The latest issue of BOOM! Studios’ Mighty Morphin finally gives fans a look at King Aradon, who was mentioned but never seen in Power Rangers Zeo.
Warning! Spoilers for Mighty Morphin #17 ahead!
Nearly 25 years after Power Rangers Zeo went off the air, fans are finally getting a glimpse of the unseen villain King Aradon. Zeo was a huge shift for the Power Rangers franchise. Adapted from the Japanese Super Sentai TV show Chouriki Sentai Ohranger, Zeo was the first time the series’ title and Ranger uniforms would be changed, a practice adopted from Super Sentai. It also introduced a new set of villains to antagonize the Rangers, the Machine Empire, which included star-crossed robot lovers Princess Archerina and Prince Gasket. While Prince Gasket’s father, King Mondo, served as the Zeo Rangers’ arch-nemesis, Archerina’s father, King Aradon, was never actually seen onscreen. The latest issue of Mighty Morphin finally gives fans a look at Aradon, and his arrival is bad news for the Red Ranger.
For the majority of Power Rangers Zeo, King Mondo and his Royal House of Gadgetry are the show’s main antagonists. However, later in the season after Mondo is seemingly destroyed, the series introduces Prince Gasket and Princess Archerina. In a nod to Romeo and Juliet, Archerina and Gasket are the offspring of rival warring robot clans, but while Gasket’s family was featured prominently throughout the show’s run, Archerina’s father, King Aradon, is only mentioned in passing. In BOOM! Studios’ comic series Mighty Morphin, which is essentially a loose reimagining of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers’ second season, King Aradon finally makes his debut.
Mighty Morphin #17 by Mat Gloom, Moisés Hidalgo, Raúl Angulo and Ed Dukeshire finds the Power Rangers in the unfortunate position of having to split up. With their command center in ruins after the events of the Eltarian War, most of the team heads to space to look for a new base of operations. Meanwhile, Rocky, the Red Ranger, stays on guard duty to protect Earth. Moments after the other Rangers take off, Rocky is ambushed by a surprise attack from the Machine Empire, and the faction is revealed to be led by none other than King Aradon himself.
While an overwhelmed Rocky is eventually bailed out by an appearance from the Green Ranger, King Aradon’s army continues its invasion. This is a fascinating way to introduce a group of villains from Power Rangers lore who didn’t originally appear at this point in the story. King Aradon potentially sets up other Machine Empire characters as well as the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers inevitable transition into the Zeo Rangers. Introducing this element so early will potentially give the series time to develop the Machine Empire into a legitimate threat for the Rangers.
When Mighty Morphin Power Rangers began, it was completely at the mercy of the footage available from its Super Sentai source material. Stories, footage, and costumes had to be repurposed and reimagined to better resonate with an American audience. Now that the people who once made up that audience are creators themselves, there’s a passion in the material that couldn’t have existed in Power Rangers’ 1990s heyday. That includes taking a character like King Aradon, who only existed as a piece of exposition for the duration of a sentence, and transforming him into a terrifying new enemy for the Power Rangers.
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