In 1993, five teens living in Angel Grove, Calif. were chosen to protect the planet from the evil onslaught of Rita Repulsa. Given the ability to transform into Power Rangers and control massive, dinosaur-inspired mechanical Zords to combat Rita's never-ending army of monsters, they became the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Saban's "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" were inescapable in the '90s and have become an enduring part of pop culture, with Lionsgate's 2017 film reboot potentially just the first film in a very ambitious plan.
BOOM! Studios began publishing comic books based on "MMPR" early this year, with the first issue debuting as the #2 title for March in total copies sold, losing out to a little book called "Batman" from DC Comics. Starting June 1, the Power Rangers comic book universe expands when the Pink Ranger, Kimberly Hart, graduates to her own solo series.
Co-written by Brenden Fletcher and Kelly Thompson with artwork by Daniele Di Nicuolo, the six-issue "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Pink" limited series takes place after Kimberly left the group in the third season of the original television series to pursue a career in gymnastics. No longer part of the team, Kimberly's new adventure finds her forced to return to her heroic roots when nefarious forces threaten her new life.
CBR News spoke with Brenden Fletcher about his and Thompson's take on Kimberly, the threats she faces on her own and whether fans can expect to see any familiar Rangers -- or foes -- in the Pink Ranger's solo story.
CBR News: Why the Pink Ranger? What makes Kimberly worthy of her own solo series?
Brenden Fletcher: When I first started chatting Rangers to Managing Editor Bryce Carlson our conversation encompassed the entire MMPR Universe but we both kept circling back to Kimberly Hart. Not only did we find her to be one of the more engaging characters but there were clear story threads left dangling from her departure in the show that seemed obvious to pick up on. When the time came to pitch a miniseries to BOOM!, the Pink story was an obvious one for me.
Strangely, it was much the same for Kelly! She and I turned in pitches for stories that were nearly identical with only really a difference in setting between them. Pairing us up was a stroke of genius and one that's worked out really well for the whole team and the project.
Were you angling to work with Kelly prior to this?
Kelly and I have been internet pals for a few years now though we've yet to ever meet in person! When BOOM! gave me the chance to work with her on "Pink" I jumped at the chance. As much as I knew we'd get along when chatting socially, I had no idea how in sync we'd be when putting a story and script together. Working with Kelly has been a dream. She's one of the best writers working in comics today and I'm honored to be able to tell the further adventures of Kimberly Hart with her.
The main "Power Rangers" series takes place soon after Tommy joins the team as the Green Ranger. When is "Pink" set?
The story of "Pink" is set some time after Kim leaves the Mighty Morphin team. She's been following her dreams, training in gymnastics in hopes of competing and winning in the Pan Global Games. We all know why she left Angel Grove. But we don't know what happened once she departed. Until now!
You mentioned that she's left the team and she's off on her own, so what is it that compels her to fight for the forces of good again?
Bad guys. Tons of creepy bad guys. [Laughs] I can't be clear with you about Kim's adversary(s) here, outside of the fact that her old nemesis Goldar will play a part in the plot and no doubt cause significant problems for Kim and her friends once again.
How prominently will the other Rangers play into this series?
There are other Rangers? C'mon, TJ, all we need is the Pink Ranger, right? [Laughs] But seriously, I don't want to spoil the surprises we have in store for fans in this story. Needless to say you will see other Rangers in the series, a few of whom play a major part in the plot. There's a great mix of old friends and new in "Pink." You're going to be surprised at how it all plays out.
How has it been working with Daniele Di Nicuolo on art? What is it about his style that works so well with your story?
Oh man, Daniele is the comic art discovery of the year. He's an incredible collaborator, turning around gorgeous, well-thought-out designs and pages almost faster than Kelly and I can dream them up. It's been such a pleasure working with him. I hope that "Pink" is just the first in a long line of projects we get to work on together.
How will Kimberly look when she's out there adventuring? Based on when this story takes place, she's not a Power Ranger anymore, right?
This is a tough question to tackle, without spoiling things. Kimberly gave up being the Pink Ranger when she walked away from the team to follow her dreams. Our first issue answers the question of how Kim can rejoin the battle against a great evil that threatens the people she cares about without stealing back the mantle of the Pink Ranger from Kat, the young woman who took her place on the Mighty Morphin team.
It's safe to say that Kim is going to have to have a distinctive look in Pink. But what that'll be? You'll have to pick up the first issue to see for yourself.
"Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Pink" #1 by Brenden Fletcher, Kelly Thompson and Daniele Di Nicuolo goes on sale June 1 from BOOM! Studios.