Lifetime reader of comics and fan of Planet of the Apes. When the two combine I can barely contain myself. Image, Boom and Titan comics fight for shelf space with Doctor Who DVDs.
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The main Boom Studios! Mighty Morphin Power Rangers title is in full swing but there are still plenty of stories to tell. ComiConverse contributor Darryll Robson reviews the first issue of the Pink mini-series.
Deciding which of the Rangers to focus a solo comic on can’t have been easy however Boom Studios! have chosen not only the right character but also the perfect creators. Linked to the ongoing monthly and the original television series, Pink picks up the story of Kimberley just after she has left the Rangers.
Kim has just finished competing, and it would seem winning, at the Pan Global Games but her mind is elsewhere. For reasons that will become apparent, her mother hasn’t turned up to see her compete and the very first panel shows an isolated Kim. Despite a little encouragement from her team mates the ex-Power Ranger decides to head out to find her mother.
Letting go of her past life is proving difficult as she laments what she is missing out on so instead she throws herself into a problem she can solve. At least she thinks she can until she reaches St Moineau, home of her mother.
There she finds a ghost town. The residents are nowhere to be seen and very little is working, especially the telephones. While investigating her empty family home she is disturbed by strange distant noises. Taking no chances, and applying the ‘be prepared’ attitude she developed as one of the Rangers, she suits up with weapons and heads out into the night.
But what she expects to find and what she actually finds are two very different things. She comes face to face with some Creatures from the Black Lagoon type monsters. A local lad is trouble and Kim doesn’t waste a moment to come to the rescue. Her lack of powers doesn’t slow her down and she takes down the fishy foes.
Unfortunately this is just the start as Serge explains that the people of the town have been terrorised for months and a large number of them have disappeared. Everyone is too afraid to do anything and no one can reach out of the town for help. Serge has one lead that Kim decides to follow up but before she does she speaks to Zordon, requesting assistance. The Rangers are too busy off world to help but Zordon has a surprise for Kim; she still has the Ranger powers.
One quick change later and the Pink Ranger is ready to face the terrorising fish people.
This is a Power Rangers comic. That may seem obvious but when you’ve finished reading this first issue you’ll understand what I mean. Everything about it is intrinsically Power Rangers and then more so. It feels like the creators have been producing Power Ranger comics for their entire lives.
The overall tone is upbeat despite its horror genre setting. The concept of a deserted or terrorised town is nothing new at all but the writers manage to breathe new life into the old trope. The sea creature designs give further credit to the 1950’s and 60’s B-Movies that have obviously inspired the main narrative. However, there is nothing old or tired about this story. Fletcher and Thompson write very strong characters who leap from the page, fully rounded. It might help if the reader is a fan of Power Rangers and can remember what happened in series 3 but everything you need to know is right there on the page. Kim is portrayed as a determined, self-sufficient, bad ass who knows the difference between what you want to do and what you have to do. It is shown that she understands the concept of responsibility which is a very mature attitude to have, especially in what amounts to an entertaining superhero story.
Kelly Thompson is currently wooing fans with her Jem comics for IDW Publishing and she seems the perfect chose to tackle a solo, female, Power Ranger title. She gets to the core of the character demonstrating a love for the original material and enhances that to the Nth degree. Kim can handle a powerful motor bike, adapt to her surroundings at the drop of a hat but also notice the ‘cute dude’ in peril. She’s a modern female hero and not one to be taken lightly. A comparison with Katniss Everdeen is going to be drawn, especially because of the Bow and Arrow, but Kim’s character is inspired as much by Marvel’s Hawkeye or DC’s Green Arrow.
Fletcher and Thompson have produced a script that takes the Power Ranger format to deeper levels. It allows an insight into the character of Kim but also demonstrates the after effects that being a Ranger can have on someone. This is similar to the School Reunion episode of Doctor Who and provides a new insight into the franchise.
Daniele Di Nicuolo’s art work is a perfect fit for this story. It has a dynamism and attractiveness that is instantly appealing something which draws the reader into Kim’s world. There is an element of expressionism to the fight scenes as Nicuolo employs a rough energetic style but then turns this down in conversational panels. The realism of the opening scenes makes it easier for the reader to accept the B-Movie creatures and the expressive fights.
Sarah Stern’s color takes the title of the comic as its theme and coats each page in a varying degree of pinks and purples. This fits the style and tone of the comic; after all the deep purple colors add an eerie feel to deserted town and the bright pinks give Kim a definitive and impressive presence.
Some people may think that a solo Pink comic may not be needed but once you’ve read it I guarantee you’ll want more. It is a triumphant of character, of artistic merit and of storytelling. Dare I say it’s even better than Boom’s regular Mighty Morphin Power Ranger comic?
Darryll Robson is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Occasionally he might use his Twitter account: @DarryllRobson
A perfect blend of character and action brought to you by a team of brilliant creators. It’s Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and then some.