I was recently having a conversation with my friend Sam about badasses in Power Rangers, when we eventually came upon the topic of who the most badass Red Ranger of all time is. I couldn’t really decide that, though, because in over two decades of Power Rangers, it’s usually a constant that the Red Ranger is a badass. Even the most unlikable of those that have worn the colour red have had plenty of badass moments. Nick, for all his belly aching, was still willing to charge The Master alone, and Mack, despite quitting with the other Overdrive Rangers in Once A Ranger, was willing on multiple occasions to sacrifice himself to save the world. Even Red Rangers that didn’t lead their respective teams, like Rocky, still had plenty of memorable moments where they put it all on the line to stop evil. So, with all of that in mind, I’m gonna try and determine who the 10 most badass Red Rangers are in all of Power Rangers. Before I do, though, here’re some ground rules…
- Power Rangers ONLY, no Super Sentai entries. Main reason is because it makes the possible candidates even longer than it already is. In Power Rangers alone, there’s been like 30+ individuals that have worn Red or a variation of it, maybe even closer to 50 when you consider that the Samurai Rangers were a generational team.
- Only one per team. In other words, if I, for example, picked one of the SPD Red Rangers, I can’t choose another.
- No evil Rangers. Nothing against them, it’s just, when one generally thinks of badass Power Rangers, we usually think of them in terms of what they’re willing and able to do against the forces of evil.
- The choices have to be made based on their credentials as Red Rangers, not any other powers they’ve had. As such, and I KNOW I’m gonna get a bunch of comments for this, Tommy is NOT on this list. Reason being, in having watched every episode of Power Rangers that Tommy was a participant in, his more badass moments happened when he was the Green or White Ranger, or even just as himself, plain Tommy Oliver, without his powers. Nothing against his tenure as the Red Ranger, he pulled off the role with the level of competence expected of him, just that in terms of those sheer “OMG, that was frigging awesome!” moments, they’re lacking when compared to other things he’s done.
- The powers have to actually be THEIRS. In other words, as much as I’d like to include more potential female candidates, Gia and Emma assuming Legendary Red Ranger Mode doesn’t count toward this list.
And as always, remember that this is all opinion based, so don’t freak out if my opinion is different from yours. Anyway, with all of that out of the way, I suppose we might as well start off with the archetype and standard bearer of the badass Red Ranger…
#1 – Jason Lee Scott, the Red Mighty Morphin Ranger
There’s this constant argument over who was the more badass Ranger: Jason or Tommy. In fact, it’s an argument that spills out into real life, with people debating Austin St. John vs Jason David Frank. However, while I refuse to comment on that and thus get it started here, I will say that, much like how Tommy’s more badass moments occurred when he wasn’t the Red Ranger, Jason was probably a bigger badass when he WAS the Red Ranger, as opposed to, say, when he was the Gold Ranger in Zeo. When the Rangers lose their confidence after being subjected to horrific nightmares from Goldar, he still finds it in him to stop Goldar’s plot. He manages to fight off Goldar and Tommy as the evil Green Ranger when trapped on his own and without his powers long enough for the others to find him. He defeats a monster by himself when the Rangers have been kidnapped, and then goes to rescue them before their powers are taken. He defeated Tommy in battle and freed him of Rita’s control. He took Cardiatron out. And there’s just his opening line to the General Venjix in Forever Red: “You know, if you miss King Mondo that much, I promise we can help you join him.” In the end, all you can say about Jason is that he is a consummate badass, strong in mind, body, and spirit, and is able to stand up to any threat, no matter how imposing…Actually, here’s food for thought: In today’s day and age with Power Rangers, MMPR Season 1 probably would’ve ended with Jason fighting Rita while she’s in some powered-up form. Imagine THAT ending. lol
#2 – Carter Grayson, the Red Lightspeed Ranger
What else can I say about a guy that tried to run down a monster with a hummer, held off two giant monsters with just his side-arms, blew up a monster at point-blank range, charged through deadly energy blasts to punch a monster in the chest, and whose trademark response to a monster terrifying people was to pull his blasters and shoot ’em down?…Well, not much, other than to say that I’m pretty sure his theme song is Move Bitch by Ludacris. lol Add in the fact that he is both an action hero and a rescuer, more concerned with the protection of people than the kicking of ass, and you’ve got more than enough reason for Carter to be one of my all-time favourites.
