Outside of Star Wars, there might not be a better example of a franchise that so clearly delineates between Good vs. Evil than Power Rangers. It's why we love it. The good guys do awesome flips and kicks and are able to fire atomic grade weaponry at evil monsters without us having to feel any remorse.
But when you come down from the euphoria of seeing a giant clock monster take more shit than Christopher Walken's watch in Pulp Fiction, it starts to make you wonder "are the good guys so good?" It's why we've decided to include Power Rangers in our "Who is the actual worst?" series. (Or, in the case of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, "Who is the actual best?")
Today's contest will feature all of the seasons up until and including Turbo as that's the last season where most of the main cast remained intact (and even that is pushing it.) We'll only be considering "good guy" because it's hard to out-bad the bad guys when their goal is the end of humanity or the destruction of our planet. So, without further ado, here are the candidates:
The Case For Zordon:
If Rita Repulsa and Lord Zedd are the embodiments of evil, then Zordon has to be the embodiment of good, right? I mean, he sacrificed so much of himself for the fate of humanity that he's now just a giant lava lamp. But sometimes, when you adopt a "do whatever it takes" mentality in your pursuit to stamp out evil, you begin to become a little evil yourself. There's no other explanation as to why Zordon would recruit child soldiers into his army.
Sure, these teenagers with attitude are well trained in martial arts, but that doesn't excuse the fact that they're still children! Why couldn't Zordon find some Navy SEALS to do his intergalactic fighting for him or even just some regular adults who didn't have to deal with all the pressures of puberty and late-night math homework?
And the Power Rangers aren't even the only children Zordon that abducts. In "Alpha's Magical Christmas," Zordon teleports a handful of young Christmas carolers out of the ether in order to keep Alpha company.
Imagine how scared these kids must have been. Their perception of time and space has just been shattered, they don't know where they are, they don't know where their families are, and now they're forced to serenade a test tube and a creepy robot with songs they probably only learned yesterday. For all they know, if they don't sing well enough, they could be teleported into the center of a volcano. Meanwhile, Zordon doesn't seem to give a shit, probably because he's plotting what other sick ways he can trick children into doing his bidding.
The Case For Rocky:
Rocky never was really able to catch a break. The Red Ranger is typically the leader of the team, but by the time he came along to replace Jason, Tommy already overshadowed him. Then, later on in the series, during Power Rangers: Zeo, he got demoted to the Blue Ranger. Perhaps it is this level of disrespect that explains why Rocky was so prone to jealousy and impulsive behavior. Take the time Rocky developed a Pachinko addiction in the episode "Rocky Just Wants to Have Fun."
There are a couple of things wrong with this. For one, Pachinko is technically gambling, and gambling is a sin. It's a good thing Rocky likes red because he'll be seeing a lot of it in Hell. Okay, maybe that's a bit extreme, but I do think this speaks to how much Rocky lets emotion get in the way of his responsibilities of saving the world. (Kind of a big responsibility.)
Another example: When Jason returns to the team as the Gold Ranger, Rocky gets so jealous and defensive that he might be replaced that he tries to fight King Mondo alone. This results in nearly getting everyone killed and, while he learns a valuable lesson along the way blah blah blah, imagine if a soldier rushed into an enemy encampment against direct orders and then stepped on a mine, killing his entire platoon? You'd think that guy was an asshole, and Rocky is no different.
Also, if we're going to give Zordon shit for the child recruitment thing, we have to give Rocky at least a little bit of blame for picking an even younger child to be his replacement as he does at the beginning of Turbo.
Jesus, dude, the whole motif of Turbo is driving and you picked a 12-year-old? If that's not child endangerment, then nothing is.
The Case For Tommy:
Okay, let's get the obvious out of the way. Tommy's stint as the Green Ranger literally made him one of the bad guys. As proof, here he is pants-ing Alpha and then doing a "bad guy" laugh.
In case you're not sold, here he is doing chest presses in the middle of a juice bar and being rude to Kimberly.
You could argue he was under Rita's spell, but ancient magic doesn't hold up well in court when you're trying to explain why you piloted a giant dino mech into city property. (Actually, it might because that all sounds pretty ridiculous.) Still, we could argue that Rita's magic wouldn't have worked had Tommy not at least had a little bit of evil in his heart to begin with. Even when the curse was broken, he still remained jealous of Jason (damn, everyone is jealous of that guy), and it took him a bit to warm up to the team.
It's also worth mentioning that later in the series, Tommy has a bit of a fascination with "White Power." Granted, he calls it "Tiger Power," but we're not buying it, and it doesn't help that he looks like a Klansman in his ninja outfit.
Come on, Tommy. At least, don't hold your arms like that.
Kimberly broke up with Tommy via a letter! You'd think four years of dating and countless slain putties would at least earn a phone call.
Damn, dude. It's Morphin' Time? More like It's morphine time because you're going to need some serious pain-killers to get over a break-up that brutal.
I think you have to go with Zordon for this one. He's basically Kony 2012, but with even better PR. Yeah, Tommy and Rocky have tons of property damage and civilian casualties between them, but Zordon is their ranking officer. Those deaths are on his hands ... face as well.
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Top Image: Saban Entertainment