Ranger Ranker! #2 – Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers (Season Two)

The One Where They Get Desperate for Footage

I’m back! I never really went anywhere, but I managed to put together a second one of these while working on 4 different ones at once on top of all the things I’m actually supposed to be doing with my life. This is healthy behavior. Last time, we ranked Season 1 of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers as #11 and now we’re moving on to Season 2. I still am talking about this like I’m going to get through all of the nearly 30 seasons of this, so let’s jump right in!

Let’s Talk About Zyu-2

When we last left our plucky American studio, they had run out of Zyuranger footage, and had finished off Season 1 with a mix of original footage, recycled footage, and new “Zyu-2” footage that they had made in Japan and sent over to America special just for Power Rangers. This footage included new monsters, Zord fights, and Ranger fights, which were then edited into new American footage just as the original Zyuranger footage was. What this did mean though, was that the American production would get access to the monster suits to make original footage with, leading to more scenes of the monsters interacting with US-only characters and locations. Which is good because with such limited Zyu-2 footage, they really had to stretch some of the plots to fill time in the season while they were negotiating the rights to the next series that they would adapt, Gosei Sentai Dairanger. And oh boy, does that get even more interesting.

Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers

(Season Two)

Villainship ended with RITA. Now LORD ZEDD is my Worst Enemy. There’s a new villain in town, and he’s ready to get serious about destroying these puny power brats. Also the World Peace Summit is starting and it’s the perfect opportunity to get rid of Trini, Jason, and Zack, who wanted to be paid more money to be on this show. Maybe if they weren’t always talking from offscreen or going on deja vu scuba diving expeditions, they wouldn’t have gotten replaced? Tommy loses his powers for good but then a few episodes later, he gets new, cooler powers and a talking sword that seems really impractical. Also there are way more miniserieses. miniseries. multi-parters. They start making stories that don’t get resolved in 20 minutes. It’s wild. There are new Zords, new Rangers, and a new Villain who never even existed in Japan.

Adaptation

So there’s Zyu-2, with the Dino Megazords and the original suits and all. And then comes Gosei Sentai Dairanger, which introduces completely new Rangers, new suits, new Zords, the whole deal. “But wait!” you might say. “New suits? Aren’t there two more seasons using the original suits?” And indeed, there are. So Power Rangers throws out all the new footage with new suits. With one exception – the White Ranger is in the Japanese footage, and that’s pretty cool, so let’s edit just that one character into the series, which is why the White Ranger suit looks so different from all the other ones. But they also want to use the new Dairanger Zords, so they have to pull that footage in too, only there obviously isn’t any footage of the monster fighting the Rangers in the original suits. So they end up making a big ol’ Frankenstein mishmash of all the footage they have and new American footage, taking the White Ranger and the Thunderzords from Dairanger, while stretching the Zyu-2 footage that they have left to fill out the full season, with new footage filling the gaps. Meanwhile, three of the actors want more money, and end up getting fired and replaced by new Rangers, leaving a stretch of episodes where the characters are still around, but the actors have left the production, so the characters only appear as repurposed old footage, offscreen voices, from the back, and in silhouette. It all adds up to a beautiful disaster mashup of a season, and it is FANTASTIC.

No yeah, that’s totally them right there. Absolutely. No question.

Plot

There actually almost is one! At the very least, change happens over the course of the season, which is more than you can say for everyone except Tommy in Season 1. Lord Zedd shows up, launching Rita into space and taking over her operation, raising the stakes for the Rangers by introducing new Z-Putties and destroying the Dinozords. The Rangers respond by upgrading to the Thunder Zords, and taking on a new Ranger – the White Ranger. And that new Ranger is…. Tommy again! Isn’t Tommy cool, guys? Everyone loves Tommy, right? Let’s keep him around for 3 more seasons, it will be great.

There’s the first roster-change with three new Rangers replacing Jason, Trini, and Zack, and there is a progressive thread over the course of the season of Zedd almost using his giant warship Serpentera to destroy everything, but it keeps running out of power for various reasons. But the threat is there! And it turns out that Zedd is pretty bad at launching things into space, because Rita manages to come back and use a love potion on Zedd while he’s in his conveniently-timed centennial recharge, in order to make Zedd fall in love with and  marry her when he wakes up, nominally so that she can overthrow him and take over, but really she just ends up happily married,2 so I guess that just sort of happens. 

Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

Also everyone goes to Australia for a bit because they are shooting the Power Rangers movie therethey have been picked as foreign exchange speakers, whatever that means.

+25 pts

Music

The opening is essentially the same as Season 1, just without the opening voiceovers from Rita and Zordon, which…. honestly kind of a significant downgrade. The fight songs are back, including another Tommy song, White Ranger Tiger Power and those are pretty much the only four words in the song over and over and over. But there is a diagetic song in episode 11, The Song of Guitardo, where Kim has Zack help her write a song about how sad it is that Tommy is gonna lose his powers, for the couple episodes that that lasts, because who does not like acoustic guitar songs written by high-schoolers.

+37 pts

Fights

This is where the seams of the adaptation start to show: A noticeable number of the Zord battles too are cut oddly, with the monsters from the Zyu-2 footage never actually showing up onscreen at the same time as the Thunder Megazord from Dairanger. Instead you have a shot of the monster attacking, then a shot of the Megazord getting hit by the lasers or whatever, never actually interacting. This makes the Zord fights pretty same-y in a show where in Season One (when the fights were essentially as-is from the Japanese footage), they previously were much more dynamic and energetic.

The problem is reversed once the monster footage starts coming from Dairanger – while the Zord fights are able to be inserted more or less directly, the Ranger fights become choppy and disconnected since there isn’t any footage of the Rangers actually fighting the monsters, except for what they could make in America with the monster costumes or what they could repurpose from unrelated sequences. This is compounded by the fact that the White Ranger is from a separate series than the other Rangers, so many fights involve either he or the other Rangers getting separated or incapacitated in some way so that the appropriate footage can be used, or just creating new American footage wholesale.

+12 pts

Miscellany

Pretty much everyone was surprised at the success of Power Rangers. For some of the actors, this huge rise in popularity should lead to a commensurate rise in their pay. The showmakers, who already were very used to pretending that people under face-covering helmets are different people, this was not to be allowed. Walter Jones, Austin St. John, and Thuy Trang were thus unceremoniously fired from the show in the middle of the season, leading to a stretch of episodes where they only appear from the back, in silhouette, or offscreen, voiced by sound-alikes. This couldn’t be sustained forever, so new actors were cast, in the first of many roster changes throughout the series, both amicable and not.

Yup that’s definitely them. Why wouldn’t it be?

Austin St. John would return in later seasons as Jason, and Walter Jones would do some non-Zack voice work in a couple seasons. Thuy Trang, sadly, died in a car accident in 2001, making this her last appearance in the series.

Cumulative Score: 75 pts!

The Good Guys

When Jason, Trini, and Zack are invited to attend the World Peace Conference in Switzerland, three empty spots open up on the Ranger Roster. Fortunately, a trio of color-coordinated transfer students with attitudenoble hearts and cool martial arts skills has recently arrived, proving their worth by saving a baby when its stroller starts to roll down the longest hill in Angel Grove. Seriously, this stroller is rolling away for nearly 4 minutes while the entire cast chases it down on foot, rollerblade, or weird composite skateboard, while leaving Looney Tunes style mayhem in their wake.

The Rangers

Returning Rangers

Everyone go spread theories about how Kimberly is left-handed and that it foreshadows Lord Zedd trying to make her his evil bride. If anyone asks, I didn’t tell you this.
  • Jason Scott (Austin St. John) – Spends a lot of his time in the season being filmed from the back or as a voice from offscreen. This might qualify as an improvement.
  • Billy Cranston (David Yost) – Has actually grown to be confident and capable in this season. His fighting skills have noticeably developed, and his scientific mind becomes the key to finding weaknesses or inventions to disable the Monster of the Day.
  • Trini Kwan (Thuy Trang) – Can do no wrong.
  • Kimberly Hart (Amy Jo Johnson) – Goes to “Western Times” and meets everyone’s identical ancestors and also her identical ancestor is implied to be attracted to Tommy’s ancestor and this may not have been entirely thought through.
  • Zack Taylor (Walter Jones) – Likes jazz. Doesn’t get much to do.
  • Tommy Oliver (Jason David Frank) – Becomes even more Special than before, after everyone gets sad about him losing his powers AGAIN.
With cool unique chest armor again!

