Villain Quote of the Day Presents: The Top Ten Times the Power Rangers got their asses kicked.
Preface: I’m an aspiring academic. I love modernist literature, comparative literature, philosophy, sexuality studies, race and ethnicity studies, religious studies, sociology, semiotics, queer theory, art history, film studies, and a whole host of other disciplines and subjects. I’m also a soon-to-be 25 year old guy who still loves Power Rangers. I do not see my love for this show and my love for the humanities to be incongruous. Quite the opposite, I believe that Power Rangers is a legitimate subject that can be studied (just a few example: it introduces kids to particular kinds of good and evil, it is a pop-culture phenomenon that has lasted for years, it is an interesting study in American appropriation of Japanese fiction, it can be explored through lenses like feminism and race theory [representations of women and those considered racial minorities], it offers a chance to study ideas of monsters and the grotesque, etc.). But that’s not what this list is about, really. I’m not going to go into a long analysis of why these particular scenes are powerful: I’m pretty much just going to do a very quick (well, that was the original plan) and subjective evaluation of why I think these scenes rock. Bear in mind, I really stopped watching at Ninja Storm, so this list is super subjective. Also, the pictures are not in order.
10. The Blue Globber vs. The Ninja Rangers and Ninjor
Now the Blue Globber is by no means the smartest monster created by an arch-villain, but that didn’t matter because he had evil genius extraordinaire, Master Vile, to basically control his every move. Instead of the usual experimental monster, Vile created a monster that would produce results. Globber had the power to absorb all of the rangers’s powers. Through Globber, Master Vile was able to capture the zords, Ninjor, and the Zeo Crystal. Now he would have gotten away with it too, if he had just kept the crystal close by. It wasn’t Globber’s fault though. He delivered hit after hit after hit to the heroes for the better part of three episodes.
9.Goldgoyle vs. The Turbo Rangers
I know he plays a bigger role in the Sentai series, but when you approach a season from its American adaptation, you ask yourself, “Who the fuck is this guy and why didn’t Divatox just use him sooner?” Well, Goldgoyle destroys every weapon the rangers have. How do they defeat him? They fly their combined ground-assault weapons into his mouth. Now I do understand why they didn’t do this first. When you’re being attacked by a super-giant demolisher of anything that looks like it could be sold as a toy, you’d probably opt to use the giant robots too. He died, like all of ‘em, but mission accomplished doesn’t begin to describe the devastation he caused the rangers.
8.Tankenstein vs. The Space Rangers
OK, this is a great example of when a main villain critiqued their approach. Monsters are expendable. They are easily found or created, but they are going have their own self-preservation in mind and are also going to be destroyed. Astronema comes up with a great idea for a monster: make him as powerful as we can, and, if all else fails, he can be a kamikaze. That’s how that shit went down. He took out the Space Rangers’s most powerful zord, clearing the way for Dark Specter’s coming invasion.
7. Lord Zedd vs. The White Ranger
This was an historic moment in PR history: it is the first instance in the American show where the lead villain battles a ranger directly. Now, given that it was completely new, it was absolutely amazing to see Zedd fight. For the most part, he wipes the floor with Tommy. That is until the ultimate cop-out: Tommy hurls his sword at Zedd, who blocks it with his staff, and said staff returns to its original serpent form. That’s bullshit! We’ve seen Zedd pull off so many spells and moves that, logically, he would be able to easily kill a single ranger, even the white ranger, with little to no effort. I know this was after they toned Zedd down, but they could have dedicated the majority of the episode to this fight. Zedd could have taken his time by playing mind games and exercising some of his under-used powers. Dammit, I just love Lord Zedd!
6. Scorpina, Goldar, and The Evil Green Ranger vs. the first megazord
OK, this is one of Rita’s more brilliant moments. She casts a spell that eclipses the sun, cutting off the Dino-Megazord’s energy supply. But this probably wasn’t even necessary. Scorpina and Goldar are later shown to be able to match the Thunder Megazord, the one that replaced the Dino Megazord. So, logically, these two should have been able to easily destroy the first Megazord. Enter a giant evil green ranger, complete with legendary sword of darkness. Between all three of the villains taking turns slashing the robot with their respective weapons, Scorpina’s super sting, and Goldar and the Green Ranger’s combo laser, we see the first instance of the destruction of a Megazord, though it isn’t really destroyed but still.
