Tuesday, March 16, 2021

COMIC REVIEW - Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Pink (2017)

Six-issue miniseries
Written by
Brenden Fletcher, Kelly Thompson, & Tini Howard
Art by
Daniele Di Nicuolo & Sarah Stern

Boom! Studios' first off-shoot Power Rangers miniseries was surprisingly not focused on TOMMY, but rather on Kimberly, fresh off not being a Ranger anymore. For you see, this takes place after Kim left the team to be a gymnast at the Pan Globals... but things are amiss. People have gone missing in the French village that her dear old mother lives in and she had find out what it is... so how does Kimberly take on the enormous task for solving the mystery of the missing Frenchmen?

She calls Zordon and he gives her new Ranger powers.

The rest of the miniseries has some intrigue of sorts. Goldar and his merman minion, Verto, are turning everyone in to fish people, but Verto turns on Goldar and now Kim and Goldie have to work together. Fortunately, Kim has been able to recruit former Rangers Trini and Zack into the fray (where they also get new spiffy Ranger powers) and we even have some spare powers for a couple of the locals; a French male of color named Serge and his spiffy sister Britt. They eventually save the day in five issues, but because we still have an issue left, our new team of Rangers go on to save the pre-existing Mighty Morphin team whose faces we never see and then Kim has a conflict of interest. A year later, she writes Tommy a letter... and that's the end.

So I came into this skeptical yet intrigued by the premise as it was teased; a post-MMPR adventure of a post-Ranger Kimberly having to deal with some new thing. Cool... except what could have been a potentially interesting storyline ended up being the beginning of the shallow storytelling tropes in Boom's Power Rangers comics. Because despite all the covers depict OG Pinky in the OG suit, I figured we get some neat post-Ranger shenanigans and Kim gets to show off some mad skills to prove that whole "Once A Ranger" thing applies without fancy powers.

But she gets fancy powers anyway... and a new suit which looks horrible. Like some horrible fanart gimmick where somebody thought it'd be cool to have the Ranger suits more like ridiculously stupid looking biker gear. I didn't mind the leather look for Kim; she needs gear, after all, and she has to look somewhat stylish.

I got the collected volume for this mini, which includes an introduction written by Amy Jo Johnson (a.k.a. OG Pinky). The introduction, while brief, was worth the price of admission, because included in that text was a line that, purely coincidentally and not all intended, pretty much summed up the biggest problem with this story. The line in question referred to how Johnson's journey had mirrored that of Kimberly.

"She thought she stopped being a Ranger, but realized there are other ways to help people," wrote Johnson. "That her ability to help came from within, along with everything she learned during her time as a Ranger - not just from her powers."

With that one line, Johnson had summed up the potential story that never came to be. A post-MMPR Kimberly story that was all about figuring out how to help without those powers and discovering that the true power came from within, resorting to other means to help people besides Rangers and Zords. The problem with this mini as a whole is that it's nothing but Rangers and Zords and the more intriguing story is skipped in favor of something that has no emotional resonance. 

MMPR: Pink had potential. It had potential to expand the narrative in new, exciting ways. It had potential to introduce and explore new ideas that would've been beyond the scope of the television show. Instead, it chose to retread old territory in a new skin and add nothing of value over the course of six issues.

Oh well... at least the art is adequate.

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