That was the battle cry and signature call for the original Pink Ranger, Kimberly Hart, on the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers television series, and now it returns as she returns in BOOM!’s upcoming Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Pink.
Hart, played by Amy Jo Johnson, was one of the original five Power Rangers who were chosen by Zordon to fight the evil Rita Repulsa and her minions. Kimberly remained on the team for three years before choosing a different life and chasing her dream as a world class gymnast in the Pan Global Games, giving up her Power Coin to Katherine Hillard.
Debuting June 1, BOOM!’s Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Pink explores Kim’s life back being a civilian, but some things will always be a part of her life because as the saying goes, "Once a Ranger, always a Ranger." Newsarama recently chatted with writer Brenden Fletcher, who is co-writing the series with Kelly Thompson and up-and-comer artist Daniele Di Nicuolo about the series, Kim’s evolution as a character, and if they’ll address how Kim ended things with beloved Green Ranger.
Newsarama: Brenden, Daniele, along with Kelly Thompson, you're taking on the adventures of the Pink Ranger, Kimberly Hart, but...she's not really a Ranger here, is she? What is she up to with her life?
Brenden Fletcher: She’s not really a Ranger? Well...that depends on how you view the past. There’s something very special about Kim. Something different from all her former teammates. And if you’re a big fan of the Mighty Morphin series and watch those episodes really closely, you might just get what I’m referring to.
Kim’s been away from her old team—her best friends—for quite some time, pursuing her dreams. Training and competing in gymnastics. She’s achieved very nearly everything she set out to. But something isn’t right. Something dangerous and very threatening leads Kim back to action in a way you’ve never seen before.
Daniele Di Nicuolo: What we have here is a grown-up version of Kim, and you’ll notice this right away at the beginning of the story. You can see it from her new style and new life. It may seem a minor thing, but it's not, because it reflects what kind of a person she has become since leaving the team. And this is another main theme of the character: We meet her in the middle of dealing with the feeling of loss that comes from going from a life of fighting alien monsters and giant robots to a normal, ordinary one. But as the saying goes, “Once a Ranger, always a Ranger,” so yeah, she’s something different, something new.
Nrama: Let's talk about why Kimberly, why single her out to start a mini-series? What do you think makes her so unique and cool to focus on?
Fletcher: To be frank, Kim’s final episodes of the show leave a lot of interesting character and narrative threads dangling. And those threads were too tempting for my co-writer Kelly Thompson and I not to follow up on. She had clear goals, a family abroad, strong relationships—including a very significant one with a certain Green Ranger—left behind in Angel Grove, and a big secret that only Zordon and Alpha 5 know about. That secret is something we play on in our story and it’s not something we made up. It’s right there in the show, just begging to be followed up on. We can’t wait for fans to read the first issue and race back to the series and re-watch their favorite Kimberly Hart episodes!
Di Nicuolo: I think what makes Kim a very interesting character is she apparently seems to be a fragile girl, when in fact she really is a kick-ass woman, resolute and bold. Her quitting the team contributes to the structure of the character; it makes her much more real because, through her, we get to know what being a Ranger--and not being one anymore--means. And don't forget she's the first crush of an entire generation, mine too, of course!
Nrama: Were you guys both Ranger fans growing up?
Fletcher: I came to Power Rangers a little later. I missed the initial rush in the ‘90s but my sister’s little boy discovered the series a number of years ago and became obsessed! So, of course, when this project came up with my colleagues at BOOM!, I had no choice but to accept. As a result, I’m now the coolest uncle ever!
Di Nicuolo: I was a huge fan when I was a kid! They arrived here in Italy in 1994 when I was seven years old. I remember playing in the park with friends, pretending to be Rangers. I wanted to be the Green Ranger, I loved him so much. When he arrived on the series, my mind was blown by the sight of a new, evil, shielded Ranger. You can imagine how happy I was when BOOM! told me I was on the Pink Team, and now I have all my old Power Rangers toys around my work station; they're perfect as references! I still love that kind of aesthetic.
Nrama: Daniele, you've been on the rise lately with work from Dark Horse and Marvel, so what are you excited to bring to Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Pink?
Di Nicuolo: We have a lot of feelings here to handle, and a lot of fights, too... and I love feelings and fights! Kim was used to facing aliens that wanted to conquer the Earth, but this time the struggle is more personal—she's really involved. I'm working on acting and dynamism in my art; those are the elements I love the most. In this story Kim is at risk of losing something really close to her, and she has to defend it with her super athletic, kicking-ass skills. So, as I was saying…feelings and fights! I hope readers will enjoy the crash of her feet on some new monsters' faces.
Nrama: Brenden, Batgirl readers know working with a co-writer is nothing new to you, can you talk about your collaboration with Kelly about what you both want out of this book?
Fletcher: Kelly and I have had a ridiculous “mutual fan club” going on for a couple of years now. We’ve talked on the phone and online a bunch and always wanted to work together. Pink has really been a dream project for us both! We took to collaborating with each other really quickly. We bounce ideas back and forth constantly and share breakdown and scripting duties. So far, so good! I think we make a great team.
When all's said and done, Kelly and I are going to be most proud of being able to shine the spotlight on a character that we feel has always deserved a lot more attention. Power Ranger fans have always wanted to know what happened to Kimberly Hart when she left Angel Grove. Well, guys, the wait is almost over! And you’re not going to believe how much of a game-changer Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Pink is!
Nrama: Can you guys talk about your working relationship with Saban?
Fletcher: Kelly and I have no direct contact with Saban but our amazing editors over at BOOM! have become a unit with the folks in the official Power Rangers office. Editor Dafna Pleban, Assistant Editors Alex Galer and Matthew Levine, and Managing Editor Bryce Carlson have all the answers we need and have been working hard to help us craft a story that fits perfectly into Mighty Morphin continuity.
Di Nicuolo: Honestly, Saban is very demanding about the quality of the book, but this is why I appreciate them. Power Rangers is one the most famous brands in the world, and it's absolutely legit that they want it to be released at its best because they really care about it. They've been very available and open to discuss my thoughts and ideas during the process.
Nrama: You're not just writing Kim here, you get to play with some other characters in the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers sandbox, so I'm curious who is Goldar to you guys? Is he Rita's lackey or is there something else to him?
Di Nicuolo: What I can say, avoiding spoilers, is that Goldar is a focal point of the story.
Fletcher: The Power Rangers sandbox is vast and tons of fun. As most fans know, we’ve got Goldar in the series and he’s a blast to write. Kelly tells me that I’ll ultimately be remembered in comics for one of the lines of Goldar dialogue I shoehorned into #2. I’m not so sure, but what I do know is that the scheme at play in Pink might be seen as Goldar’s time to shine. You’ll have to judge for yourself when the issues hit shops.
Nrama: Kim was more of a Valley Girl starting out, but eventually grew up, so to speak, can you talk about her evolution in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Pink?
Di Nicuolo: As I said before, we have a grown-up version of Kim here. In the beginning of the story, you can see her Ranger past made her more responsible, She shows us that what makes her a hero is not the uniform she used to wear, but what she still has inside. She is something new... you'll see!
Fletcher: I think Daniele has said nearly everything we can say before getting into spoiler territory. This isn’t a new Kimberly Hart, but it is a version of her slightly advanced from what you last saw in the show. And one that will finally get to realize her full potential.
Nrama: Lastly, since you brought it up about her relationship with Tommy, will we see "the letter" in some capacity?
Di Nicuolo: These are the secrets that only the writers know!
Fletcher: The state of Kimberly’s relationship with Tommy will definitely be addressed over the course of the series.