New Rangers

In the multiparter The Power Transfer, the powers of the Red, Yellow, and Black Rangers are transferred via lightning to three new teens. Originally students at nearby/rival high school, Stone Canyon High, Rocky, Aisha, and Adam all move to Angel Grove and transfer to Angel Grove High upon becoming Rangers, which is good because I hear that commute is terrible.

Rocky deSantos (Steve Cardenas)  

The Fun One. Not the leader. Most likely to grow a mullet.

  • Color: Red
  • Zord: Red Dragon Thunderzord
  • Signature Weapon: Power Sword
  • Strength: 13
  • Smarts: 2
  • Coolness factor: 0
Science!

Rocky is the new Red Ranger, replacing Jason and chosen for his… “strength and knowledge”? Even though Jason is nominally the “leader” of the team, Rocky ends up second to Tommy, who becomes the new de facto leader. He is energetic and impulsive, and of the three new Rangers, Rocky is most likely to end up in some sort of slapstick mishap.

Aisha Campbell (Karan Ashley)

The Intense One. Type A. Most likely to succeed and/or conquer.

  • Color: Yellow
  • Zord: Griffin Thunderzord
  • Signature Weapon: Power Daggers
  • Strength: 13
  • Smarts: 80
  • Coolness factor: 100
“Do Not Violate Fire Code”

Aisha replaces Trini as the Yellow Ranger. She is driven and athletic, but also extremely compassionate. She also is shown on occasion to have solid tech skills, helping Billy to create or repair gear to help the Rangers. Aisha is determined – when she is handed responsibility, she takes it seriously, sometimes to the detriment of those around her – if she is the school’s honorary fire marshall, she’s going to institute a full-on hierarchical regime of fire safety, with her at the top.

Adam Park (Johnny Yong Bosch)

The Sensitive One. Has concerns. Most likely to date a supervillain.

  • Color: Black
  • Zord: Lion Thunderzord
  • Signature Weapon: Power Axe
  • Strength: 20
  • Smarts: 75
  • Coolness factor: 125
He makes sad faces a lot

Adam replaces Zack as the Black Ranger in the roster, and in a lot of ways his character is entirely opposite from Zack’s. He often lacks confidence, and tends to be much more reserved in his reactions to things. Really, it’s Rocky who comes off as the “Zack” character, except without any of the charm. Adam is the most emotional of the Rangers, but still strong and collected when necessary, which is a really nice change from a more conventionally masculine character.

The Team

As far as the Rangers go, there aren’t a lot of changes. There are three new Rangers, but the roster change doesn’t have as large of an impact as the other main change – the aforementioned Tommy business. With Jason gone, Tommy falls into the leader position, shifting focus from Red to White. As a leader, Tommy is much more emotional and impulsive than Jason was, and on top of that, it brings his growing romance with Kimberly into the spotlight, giving us such grand romantic gestures as “buying a cursed children’s book” and “fighting a flying monkey with a sword for her honor”.

Ranger Ranker:

  1. Trini – She was the best in Season 1 and she remains the best for the part of this season that she is in. +2000 pts
  2. Kimberly – Kim starts getting a lot of focus in this season. This does kind of mean that she winds up kidnapped or in danger pretty often, because that’s the kind of plots that apply to a female Ranger. She stays cool under pressure though, and her focus episodes are some of the most memorable non-plot-related ones of the season. Also she does a great Rita impression +1880 pts
  3. Billy – Oh my god finally Billy actually gets to be a good character. He’s a fighter on the same level as his comrades now, and his inventiveness is applied more3 He even starts to get dialogue that isn’t unnecessarily crammed with technobabble. +1200 pts
  4. Tommy – After a whole rehash of the “Tommy is losing his powers” thing, followed by everyone being sad again, seeing him revealed as the White Ranger is a legitimately exciting moment. This changeup makes Tommy’s already cool uniqueness even more cool and unique, and I’m sure his stock will keep going up indefinitely. +1000 pts
  5. Adam – Adam is my dear sweet precious cinnamon roll. I really like his characterization as emotional and shy, but still strong and no less masculine than any other Ranger. Also this one time my spouse got Johnny Yong Bosch to sign a pie. +952 pts
  6. Aisha – Aisha is… fine. She’s fine. You get the feeling that she really really really loves being a superhero, and, you know, that’s fine. +784 pts
  7. Zack – He sure is in some of these episodes. +500 pts
  8. Jason – He sure is still a brick wall with a face. +2 pts
  9. Rocky – Oof. It probably doesn’t help that his first focus episode is “Rocky Just Wants to Have Fun” in which he says “I just want to have fun” a whole lot. While he is more interesting than Jason ever was, he’s interesting in all the ways that make me want to skip his episodes. +0 pts

