Later this week, Boom! Studios will kickoff Power Rangers: Shattered Grid, the franchise’s first ever comic book crossover event. Within this storyline, Lord Drakkon will threaten the Rangers across all eras by targeting the Morphing grid that provides their powers. The original Rangers narrowly defeated Drakkon before, but he may prove to be unstoppable this time.
Who is Lord Drakkon? There’s a very familiar face under his helmet, because Drakkon is an alternate universe version of Tommy Oliver. As played by Jason David Frank in the various Power Rangers TV series, Tommy was the first Green Ranger, and he went on to become the White Ranger, the Red Ranger, and the Black Ranger. Tommy rose from within the ranks to become the team’s leader, and he has occasionally returned over the last twenty-five years. In many ways, he is the primary hero of the Power Rangers.
Lord Drakkon may prove to be Tommy’s ultimate counterpart. Like the real Tommy, Drakkon was enslaved by Rita Repulsa and transformed into the Green Ranger to destroy the other Rangers. In the prime timeline, Tommy was freed from Rita’s control and he joined the Rangers. But in a dark reflection of those events, Drakkon chose to side with Rita even after her spell was broken. United with Rita’s forces, Drakkon conquered his world and decimated the ranks of the Power Rangers, leaving them nearly defenseless against him.
Over time, Drakkon used the morphing grid to empower his army and transform the Rangers’ armor into symbols of fear. Drakkon’s armor is a mixture of the Green and White Ranger costumes because he interrupted the creation of his world’s White Ranger when he killed Jason Scott (the Red Ranger).
Years later, Drakkon made contact with the Rita of the prime universe and he took on the persona of the Black Dragon, an advanced zord which he remotely controlled from his world. Even Rita had no idea the Black Dragon was a zord until the Rangers uncovered the truth. Upon his arrival, the Black Dragon stripped the Rangers of their powers and nearly destroyed their command center. Using Tommy’s powers to temporarily access to their own, the Rangers turned the tide against the Black Dragon. But in the process, Tommy and Billy were trapped on Drakkon’s world.
Billy and Tommy were eventually able to turn the tables on Drakkon, and seemingly stripped him of his powers as well. In the aftermath of the battle, Drakkon was captured by forces loyal to Grace Sterling, the Red Ranger from a Power Rangers team in the ‘60s. When the Rangers aligned with Grace against a larger threat, Billy discovered Drakkon hidden away as her captive. Fearful he Drakkon would escape, Saba, the White Ranger’s sentient sword, attempted to kill Drakkon in his cell. Unfortunately, Drakkon broke free, killed Saba, and escaped through a portal.
Frank portrayed Drakkon during his recent guest appearance in the Power Rangers Hyperforce tabletop rpg streaming series, which pit the Hyperforce team against a newly re-empowered evil Tommy. Drakkon once again has gained the upper hand in his world, and he stands poised to strike back against the Rangers in Shattered Grid.
In just under two years, Lord Drakkon has been established as one of the Rangers’ primary enemies. Unlike Tommy, Drakkon is a sociopath who has no compassion and he simply can not be saved. The comic book series has depicted Drakkon’s turning point, but it hasn’t really established how and why this version of Tommy became so evil and heartless. There may be more to Drakkon’s backstory, but it’s unlikely he will ever be redeemed.
However, it is possible that Drakkon will remain a threat to the Power Rangers far beyond the events of Shattered Grid. While the comic books have done an admirable job of depicting Rita and her minions as genuine threats, Drakkon gives the original Rangers a much more personal nemesis. The stakes are automatically high when Drakkon intrudes upon their lives, and simply killing him off would be a waste at this point. Drakkon has become a part of this series’ mythology, and he’s earned his place as the new big bad.
Within Drakkon’s world, alternate versions of Zack and Aisha were among the resistance movement known as the Coinless. It stands to reason that this world may also have an alternate version of the second Pink Ranger, Kat Hillard. We may soon find out. Shattered Grid is also set to reveal Tommy wasn’t the only Ranger who broke bad in Drakkon’s world. One of the new villains fighting for Drakkon in this event is the Ranger Slayer, an assassin who is wearing a dark variant of the Pink Ranger’s costume. At WonderCon, Boom! Studios confirmed the identity of the Ranger Slayer, so consider this a massive spoiler warning! Seriously, stop reading now if you don’t want to know.
If you’re still here, then here’s your first look at the Ranger Slayer: Kimberly Hart! That’s right, Drakkon’s Pink Ranger is just as evil and twisted as he is.
Shattered Grid part 1 will be published this Wednesday, March 28, in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #25.
Images: Boom! Studios/JDFFFN