With Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie celebrating its 20th anniversary this summer, we’re counting down all 10 members of the original squad back when they weren’t reincarnated ninjas or space cops. IT’S MORPHIN’ TIME!
Over the last few months, we’ve really explored our fandom for the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers here at Laser Time. We recently recorded an episode of our eponymous podcast discussing the original show and its biggest rip-offs (listen to Power Rangers Rip-offs) and later this month we’re doing a live commentary of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie. Why all the hubbub? Because 2015 is an important year for MMPR; in addition to the aforementioned movie, it was the end of the three-year run of the original program, as the lack of new action footage from Japan’s Sentai program forced the American producers to change the direction of the show to match what was being broadcast overseas. While Power Rangers Zeo and Power Rangers Turbo weren’t drastic departures, it wasn’t long before the story of Angel Grove High School’s greatest superheroes morphed into strange stories of space police and samurai warriors. Also, there was no more Bulk and Skull, so who gives a shit about the world anymore?
To celebrate the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series, we’re counting down the 10 members of the squad who fought Rita Replusa and Lord Zedd while maintaining their GPA at Angel Grove High. It’s ranking time!
10 – Kat (Pink Ranger)
The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers are like a corporation. If you’re the last in, you’re the first out. I honestly can’t remember all that much about Kat besides the fact that she was Australian. While I wouldn’t be surprised if people dressed in spandex actually fought mutants in the Outback, Kat was just too unassuming to stand out among the Rangers. It definitely didn’t help that Kat replaced Kimberly, who perhaps the most-loved Ranger of all and the original Pink Ranger. /hearteyesemojii
9 – Rocky (Red Ranger)
Rocky’s entire tenure as a Power Ranger was pretty uneventful, but his start and end speak volumes. He replaced Jason, who was the leader of the Power Rangers at one point (and would be again any time Tommy wasn’t around), but was immediately the third or fourth most important member when compared to his contemporaries. Then his character gets injured in the second Power Rangers movie and is replaced by a 12-year-old. True to his name, this guy’s tenure as a Ranger sure was Rocky.
8 – Aisha (Yellow Ranger)
Aisha, Adam, and Rocky were blatantly substituted into the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers show when three of the original cast members had a contract dispute, but it was never more obvious that scripts were left untouched than when Aisha had a story. Trini USED to be Kimberly’s best friend before she went to Switzerland, so now this lesson about friendship is brought to you by new besties Aisha and Kim! She also didn’t stick around long as a Ranger, so her legacy is a bit lacking.
7 – Zack (Black Ranger)
Some people just don’t have good luck as Power Rangers. Zack is one of them. When the show started, you couldn’t have a conversation about the series without hearing “Black Ranger” jokes. That was a shame because Zack definitely had the charisma, charm, and athleticism to be a standout Ranger. Unfortunately, he was immediately overshadowed by braniac Billy and team leader Jason. He didn’t have the staying power of the original Blue Ranger and wasn’t big enough to make a splashy return like the original Red Ranger. While the actor who played Zack (Walter Emanuel Jones) did return to the Power Rangers series, it was merely as a voice of a villain in an episode where pretty much everyone who donned the mask of the Red Ranger got to make a grandiose return.
6 – Adam (Black Ranger)
Adam was a dependable (if unexciting) Ranger. Like Aisha, his early exploits were a bit underwhelming due to a lack of direction for his character (likely because most of his stories were copy/pasted plots meant for another character, too), but Adam stuck it out and eventually climbed the ranks through various iterations. Even if his time among the original MMPR crew was understated, he stuck around far longer than the other two replacement Rangers and eventually became a mentor for future Rangers during his many cameos (it helps that Johnny Yong Bosch stays active as a voice-over actor for many anime shows put together by teams close to Power Rangers productions).
Where do Tommy, Kimberly, and Jason rank? Click over to the next page to find out!