#3 – Eric Myers, the Quantum Ranger
This was REALLY hard to determine, given his competition on his team, but ultimately, I decided to go with Eric. The first sixth Ranger to wear the colour Red while being sixth, he’s just a really ballsy, hard-assed SOB that will plough down anyone who gets in his way. And of course the Q-Rex is sheer metal awesome, too. For those that have never seen it, it’s a giant robotic t-rex with a pair of cannons strapped to its back, and can also turn into a warrior mode just for funsies. But, if nothing else, you gotta look at his Mega Battle armour and think, really, how many people can you think of who look badass while wearing ROLLER-BLADES? With that said, I DO feel bad leaving Wes outta this, because he had his awesome moments on the show. One thing I’m actually kinda upset about is that we don’t see his final stand from the timeline where he didn’t make it. Why? Because according to that, he managed to take every single one of the bad guys with him! Hot damn, that’s a hell of a way to go out!
#4 – Leo Corbett, the Red Galaxy Ranger
………………Just show it.
Oh yeah, and he also had that fight to the death with Trakeena that ended with him blasting her at point-blank range with his Battlizer set to full power, and…My God, I could make breakfast on those abs…………………………………………*slaps myself* NEXT!
#5 – Lauren Shiba, the Red Samurai Ranger
Okay, I MAY be a bit biased in this pic given my general favoritism and desire to see a girl on this list, but let’s be fair, she DID manage to destroy a giant monster that had taken down the Claw Armour Megazord with just ONE Zord. Right from the get-go, she’s shown to be someone with skill on par or greater than Jayden’s. Plus, anyone that can take the long-since dead running gag about how Mia can’t cook and make it funny again is plenty awesome in my book. Really, the only reason Jayden might rank higher with some people is because he was around longer. I guarantee that if Lauren had been on the show from the beginning that we would’ve gotten plenty more awesome moments from her. But, I suppose I should give credit where it’s due and bring up some of Jayden’s more awesome moments, particularly his deadly duels with Deker, where he showed he was a force the likes of which only a few other Rangers could compare with.
#6 – Mackenzie “Mack” Hartford, the Red Overdrive Ranger
Looking back, I’ve realized that Mack really deserved to be on a better season with a better team. The potential of his character, being an artificial lifeform raised to believe he was human, could’ve been explored a bit more, and he wouldn’t have to be remembered as the Red Ranger on the worst season of Power Rangers. Also, while he DID quit with the others in Once A Ranger, he made it clear he wasn’t going anywhere, and I DO believe he would’ve at least tried to help out around the mansion and their base however he could. Then there’s his credentials as a badass, and he does have plenty. Ignoring probably the more infamous (and complete bullshit) of those moments, when he chopped a giant monster in half unmorphed, there’s the aforementioned moments where he was willing to die to stop evil, like when he was gonna blow himself and the Fearcats up, or when he went to the volcano alone to fight Moltor and retake the crown, or when he used every last bit of his power to destroy Flurious. Granted, one can argue that he did these things seeing himself as disposable with nothing to lose, but there’s still something to be said for his passion and relentlessness in the face of evil.
