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.
Jungle Cruise – Review
Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt swing in with force in Disney’s new Jungle Cruise. And while the movie has fun callbacks to the Disney Park ride and a clever plot, if this movie is trying to be the next Pirates of the Caribbean, it falls short. Here’s our review of Jungle Cruise.
SPOILERS: Warning there are spoilers ahead.
To be honest, I was expecting a much less creative plot from this movie. Following suit with typical adventure movies, I was expecting this film to be a less-funny version of the Jumanji reboot. But the plot has an unexpected emotional centre and a clever twist. And while the film suffers from CGI villain goopiness, it gives the CGI villains actual heart and motivations.
The film centres on Lilly (Emily Blunt), a botanist in search of a healing petal. The petal is said to be able to cure any illness and resides deep in the Amazon Rainforest. She is accompanied by her little brother, McGregor (Jack Whitehall) and their hired skipper, Frank (Dwayne Johnson).
But a curse resides around the petal. Spanish conquistador Aguirre (Edgar Ramirez) and his crew went in search of the petal four hundred years ago. The petal can only be found with an arrowhead sacred to the Umbala or Headhunter tribe of the region. When Aguirre and his crew are on the brink of death, the Umbala tribe saves them. But Aguirre betrays them to get his hands on the arrowhead, and the chief of the Umbala tribe curses Aguirre and his party. They can never stray from the river, or the rainforest will take them. For four hundred years, they’ve lain dormant, having strayed too far from the banks of the river. They cannot die.
Now the arrowhead rests with a sexist scientific community. Lilly steals the arrowhead, just before it was set to be sold to Prince Joachim (Jesse Plemons). Joachim works for the German government during the height of World War One. He believes that the petal will not only bring victory to Germany, but will make him a world ruler. (How he thinks it will do that is unclear).
As Lilly, McGregor, and Frank make their way down the Amazon in search of the Petal, Joachim follows and occasionally attacks them in his submarine. Deciding he needs more help, he wakes up Aguirre, now a monster of the Amazon, and his crew. Aguirre, who is now made out of snakes, and his two colleagues, one of which is made out of honey and bees and the other mud and tee frogs, are sent on Lilly’s trail.
What happens next is the usual adventure. White water rapids, a run-in with the Umbala tribe (who become allies), submarine fights, swinging on jungle vines; you name it.
But after a run-in with Aguirre, Lilly learns the truth about Frank. In a plot twist I absolutely did not see coming, it turns out that Frank is actually Francisco, Aguirre’s cartographer. We learn that Aguirre was not looking for the petal for glory or gold, but to save his deeply ill daughter. Aguirre and Francisco grew up together, and they were willing to do anything to save his daughter. But when Aguirre betrays the Umbala tribe, Francisco tries to stop Aguirre. Francisco was also cursed to be unable to leave the riverbank, but Aguirre kept returning to fight and defeat (stab) Francisco.
Tired of constantly getting stabbed, Francisco traps Aguirre in a cave. Letting the Amazon have him and turn him into the monster he is today. Francisco then built a town on the river banks, built a boat in search of the petal, gave up, and now runs river cruises.
While the plot is very complicated, it’s easy enough to follow while watching the film. I will say that the motivations of Joachim are a little hard to follow. But the plot twist with Frank was very clever. It gives a CGI-heavy Aguirre a human heart. Now all he wants to do is break the curse and be allowed to die. To do so he needs a petal. The plot in and of itself was much more clever than I expected.
Characters and performances
One character that pleasantly surprised me was McGregor. At first, I thought he was merely queer-coded. He definitely fell into some gay stereotypes, but I thought that was all it was going to be. A guy who was subtly a little queer. But, when Frank asks him why follows Lilly, even through a jungle, he gives a surprisingly candid answer. He explains to Frank that he is gay and that Lilly is the only one who supports him.
When the world turned his back on him, she stood with him, and for that, he would “follow her into a volcano.” This is the first time I can remember that a Disney character was very, clearly openly gay. Disney has had about a dozen “first gay characters,” but all of them have been off to the side. None of them has stated their sexuality or been open about it. McGregor not only states it outright but is not ashamed of it and it is not his only character trait. He becomes brave and capable and is a good friend to both Frank and Lilly. It was really surprising to see good representation from Disney in this film.
Emily Blunt also gives a wonderful performance (as she always does). She’s headstrong and stubborn, but kind. The sexism was a little on the nose, with a tired bit about how she wears pants, but she was delightful.
And Dwayne Johnson was… okay. He plays the exact same character in every movie he’s in. And while his performance was good in this movie, I can’t help but think that another actor could have done better. He and Emily Blunt have a romance in this movie, but they have absolutely no chemistry. It was hard to believe their romance. I think another actor could have added a little more to Frank’s character. Frank is an interesting character, and another actor could have done more with him. This movie might have been better without Dwayne Johnson.
This movie also might have been better without Joachim. His motivations were really hard to follow. At the end of the day, he was just another stereotype of a German general who only complicated the plot.
It feels as though Jungle Cruise might be Disney’s attempt to re-make the magic of Pirates of the Caribbean. But I can’t see this film becoming a franchise. The first Pirates movie is masterful, with amazing rewatchability. But Jungle Cruise, while fun, is forgettable. It’s not a movie I see myself rewatching anytime soon. If this is an attempt to create a new franchise for Disney; it falls short. But, the film was fun to watch and was a good movie theatre experience.
CULTURE CROSSING SCORE 5/10
Thank you for reading our review of Jungle Cruise. Do you agree or disagree with our points or have anything to add? If so, leave us a comment below.
Read our review of Emily Blunt in A Quiet Place Part Two HERE.
Read IMDB information about Jungle Cruise HERE.
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