The new Power Rangers movie is off to a decent-sized #2 box office opening (opposite an overperforming #1 holdover in Disney’s live-action Beauty & The Beast juggernaut), especially considering it’s had to contend with decidedly mixed reviews from critics and a divisive early response from audiences. Though adult fans of the original franchise and children hooked on the current TV incarnations have expectedly packed theaters for the reboot, some have criticized Power Rangers for adopting a new grim tone and for keeping it’s action sequences relegated to the final scenes of the film – though the production has also been praised for its diverse casting and inclusive characterizations.

One of the most consistent criticisms levied at the reboot, particularly from fans of the original series, has been the radical redesign of the Rangers’ signature costumes. Whereas the 24 year run of the TV show has mainly featured heroes wearing color-coded spandex outfits (in the tradition of the Japanese “Super Sentai” tokusatsu series from whence Power Rangers draws its action and monster footage), the film trades that out for elaborately-designed suits of armor that resemble that of modern Western superheroes like Iron Man or Justice League’s Cyborg.

One of the film’s concept artists, Kelton Cram, has now shared early designs for the Rangers with ComicBook.com. Check his work out in the gallery below.

According to Cram, the designs (which were clearly heading in an armored direction versus fabric very early on in the concept phase) were particularly difficult to finalize due to the number of different voices in control of the property – including the franchise’s famously-mercurial progenitor Haim Saban. As he explained to CBM:

“There were quite a few differing visions among the franchise’s “yes men.” So the artists tried many different directions until everyone agreed on a design that best worked with the story, which was also being worked out simultaneously. So changes were inevitable.”

The producers of Power Rangers are widely expected to announce a sequel or series of sequels once the film’s ticket-selling power is fully tabulated, with rumors suggesting that as many as five installments may already have been planned out. Many fans are predicting that the second film will serve to introduce the popular Green Ranger character, whom the cast has reportedly lobbied to be recast as female in the new continuity. A design for the Green Ranger suit is seen, briefly, as part of the prologue for the first film.

Source: Comic Book

Next: Power Rangers Movie Easter Eggs & Cameos