Its Bad Guy Time
We’re looking at a show that, throughout the years and its iterations, has featured a mammoth rogues gallery: The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and their villains. While many of the bad guys have been over-the-top and silly, some of them definitely stand out as being powerful and iconic.
Welcome to our Villain Rankings
For this list, I’m going to focus on the 9 most powerful villains in the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers library. But, my list isn’t just going to be the ones who were the strongest or had the most weapons or even presented the most dangerous threat. I am going to consider how iconic a villain is to the iconography of The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers canon.
Someone who might not have had the strongest laser beams or super strength. But is memorable for other reason, might find themselves on this list above other, more “dangerous” foes (you’ll understand what I mean in a bit).
The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers is a franchise built on inherent silliness. A bunch of teenagers get super-powered transformers in the form of dinosaurs and are bossed around by a floating head? Sure! So some of the villains might have a similar bent.
So, onto the list of the Top 9 Most Powerful Villains in Power Rangers history.
But first, a brief interlude for some honourable mentions.
The Bad Guy Who Should’ve Won: The Unexpected Pathos of Fang
The character of Fang, a throwaway baddie who only ever showed up in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Season 1 episode “The Yolks on You”. Seemingly an insignificant character in the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers canon. But was an unexpectedly fascinating case study in pathos and character motivation.
You see, Fang was obsessed with Gooney Bird eggs, a rare type of egg that was his favourite type of food. He had a collection of them hidden and ready to eat, but Squatt and Baboo had already eaten them, throwing Fang into despair.
Rita promised him that, if he were to defeat the Power Rangers, she would get him more Gooney Bird eggs. So the poor guy tried his darndest to defeat the Rangers (he did not).
But the thing is, Fang, wasn’t really as evil as many of the other villains. He just wanted his favourite food. Not world domination, not anything heinous, just his favourite eggs! And he was destroyed because of it. All because Rita manipulated him and the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers had to save the day.
I remember this episode when I was growing up and how it devastated me (well, not “devastated” but it affected me enough to write about it some 20 years later). In a show that was predicated on so much silliness, Fang was a rare villain who we felt sorry for, whether the creators meant to do that or not. And for that – the only real emotionally affecting villain on the show – he deserves a mention.
If Only It Were a Real Movie: Rocky and Power/Rangers
If you’ve never seen Joseph Kahns 2015 short film Power/Rangers, you need to go see it now. It is a short (15-minute) gritty reboot of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers franchise. One that takes a critical, psychological lens to the premise of the show and exposes it. This was a franchise based on a team of unwilling teenagers. Who are kidnapped, brainwashed, injected with strange magic powers? Then forced to fight for a shadowy pseudo-governmental force. It makes you realise how messed up the whole thing is.
At the centre of this film is Rocky the Red Ranger. He has turned on the team and betrayed his fellow Power Rangers after he realised, naturally, how messed up their mission was. He tried to convince the Pink Ranger of this fact (and also tries to lure out Tommy/Green to take him out as well).
Rocky is played by James Van Der Beek. His scenery-chewing turn as “former cheesy teen heartthrob/comedic actor, turned heinous and captivating villain” borders Heath Ledger-Joker and Bryan Cranston-Walter White territory.
If this were a full-length film (a gritty reboot of the Power Rangers), Rocky would place much higher on the actual list. Also, I would own it on DVD and watch it weekly.
Anyway, on to the actual list:
9. Bulk & Skull
Hey, let’s start this game off with a big-time curveball!
Now, before you get mad and say that Bulk and Skull had no superpowers and weren’t villains. Let’s not forget that, especially in earlier episodes they were the most consistent thorns in the side of the Power Rangers. As the show progressed they kept trying to figure out the secret identities of the Power Rangers and expose them.
Of course, most of their villainy involved ineffective bullying and more human than hatred. But the fact is that they were consistent foils for the team over the years. In fact, Paul Schrier (Bulk) and Jason Narvy (Skull) have been on the show as their iconic characters longer than most of the other cast members. This means that they have to rank higher on this list than other, more “powerful” villains who nevertheless disappeared quickly.
Do you remember all the dangerous members of the MMPR rogue gallery over the years? Probably not. But do you remember Bulk and Skull? Of course, you do. And that’s why they have to be on this list.
