Chris E. Hayner
For almost as long as the Power Rangers have existed, there have been kids jealous of the character Tommy Oliver, played by Jason David Frank on a number of Power Rangers TV shows (and movies). Why? Because in a world where Power Rangers characters are recycled with every new iteration of the series, Tommy sticks around Throughout the show’s history, he’s gone well beyond his “teenager with attitude” phase but has repeatedly gotten new powers. It seems Tommy just can’t get being a Ranger out of his system.
It’s led him to control seven different types of Ranger powers over the years, many of which are actually kind of amazing–at least in the fashion department. After all, the trademark of a good Tommy-based Ranger is found in the costume design. Does he stand out and make the rest of the team look sort of silly? If so, chances are that’s a great version of Tommy.
It’s been over 25 years since Power Rangers first debuted on American TV and GameSpot has dug back through far too many episodes of the various incarnations of the show, along with a few comic books, to bring you the definitive ranking of Tommy Oliver’s Rangers. You may disagree with their placement, but I think we can all agree that the White Ninja Ranger is simply the worst.
7. White Ninja Ranger
The worst and cheapest of Tommy’s Ranger identities, the White Ninja powers game late in the Mighty Morphin’ series, when the old costumes and Zords just weren’t cutting it. The Rangers went to the Desert of Despair and met a giant blue robot ninja thing named Ninjor, who bestowed on them Ninja powers and new costumes, which look suspiciously like bedsheets. Then again, in Tommy’s case, it also looks a little too much like a KKK robe.
6. Zeo Ranger V: Red
This was when Tommy went from hero to zero. Well, five. After losing their Mighty Morphin’ powers, the Rangers used Zeo crystals to become heroes once again. It’s a whole, long convoluted thing. To sum it up, though, the show got an awesome new theme song, and Tommy became just another Ranger.
Losing his White Ranger powers, he became Zeo Ranger V: Red and got a standard costume like the rest of his team. The only thing that really stands out is the shape on his helmet is a star, but it brings absolutely nothing to his powers and looks more awkward than anything else. At least he got a cool zord, in the Sky Phoenix.
Still, once Jason returned as the Gold Zeo Ranger, it was clear who the cool one was on that version of the show. Sorry, Tommy.
5. Red Turbo Ranger
Why is the Red Turbo Ranger ranked higher than Zeo Ranger V: Red when they are essentially the same thing? It all comes down to the disappointment factor. When Tommy was made into the red Zeo Ranger, it was a massive letdown because it felt like a major downgrade. By the time Power Rangers Turbo came along, with the show’s popularity fading, it didn’t seem like a big deal for him to be stuck with another boring set of Ranger powers and a costume that paled in comparison to the glory days.
As a Turbo Ranger, Tommy controlled a race car zord, which combined with a series of other massive robot cars to form the Turbo Megazord. Yes, cars aren’t as intimidating as dragons, tigers, or even a phoenix, but there were only so many things they could pattern giant robots after.
4. Black Dino Thunder Ranger
Go Go Oldest Ranger! A full seven years after he left the Power Rangers franchise during Power Rangers Turbo, Tommy came back. This time, though, he had graduated college and gotten a doctorate. Not bad for a guy who never seemed like he was top of the class.
In Power Rangers Dino Thunder, he takes on the mantle of the Black Dino Ranger and fights alongside three of his students. This is notable because it was a return to form, as far as being the coolest-looking Ranger goes. This time, he essentially had gold shoulder pads and a much more detailed helmet than the other rangers, but it still helped him stand out.
3. White Ranger
When Tommy lost his Green Ranger powers and went away, it was clear an important piece of the puzzle was no longer there. Thankfully, it didn’t take too long before he got a new set of powers and came back as the White Ranger.
The only thing keeping the White Ranger from being as good as the Green Ranger is he was essentially a copycat. The Dragon Dagger was swapped out for Saba, both rangers had a unique shield that helped their costume designs stand out, and instead of the Dragonzord, Tommy’s White Ranger powers summoned the Tigerzord.
2. Lord Drakkon
This is a peculiar entry, but one that can’t be denied. Lord Drakkon has not appeared on any TV series and technically isn’t the same Tommy as the rest of these Rangers. Leaving him out would be a huge mistake, though.
Drakkon is actually an older version of Tommy from an alternate dimension that comes to this Earth to battle the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers in BOOM Studios’ comic book series based on the show. In it, he controls a zord called the Black Dragon and wreaks havoc on the Power Rangers.
What makes Lord Drakkon such a great entry in Tommy’s Power Ranger history is his backstory. On his alternate Earth, he worked with Rita Repulsa to ultimately destroy Zordon and the Power Rangers, before disposing of his former master and taking control of the world. From there he set out to conquer more Rangers and brought his war to this Earth.
Of course, he also has a really cool costume that is essentially a mashup of the Green and White Ranger suits.
1. Green Ranger
The original is still the best. Though he started out as a villain, the Green Ranger went on to become arguably the most popular Power Ranger of all time–thanks in large part to that awesome gold shield he wears. While the Power Rangers were all exciting to see, Tommy stood out from the pack as unique and more powerful.
He also has the Dragon dagger–which was also a flute for some reason–and Dragonzord, which helped him go a long way in coming off as better than his fellow color-coded superheroes. The Green Ranger was simply cool, and on a show like Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, that’s what matters most.