This article was originally published at ComicBook.Com on August 4, 2016.
The reintroduction of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers to comics at BOOM! Studios has been an unmitigated success in 2016. Fans of the 90s TV show have sought out the comic and praised it for capturing the pure spirit and joyful tone of the series while also telling no stories that fit into the established canon. The ongoing series is a lot of fun, but it’s MMPR: Pink that has shown the opportunity and hunger for expansion.
MMPR: Pink follows the adventures of Pink Ranger Kimberly Hart who can’t quite seem to retire from fighting monsters. It’s a spunky mini-series filled with heart and a whole lot of familiar fun. Starting with MMPR: Pink #3, the series will be joined by a third writer Tini Howard, winner of the 2014 Top Cow Talent Hunt. It’s a guarantee that this series only has more surprises in store for Mighty Morphin’ fans. ComicBook.Com spoke with Howard before her debut in the upcoming third issue to discuss the process of joining a comic and writing team, what she loves about the Pink Ranger, and what to expect next.
You’re joining the writing team of MMPR: Pink a few issues into the story. What has your experience been like becoming involved with the series?
Tini Howard: Well, I got to know the team at BOOM! from a few other projects I pitched for that didn’t happen — that’s kind of the way of the business. I’d been chatting with people over there for a while about the kind of things I’d like to write, so when [Editor] Dafna Pleban reached out to me and suggested I try out for the book, I was thrilled. They run a tight ship over there, and I am never out of the loop or confused.
Was there any nervousness joining a team and a series with two out of six issues already written?
Howard: Not to mention following up Brenden Fletcher and Kelly Thompson, two of the industry’s best writers right now? No, no pressure at all, why do you ask?
Obviously, it’s pretty nerve-wracking. I am a huge fan of what they’ve done so far, and Power Rangers fans are die-hard, but at the same time, I’m in great company. And I got to come in at issue three, which is a HUGE turning point for the series, and an incredible amount of fun.
Comics with multiple writers all tend to reflect a different division of labor. How does your process writing with both Brenden Fletcher and Kelly Thompson work?
Howard: Well, I was brought on to help with the scripting process, which is phenomenally fun. Both Brenden and Kelly are more experienced comic writers than me, with careers I really admire, so it’s fantastic to get to work from the building blocks and outlines they laid out. And they’ve both been amazing to work with. The day I got the job, they both reached out to me to congratulate me personally and make sure I know I can call them any time to hash stuff out about the book. You couldn’t dream up a better pair of collaborators.
What unique skills and perspectives do you see yourself bringing to MMPR: Pink that will add to future issues in the series?
Howard: In issue one, Kim says, “Eat your heart out, Mad Max.” From there, I knew I was gonna love this Kim just as much as I love the classic one. Kim’s a doer, she adapts as needed, and she’s a GREAT leader. I’m definitely a problem-solver at heart, so that’s something I bring to Kim. I can’t just mill around, I’m always moving forward, creating a solution. You know when you’re with a group of friends, and no one can figure out where to eat, and someone finally goes, “Okay, I’m making a decision, follow me.” That’s me. And that’s Kim, too.
Stepping back, what intrigued you about the concept of MMPR: Pink in the first place? Were you a fan of the Power Rangers franchise and Kim growing up?
Howard: I grew up loving the original Rangers, and Kim specifically. And I think it was a brilliant idea to give her a book all her own — she’s nobody’s second banana, not the hero’s girlfriend. She’s the authority, the hero here. She’s in a position where she’s in charge. I think I’d want to read that story no matter who was writing it, but to actually be the person writing it? Along with two other superstar writers and a fantastic artist and colorist? Heck yes.
What do you see as being the strengths of the Pink Ranger that make her such an enduring and popular character?
Howard: One of the things I’ve always loved about Kim is that she’s an athlete. Too often, female characters have to be the “healer” for the group, you know? Kim’s got a physicality that’s incredibly strong, she’s a gymnast who loves archery and motorcycles, and it isn’t at all at odds with her crushes on boys or her ponytails. Hard femme to the max.
How do you work to balance the nostalgia for a character like a Pink Ranger with the potential to invite new readers to discover her for the first time?
Howard: Well, Brenden and Kelly’s work did so much for that. The Kim we meet in issue #1 is smart, clever, she informs so much of the Kim voice I write. However, when I got the gig I celebrated by eating a bowl of ice cream and watching the Green Ranger Saga six-parter episode (I’m an adult, I swear), and I reconnected with that Kim, too. Sure, our Kim has slightly fewer scrunchies and overalls than the classic Kim, but she’s pretty timeless. So she’s either the Pink Ranger you already love, but fully in charge, or she’s a brand-new leadership character who is both relatable and powerful. Kim was a tough girl superhero before those were cool, you know?
What is the one thing you most hope to accomplish while working on MMPR: Pink?
Howard: I think the coolest thing about working on established characters is bonding with readers who might not otherwise be familiar with your work, over a shared love of the character. I hope fans of Kimberly get a feel for the Kimberly I’m working on, and we enjoy those parts of her together. I want to have a whole new crew of friends and fans with whom I can geek out over my favorite Power Ranger ever!