8. The (Evil) Green Ranger
Another bit of a curveball. But also one of the first instances of interesting character development that the show went with (especially in the early seasons). Also one of the only times the show presented the possibility of defeating the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers from within.
In the original incarnation of the Green Ranger, Tommy Oliver was put under the spell of Rita Repulsa. He turned into a sullen, brooding loner who fought the team (and almost beat them).
Then, once he overcame the darkness within him, Rita snatched his powers away (“The Green Candle”). Leading to him briefly leaving the team in one of the most pathos-inducing moments ever seen on the show. When he returned as the White Ranger, it was a huge triumph for the show (and I remember watching it and being really excited about it).
Then, of course, Rita and Zedd brought back the evil Green Ranger via a lock of Tommy’s hair, creating evil clone “Tom”; Oliver. Tom almost defeats Tommy, but in the end, the side of good prevails…but it was a close call. And it is telling that one of the few times the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers were almost defeated, it was by the darkness within themselves (perhaps this is where Power/Rangers got its ideas from?).
The main villain in the Power Rangers in Space series. Astronema makes this list due to her intelligence and her ability to create devastating henchmen. She is the creator of the Psycho Rangers (who nearly made this list), a group that almost matched the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers themselves.
However, her backstory and ultimate character arc is a fascinating one. She was formerly known as Karone, the little sister of Andros (the Red Ranger). But was kidnapped at a young age and brainwashed by the Dark Spector into becoming Astronema and ruling over the United Alliance of Evil. After being defeated by her brother, his love for her brought her back to the side of light.
She earns the rank she does because she is one of the most complex characters in the series. Someone who was turned against the side of light by forces beyond her control. And, while she was certainly a powerful villain who nearly defeated the Power Rangers, she was able to find good again. After her redemption, becoming Karone once more and settling into her role as Pink Ranger.
Ransik earns a higher rank on this list than you might think. All because, besides to his powers (which weren’t as powerful as others), he definitely taps into the power of pathos that the show doesn’t often go to. Making him both a vile and powerful villain but also a sympathetic one.
From the Time Force series, Ransik was a genetically engineered mutant from the future. A time when mutants were disparaged and persecuted by the larger society around him in the 31st century (a bit like Magneto in the X-Men universe).
In essence, then, while he was a ruthless criminal, he was one with a justifiable grudge against those around him. If you were trapped in a society that hated you and everyone like you, wouldn’t you consider turning to the dark side as well?
Not only that, but he was redeemed in the end by the power of love; specifically, the love for his daughter Nidara. When he almost killed her in a fit of rage, he realised the error of what he had done (to his daughter and in general) and became an ally to the Power Rangers. Showing that no matter what happens, you can be redeemed if you see the light and change your ways.
5. Rita Repulsa
It may seem strange to rank ‘The OG’ of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers villains this low on the list. But the fact that is that, while she was iconic and an original, she was never really that great of a villain.
Her plans are never very well thought out. Her monstrous creations are usually more silly and bumbling than anything else. And she had a tendency to delve into self-caricature and being an over-the-top, silly baddie rather than a threatening one.
Plus, despite all her powers, she never really gets personally involved in fighting the Power Rangers. She usually leaves her (somewhat inept) charges to do the work for her.
Still, Rita cannot fall below number 5 on this list because of how iconic she is. She was the villain who started it all, and the main catalyst for the Power Rangers to form as a team (and for all the follow-up series to build upon). For her contributions to the longevity of the franchise, Rita Repulsa finds herself at the number 5 spot.
4. Dai Shi
The main antagonist of Power Rangers Jungle Fury. Dai Shi is a powerful villain and also a character that harnesses the power of hatred and bullying. He shows the power and possibility of redemption, no matter how far down the wrong path one goes.
An ancient evil dragon who possesses the vessels of Jarrod (a Pai Zhua student who fell from grace due to bullying and arrogance). And also Camille, forming a villain of incredible power and danger. The final form of Dai Shi, then, combines the ancient power of the evil dragon. With Jarrods bullying tendencies and hatred towards those who cast him out.
This villain was nearly unbeatable and may have won in the end if not for Jarrod recovering his humanity. And then realising that giving in to his impulses would only lead to his downfall.