Changing your cast, especially on short notice, is always going to be a bumpy transition. Where Jason, Zack, and Trini had pretty clear, broad character types, the new Rangers are more rounded. At the expense of straightforward character archetypes, they get to be more of a blank slate that gets filled in over the course of the season. They do seem to adapt quickly to basically being sucked into the vacuum left by the exiting Rangers, what with their sudden, convenient school transfer and everything. I really, really like this team. While the original team is iconic, this team is the one that feels definitive, setting up the pieces for the rest of this and the next couple seasons.

Overall Team Score: 1994 pts – They correct a lot of the issues with flat characters from the first season and start giving everyone something to do. And changing up half the cast gives them a chance to expand in some new directions as well.

Gear

For the most part, the Ranger gear stays the same as last season. There are a bunch of one-shot things, like the giant mirror shield or the magic ribbon or something that the Pink Ranger uses this one time. Notable new weapons are:

Power Cannon

A big team-up finish thing like the Power Blaster but hardcore, they summon this big ol’ cannon together and then they all get to put colored baseballs into the slot, which make it shoot out a bunch of colored fireballs that combine together and explode and win the battle and everyone goes home. While I like the combining feature of the Power Blaster, this does make more practical sense, allowing the “summoning stuff out of nowhere” conceit.

+256 pts

Sword of Light

Recovered from the *checks notes* Deserted City on the Deserted Planet? Some planet/city sure skipped Name Day. Anyway. *sigh* from the Deserted City on the Deserted Planet, this sword is used to transfer the Red, Yellow, and Black Ranger powers to the new Rangers. You would think that this would be thematically opposed to the Sword of Darkness that Rita used to control Evil Tommy, but… not so much, really. Insert your own fanon here.

+101 pts

Saba

Saba can even tell a joke while Tommy’s lips don’t move

Sorry Saba, you get relegated to the “gear” section. If you wanted to be a character, you should have gotten yourself limbs. This is Tommy’s talking sword4 as the White Ranger. When it talks, the little tiger mouth flaps, and it’s a little disconcerting honestly. Saba is integral to controlling the Tigerzord, but also can shoot lasers from its eyes. It’s also a sword, which raises some questions about the morality of using this intelligent being to wave around and cut things. Not to get too far ahead of myself, Saba will eventually end up in a display case with the White Ranger suit, presumably for the foreseeable future.

+638 pts

Zords

Thunderzords

When Lord Zedd takes power, one of the first things that he achieves is to defeat the Dinozords and Dragonzord, establishing his superiority with some very familiar footage of the Dinozords sinking into lava. So the Rangers do the only logical thing, which is to save the Dinozords and somehow transform them into other things that aren’t at all like dinosaurs. So via some kind of technology and/or magic, the Dinozords transform into the Thunderzords, morphing from “dinosaur” into mythical beasts every time they are summoned, then presumably turning into dinosaurs again when they go into storage.

Also most of the “mythical beasts” don’t get to have very many moving parts. But since the Red Ranger gets to be special for reasons, the Red Dragon Thunderzord also has a person-shaped mode, where it gets to spin a staff around and fly around on the backs of all the other zords.

Yes. the Blue Unicorn has less horns than the Yellow Griffin

Coolness of Mythical Being

  1. Red Dragon – So now we have an eastern dragon Zord and a western dragon Zord. That’s not a sign of any creative discontinuity. + 830 pts
  2. Firebird – Suck it, Pterodactyl, this Zord gets articulated wings. Also giant birds are inherently cool even before they can make laser tornadoes. +757 pts
  3. Griffin – This griffin looks suspiciously like a kirin… +157 pts
  4. Lion – Hey wait a second, that’s just a regular lion how did that get in here? +15 pts
  5. Unicorn – Ok but for real if it doesn’t really have a horn, it’s a nullicorn. Which I guess is a horse?5 +5 pts

Thunder Megazord

Main Weapon: Thunder Saber

Finishing Move: The Thunder Saber gets charged up by lightning, then a mountain appears behind the Megazord while it slashes the monster real good.

