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. The series starts with an Issue #0 for marketing and collectors’ purposes, despite that it is in fact the beginning of the story. Its first thirteen issues (#0-12) and accompanying backup features are included across three non-deluxe trade paperbacks. The Year One edition includes all of the material in those trades. There is absolutely no reason for this book to be difficult to find. It is difficult, however, due to a limited print run and people not wanting to sell it because Power Rangers fans (hi, here’s my Mega Dragonzord and no one can ever take it away from me thank you very much) get very very attached.
“But Mathias,” you ask, like a sane person. “Why don’t you just buy the paperbacks like everyone else? Do you truly need the 13 issues, backup features, and covers for your Power Rangers comic to be oversized while you pay more in the process? Isn’t there literally anything else you could do instead of this?”
You make a reasonable point, imaginary person (and also my girlfriend who said it way nicer than you did and also didn’t ask rhetorically). Allow me to do the same thing I did when she asked me to elucidate the subject, because here’s where it gets stupid.
I love trade paperbacks. I love them so much that outside of Knights of the Dinner Table, I don’t actually buy single issues anymore and even then, I buy the trades too. So when I buy something, it’s going to be in trade format, and almost always in the best possible format so that I don’t have to buy the same thing twice. In this case, best possible format tends to fall under the umbrella of the most content (be it tie-ins, bonus features, or extra stories and believe me we’ll get to that last one in a minute), the best printing quality, numbering on the spine, and whether I actually feel that the Omnibus or Deluxe Edition or Absolute Edition is worth the additional cost. Sometimes that gets even more difficult, because fun fact: The Absolute Edition of DC The New Frontier is spectacular, but the (unfortunately out of print) Deluxe Edition includes more material and is still oversized compared to the new, paperback, slightly oversized Black Label trade, which fortunately has the additional content of the Deluxe Edition. More material, oversized, and in print when I bought it won the day, and the Deluxe Edition of one of Darwyn Cooke’s masterpieces graces my shelves.
Now, here’s where that gets me over a barrel with Power Rangers. When I went to buy the series, I saw two options. Three paperback trades that comprise the 13 issues, or the hardcover Year One edition. Since the hardcover is out of print and remarkably expensive, I’d normally just wince at the loss of something pretty and oversized and leave with the three paperbacks. But further examination brought me to what would become a journey that felt like being dragged across hot coals: there is a new story that was created and printed exclusively for the hardcover release (and for those of you who are on a Kindle, it’s not on Kindle, which is a whole other thing).
I actually like this kind of bonus content. It’s great for me, because like I said, I’m not reading the single issues anyway. It’s why I ended up pre-ordering Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Year Two before I even got Year One, because it has an exclusive story too, and I didn’t want to have to do this treasure-hunting crap again. It’s generally fun to read, because it gives the writer a chance to do something different. That said, BOOM failed to note what that story was, which, and I’m just going to tell you now and save you a couple months of work, it’s a short flashback called From Here To Despair that provides the comic book introduction of Ninjor in a surprising way, and highlights Jason’s sheer, unyielding determination.
It’s a great piece. It was not a piece I would recommend paying twice the cover price for, but it is a great piece.
Part of the problem is that in general, I am a Johnny-Come-Lately. But I love Power Rangers (Power Rangers RPM is one of the best things I’ve watched maybe ever, especially the episode Dr. K) so much that as I am watching Power Rangers with Kay and her seven and ten year old on Netflix (and their adventures in fandom are chronicled here), I have refused to tell them how long the initial story is so they can enjoy the show organically. It also means that I refuse to let her read Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Pink until after certain events take place in the show, because if I’m going to introduce Power Rangers to them, I’ll do it right.
So when I heard there was going to be a Power Rangers comic that was mostly about Tommy (and will continue to be about Tommy in some form or another until the end of Shattered Grid), a character who can very easily be treated like he’s Wolverine and hoo boy did Super Ninja Steel’s “Dimensions in Danger” ever prove that, and because of the iffy quality of licensed books in general I was willing to wait until I heard something about how the comic was as a story. The work I saw in Shattered Grid was ultimately what convinced me that I wanted to start reading the comic, which meant by the time that I felt comfortable buying it, Year One was long out of print and going for on average $300-500.