The fact that he and Camille fall for each other and then realise the error of their ways, make Dai Shi a devastating antagonist and a powerful allegory. He shows what happens when one’s impulses go unchecked and, ultimately, how anyone can be redeemed.
3. Master Org
The main villain in Power Rangers: Wild Force. Master Org was one of the most human (and almost literary in his tragic character arc) of all the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers villains. Yes, he was powerful. He destroyed many Zords and wreaked havoc. But it was his backstory that made him one of the most relatable, and realistic, of all the MMPR villains, which is why he ranks so highly on this list.
His motivations were ones you might see in any other, more realistic TV show or movie (or even a book). Dr Viktor Adler was a man who loved a woman, Elizabeth Evans, who was married to Richard (who was Adler’s fellow scientist and team member). The two of them had a son, Cole (who would go on to become the Red Ranger).
When Richard and Elizabeth froze out Viktor, stealing the spotlight of their Animaria expedition. Viktor succumbed to the hatred in his heart and consumed the remains of the first Master Org to become the second one with that title. He then brutally murdered his former friends in cold blood before becoming a ruthless, conniving villain.
His character almost strikes a Shakespearean tone. A lot like in Richard III where a man, scorned by those around him, takes up arms to wreak havoc and willingly become the villain. Of all the powerful villains in any show, the ones that are most realistic are often the scariest.
2. Venjix Virus
The main villain in Power Rangers RPM and Beast Morphers. Venjix Virus shows that sometimes, the most powerful weapon a villain (or anyone) can fight with is their mind.
While he isn’t the most physically imposing and powerful villain, his intelligence is second to none.
He started as a sentient computer virus. Who quickly mutated into an all-powerful being whose code affected all the technology in the world. Leading to almost the entirety of humanity being wiped out within a few years time.
Besides his intellect. Venjix Virus can apply his mental acuity to adapt to any attack or strategy thrown at him, learn to counter it and improve his abilities.
Even in the end, when he was defeated, there were still hints that he cannot be fully destroyed. Meaning this brilliant, menacing villain may resurface one day to conquer the world. Of all the traits a villain can have, being conquerable might be the scariest.
No pressure, though, Power Rangers.
1. Lord Zedd
While Rita Repulsa was the first of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers villains, her successor (and future husband!) Lord Zedd was the first truly imposing and terrifying villain of the Power Rangers canon.
He was so terrifying that parents asked the network to have the show dial back on Zedd’s menacing character (still the only time such a request was made).
Zedd was such a threatening force, Rita Repulsa – the original big bad – was terrified Zedd would get rid of her. So she was forced to create a love potion to ensnare Zedd and make him her husband instead of her conqueror.
His creations – such as the improved putty warriors – were exponentially more powerful than Rita’s original creations. They almost led to the Power Rangers being defeated early in his run on the show.
While Ritas attempts at conquering the world mostly failed due to her ineptitude, Zedd nearly succeeded. Indeed, he succeeded in conquering many other worlds due to his more ruthless and
He was the first truly powerful and terrifying villain in the Power Rangers series. He was the original prototype upon which all the future villains were based. For that Lord Zedd takes the top spot on this list of most powerful Power Rangers villains.
Thanks for reading our list of Top 9 Most Powerful Power Rangers Villains! Hope you enjoyed the list; we hope it made you think, and we hope it challenged your perceptions on what makes a great villain! Did you REALLY think Ivan Ooze would make the cut???
That’s our list of the 9 most powerful Power Rangers bad guys. Do you have a different opinion on these rankings? Do you agree or disagree with our list or have anything to add? If so, leave us a comment below.
Check out more from our TV page HERE.
Read IMDB information on the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers HERE.
9 Bands You Forgot Played Themselves In Movies
There are more bands than you think that played themselves on the big screen. Here are nine bands you might’ve forgotten appeared in movies.
1. Alice Cooper – Wayne’s World (1992)
Being a teenager in the nineties was great for many reasons. Two of those being the release of the Wayne’s World movies. The genius that is Mike Myers created one of the best music-based films of all time. Plus, he convinced one of the greatest rock musicians of all time to be in it. If you’re not a geek like me, you may have forgotten that Alice Cooper was featured in the film. It had the iconic scene of Wayne and Garth meeting, Alice, backstage on bent knees. We’re not worthy, indeed. Alice himself pulls off the diva Rockstar brilliantly, even though he’s a genuine, down-to-earth guy who plays a lot of golf.
