DC Comics is on a roll lately, what with the Rebirth of their heroes as inspiring paragons of justice, art that’ll make your eyes bleed and an actual effort being put into attracting a more diverse line-up of creatives to helm their books. But their best idea so far? To once again embrace crossovers. It used to be that Marvel and DC were happy to join forces back in the day, with the likes of Spider-Man meeting Superman or Batman and Daredevil running afoul of each other.
Marvel’s not so keen on doing any of that lately now that they have a billion-dollar movie empire to run, but DC hasn’t thrown in the towel yet. In fact, they’re looking to other beloved properties to continue that tradition, with 2016 producing a Batman and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles team-up for starters. But in 2017? The Justice League is off to Angel Grove, to deal with a new threat and to team up with a gang of teenagers. Teenagers…with attitude.
That’s the idea behind Justice League/Power Rangers, a story that’ll kick off with some familiar tropes before it expands on its narrative. “Something very, very massive has happened in Angel Grove, in the Power Rangers’ world, and then another massive event sends one of our main characters, Zack, into the Justice League’s world,” writer Tom Taylor said to io9.
And I can’t tell you too much more, but there’s a bit of conflict, there’s struggle, there’s misunderstanding— those are classic tropes that you want to see when hero teams that don’t know the other ones are heroes come together. A little bit of miscommunication leads to badness. But eventually, good too! And really it’s just a great opportunity to take these two heroes from two different worlds and bring them together in a way I don’t think anyone could see coming.
I don’t think even Stephen could have seen this coming. It’s wild and strange.
In a way, I think the comics are like the episodes. I mean, the comics start small and grow and grow and grow, just like the Power Rangers themselves are growing and morphing and calling in their Zords and then the Megazord, and fighting monsters, it’s the same thing as you turn the comics page forward.
“Now I’m reading it, like, I’m getting it issue by issue and it’s really big, the story’s like—when you think the scale of it could not get any bigger, it does,” artist Stephen Byrne added.
So that’s really exciting. There’s lots of opportunities to draw a lot of really fun stuff.
The Power Rangers and the Justice League aren’t just worlds apart (literally) in the the threats that they face however. They’re also on completely different ends of the aesthetics spectrum as well, something that Byrne felt was exciting to realise. “I think it was fun. I mean, it was an initial challenge on the project to think about that. “Tonally, where does this land?” and they asked me, when they first contacted me, to do a piece of concept art on how I would approach the characters,” Byrne explained.
I did like a splash image of the DC characters and the Power Rangers characters. In my mind, the Justice League have existed in all sorts of forms over the years, from the very dark, like, Tom’s Injustice comics to the animated Justice League TV series, which is very bright, and I think this is somewhere in the middle.
And I think that the Justice League have existed all along that spectrum and this is just somewhere on that spectrum. So, it didn’t feel like they didn’t fit together, it was just like, “Okay, I just have to find which version of the DC characters fit with the Power Rangers”, and I think I was able to do that once I started to come at it like that.
Justice League/Power Rangers starts rolling out this week, in case you feel like being reminded that it is indeed morphin’ time.