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With Friends Like These

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Icon-zeo
This article is about a/an comic book in Power Rangers Zeo, the second installment in the Zordon Era.
Prz.comic
Power Rangers Zeo #1
Editor Rob Liefeld
Cover artist: Todd Nauck
Writer: Tom and Mary Bierbaum
Penciller: {{{pencils}}}
Inker: {{{inks}}}
Colorist: {{{colors}}}
Letterer: {{{letters}}}
Adapted from: Power Rangers Zeo
Release date: September 1st, 1996
Publisher: Image Comics
Publication Order

With Friends Like These is a comic book story featured in the first and only issue of Power Rangers Zeo, which was produced by Image Comics.

Plot

The story opens up outside of a military base, where the commanding general is presenting the Zeo Rangers with the highest honors for defending the base and their experimental Pulse Bomb from a recent invasion of Cogs. In the crowd, Bulk and Skull are cheering on the heroes and bragging to a nearby Billy that he would never cut it as a Ranger. Billy can't help but feel a little distraught at their taunts.

Across the universe in the M51 Galaxy, the Machine Empire is attacking Master Vile's fortress on Gamma Vile. Vile suspects that "that no-good son-in-law of mine" is the reason for all the chaos and demands that Lord Zedd and Rita Repulsa be brought to him so they can explain. The pair seem to know nothing about what's going on.

In Angel Grove, the Rangers have just demorphed and are getting ready to pursue their own activities. Tanya has a softball game to go to and Adam has to teach a martial arts lesson. Kat wants Tommy to come to her ballet rehearsal, but Rocky offers that Tommy instead come with him to auditions for the Drama Club's performance of Camelot with his friend Justine, who is the president of the club. When she sees Tommy, Justine insists that he come and audition as Lancelot. Tommy accepts, unaware of Kat's jealousness from behind his back. Elsewhere, Bulk and Skull arrive home and are confronted with their neighbor Mrs. Crabtree, who is complaining of loud noises coming from their garage. After convincing her that nothing's wrong, the pair meet with Goldar and Rito Revolto, who have put together a makeshift garage band and are making a ruckus.

Back on Gamma Vile, Master Vile receives a holographic message from Klank and Orbus demanding that Lord Zedd be surrendered to the Machine Empire, as they have reason to believe that Zedd is experimenting with unknown energies in order to destroy King Mondo and take back control. Vile is fully willing to get rid of Zedd despite Rita begging him not to, but Zedd insists that he has a way to drive back their attack. He gets in contact with the Power Chamber and demands that Zordon send the Rangers to Gamma Vile before the Machines take over Vile's fortress.

As an added incentive, Zedd reveals that he is also in possession of the energies from the Ninja Power Coins that he and Rita destroyed. Billy is aghast to learn this, but Zordon tells him that the Coin Energies must be kept out of Mondo's hands at all costs. In the Machine Moon Base, King Mondo and Queen Machina have overheard Zedd's message. Machina suggests that their forces retreat before the Rangers arrive, but Mondo desires the Coin Energies and has new orders sent to Klank.

When the Zeo Rangers learn of these shocking events, they are unable to believe that they're going to help Lord Zedd but realize that it must be done. The Zeo Megazord is modified for space travel and all the Rangers, including Billy, set course for the M51 Galaxy. Noticing Billy's strangely-quiet attitude, Tommy tells him that if he is harboring anger at not being a Ranger anymore, there is no guarantee that the Coin Energies will let him be one again. Billy deflects the topic and insists that all that matters is keeping them out of Zedd's and Mondo's hands.

Arriving on Gamma Vile, Tanya and Rocky take off in Zeo-Fighter Jets to shoot down the Quadrafighters while Tommy, Kat, and Adam deal with the Cogs on foot. Billy stays in the Zeo Megazord and pitches in by swatting down Quadrafighters as they are herded into range. Seeing the battle from above, Klank turns a pile of Cog scrap into a new monster named Scrap Heap, then fires Orbus out of a cannon to deliver a high-speed monster-enlargement.

The Rangers regroup in the Zeo Megazord to deal with Scrap Heap as Zedd and Rita cheer them on (much to Rita's disbelief). Unnoticed by all, Klank and Orbus have escaped down to meet with Master Vile, who is showing them to Zedd's secret lab where the Coin Energies are hidden. Klank agrees to call off the invasion in exchange for the Coin Energies just as soon as the Rangers are destroyed. Vile agrees as he just wants some peace and quiet, but he considers Klank's offer to destroy the Rangers as "a personal favor".

The Zeo Rangers destroy Scrap Heap by catching one of his fired missiles and throwing it back at him, causing all of his stored missiles to explode and turn him back to scrap. They then confront Zedd and demand that the Coin Energies be given to them, but Master Vile appears and tells them all that Klank has already taken them back to King Mondo. Overhearing via Tommy's communicator, Billy shows grave concern and tells him that they need to get the Coin Energies before Mondo can use them to conquer Earth... or destroy it.

Notes

  • This was the first issue of what was going to be an ongoing comic book series. Four scripts were initially planned out, but Image Comics lost the license and only one issue was actually produced. It is unlikely that the cliffhanger ending of this issue will ever be resolved.
  • This comic story pays considerable reference to events in this series and also from MMPR's third season.
  • An advertisement for a crossover story with the Zeo Rangers and Image Comics' Youngblood characters is featured, but the story was never released due to the cancellation of the book.
  • Scg051013 1925 58
    Ironically, this comic would be referenced in a roundabout way during the Akibaranger episode Delusional Imports, as a "Powerful Rangers" comic was shown. The comic image parodied Rob Liefeld and Image comic's infamous tendency in the 1990s to make overly cartoonish muscular characters with no grounded or anatomically realistic proportions.

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