2. Primus – Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991)
Let’s try and erase the recent Bill & Ted movie from our memory and head back to 1991 for their bogus journey. They come from the future to kill the non-robot versions of themselves and ruin their performance at a Battle of the Bands competition. What’s cool is the band who are playing before them. Californian alt-metal kings Primus. Although the clip is only short, they play themselves and sound as you would expect. Epic.
3. Fall Out Boy – Sex Drive (2008)
You’d be forgiven for forgetting about this one. The teen sex comedy from 2008 is forgettable and won’t really appeal to anyone apart from its teen target audience. If you can sit through all the cringe-inducing moments, you will spot pop-rockers Fall Out Boy. They are performing in a barn in front of some drunk Amish teenagers. There’s a reason for that, but I won’t bore you with it here. What is good, is the soundtrack of the film. As well as Fall Out Boy, it features Airbourne, AC/DC and weirdly, Kenny Loggins.
4. Twisted Sister – Pee Wee’s Big Adventure (1985)
Paul Reuben’s character Pee Wee Herman made his big-screen outing in 1985. The children’s show star had a scene where he is being chased through a studio parking lot. Unbeknown to him, glam rockers Twisted Sister are recording a music video on a car. Lead singer Dee Snider is always up for a laugh, so it’s no surprise they’re featured. The clip is brilliant. Pee Wee’s prop-laden bike is just about to crash into Twisted Sister and the look on Dee’s face is genius. Go check out the clip.
5. David Bowie – Zoolander (2001)
Who can forget the brilliant Zoolander? Starring Ben Stiller as the dippy model, it’s one of the funniest comedies ever made. One of the best scenes of the film is the walk-off. This involved Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson’s characters doing a catwalk-off. Of sorts. Can you remember who refereed it? The legend himself, David Bowie. It’s not the first time Bowie was in a movie – remember Labyrinth? But this time, he plays himself. And does it with all the cool swagger you would expect.
6. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones – Clueless (1995)
I can’t say that I was a massive fan of this teen comedy at the time. The plot revolves around Alicia Silverstone’s character giving her friend a makeover. The premise doesn’t sound like it lends itself to a cool band cameo. You’d be wrong, though. There’s a scene where the lead characters go watch a gig. The band that are playing are The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. The Boston ska-punk legends are only on stage for a moment, but it’s a slick clip. It certainly brings the film up a level on the cool stakes.
7. Daft Punk – Tron: Legacy (2010)
This sequel to the original sci-fi classic is a cracking movie. The visuals and effects are stunning, as is the atmosphere of the film. The music to the film is also rather special. A futuristic and dystopian movie could only have one act doing the score, and that’s Daft Punk. It works a treat. The music is intertwined into the movie and becomes a part of it. The delicious electronica is the perfect complement to the visuals. The French electronic masters also have a cameo at the end of the movie. They’re spinning the decks in a blink-and-you-miss-it scene.
8. Aerosmith – Wayne’s World (1993)
We’ve already had an appearance from the first film further up our list, and the second doesn’t disappoint either. The plot revolves around Wayne and Garth putting on their own music festival. Book them and they will come, is the advice given. And they certainly did. The headline band for the festival were none other than Aerosmith themselves. They do a sterling effort on stage as performers. And Steven Tyler also shows that he can handle his own on the acting front too.
9. Reel Big Fish – BASEketball (1998)
Trey Parker and Matt Stone star in this bizarre and hilarious sports comedy. Written by the king of spoof David Zucker, it’s become a cult classic. The soundtrack heavily features ska-punkers Reel Big Fish. They do a brilliant rendition of A-HA’s Take on Me, which they also perform in the movie. The band are the entertainment at the stadium where Parker and Stone are competing. You can tell by the footage that the band are clearly enjoying themselves. They add a touch more fun to an already hugely funny film.
That’s our list of nine bands who played themselves in movies. Did we miss any of your favourites? Let us know in the comments below.
Check out our list of actors in bands HERE.
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