Review: ‘Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Pink’
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Pink
Writers: Brenden Fletcher, Kelly Thompson, and Tini Howard
Artist: Daniele Di Niculolo
BOOM! Studios; $19.99
When the original Pink Ranger left the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers TV show, like the first Red, Black, and Yellow Rangers before her, the producers had merely to come up with a convenient, plausible-sounding explanation. The real reason may have been that actress Amy Jo Johnson was ready to move on after a few years, but for the purposes of the show, character Kimberly Hart was leaving town and Power Ranging in order to compete in the “Pan Global Games,” an off-brand Olympics.
In Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Pink, the first solo comic book series starring a Power Ranger, writers Brenden Fletcher and Kelly Thompson craft a story that picks up not long after that departure, using the fact that she’s no longer on the team as a springboard for a solo adventure. It may be sub-titled Pink, but it could just as easily have been The Further Adventures of Kimberly.
Those adventures begin right after the Pan Global Games in Amsterdam, where Kimberly is so concerned about her mother missing her competition and not returning her calls that her chest full of gold medals in gymnastics is no comfort. She hops on her motorcycle and speeds to France to check on her mom—and finds instead a ghost town overrun by fish-people.
After some investigation, she discovers that Rita and Zedd’s main henchman Goldar has struck out on his own, recruiting a henchman of his own, with the power to turn normal people—like her mom!—into fish monsters. With her old teammates off-planet, Kimberly must try to take on the threat herself, with Zordon allowing her access to the latent pink energy still present within her to temporarily become a Ranger once again.
She does so, getting a redesigned costume with as much black in it as pink, but the task is still too big for one Ranger. So she turns to her other former Ranger friends, first Black Ranger Zack and first Yellow Ranger Trini, dividing her pink power between the three of them (they too get cool new costumes, similar to their original ones but with some pink highlights). Before the adventure is over, she deputizes two new allies as a new Red and a new Blue Ranger, so that by the climax of the series, Kimberly is leading her very own temporary team of Rangers.
From a token girl character assigned the official girl color of pink to the leader of her own team of all-pink Rangers; not a bad evolution!
Fletcher, Thompson, and their co-writer Tini Howard, who scripts the second half of the series with Fletcher, are pretty meticulous in tying their story to the appropriate points in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, history even telling at least one part of an episode in the series after Kimberly left from Kimberly’s point of view. By giving Kimberly her own team, though, it allows fans to get one last, “lost” adventure featuring her, as well as Zack and Trini (who left the show much more quickly and unceremoniously than Kimberly did).
The conflict with Goldar and his ally occupies much of the six-issue series, which is long enough to make for a rather epic-feeling graphic novel in this final, collected format, and though it covers pretty basic superhero tropes and plenty of expected Power Rangers moments, it also offers much deeper characterization than any one Ranger usually gets in the TV shows or, now, the BOOM! Studios comics.
After the the villains are defeated and the town saved, Kimberly and her Rangers focus their attention on saving her former teammates, the “real” Power Rangers, whose mission off-planet has been going badly. This allows for a team-up between the two Rangers teams and further ties this adventure to that of the official Rangers story.
Artist Daniele Di Nicuolo provides all of the art, and he has a nice, clean line and an all-around smooth, stream-lined art style that turns out to be perfect for dynamic action scenes. Being drawn, this particular Power Rangers adventure avoids the cheap, kids-show look of the original TV series it’s based on, as well as the cluttered, busy aesthetic of this year’s new movie reboot, the aesthetic of which could best be summed up as “trying too hard.” Crystal clear visuals and classic adventure comic storytelling make Di Nicuolo’s pages spectacular ones, every bit as good as—if not better than—what is in the Power Rangers comic book series that this is technically a spin-off of.
The trade paperback collection includes all of the series’ many variant covers, which include some really great ones, like Batgirl and Motor Crush artist Babs Tarr’s cover, which graces the front of the trade, and long-time Archie Comics artist Dan Parent’s cover, which imagines the original cast in an Archie-like milieu. And, best of all, it includes an introduction from actress Amy Jo Johnson herself, which is something of a meditation on the Pink Ranger’s ability to inspire little girls.
Her comic book adventure is so well written, designed and drawn, I imagine it too will inspire plenty of girls, and boys, of all ages…if not necessarily to be heroes, than at least to read more comics, and/or make comics of their own.
About J. Caleb Mozzocco
J. Caleb Mozzocco is a way-too-busy freelance writer who has written about comics for online and print venues for a rather long time now. He currently contributes to Comic Book Resources' Robot 6 blog and ComicsAlliance, and maintains his own daily-ish blog at EveryDayIsLikeWednesday.blogspot.com. He lives in northeast Ohio, where he works as a circulation clerk at a public library by day.
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