“By the power of watercolor!”

Total (group) score:+812 pts

White Tigerzord

Tommy ghost-riding the tiger. This guy does not know how to get into a Zord.

Since Tommy always has to have the coolest Zord, he gets the White Tigerzord, which apparently is controlled by a bunch of orbs, since that seems to be the only things in its cockpit. But then sometimes he just rides it? Saba also integrates with the Tigerzord by sticking into a blade-shaped slot, making his handle/body/head into a joystick possibly?

It also can turn into a person-shaped “Warrior Mode”, where it turns its tail into a sword and also can shoot fireballsthunderbolts6 from the mouth/chestpiece when Tommy drops an orb into an orb-hole.

“It’s fine, no one who watches this will ever learn kanji”

Coolness of Animal

Tigers are cool I guess. If we take the mythology theme into account, I guess it could be one of the Four Beasts (White Tiger, Blue Dragon, Red Phoenix, and Black Turtle) which is… fine. It’s fine.

Tiger Mode

Main Weapon: Sonic roar

Finishing move: N/A

Warrior Mode

Main Weapon: Tail sword

Finishing move: Tiger Thunderbolt

Score: +851

Tiger Megazord

Because Tommy is special, he gets to replace Jason/Rocky’s Red Dragon in the Megazord to form the Tiger Megazord with the other four Zords. Depending on episode, the Rangers will either form the Thunder Megazord or Tiger Megazord, which is then aided by the warrior-mode version of the other Zord hanging around and fighting alongside them.

Unlike most Megazords, the Tiger Megazord has a weapon that isn’t a sword – it wears the Firebird around its wrist to use its tail as a wristblade. It’s objectively three times better than a sword.

Main Weapon: Firebird Clawblade

Finishing move: The Tiger Megazord launches the Firebird, then lights it on fire with a Tiger Thunderbolt, then the Firebird flies through a rad laser grid and blows up the monster.

pew pew pew screeeeeeeeeee fwoosh

Score: +894 pts

Tor the Shuttlezord

Titanus is just gone for no particular reason, now replaced by Tor, who apparently was transformed from an ordinary turtle, if the stock footage on the Viewing Globe is meant to be accurate. It can turn into a warrior mode by standing up on its back legs and turning its turtle head around into a human(?) head, then facing itself so that its shell is a chestpiece or something?

Also it’s got a bunch of guns in either form.

Coolness of Animal

It’s a… turtle? I mean, I do like turtles. Turtles are good.

Score: +999 pts – ok but it is a really cute war machine

Mentors/Allies

Zordon

Just chillin’. Like you do.

Zordon spends an awful lot of this season doing stuff behind everyone’s backs just to stir up drama, like choosing Tommy as the White Ranger or selecting the three new Rangers without telling anybody. We also learn that he can be “de-ionized” by a “galactic imbalance caused by the linear alignment of the planets in [our] solar system.” Everyone write that down in your copy books.

+100 pts

Alpha 5

“This is why we don’t let you leave the Command Center”

Alpha gets a focus episode this season where decides to become the “Alpha Ranger” and he learns to play soccer and then a monster is mean to him and he almost self-destructs. That’s where we are this season. But on the other hand, he does get to be hacked by Finster and go maniacally power-mad in the Command Center, so that’s fun.

+0 pts

Random Citizens Lightning Round!

Harvey Garvey

He hosts a daytime talk show that has the Rangers come on as guests to teach kids about being cool and staying in school on behalf of the International Education Council. Then they leave right in the middle to save the day and I assume the rest of the show is just Harvey telling everyone about the time that he saw the Power Rangers while he was on his coffee break.

+100 pts

Ms. Applebee

Accurate depiction of an American high school teacher

Apparently she teaches pretty much every subject, which means she’s either a really good teacher or that Angel Grove High is woefully understaffed.

