Tuesday, September 10, 2013

20th Anniversary Power Rangers All-Star Team

So a few weeks back, I was watching the latest installment of Linkara's "History of Power Rangers" on That Guy With The Glasses. His thoughts on the series up through Mystic Force have been really interesting to follow and although I disagree with him on Power Rangers Wild Force, he backs his opinions well.

Someone should have told Tommy it was Red Ranger day.
The next season he'll have to write on is Power Rangers: Operation Overdrive (occasionally dubbed Overkill for its just awful existence), and one episode in particular that will probably be noted is "Once A Ranger," a two-parter where the Morphing Grid is damaged and a team of all-star rangers from the past has to come in and help.

While I love the concept, it kind of falls over on itself. When they say 'Power Ranger all-star team,' what they actually meant was 'Disney Power Ranger all-star team with an MMPR added for credibility.'

Seriously, they go with Adam in the old Mastodon Black Ranger suit, and then a representative from Ninja Storm, Dino Thunder, S.P.D. and Mystic Force. If they could have gotten away with using a Wild Force representative over Adam, they totally would have.

It was a nice effort, but one that Disney squandered in order to try to push their own seasons over the original Haim Saban work. And since seeing this, I have sometimes though about who I would put on an all-star team of Power Rangers.

It seems to be particularly well-timed since the 20th anniversary of the Power Rangers is this year. And given that the source material for this season crossed over with previous Sentai seasons, we're getting old rangers this year!

That's what I'm listing today. I do have a few rules for how I'm going about this. One is that I'm only letting characters compete for colored suits they've already worn in their series. None of this "Oh, Bridge got promoted to Red Ranger, so..." crap.

Second, the character is primarily judged by what they did while wearing the color up for grabs. Third, the Nickelodeon seasons are too new, and therefore will not be competing just yet. Finally, I am NOT allowing multiple representatives per season. There are more than a dozen ranger teams and see no reason to have repeat members.

Let's knock out the obvious one now:

Tommy Oliver

Who OK'ed the silver trim on the Dragon Suit?
While I don't agree with the basic oversimplification that Tommy is the best ranger EVER, I do agree that the sheer number of seasons he's been on makes him the most battle-tested and his character the most developed.

Any list not utilizing Tommy is severely flawed, but the question remains as to which ranger he should go in under. You could argue he should be in his Black Ranger suit from Dino Thunder because it's when he was most recently seen, but he also kind of accomplished the least personally, so it's hard to buy this as his best effort.

I could definitely understand him taking the leadership role as Red Ranger, but his time in Turbo sucked, and while his time as Red Zeo Ranger was his most powerful and most successful, it's probably the role he's remembered for the least, and given that his whole character has existed for Power Rangers marketability, that just doesn't feel right.

Besides, he wasn't all THAT great of a Red Ranger and the one I go with, I feel, deserves it even more than Tommy does. So that leaves us the Green Ranger and White Ranger. I'm going with Green Ranger Tommy because I see him at his most lethal in that role.

Don't believe me? Watch the special in Season 2 where Green Ranger/Dragonzord kick White Ranger/Tigerzord's ass. It's the ranger that got a lot of people in and it feels only right to have the Dragon Ranger on an all-star team.

That said, having him as Green limits my options in a way White wouldn't, so I'll give my picks in both situations.

Moving on.

Red Ranger

The roles of Red and Blue Ranger are two of the toughest to fill because a lot of really legit rangers have taken on these two roles. Red, Blue and Yellow have been in every season, but while yellow has occasionally taken a back seat to Pink Rangers, red and blue generally get great character development and are given plenty of chances to shine.

Most would assume I'd be upset that Tommy's selection eliminated Jason and Rocky, but honestly, Rocky failed A LOT in the role and while Jason was solid, he never won with the stakes at their absolute highest because he left as quickly as he did.

Carter Grayson would be a great pick from Lightspeed Rescue by sheer virtue of his desire to shoot crap, but in the end, he ended up taking a back seat to the man who should be, by all accounts, THE standard of success as a Red Ranger: Andros, from Power Rangers in Space.

What? You don't think so? Look at his record. He was single-handedly fighting the United Alliance of Evil before the rest of his team came along. Although he initially struggled in a team environment, he adjusted quickly. And most importantly, he destroyed every villain of the first six seasons in one fell swoop.

His backstory involving his sister is tremendously relatable and helped develop his internal fortitude. I wouldn't have any other ranger leading if I had to pick one.

Blue Ranger

Much like the Red Ranger, this is a hell of a competition. Disney had used Tori from Ninja Storm, and honestly, it's not a terrible call. She was really good in the role and could easily be a top 3 candidate.

However, as much as I like Tori in the role, there was no Blue Ranger done better than Sky Tate in Power Rangers S.P.D.

Sky was around in a season where the suits were actually numbered, implying that Red was the leader, Blue was 2nd-in-command, etc. He was also in a season where he was on the B-Squad of rangers, only seeing notable time when the A-Squad goes missing early in the series.

When Sky gets passed over for the leader's role, he has to deal with a second-place concept on multiple fronts while learning to correct the arrogant behavioral flaws that cost him the role in the first place.

By the end of the season, Sky has the leader's mentality but is humble enough to know that leader or not, it's still a team. He can fill any role by the end of the series and is by far one of the most competent fighters and strategists in the franchise.

I don't think there's much contest here, but hey, I could totally be wrong and I wouldn't be surprised if a debate started up here. I would understand if people did think Tori was the best, so consider her the understudy if you'd like.

3rd Color Male Ranger (Black/Green/etc.)

