The 5 Best and 5 Worst Power Ranger Characters

By Felix Vasquez Jr. in Daily Lists, TV
Thursday, August 19, 2010 at 8:00 am
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Oh, the '90s. For an entire generation, the most important moment of the entire decade was when they first heard the words "It's Morphin' Time!" on Fox Kids. Sure, Power Rangers exposed kids to thinly veiled racism, xenophobia, racial stereotypes, sexism, and plagiarism, but it was all set to the tune of a hard rock theme and ass-kickery by color-coded superheroes with big helmets and giant dinosaur robots to do their bidding. Kids really didn't have much of a choice in not liking it.

Although that initial generation grew up, the Power Rangers continued for 16 years and countless series (it even survived its own cancellation last year, when original rights holder Haim Saban bought the franchise back, planning to release a new Power Rangers series next year). That's a helluva lot of Zord pilots, to say nothing of the other characters that appeared to help, harm, or just hassle the Rangers. And yet, Topless Robot went ahead and tried to figure out the 5 best -- and the 5 worst -- PR characters to ever grace the screen, Some of it may surprise you, some of it won't really, while the rest of it will really just make you remember that the girl in Power Rangers: Lightspeed Rescue was later seen milking the prostate of Joey Kern in Cabin Fever.

THE WORST:

5) Ninjor, Mighty Morphin'
It's tough to really describe how utterly obnoxious and irritating this once prominent Power Ranger ally is, but he makes ninjas seem dorky. And this is from a generation who watched American Ninja and Surf Ninjas. An apparent product of the Power Rangers movie, Ninjor made his debut shortly after the Power Rangers stopped being dinosaurs and instead became mystical ninjas who could summon a new breed of dinosaurs and spiritual animals. With a wholly irritating dubbed on voice, and goofy costume featuring eighties style shoulder pads, Ninjor could fight with the rangers, become gigantic like their enemies, and also turned into a robot at the same time. Characters with a noticeable lack of limitations like Ninjor really have to be seen to be believed. Mercifully, Ninjor faded away into obscurity.

4) Zack the Black Mastodon Ranger, Mighty Morphin'
Obviously, the first of the Power Rangers series derived from Super Sentai that featured the unfortunate quintessential racial stereotypes including an Asian character donning the Yellow costume, and Zack, the Black Ranger, who was also an African-American who spoke slang, wore hip clothing, and even had a very lame martial arts that combined hip hop dancing and kung fu. Even as a kid who favored the Black Ranger greatly, I always found it impossible to believe kids signed up to join his class and learn such an absurd art form. He also sported the lamer of the character arcs with a dinosaur no one really cared about that did nothing but spout steam from its trunk; later he mostly became a second banana who helped our Caucasian heroes reach their goals in many episodes and was woefully forgotten. Poor Zack.

3) Alpha, Mighty Morphin', Zeo and Turbo
Quite possibly the worst aspect of the entire mythos. But not by choice since he was migrated from Super Sentai and transformed into an erratic, spastic, and sexually ambiguous robot assistant who'd always freak out every time there was an emergency which was pointless considering he always knew what to do in tight situations. Basically he was just C-3PO except much more flamboyant and prone to bitch fits that kept him one-inch away from being royally suplexed by Jason. Later on his voice changed into a tougher Jersey accent with a penchant for being a smart aleck. He was thankfully written out of the series many spin offs later to return briefly in Operation Overdrive after being stored in a giant crate for many years. Ayayay!

2) Sensei, Ninja Storm
Clearly, Clearly a take on Master Splinter from TMNT and Yoda, Sensei was an awful part of the incredibly terrible Ninja Storm, who was nothing more than a badly computer animated hamster (!), that trotted around in Samurai garb and harped poetic to his young rangers stuck forever in his animal form. Seriously, just squash the motherfucker or sick a cat on him and the rangers are yours to conquer without much of a fight to be had. Sensei did almost nothing for the series and even then when he commanded these quick powerful rangers, you could almost sense they were all laughing at his poop pellets behind closed doors. He'd later be returned to his original human form as an even bigger Asian stereotype, and went down in history as a truly uncreative part of the entire franchise.

1) Justin the Blue Turbo Ranger, Turbo
He originally started off as an obnoxious supporting character in the Power Rangers movie who somehow managed to aid in defeating Ivan Ooze by... washing the slime off of suicidal adults under mind control, and then became that classic jumping the shark device: The little rambunctious kid in an all adult cast who added some charisma the adults were now missing. And oddly enough he was also a child who volunteered to take on dangerous intergalactic villains (child endangerment), operated heavy machinery (child labor), and whenever he turned into the Blue Ranger, he became the size... of a man? Why is that, exactly? Is it all the Turbo growth hormones? Or is it just a cheap excuse to squeeze in a little kid to a series on its last legs? Yes. But it's tough to take the blue ranger seriously when you hear a high-pitched voice behind the helmet.

The best is yet to come, because it's on the next page.

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