Exclusive: Writer Kelly Thompson Talks Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Pink
Kelly Thompson is amazing at taking characters we think we know and reinterpreting them for a new audience. She’s done stellar work on both Jem and the Holograms for IDW (bringing those characters back to glorious life with artist Sophie Campbell) and A-Force for Marvel (with artist Ben Caldwell). Now, she’s doing it over at BOOM! Studios with Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Pink, a six-issue limited series focused on the original Pink Ranger, Kimberly Hart!
MMPR: Pink #1 finds Kimberly trying to move on from her time as a Power Ranger. She continues with her career as a competitive gymnast, but soon—thanks to a mystery involving her parents, who are now living in France—she gets pulled back into her pink uniform. It’s like the mafia. Just when you think you’re out, they pull you back in! Here’s the official solicit info from BOOM! Studios:
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Pink #1 (of 6)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writers: Kelly Thompson & Brenden Fletcher
Artist: Daniele Di Nicuolo
Main Cover: Elsa Charretier
Incentive Cover 1: Marguerite Sauvage
Incentive Cover 2: Helen Chen
Incentive Cover 3: Stephanie Hans
Unlockable Coloring Book Variant Cover: Missy Pena
Morphing FOC Variant 1 (wraparound): Goñi Montes
Glitter FOC Variant 2: Babs Tarr
Format: 32 pages, full color
What’s to Love: We’re so thrilled by the response to our Mighty Morphin Power Rangers comic series that we wanted to focus on some of the individual Rangers and let them shine in their own stories. First up is a series centered around Kimberly Hart, the Mighty Morphin Pink Ranger, and who better than Batgirl and Gotham Academy writer Brenden Fletcher and A-Force and Jem and the Holograms writer Kelly Thompson to bring it to us!
What It Is: Expect new problems, new powers, and an all-new costume for OG heroine Kimberly Hart as she returns to the Pink Ranger mantle! But how? Why now? Discover firsthand in this exclusive story that spans the Mighty Morphin universe as never before!
Now, in an exclusive interview with The Mary Sue, Thompson gives us a little insight into the new series, what it’s like to work with the fabulous Brenden Fletcher as a co-writer, and what she hopes readers will take away from getting to know Kimberly Hart all over again.
Teresa Jusino (TMS): What made you take on the challenge of diving into yet another popular licensed property?
Kelly Thompson: Well, it’s always an exciting challenge to take on beloved properties and try to update them—to find what still works about them years later and lean into those things to create something that can hopefully excite both longtime fans and a whole new generation. I was offered to pitch on Pink Ranger and told that I could really cut loose on what kind of story I could tell with Kimberly, so that was super appealing. Fortunately the excellent Brenden Fletcher and I had similar stories in mind! I do have to say that Power Rangers is far more challenging than Jem and The Holograms just in the sheer number of episodes you’re talking about before you can feel confidently up to speed. Fortunately we had great editors in Dafna Pleban, Alex Galer, and Matthew Levine to help us along the way.
TMS: What’s your personal history with the Power Rangers, if any?
Thompson: I think I was a little old to be one of the hardcore superfans, but I was definitely aware of Power Rangers and watched my fair share growing up. Moreover it’s certainly filled with all the superhero themes and elements I love—dual identities, over the top monsters and villains, and of course lots and lots of punching and kicking.
TMS: You’re working with the awesome Brenden Fletcher on this title. What’s it like working with him?
Thompson: Brenden is a total dream to co-write with—he’s just such a smart, funny writer. The only issue so far is that we get along so well and have so much we like to chat about that we really have to force ourselves to stay on task. Brenden and I have both done a lot of co-writing, but in my experience every collaboration is different. On Pink I was I think I was super lucky to be working with Brenden not only because he has such a smart approach to his stories but because he had so many great world building ideas—coming up with the story for Pink with Brenden was way more fun than it would have been alone. And of course we have excellent artist Daniele Di Nicuolo to bring it all to beautiful life.
TMS: The Power Rangers have traveled all over, and aren’t even an originally American creation, but when we think of them here, we think of American “teenagers with attitude.” :) Why was the decision made to start Kimberly’s story abroad? Why have her parents move to France? What do you think a non-American setting brings to the story?
Thompson: Kimberly’s mom and stepdad actually move to France in the show, so we weren’t breaking any new ground there, but just picking up on threads from the original show and expanding on them. Kimberly is really unique to the Power Rangers story in a few ways, some of which I won’t spoil here, but it seemed obvious that in telling a Kimberly story we should start there – the place in which her story both diverges from the Power Rangers and also one which establishes why she is so important to the Power Rangers and vice versa.
TMS: This is a limited series, and we’re told that Kimberly’s powers are only temporary … but comics are a place where characters written off on TV shows can be brought back into the fold! Can there be two Pink Rangers in this universe more permanently, like Buffy and her Slayer Army? Or is it like the Highlander in that there can be only one? :)
Thompson: I think to get into this aspect too much would spoil some really cool elements of the story – some of the things that make Kimberly distinctive as a Ranger and things that we’re hoping to take full advantage of within our story. Suffice to say that other Rangers will appear even though this takes place at a time when Kim has technically left the Rangers team.
TMS: Without spoilers, obvi, what can we expect from the rest of this Pink story arc? What should we be coming away with about the character of Kimberly Hart?
Thompson: I guess my greatest hope is that we’re telling a story that both feels quintessentially “Power Rangers” while also striking out on our own with something a little bit different. Kim has always been a little bit different and so her story should reflect that. The Kim you meet here is undoubtedly “classic Kimberly Hart” but she’s also grown up a little bit and changed some since her time with the Rangers and the way that she interacts with the world reflects that.
TMS: Just because I’m curious … can we anticipate any creator-owned Kelly Thompson work in the near future?
Thompson: Yes! Thanks for asking. I’ve got a new creator owned book forthcoming with BOOM! actually. I hope it will be later this year, but it’s possible it will be 2017 – the schedule isn’t totally set yet. I can’t say much more just yet but it’s all-ages and a ton of fun. In the meantime, if you’re itching for creator-owned work from me there is my graphic novel Heart In A Box that I did with Meredith McClaren released in late 2015. It’s definitely not all ages, but still awesome! Other than that, for now at least, it’s all A-Force, Jem and The Holograms, and Pink Rangers all the time.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Pink drops this week on New Comic Book Day Wednesday, June 1st!
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