If you were a 90s kid like me, it’s pretty much a given that you watched Power Rangers on Saturday mornings, back when Saturday morning cartoons were still a thing. Whether you were a hardcore fan or just a casual viewer, there was something inexplicably cool about watching teenagers in spandex battle the forces of evil with the help of their dinosaur-robot hybrids called Megazords.
Now, more than two decades since Mighty Morphin Power Rangers premiered, the television side of the franchise is in the middle of its 23rd season, BOOM! Studios has just released a stellar comic set within the timeline of the original series, and a reboot film is set to hit theaters in 2017. With the hype for this universe resurfacing, let’s look back at a classic story arc from Mighty Morphin which introduced everyone’s favorite Ranger, Tommy Oliver.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Green With Evil is a five-episode storyline showcasing the origins of the famous Green Ranger, who was originally created by Rita Repulsa as a weapon. When Tommy, the new kid in Angel Grove with a knack for martial arts, is kidnapped by Rita, he is then transformed into the Green Ranger and placed under a spell so that he does as the witch commands and hunts down the Power Rangers. With their leader Zordon lost in some other dimension after Tommy sabotages their headquarters, it’s up to the Rangers to face this enemy alone and break Rita’s spell before it’s too late.
Regardless of how much Power Rangers you’ve watched, Tommy Oliver is an easily recognizable name. Between the Green and White Ranger in Mighty Morphin, the Red Ranger in Zeo and Turbo, and the Black Ranger in Dino Thunder, Jason David Frank has played the character in over 200 episodes and two feature-length movies. Even after all this time, the fan-favorite made an appearance in the 2015 Legendary Battle episode of Super Megaforce.
Needless to say, this little DVD collection, which I purchased at FYE and is available online as well, is a true gem of Power Rangers history. With its overtly corny dialogue, ridiculous battle sequences, welcome appearances from the unforgettably cartoonish duo of Bulk and Skull, and an evil laugh from Tommy taken straight out of the Classic Villain 101 textbook, watching it was a delightful trip down nostalgia lane. My favorite moment in it takes place at the end when Tommy reveals that his dagger also serves as a flute, which he then uses to summon his ferocious Dragonzord. This little instrument was a staple of the character, and seeing the Dragonzord fuse with the Megazord for the first time is something real fanboys and fangirls will never forget.
By the time the arc concludes and the Rangers free Tommy from Rita’s spell by destroying a magical sword given to him, we learn that Tommy’s joining the team fulfills a long-foretold prophecy about a sixth Ranger. Little did people back in the mid-90s know just how popular this character would become. Even today, the aforementioned new comic is set after the events of Green With Evil, and focuses on Tommy’s struggle to rehabilitate now that he’s no longer under Rita’s spell; all the while the witch plots to turn him back to her side. And while I know it’s early to be speculating about this, I wouldn’t be surprised if the movie next year were to feature a post-credits sequence with a new version of Tommy.
Say what you want about Power Rangers, but if the amount of Rangers tv, comics and film content still coming out today is any indication, the franchise continues to flourish with an ever-increasing fanbase. So before the Internet explodes next year with debates about the reboot, sit back and enjoy the Megazord-sized Mighty Morphin Power Rangers classic that is Green With Evil. It’s Morphin Time!
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