Here's where going with Tommy as Green Ranger opened up a slight logistical problem for this spot. Adam Park was originally going to be my obvious selection, but I wanted him in his Zeo Ranger IV Green suit. That can't happen with one Green Ranger in place. (So Adam only works with White Ranger Tommy.)

Adam is one of the true veterans of the show and his battle experience is invaluable, but alas, I need to find myself a third male ranger that isn't green for the Dragon Tommy team.

I could use Adam in the Black Ranger MMPR suit, but while the networks seem content to pretend the whole "Black Ranger is a black guy" thing never happened and just keep Adam in the role, I still consider Zack the true MMPR Mastodon Ranger.

But Zack is not all-star caliber, so I'm left with a pretty weak set of Black Rangers. So I'm expanding to every third color male ranger to fill this last role. (Note: This only includes teams where multiple rangers were added. Sixth Rangers do not count.)

And after looking long and hard, I've found who I think is the clear pick: Trent Fernandez, the White Ranger of Dino Thunder.

Trent had tremendous development into the kind of self-sacrificing hero you'd want in a ranger, and that's because - like Tommy - he started evil and now has a better understanding of the opposing mindset. He also knows that most villains have a motivation for their actions and that the ones who have more depth than simple Machiavellian conquest can be reasoned with.

In either Adam's or Trent's case, I think it's a solid pickup.

Yellow Ranger

The logistical issues of the Dragon Ranger team will continue the rest of the way, sadly.

Without a single doubt in my mind, the best Yellow Ranger in PR history is Kira Ford of Dino Thunder. She had a Sonic Scream civilian power that made her as dangerous as DC Comics' Black Canary, and she helped take out one of the series' most lethal villains: Mesagog.

However, I just used a Dino Thunder ranger for the Dragon team, so she is limited to Tiger team. So who can I use for the other unit?

I'm going to have to go with Katie Walker, from Power Rangers Time Force. Time Force was one of the better-written seasons in hindsight, and I'm glad I went back and checked out some episodes, as it had some of the best female characters in the franchise.

Walker isn't anywhere near as good as Kira, but she showed excellent fighting prowess over the course of her season. Admittedly, though, she's the weakest pick on my entire list, as all the best yellow rangers came from seasons already burned.

Screwed by the rules. Sorry!
Ashley from Power Rangers in Space is the only yellow ranger to compare to Kira, but her season was burned and I don't consider her time in Turbo to be worth the selection. Likewise, Trini and Aisha from the original would be considered, but their series was burned already.

Katie Walker, as such, is my fifth choice, and once Mia from Power Rangers Samurai can be considered, she'll fall to sixth. But she's still solid enough to warrant being on this team.

Pink Ranger

Lastly, we come to the Pink Ranger competition. Yes, I know everyone on Earth will only think of Kimberly Hart in this role, but her season's been used, so get over it!

Besides, easily the best ranger in this contest is the one who effectively led her team due to an inexperienced, not-that-incredible Red Ranger, and that is Jennifer 'Jen' Scotts, from Time Force.

If any Pink Ranger has done more in her time on a team, I don't know who. Jen was competent to a level no Pink Ranger has really ever been before or after. And she will easily join the Tiger team.

... THAT... SAID... I've burned a Time Force ranger already and I am NOT going any farther down the line with Yellow Rangers. Thankfully, one season provided the Dragon team with not one, but two legitimate choices: Power Rangers Lost Galaxy.

Both Kendrix Morgan and Karone could easily go into this role. Kendrix is the most intelligent of all the former Pink Rangers, and Karone provides a depth into evil even greater than Trent because she wasn't just evil for a time, she was the Best. Villain. In. The. Series.

As Astronema, she was the only person to ever conquer the entire universe. If anyone gets the evil mindset better, they aren't in this franchise.
Honorable Mention, Kendrix

I really feel like I should go with Kendrix considering she held the role longer and proved to be the most noble of all rangers, being the only one to ever sacrifice herself. (Don't worry. She somehow comes back.) But Karone not only defeated the main villains of the series and not only proved to be nearly as competent as Kendrix, but her intel is just too tempting to pass up. It's a tough call, but Dragon Team gets Karone.

Final Teams

Dragon Team:
Tommy Oliver, Green, MMPR
Andros, Red, In Space
Sky Tate, Blue, S.P.D.
Trent Fernandez, White, Dino Thunder
Katie Walker, Yellow, Time Force
Karone, Pink, Lost Galaxy

Tiger Team:
Tommy Oliver, White, MMPR
Andros, Red, In Space
Sky Tate, Blue, S.P.D.
Adam Park, Green, Zeo
Kira Ford, Yellow, Dino Thunder
Jen Scotts, Pink, Time Force

A legacy that will never be forgotten by generations.
I think one thing you can probably tell from this list is which series I hold in the highest regard. And that's not to say that there aren't other good ones; heck, Lightspeed Rescue, Ninja Storm, and (soon) the two Samurai seasons are definitely worth watching.

But the seven series who got on one of these teams provided some of the best characters in Power Rangers history, as well as the best villains. They're the reasons I love the franchise and will be watching this year's Megaforce season.

Let me hear your opinions. Which of these teams is better? Who would make your team? Leave them in the comments below, on my Twitter @seantherebel or at my Facebook, www.facebook.com/SeanNetworkBlogs.


  1. no me Whittany Kilburn and Brittany Doun and Tiffany Do the mean princesses are not gonna be your friends jen and Katelyn Walker. forget it! were out! so see you bimbos later! from,whittany

  2. no me Whittany Kilburn and Brittany Doun and Tiffany Do the mean princesses are not gonna be your friends jen and Katelyn Walker. forget it! were out! so see you bimbos later! from,whittany