+48 pts

Identical Cowboy Ancestors

So this one time Kimberly goes back in time and meets everyone’s weirdly identical ancestors, and they are all friends and all their names are conveniently similar to the modern Rangers. There’s Rocko7, Abraham8, William9, Alicia10, and *sigh* the White Stranger11. Also Kimberly’s ancestor12 shows up at the very end to make flirty eyes at Tommy’s ancestor, which is….. probably best not to dwell on.

+1880 pts

The Bad

Bandora Rita’s Zedd’s Palace

Under New Management.

No Soliciting.

“And get someone to take down that stupid neon sign!”

The Big Bad: Lord Zedd – Emperor of Evil

“You there, boy! What day is it?”

Ok but Lord Zedd’s design is for real legitimately spoopy. Like, this skinless, metal-boned, open-brained fiend is just so creepy and visceral.13. Combined with the facemask and blood red visor, I really really like Zedd’s design. As a character, he keeps up the campy vibe established by Rita, but where Rita was petty, Zedd is angry and committed. He knows that Rita was a fool, he knows that he should be winning, he’s succeeded countless times before, and this is the planet that will stop him? Watching someone who wants something so so bad but never gets it is just a great time if you’re a misanthrope.

Score: +6666 pts

Henches

Lord Zedd basically keeps Rita’s crew around, so there’s not much change-up in the secondary villains in this season. None of them really managed to do anything useful in the first season, and Zedd cuts them out of his plans significantly, which is probably a good idea on his part since they are all idiots.

Goldar

*try not to cry*
*cry a lot*

Long resentful of being under Rita’s thumb, Goldar is quick to change allegiances once Lord Zedd shows up to take over. As a reward, Zedd restores his wings, which apparently was a thing that he was missing until now. This shift of loyalty doesn’t exactly go great for him, considering his abject failure to best the Rangers at any point. He particularly goes up against Tommy often, so that Tommy has something to do while the rest of the Rangers go off doing things in footage that he is absent from. And then once Rita does come back. He kind of just mopes around and despairs about the marriage. I enjoy his suffering

+1706 pts.

Those Other Guys

“Hooray, they let us out of our crate!”

Finster basically disappears until Rita comes back late in the season, but Squatt and Babboo are kind of just… around? They spend most of the season looking through windows or something like they’re hiding, but not for any stated reason, just because I’m pretty sure Zedd hates them.

+0 pts

Scorpina

She shows up exactly one time and tries to seduce Adam while disguised as an ordinary human. Which is successful, but it doesn’t lead to much because there’s a real quick turnaround from “seduce” to “sudden yet inevitable betrayal.” Scorpina works fast. Scorpina also knows when to get the heck out of a sinking ship. Moon palace. Sinking moon palace. She disappears and leaves these chumps to their continual failure.

+1080 pts

Fodder

Z Putties

Actual dialogue: “Aim for the Z!”

They’re like normal Putties from last season only none of them have gross club/sword hands and they are undefeatable unless you happen to punch the giant Z on their chests at which point they explode into a bunch of blobs and limbs. A bunch of kids could stop them. And they do, when all the Rangers are turned into kids. Look Zedd, I know branding is everything, but maybe don’t make your logo also be the self-destruct button. Also since they are all American footage, they start having them do weird idiosyncratic dancing or whatever and I do not care for that at all.

Why must they dance?

+0 pts

Monsters

Where Rita would have Finster create bespoke monsters for her, Zedd is more hands-on and tends to create monsters out of things that are already on Earth. He is no less petty, though, and will often choose some item that’s meaningful to one of the Rangers to monsterize, because he’s a villain, but he’s still got some taste. Many of the monsters this season have a distinct Japanese feel to them, especially relative to the Western-mythology-based monsters of last time. As a kid, this didn’t really mean anything to me, but rewatching it now explains so much.

+2463 pts

Monsters that are Good (According to Me)

Lipsyncher

I am always a fan of good shoulder accessories. Who wouldn’t want giant lipstick pauldrons? And then her sword is shaped like lips because this is a monster who commits to her bit.

Beamcaster

The best monsters are the ones that are two things, and that is exactly what Beamcaster is. He’s an old-timey microphone, but also a samurai? That is gold. Plus he mind controls everyone so they all go around like stiff-armed zombies, and he also has a variety of novelty bombs.

