Power Rangers has reached a milestone that many shows can only dream of. Twenty years on television. That’s a lot! And with this epic milestone comes easily the most nostalgic season of Power Rangers ever in Super Megaforce, where every Ranger (at least in costume) will return for an epic battle against evil.
To celebrate, I, Todd Black, a guy who HAPPILY admits to have watched every season of Power Rangers, will be bringing a bunch of epic Power Rangers features to you, the PR faithful. All leading up to the big countdown of the Power Rangers series, from worst to best.
So where do we start? Well in the recent episodes of Power Rangers we were introduced to the newest sixth Ranger, Orion. His entrance was epic, and his character is full of potential. After watching both parts of Silver Lining it became perfectly clear that we needed to do a tribute to the best sixth Rangers of all time.
Why them? Because for the longest time, the sixth Ranger was something you always looked forward to. The sixth Ranger was someone who brought a new dynamic to the team, for better or for worse. They weren’t always good, and they weren’t always evil, some even straddled the line, yet they were always a force to be reckoned with. Some you could see coming, others came out of nowhere, that’s what made them so epic.
Note: This is my personal list of best 6th Rangers. This is not a ranking, mainly because not every season had a true sixth Ranger, and that would be unfair to rank them given that fact. Dino Thunder for example had five. Jungle Fury had eight (three came at once). RPM had seven (two came at once). So some of them (regardless of how epic the added Rangers were) didn’t make the list. They may appear on other lists I do, but here, this is for the best 6th man on the team! Let’s morph it up!
Jason, Gold Ranger, Zeo
You might be surprised that I’m starting with Jason, who was the Red Ranger in MMPR. Yet, if you really think about it, he’s the best to start with. Why? Well, off screen, him and two of his fellow originals (Zach and Trini) left the show, seemingly never to return.
So imagine our shock, when Jason came back. The writers did a good job of dodging who was to take over for Trey of Triforia, and many of us (myself included) had no idea of who the new Gold Ranger would be. Would it be Billy? Who let go of his Ranger side earlier? Would it be Tommy’s brother who seemed to disappear every time the Gold Ranger showed up? Would it be Skull who….nevermind. We all knew it wasn’t Skull.
Anyway, when Tommy showed up with a “stranger” and it turned out to be Jason, I bet your jaw dropped. Seeing him take the 6th Ranger spot, and having Tommy as the new Red Ranger really felt as if the circle of Ranger life had been done.
As the Gold Ranger, Jason totally looked awesome, including his epic weapon, and his MASSIVE Zord Pyramidas. All in all, not a bad welcome back, and a very welcome return. That is why he’s starting off the list.
Merrick, Howling Wolf, Wild Force
For me, Wild Force is a season I like to try and forget for many reasons. Yet I won’t for the right reasons. And one of the big ones is Merrick. Merrick was one of the original Wild Force Rangers 3,000 years in the past. His desire to keep the world and his friends safe led him to using a forbidden power to defeat the Master Org.
Fast forward to the present, and Merrick became Zen-aku. Who’s that? Simply one of the best villains in ALL OF POWER RANGERS!!!
Yet when he became human again, and by extension became a Ranger, he was just as epic. And in true 6th Ranger form, his weapon and Zords were awesome. I’m a wolf guy at heart, so Merrick was pretty awesome for me. His mix of old-school and new school just made Wild Force something to remember. He was honorable, noble, fought for the right things, and was understood at times. Yep, he was a wolf at heart as well.
Cam, Green Samurai, Ninja Storm
Ninja Storm was the first season of Power Rangers to do away with the tradition of having five Rangers at the start. Thankfully though, they grew in number quickly, and their 6th Ranger still stands the test of time.
Cam was introduced in the first episode of Ninja Storm, and took the role of “mission control” sending out the Zords and other weapons when needed. Over time though, you could sense he wanted to do more. Not surprising, his father was the head of a ninja school, he was trained himself, and seeing the others go to battle over and over would get anyone anxious to suit up.
His becoming a Ranger is actually (in my opinion) one of the best stories in Power Rangers history. As he had to go back in time to get his powers. Simple right? No big deal. But it is through this that we learn the true story behind the villain Lothor. That he was in fact his uncle! And that is was because of Lothor’s lust for power that his own brother (Cam’s father) turned him into the sensei of the school, who banished him to deep space.
As a Ranger, Cam proved he had skills to spare. Not only did he look cool, but he had a revolving helmet that allowed him to mix up his skill-set in battle! Add that to a helicopter Zord, and you got a recipe for success. Cam was instrumental in taking down Lothor and his army, and for that I am grateful, and he has earned his place on this list.
Mike/Magna Defender, Lost Galaxy
Lost Galaxy had a lot to prove in its season, and it did not disappoint. From a gripping story, to galactic adventures, and a great team of Rangers, it was a powerful season from start to finish. Yet easily one of the best stories was about the 6th Ranger, who wasn’t exactly a Ranger per se. The Magna Defender.
The story of Magna Defender was a gripping one, a warrior who had lost his son to the evil Scorpius, and swore revenge. Promising never to stop until he had it. It took a very long time, but he was able to get it, albeit not in the way he may have wanted. A powerful warrior with a Zord of his own and a sword/blaster at his side the Magna Defender was not to be messed with.
The biggest surprise though was when it was revealed that the Magna Defender was using the body of the Red Rangers (Leo) brother Mike in order to continue to get his revenge. We all believed Mike dead as he was killed in the two-part opener. This changed everything.
Soon, the Magna Defender would give his powers to the reborn Mike, entrusting him with the power, honor, and legacy he had made. Mike fought proudly alongside his brother and the other Rangers, and ever sacrificed his powers to save them and Terra Venture from the Lost Galaxy.