I did find it. It was a lot more expensive than I would like, but cheaper than it might have been. I read the whole thing in one sitting, and I am eager for both Year Two and the Shattered Grid hardcover (a de facto Year Three which will not be out until next year. BOOM, you put out a bigger Ranger crossover than Super Megaforce’s “Legendary Battle”, and this one was actually good. Why are you waiting a year before you publish the complete collection?). That said, this is not the first time I’ve had this problem.
When I buy a comic, I want to read the complete version of that comic, not some curated version of it. The fact that it takes research and a bit of guesswork to know that a Powers story released exclusively to newsletters is, to my understanding, only in Powers The Definitive Hardcover Collection Volume 1, is already annoying. There have been times where I’ve ended up buying a regular edition of something, only to have to double-dip and buy again later because they re-released it, didn’t include the whole thing in the first place, or I just didn’t know any better (hey, all of you who bought a regular Infinity Gauntlet trade? You’re reading the last third of the material of a storyline that started in Silver Surfer and Thanos Quest. And as far as I can tell, if you want the whole story that Jim Starlin was writing, you’ll want to read the Infinity Gauntlet Omnibus. It’s out of print too.) I recently found out that an extended edition of an issue from Harley Quinn will be collected in Volume 2 Omnibus, and only that omnibus for the foreseeable future.
And you know what? That outright offends me. This is monetarily punitive, and even if I did just want to read some exclusive story or a tie-in, because it’s included in the context of or as part of another story I will likely be re-reading the whole thing, making it chronologically punitive as well.
Put more simply: publishers are wasting my time and making me pay extra for it.
And the single issue fans, who already paid about $52 plus tax to read the first thirteen issues of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, are almost certainly thrilled at the prospect of paying half again as much to get the whole story you weren’t willing to give them the first time.
BOOM, you got me. I bought Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Year One secondhand because I had no other options, which means you saw not one dime of what I spent, but I paid for it. I’m buying Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Year Two, because it has an exclusive story in it too and it’s easier to buy it with the earliest pre-order possible than track down a used copy when it has a print run of, near as I can tell from the thirty comic book stores across four states that I called trying to get Year One, eight copies. And I’m buying Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Shattered Grid Deluxe Edition, despite the fact that it’s twelve months away from release, because it’s the only release that includes the specials and annuals and Go Go Power Rangers crossovers in their intended reading order. Oh, and of course, an exclusive story for the collection.
Like I said, you got me. Congratulations. You have not, however, earned my good will in the process. What I have now is the kind ire where I will work particularly hard to spend less money on your releases, and when I see your name come up in press releases, news, etc., I won’t click them simply out of frustration. I won’t cheerlead your books, I won’t look for your upcoming releases. I won’t pay attention to you as a company. If something does come to my attention, I’ll wait for the biggest sale I can find, the kind of sale where it’s buy-two-get-one-free and I’ve decided yours is the free one because I’ll sleep better at night that way, hold my nose, and buy it new only if it’s cheaper than getting it used.
Like I said, you won my money for Power Rangers. This is what you got instead of my interest and appreciation, or my attention as a fan.
How did that go for you?
If you want some of the stories I mentioned in this post, here are links to make sure you get the correct versions of those collections in the best format I’m aware of. Some links are sponsored, some books are out of print.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Year One Deluxe Edition – https://amzn.to/2K3mm0j
Mighty Morphin Rangers Year One Deluxe Edition Slipcase – https://shop.boom-studios.com/limitededitions/detail/8792/mighty-morphin-power-rangers-dlx-hc-year-one-slipcase-ed
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Year Two Deluxe Edition – https://amzn.to/2z8GRV9
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Pink – https://amzn.to/2OHgbQ5
Powers The Definitive Hardcover Collection Volume 1 – https://amzn.to/2K4NcF3
Harley Quinn by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti Omnibus Volume 1 – https://amzn.to/2Fk6yaw
Harley Quinn by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti Omnibus Volume 2 – https://amzn.to/2K7pMPK
Silver Surfer Epic Collection Volume 6: Thanos Quest – https://amzn.to/2qK4pe6
Infinity Gauntlet – https://amzn.to/2K3XW6N
Infinity Gauntlet Omnibus – https://amzn.to/2qNnBrs
DC The New Frontier Absolute Edition – https://amzn.to/2qLDr63
DC The New Frontier Deluxe Edition – https://amzn.to/2TdAecw
DC The New Frontier – Identical to the out-of-print Deluxe Edition, but paperback and a little smaller. https://amzn.to/2XkemSf