Flame Head & Horse

This monster gets a horse! Like, it’s created from a stove or something, but then a horse just shows up? A regular horse, not any kind of demon horse or monster horse. And then the horse just goes away at some point, so somewhere around Angel Grove lurks an evil horse, waiting to strike.

Wizard of Deception

Unlike most of the monsters, the Wizard of Deception is an independent rogue agent. This Phantom of Spirit Halloween Jack-o-Lantern-looking weirdo is summoned by the Ghost of Darkness, and apparently is an ancient foe of Zordon himself. He has powerful magic, including cloning an Evil Tommy from a lock of Good Tommy’s hair, sending everyone back to colonial times, and creating:

Monsters that are Bad (Objectively)

Colonial Rat Monsters

Oh. Oh geez. Oh boy. Um. They are rats. They’re made from rats. In Colonial Times? You know, maybe I was wrong about the Wizard of Deception after all.

What About Bulk and Skull?

frens 4 evur

Our boys are growing up! While they still do engage in prankery, they’ve found a greater purpose in life, one that involves slightly less slapstick and is significantly more admirable. After being saved from Z-Putties by the Rangers, they determine that the only way to prove that they had seen the Rangers is to DISCOVER THEIR TRUE IDENTITIES, which is the only logical conclusion.

Masters of espionage

They proceed to make many hare-brained schemes to trick, trap, or spy on the Rangers to find out who they are. They are, in fact, successful on one notable occasion – when the Scatterbrain monster erases the Rangers’ memories, they are demorphed in front of Bulk and Skull. Seeing this, Bulk and Skull face down the monster themselves, refracting its memory ray through a prism, at the cost of their own memories of the incident. So basically Bulk and Skull are the real heroes of Power Rangers, thank you for coming to my TED Talk.

Okay I get it, cue card lady.

THE FINAL SCORE

We now begin the completely transparent scoring system, where I give a value (in Pts) to each of the major elements, and I also get to decide what those are. And also how much they have accrued in Bonus Points(pts) up to now.

  • The Team:  220 Pts 
    • Individual: 200 tPts Everyone is getting into their groove and also we get rid of Jason! Granted, it’s for Rocky, but I’m still calling it a positive
    • Together:  222 tPts This team is the one featured in The Movie, so it has that air of legitimacy. The whole squad just feels so cozy. It feels like home.
    • Leader: 2 tPts Improvement happened!
  • The Zords:  Pts
    • Individual: 45 zPts Half of them are cool and have actual articulation, and then half of them are kind of just animal-shaped cars with moving necks.
    • Megazords: 150 zPts I really like the Tiger Megazord, but the Thunder Megazord doesn’t do it for me. This definitely isn’t just because the Tiger Megazord was better in the SNES fighting game.
  • The Villains: 166 Pts
    • Leader: 200 vPts Good ol’ fleshbones
    • Henchmen: 50 vPts Everyone kind of just gets tossed in the back storage.
    • Fodder: 0 vPts They get beat by kids with dodgeballs.
  • The Monsters: 89 Pts They have the BLANK but a Monster theme that I loved so much before, only arguably moreso
  • Story: 60 Pts Things started happening! Mostly so that they could stretch the available footage, but HAPPENING!
Sudden Dramatic Points Right At The End

200 Pts

I complain, but the amount of sheer craft in shuffling to merge American footage with the multiple Japanese sources really is impressive. This season wasn’t supposed to happen and they managed to pull it off gracefully anyway.

After converting the base score(Pts) and bonuses(pts) into Power Points (PPs), totalling all the scores for each section and normalizing the results according to the secret formulae that definitely exist and are not a screen to get me out of having to think about scores ever at all:

Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers Season 2: 12,198 Power Points (PPs)

Let’s see the rankings!

Power Rangers Seasons, Ranked

  1. Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers Season 214
  2. Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers Season 115

Season 1 unseated after a single contender! Who could have seen this coming?16 The first season is foundational, but in Season 2, they are figuring out what they can do with the format.

To see how it goes when we try to stretch the Zyuranger costumes for a whole ‘nother season, join me next time on Ranger Ranker!, where I cover The One That Makes the Movie Non-Canon!