Kimberly’s Evolution: Kelly Thompson Talks ‘Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Pink’
This week saw the release of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Pink #1, and for fans of America's greatest tokusatsu heroes, it might just be the most unexpected story of the year. Rather than focusing on her time as a Power Ranger in Angel Grove, Kelly Thompson, Brenden Fletcher, Daniele Di Nicuolo and Sarah Stern's series picks up when Kimberly is retired from active duty and stumbles across a plot that threatens her family --- and an entire city in France.
To find out more, I talked to Thompson about the choice to show readers an era of Kimberly's life that we've never seen, the exploration of her relationships with the other rangers, and the new costume that Kimberly's sporting in the series.
ComicsAlliance: It’s very rare to see the Power Rangers in a solo story rather than as a group. How do you approach building that kind of story around an isolated member of an ensemble?
Kelly Thompson: I think, the way the original series dealt with and left Kimberly, it was pretty organic to bring her in as a solo character. Of course the group dynamic definitely helps define the Rangers, so I like to think this story of Kim's is a way to grow her into a new role — both as a woman on her own and then developing her into more of a leader, which actually speaks to a lot of her inherent strengths. Co-writer Brenden Fletcher and I had a lot of fun finding this new Kim that feels both old and new.
All that aside, just because this is a solo mini doesn't mean you won't see more Rangers!
CA: So what is it that defines Kimberly to you?
KT: Kim sometimes gets pigeonholed in our minds I think as the stereotypical cute mallrat girly girl, but Kim is sassy and funny and has lots of depth, loyalty, empathy, passion, and strength. We're leaning into a slightly more mature Kim who has learned a lot in her time away and is ready to step into a new kind of role. It's a really great evolution for Kim in my completely biased opinion.
CA: The events of Pink are set not only after the era that’s going on in the main comic, but after Kimberly’s tenure as a Power Ranger. There’s obviously a lot of potential there that we’ve only really seen tapped into with a few characters over the years, but how did you come to the decision to do a post-Power Rangers story with her? Why jump ahead in time?
KT: Brenden Fletcher and I both pitched very similar stories for Kim, and both took place in this time period post leaving the Rangers, and I think that we both had that instinct says a lot. As you said, there's untapped potential in that window — it's just rife with opportunity to cut loose in her story. Fans want to know what happened to Kim in that time away, and we're excited to show at least part of her story from that period.
It also has the added practical bonus of making our story more new-reader friendly by being less tied to complex continuity.
CA: There are a few places in the first issue where Kimberly mentions her relationship with Tommy, which I can assure you is something that was very important to me in 1993. Given that it didn’t exactly have a satisfactory ending in the show, are there any plans to go a little deeper in addressing that?
KT: We will definitely be addressing the Kim/Tommy relationship in the mini-series! I doubt we can satisfy everyone, but I hope it will infuse some additional emotion and complexity to what fans saw on the show, but in a way that feels real --- and realistic --- for these characters and doesn't break existing stories or world building. I think it's a good balance — I guess the fans will let us know!
CA: Were you involved at all in the new costume design?
KT: Yes and no. I mean I think we definitely have to give full credit to series artist Daniele Di Nicuolo --- and series colorist Sarah Stern --- for the great designs they did when it came to costumes.
Brenden and I certainly talked a lot about the vibe and tone that we wanted to see, about making changes that made sense for Kim, but still felt like a Ranger look (and Brenden sent so many great inspirational images), but Daniele really delivered on marrying all those ideas with what Saban also felt was appropriate and "on brand."