It doesn’t matter who the Magna Defender was truly, cause he was awesome, no matter who donned the name.
Ryan, Titanium Ranger, Lightspeed Rescue
The Titanium Ranger is one of the most unique Rangers in history. Why? Because he was the first (and to my knowledge only) Ranger in history to not have a counterpart in the Super Sentai series (of which Power Rangers is based off of). So this could have gone really good, or really bad. Since the Titanium Ranger is on the list….it’s easy to see it’s the former.
Family was a big plot device for Lightspeed Rescue, and the addition of Titanium Ranger brought it to a whole new level. No one knew who he was, until he dropped his visor and Captain Mitchell easily recognized his sons eyes.
It was later we found out that a horrible car accident led to the “loss” of Ryan, by none other than season villain Diabolico. This singular act set everything in motion (not unlike what happened in Ninja Storm), as soon after Captain Mitchell prepared for the return of Diabolico, and his son.
Ryan’s redemption was a big part of the back half of the series, as he had to fight his own demons, and the demons of Diabolico, who wasn’t just going to let Ryan join his fellow Rangers.
Due to budget, Ryan honestly didn’t have many scenes as a Ranger, but when he did, they made them epic. That’s enough to make him a part of this list.
Anubis “Doggie” Cruger, Shadow Ranger, SPD
Just when you thought this tribute couldn’t get any better…I let the dog out. Yep, I went there!
Doggie Cruger on his own was already epic. Head of Space Patrol Delta, and in charge of keeping the Earth safe is a pretty epic job. And if you take one look at Doggie Cruger…you know he can do it.
Yet as most of the best Rangers, Doggie had a past that would come back to haunt him. At first, it seemed like he would wallow in his fears, but he soon faced them and became the SPD Shadow Ranger! Which, like his job at running SPD, he was a boss at. In his OPENING scene, he took down 100 bad guys in less than a few minutes. 100!!!!!
Add to that, he was the Ranger who defeated the season villain Emperor Gruumm in the finale. And like a true Ranger, he choose to apprehend him instead of kill him. Later on he became the supreme commander of SPD, a very deserving promotion.
Cruger was a mentor to every single Ranger, seeing the potential every one of them had, even if they didn’t see it themselves. A great mentor, a powerful warrior, and a being that knows justice comes before revenge, a worthy addition to the list.
Oh, and if you’re thinking, “But Doggie was the “00” Ranger, it even says so on his uniform!” You’re right, but he came 6th in line. That’s good enough for me!
Eric, Quantum Ranger, Time Force
The beautiful thing about Power Rangers, is that anyone can become a Ranger, and any personality can come attached with them. This was seen in full effect with Time Force. None more so than the 6th Ranger, Eric.
Bitter, resentful, and every bit an anti-hero, Eric grew up from a poor family, having to work very hard to get what he had. Which was the exact opposite of the Red Ranger Wes, who came from a which family. When Eric received the Quantum Morpher, it was his chance to prove he was every bit as good, if not better, than Wes and his friends.
Unlike say earlier “bad” 6th Rangers, Eric wasn’t a jerk by circumstance, brainwashing, or any trickery…he was just a jerk! He would only reluctantly help the Rangers, and instead of joining them decided to a guy whose services “can be purchased” via the Silver Guardians.
Then of course, there’s his Zord, the Q-Rex, which was stated to be the most powerful Zord in the Time Force lineup. Yep, that couldn’t possibly go wrong! And as stated in a later episode by Eric himself, he really believe it could take down the Dragonzord. That’s a matchup we’re still waiting on by the way.
Thankfully for many, Eric eventually softened, became friends with Wes once more, and became a much more likeable character. Yet he truly on this list for what came before that. An epic “anti” Ranger if there ever was one.
Oh, and this was the first time there were two Red Rangers of any kind on the same team. Which is why he was included in the special anniversary episode “Forever Red”. That counts for a lot in my book!
Tommy, Green AND White Ranger, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers
The phrase “There can be only one!” really applies here. Not just that Tommy Oliver (aka Jason David Frank) quite possibly is the greatest Ranger of all time (he is), or that he is the greatest 6th Ranger of all time (…..he most likely is), it’s just that when you think of the 6th Rangers, nine times out of ten, either the Green or White Ranger will come to your mind.
And how could they not? Both the Green Ranger and the White Ranger are iconic. To this day they’re revered, and talked about, and cosplayed, and debated about which is better, it never stops! That kind of impact is rare, legendary even. It is because of this, among numerous other things that both of them appear on this list, and are saved for last.
So where do we start? Do we start with the “Green Ranger Saga”? Where in almost a single episode the entire series was flipped on its head? Or do we go to where Tommy returned as the purified White Ranger, and took over as leader of the Power Rangers? The answer is an emphatic, “yes”.
Green or White. Dragonzord or Tigerzord. Dagger flute or talking sword, everything about these Rangers is epic. Yet let’s not forget Tommy Oliver himself. Very few Rangers have gone what he went through, and he was able to not only survive but excel. I wasn’t joking when I said everything changed when the Green Ranger appeared, it did. Cause before then you could flip-flop on who was the best Ranger. When Tommy arrived, there was no doubt. This was sealed as fact when he became the White Ranger, which was just as epic as his green counterpart.
Every sixth Ranger to come after Tommy had to live up to his legacy and epicness. Many succeeded, as this list proves, but to this day, the Green and White Rangers live on as some of the best Rangers ever created, bar none.
So what do you think? Did your favorite sixth Ranger make the list? Do you think I forgot one that really made an impact? Let me know! I’ll be happy to discuss it with you!
Be sure to check out my Power Rangers reviews, and stay tuned as more Power Ranger features are on the way!