Well, there certainly was a lot of talk about Power Rangers at my work today. Mostly by me, I will admit, but talk nonetheless. It started with me wearing My Power Rangers shirt and ended with watching the movie on Netflix with my cousin’s son. I guess technically it ended with this blog.
Anyway, there have been a lot of Power Rangers incarnations over the years. The first one is still the best–the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. They were the Beatles of superheroes. People swarmed them at press events and conventions. You know when people can’t differentiate TV from reality? The actors from the characters? I think MMPR was every kid’s first taste of that.
The summer before last, I was privileged enough to attend a panel at the Anime Iowa convention where the voice of Lord Zedd was speaking. (Zedd was arguably the greatest Ranger villain.) None of my fellow con-attenders were interested in attending the event, but I learned a lot.
For example, most of the fighting/monster stuff was from an 80s show that never took off. They only had so much footage, so they just kept looping it with new voiceover. Eventually, MMPR got so big, the producers knew they needed more so they tracked down the actress who played the Rangers’ first villain–Rita Repulsa–to record some new material. But she was so big time that she said forget it. Thus, the reason Rita Repulsa suddenly changed (and why her lips started matching the dialogue.)
Yeah. I paid attention to every word Lord Zedd said at that convention–while never losing sight that I was in the same room with my greatest nemesis. I mean, the Power Rangers’ greatest nemesis.
At the end of the day, Power Rangers will always have a special place in my heart. It was one of the last greatest things that I was really really excited about. Nothing has been able to duplicate that rush. I knew I was too old to go see the second movie in theaters–which is probably why I saw it alone while my dad was in the theater next door watching a horror flick.
I’ll never forget battling on the playground, morphing back and forth while trying to land roundhouse kicks. Usually in secret, as ninja moves were frowned upon by the faculty. If you were lucky–and I mean REALLY lucky–there was the perfect number of people to recreate the MMPR lineup. Occasionally you didn’t even have to fight over which Ranger you wanted to be.
My homage is nearly complete. I leave you with the Top 5 Ultimate Rangers and the Top 5 Ultimate Zords.
Top 5 Ultimate Rangers:
5) Phantom Ranger
WHY: Duh. Look at him. He looks like a badass robot. On top of his heavy artillery and powers of invisibility, the Phantom Ranger’s identity was never revealed. A first in the PR universe.
4) Silver Ranger
WHY: Alright, admittedly he’s a little ‘plain clothes’ for a special edition Ranger–and his alter ego looks like a knockoff Brad Pitt–but Zhane had the ability of telekinesis (i.e. – cool). He also was afflicted with a disability in that he could only stay morphed for a short time before having to be recharged by a zap from a lightning bolt. Are you kidding me?! Now that’s BA. Also, he piloted the Mega Winger and I really fucking wanted that toy.
3) Gold Ranger
WHY: All that glitters, bitches. Trey of Triforia was the name on everyone’s lips in middle school. Cool symbol, cool costume, cool ability to triplicate himself. Not to mention that he gave his powers to Jason, allowing for the first Red Ranger to be resurrected.
2) Green Ranger
WHY: Oh shit. You didn’t see this one coming, did you? Well, you should have. When all the other rangers had dinosaur powers, the Green Ranger had DRAGON power. Also, a dagger. Also, a gold body plate that was virtually indestructible and could be loaned out to his fellow rangers in a pinch. Plus, Tommy is the greatest Ranger. Everybody knows it.
1) White Ranger
WHY: Didn’t I tell you Tommy was the best? That’s why it was so devastating when he lost his Green Ranger powers. And so amazing that he returned as the White Ranger. In retrospect, everyone should’ve seen it coming that he would return. Yet somehow, the genius producers managed to drag the mystery out for like 5 episodes. I can remember that week. My friends and I were literally discussing who it would turn out to be. Though the revelation was very much a ‘duh’ moment, nobody was disappointed. Tommy was back with an even cooler–and talking!–dagger.
Well, methinks I will let this simmer and save my Ultimate Zords list for the next post. The very first cliffhanger in the history of my blog! Part of me wishes it wasn’t Power Rangers-related, but the other part of me is too busy researching Zords in order to make a more informed decision.