‘MMPR: Pink #1 of 6’ Comic Review
Written by Brenden Fletcher & Kelly Thompson, Art by Daniele Di Nicuolo, Colours by Sarah Stern
Boom! Studios is really spoiling us. Not only are we getting an excellent ongoing Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series but now they’re treating us to spin-offs!
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Pink revolves around–you guessed it–Kimberly Hart, the original Pink Ranger. This is such a bold choice for a spin-off based on one character. If you ask anyone who should be the subject of an MMPR solo series, they’d most probably say Tommy, so for it to be Kim is just so different and out of the blue. What we get is an in-depth look at Kimberly that will be deeper and more thought-out than any we’d previously.
If you’ve never watched the original series, Kim left during season 3 to take part in an international gymnastics competition. She was replaced by Catherine as the Pink Ranger, and the audience only saw her once more in Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie. This comic, part one of a six-issues series, gives some insight into what Kimberly did after leaving the Rangers.
Writers Brenden Fletcher and Kelly Thompson successfully explore several sides of Kim’s personality in a way that shows what a well-rounded character she actually is. She has insecurities and doubts just like anyone else, but she is able to push them aside to get the job done, and that’s what ultimately makes her a great Ranger and a good focus for a limited series.
The insecurities really come into play here as this is the first time, she’s found herself truly alone; this loneliness is really played up well. When we first see her she’s on her own rather than hanging out with her gymnast friends, her mother hasn’t replied to any of her messages, and when she goes to check on her mother the town is completely deserted. This really hammers home the sense of isolation. However, she does find some company in the form of a local boy who’s returned home to investigate the disappearance of his own family.
What transpires shows the writers really know their Power Ranger history, or at the very least researched it thoroughly. The Sword Of Light is mentioned by Zordon when Kimberly contacts him for help. The other Rangers are inconveniently off-planet when she calls, but Zordon speaks of another way he can help. In “The Power Transfer,” Jason, Zak and Trini used the Sword Of Light to transfer their Ranger powers into three new team members. When Kimberly handed over the mantle of Pink Ranger to Catherine this sword wasn’t used, so it was more of a copy than a transfer; Kimberly still retains a certain amount of that power and is able to temporarily morph into a suit that’s similar but also very different–and become the Pink Ranger again. The fact that they took the time to reference Ranger lore and then use it as an explanation shows a lot of respect for the source material and gives us readers a little bit of fan service.
Daniele Di Nicuolo’s artwork works perfectly with this story. His figures are very expressive not just facially but also in the body language and the way he draws them in movement. When in her newly designed Ranger suit, Di Nicuolo’s art gives Kim the elegance and agility you’d expect from a trained gymnast with superpowers. It gives the fight sequences a graceful quality, as though she’s simply performing a gymnastics routine and the bad guys are just walking into her feet.
Where the art disappoints slightly is the new suit. It’s not that it’s bad, just that it’s so different. Obviously Power Rangers changes the designs almost every year, so different designs are hardly a new thing, but this is so radically different that it doesn’t really look like a Power Ranger suit at all. There’s an overuse of black on the torso that, were it not for the pink highlights and the classic-style helmet, from the waist up you’d think she was the Black Ranger. At least the trousers are pink, and I can get used to the addition of pouches on the belt. It’s a minor gripe that doesn’t affect enjoyment of the comic as a whole.
This is a great start to the story and a very personal one for the main character, Kimberly. I, for one, look forward to seeing what happens next and would urge anyone who has a soft spot, not just for the Power Rangers but also for well produced comics, to check this out. This mature take on the Power Rangers Boom! Studios is giving us with this and the main title is some of the best tie-in material I’ve read for years, and there’s plenty more to come.