#7 – Cole Evans, the Red Wild Force Ranger
Yes, I like Wild Force. Leave me alone. lol And I like Cole Evans. Yes, his character was a ham and cheese sandwich, but he was still likable, and Goddamn if he couldn’t kick some serious ass. He was also capable of brushing off some pretty epic beatings, too. Just look at his fights with Master Org. These two lay the most epic of beat-downs on each other. He even took the team’s combined weapon, the Jungle Sword, and Savage Slashed the heck out of Zen Aku over and over on his own. AWESOME. And of course, there’s the infamous moment where he destroyed Serpentara with a frigging motorcycle. Although, looking back on it, you wanna know what annoys me more than that? The fact that, after doing so, he only ever uses said motorcycle for transportation. He has a War Zord slaughtering motorcycle, and he never uses it when, say, Master Org was killing the Wild Zords??? C’mon, given his character, you don’t think he’d summon that thing and go straight for Master Org’s head? That woulda been awesome! Oh well, Cole still had plenty of sweet moments, which make it all the easier to look past his cheesy dialogue.
#8 – Scott Truman, the Red RPM Ranger
It’s admittedly hard to stand out as a badass on a team FULL of them. For example, take Scott, RPM’s Ranger Series Operator Red and leader of the team. His whole team is one big pack of badasses. Even Ziggy, the clown of the team, has his fair share of moments where he’s walking awesome. So how do you stand out on a team like that? Answer: You be Scott. Everything he does exemplifies his awesomeness. He owns the room when he’s in it. He has mastered the art of being an action hero, where in his own words, “When it comes to talking, less is more”. And despite being from a completely different dimension than the mainstream PR universe, he’s clearly read from the Carter Grayson book of badass, in that if necessary, he can and has charged giant opponents with nothing but his weapons. To quote Jim Ross in talking about Shawn Michaels, Scott is “like a pitbulldog, he doesn’t know how big or how little he really is… he doesn’t really give a damn”. And everything he does just has this element of cool and charm to it, unless story-wise he’s specifically SUPPOSED to be shaken or vulnerable. He’s like the Will Smith of Power Rangers. How can you not like him?
#9 – Casey Rhodes, the Red Jungle Fury Ranger
Again, a tough crowd of Rangers to stand out from. Hell, one of the Jungle Fury Rangers is a blind warrior. Still, while he started off Jungle Fury as the new guy that was unsure of himself and made mistakes aplenty, Casey quickly grew into a kickass fighting machine. Even the big bad of the series, Dai Shi, found himself on the receiving side of a most righteous of beat-downs from Casey on more than one occasion, though the best was near the end of the season: Casey just walks through a squad of Rin Shi without much effort or thought put into it, and then proceeds to have a brawl with Dai Shi that trashes the villain’s lair. He’s also willing to put his life on the line to prove that Jarrod could overcome Dai Shi’s influence, turning his back on him and telling him to destroy him. He even dispenses of the standard Battlizer armour and instead gets smaller armour components meant to work with a kick-ass motorcycle that literally steams through opponents. Yes, Camille, Red IS the tough one. 🙂
#10 – Andros ‘Aliens Don’t Have Last Names’, the Red Space Ranger
HE SAVED THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE! Case dismissed! And even beyond that, just look at Andros’ first appearance, where he managed to infiltrate the meeting of the United Alliance of Evil. Not only does he manage to do so and get away while confronted with the biggest bads in Power Ranger’s history at the time, one thing I take considerable note of: He knocked Lord Zedd on his ass……..I will repeat that. Lord Zedd, one of the most feared enemies of the Power Rangers, the villain that tossed even Tommy around like a ragdoll and was only forced to retreat due to a stalemate in the fight, got KNOCKED ON HIS ASS by Andros. Anyone that can do that is a badass in my book. It kinda makes you wonder how quickly situations on Earth would’ve been dealt with if Andros was on Earth from the beginning. My guess is that, after Green With Evil, Andros would’ve been like “Nope, not going through this again, I’m taking my badass spaceship/Megazord to the moon and hacking that palace in half”.
Anyway, that’s my list. Who are some of your favourite badasses in Power Rangers? Leave a comment below, and we’ll see if the Red Dino Charge Ranger can live up to the legacy of the Red Ranger in February. Ja né!