5. Rito Revolto (and friends!) vs. The Thunder Megazord and White Tiger Megazord
Though he has some help, Rito delivered an epic defeat to the Rangers. Though Zedd was kind of the first villain who successfully dismissed the Zords (bamf that he is; all he did was cast a spell from his palace and it was so long dinozords), Rito was the first villain to literally tear the zords apart. There was no reviving the zords like after the Scorpina/Goldar/Tommy threesome or Zedd’s “I’m tired of looking at those things.” The rangers were very much out of zords.
4. Master Org vs. All the damn Zords
One could debate whether Adler still resides in Master Org after the original org lord had taken over Adler’s body (note his conversation with Princess Shayla before he transforms). However, I just think that was bullshit/bad writing. Maybe those words that Master Org spoke to Princess Shayla were the last words of Dr. Viktor Adler before the true Master Org completely overtook his body. Now for the fight: OK, so after creating the org heart and becoming one with possibly the most cumbersome monster costume in PR history, Master Org, the original, is back. First he engages the rangers in hand-to-hand combat, where he suitable disposes of them without any inkling of exertion. Then he grows. What’s great about the fights that follow is that he takes out the most powerful entities first. He kills Animus and destroys the Wolf Megazord. Now they are proper fucked. Then he goes to the Animarium and destroys every last one of the zords and megazords. It’s actually hilarious because the Rangers (possibly the dumbest assembly of Power Rangers ever) believe that the zords they started out with—you know, the weakest ones—stand a chance despite the destruction of far superior zords. He then destroys the floating island of hippies and begins to decimate the world. Then, out of nowhere, the lamest deus ex machina ever intervenes and helps the rangers kill the Master of all Orgs once and for all. Still, he SLAUGHTERS those Voltron rejects!
3. Super Crazy Darkonda vs. The Space Rangers
This is by no mean the first instance where a foe presents such a great challenge that the rangers have to find new zord, but Darkonda was tripping. Long story short: buys some meth, Ecliptor tampered with it, he starts to suffer from the meth, and finally he embraces the meth, becoming not only super powerful but complete and utter ape-shit crazy. Again, all of the megazords that the rangers have collected at this point are no match for performance enhancing drugs. Also, they manage to sever some part of him. Not only does he regenerate faster than Wolverine, but the severed appendage becomes an equally powerful and bat-shit crazy entity in its own right.
2.Trakeena vs. the Galaxy Rangers
Trakeena is one of the most complex villains in the Power Rangers’s villains gallery. She evolves from a dainty daddy’s girl to a feared warrior. Then, she fuses with an evil cyborg (Deviot), and things get really interesting. Now up to that point, she’s exhibited pretty psychopathic tendencies, but after the Deviot fusion, she amps up the crazy. The interesting question is how much of Deviot’s personality began to influence Trakeena’s own. Hell, maybe his mind had no bearing on hers after the fusion, and she just got a cyborg upgrade. Regardless, she comes full circle when on the brink of death, she fulfills her father’s (Scorpius) wish to transform into “an insect with magnificent powers.” What is spawned from her transformation is a character, who has already undergone so many changes, that not only synthesizes her former powers but gains incredible new ones. She has enough power to reactivate the abandoned space station and send it hurtling towards its former occupants on a new planet, and she still has enough energy (after POWERING AN ENTIRE SPACE STATION) to take on the heroes and deliver high-quality ass-kickery.
1. Space Rangers vs. Psycho Rangers (round 1)
What proceeded was the most horrendous ass-whooping in Power Rangers history. They didn’t stand a chance. The psychos derived their power from the most powerful source of evil in the universe: Dark Specter himself. Not much more to be said about that point. I would like to bring up something very important, though. Astronema, after her brain-washing, is by far the most intensely evil PR villain. She was programmed to serve the monarch of all evil, yet she very nearly kills her master. This raises the question: had Astronema succeeded in destroying Dark Specter, what would that have been like? We know from the finale that her programming was not dependent on Dark Specter’s existence. She would have been an absolute form of evil: she would be a simulacrum of evil, evil incarnate if you will.
PS - Please excuse any spelling, syntactical, or punctuation errors. I’ve been up way too late.
When Rito Revolto destroyed the Thunderzords and damaged the Power Coins in season 3 the Rangers were sent to seek out Ninjor which brings us to the last version of the orginal Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, the Ninja Rangers, also seen in the big screen adventure.