AIPT: The Supermassive crossover is coming out, which will introduce your new creation, Rogue Sun. Tell us about that and what your inspiration was.
Ryan Parrott: I’ve known Kyle since college and Kyle started Radiant Black. He was bragging about all the fun he was having! He was like: I love doing this Image book, I’m having so much fun, it’s freeing and cool. You should do something in that world. You should do one as well.
The reason I’m in comic books is because of Image. When I was 13, Image came out, I bought every single issue. It was a superhero universe that I didn’t have to have read years of material to get into. So I was like: wow, I could have my own Image superhero who could be part of that world? Let’s do that.
In the same way that Image came out with a bang 30 years ago, how do we do something similar to that? So we’re like: what if we did a giant crossover? Let’s make the next generation of Image superheroes. That comes out in February. If you’ve read the original book [Radiant Black] you can come in, and if not, you don’t have to know anything. My book [Rogue Sun] will come right out of that.
Rogue Sun, it’s about a kid, he’s a rebellious seventeen year old teenager whose father left home when he was ten. He finds out one day that his father passed away and left him his superhero powers and his mantle. He didn’t even know he was a superhero. So now this seventeen year old kid suddenly has all these powers. But in order to use them, he has to solve his father’s murder and get to know this guy he’s hated his entire life.
It’s a dark Batman: Beyond kind of story. He’s like a Flash Thompson character, he’s not a Peter Parker. He’s a bad guy that gets superpowers, but can those superpowers make him a better person?
AIPT: Supermassive and Rogue Sun both come out in February?
RP: Yeah, Supermassive comes out 2.2.22, and then Rogue Sun comes out a week after.
AIPT: On Power Rangers, what was the process of you taking over from Kyle?
RP: I remember where I was the day he told me he was going to reboot Power Rangers for comics. I was like: really? There’s gonna be an audience for that? I had no idea three years later that would be my entire life.
I happened to meet the editor. And she was like: are you interested in doing a new story about what it was like to be a high schooler with superpowers? I want to do Ultimate Spiderman with Power Rangers.
That’s how I transitioned into doing Power Rangers. After Kyle did Shattered Grid, there’s really nothing else left. He did a wonderful job. He was like: I think dropped the mic on this one, I’m ready to go.
I looked at what he did. His story started when the Green Ranger came into the team, so what if mine started when the White Ranger joins the team? Once I knew the story it helped write itself.
AIPT: You’ve done several Aftershock series. Talk about the transition from doing smaller scale indie publishing to something bigger. I mean, BOOM is still indie—
RP: Oh yeah, when you do Power Rangers, people don’t consider that an indie book. The guys at Aftershock I’ve known for longer than I’ve been in comics.
I did a book called Volition about two robots who get decommissioned and go looking for their creator. I pitch it as Blues Brother meets Blade Runner.
I did a book called Oberon, the story of Oberon, king of the fairies, what if he lost his kingdom and finds “the promised child”, the one who’s going to save the world, and tries to turn them into a bad guy to get his powers back. The way I pitched it was: what if Voldemort found Harry Potter?
The one I just did, was probably the most personal story, Dead Day: what if the dead could come back for one day, would you want them to? It’s like: Coco meets The Purge. How would we react to that?
What’s wonderful about being a Power Rangers writer, is that I get so many diff people from so many different backgrounds. If I do a good enough job, they all want to come along and see what else I’m doing. I’ve been very, very lucky.
AIPT: What are some comics you’re reading now that you’re into?
RP: I loved Tom King’s Strange Adventures. I went back and started reading 100 Bullets. Supremely underrated—that’s like The Wire of comics. Another Tom King book: I read his ‘Superman: Up in the Air’storyline. Maybe one of the best Superman being Superman stories I’ve ever read. He deconstructed Superman in a great way.
Kyle’s Radiant Black. Kyle challenges me. Kyle is doing stuff that I never would have thought of even trying. He’s thrown down the gauntlet. We challenge each other.
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