Power Morphicon 2018, Anaheim, California ~ This past weekend wasn’t just a simple nostalgic jaunt for me, it was a reminder of what a good convention is, and how much fun it is to go where everyone had a positive attitude and excitement for pure fandom.
For the last 16 years, I have attended almost every large convention in Southern California, as well as a number of small signings, and even smaller con’s that were just getting started. I have seen a pretty vast difference in them, but some things tend to stay the same, because everyone I’ve encountered at these events over the years is there because they love what I (and you) love.
Going to Power Morphicon 2018 was a great reminder that there is love for every fandom, and quite possibly the Power Rangers fans, young and old, have the best attitudes I have witnessed to date. When the rooms were crowded and the lines were long I simply saw smiles and heard laughter and stories. The Power Rangers actors that were there were all very nice and treated everyone with respect and a smile. The biggest Power Rangers star by far, Jason David Frank, was amazing to listen to on his Q & A panel. Also, from what I heard after the fact, he stayed until well past 8 p.m. to sign for everyone that was in his autograph line. Now that’s a class act.
My photographer, Marlk Patton, and I enjoyed some freedom as accredited media within the panels, from the 25th anniversary Q & A panel that brought us the original black Power Ranger Walter Jones (Zach), as well as a few of the other Rangers that came in second season, like Steve Cardenas (Rocky the Red Ranger). It was fun to relive some moments from my childhood, as well as hear how much fun the actors had on set.
We were able to hear from the man, the myth, the legend Jason David Frank, also known as Dr. Tommy Oliver, who has possibly the longest tenure in Power Rangers history, even though he came in during the second season of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. He showed us a trailer for the game Power Rangers Legacy that he worked on with Bat in the Sun. He also told us about a short film that is on the way - linked to the mobile phone game. Also, he let everyone know just how much stuff he’s working on, including Power Morphicon Express, for which the official press release was shared over the weekend – here.
We then moved to the Live Reading of Boom! Studios’ best-selling comic Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Shattered Grid, written by Kyle Higgins. By far, this panel was extensive just based on the people who read for it: Kyle Higgins narrated, David Fielding took up his role as Zordon once more, Barbara Goodson who played Rita Repulsa, Jason Narvy as Skull, Paul Schrier as Bulk, Walter Jones as Zach, Jason Faunt as the voice of Tommy (as Jason David Frank could not make it), and so many more. If you have ever been a fan of voice acting, or just something behind the scenes, this was the panel for you. It’s very hard to describe hearing Zordon’s voice again after all of these years, but from the reaction of not only the fans, but those on the panel itself, there were instant chills down my spine and a massive smile is the best way to describe the shared feeling in the room that day. This panel ran through the entire Shattered Grid story up to the last comic right before the two-part finale. So, if you haven’t read the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers comics yet, now is the time. They’re amazingly well done and take Power Rangers to a place I never thought they could go.
The last panel we attended, with respect to every other panel, was one that I was most excited to be in the audience for. The panel featured writer/producer Adi Shankar. If you don’t know who he is, I suggest looking up his IMDB page, as he has been involved with films like “The Grey” as well as “Dredd.” He was there to talk about his unauthorized Power Rangers short film, and to answer some questions from fans. He was joined on stage by Johnny Yong Bosch, the second Black Ranger, and Steve Cardenas, the second Red Ranger. It was a fun panel where Adi took me from being a fan to being someone who fully respects what he does, and his passion for what he loves. He is controversial without trying to be, or really caring what people think. And while he has a definite intensity about him, Adi Shankar has a passion that very few people have and I cannot wait to see what else he works on.
So from day one to day three, those are the panels that Mark (Patton) and I went to, and we enjoyed every single moment of every single one. I’m very excited to come to Power Morphicon again, and I look forward to seeing what they bring to us in the future.