With a Power Rangers movie of indeterminate quality on the way, a new comic book from Boom Studios performing outrageously well, and DVD sets of the original Super Sentai series finally hitting the U.S., it’s also the perfect time to take all the monsters from the original Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers TV series, and judge them. Mercilessly.
Given that MMPR‘s three seasons (plus the Mighty Morphin’ Alien Rangers miniseries) contained 155 episodes — and those episodes contained 134 villains and monsters sent by Rita Repulsa and/or her evil contemporaries to torment the Rangers — that’s a lot of monsters to judge.
We did it anyway. Here they are — every single MMPR monster, ranked from best to worst. May the power protect you.
1) Rita Repulsa: The uncontested Queen of the Monsters and the finest woman to have ever spent 10,000 years incarcerated in a dumpster on the moon. Cones for days!
2) Face Stealer: Essentially a rotten head buried inside a pumpkin, the Face Stealer has the unique ability to lick people’s faces off with a giant tongue! His secondary Jack ‘O Lantern “face” is retractable, like a beetle’s wing casings.
3) Eye Guy: A heap of eyeballs, shaped into the crude form of a man! And when he opens his mouth, you learn the biggest eyeball was inside him all along.
4) Mutitus: A flayed Frankenstein’s monster, bolts-in-the-neck and all! Mutitus actually had a second, stronger form, which was objectively less metal, even with the addition of tendrils. Still, two in one.
5) Scorpina: Scorpina was a really intriguing, underutilized character with a killer, secondary monster form. Her adorable relationship with Goldar was underplayed in the US, so I direct you all to the Japanese series, Zyuranger, for more Scorpina action!
6) Terror Toad: An exemplary toad monster that managed to eat 4/5ths of the Power Rangers and kept their faces pressed against his stomach like an amphibious Freddy Krueger! The animation of his tongue flying around is terrific, but the best thing about him is still his second “face”, hiding in the skin-waddle of his recessed chin. It’s just a mouth (with teeth) and eyespots. He also rocked a yellow Mohawk.
7) See Monster: An eerie white head, with dark recesses where the eyes should be, the See Monster’s skin is naturally shaped like a trenchcoat. When he opens his flesh-jacket up, he reveals a rude, starfish-like mound of raw, exposed capillaries with hundreds of eyeballs, all staring at you! Yes, it’s a monster based on a flasher. Too spectacular. Too thrilling.
8) Goo Fish: Sent by Lord Zedd to exploit Billy’s icthyophobia, the Goo Fish only resembled a fish in the abstract, but he certainly lived up to the “goo” promise in spades, spraying it everywhere with that permanently affixed self-satisfied expression.
9) Doomstone: “Rest in Peace, MHLCAEH!” A Cyclopean tombstone that wore orange socks. Top ten material, for sure.
10) Pineoctopus: Unholy pineapple/octopus hybrid who disguised himself as a clown to turn children into cardboard — including Trini’s cousin!
11) Spit Flower: Everything you could hope for in a plant monster, including a pitcher plant for a lower jaw and Fly Traps on its lobster-like claws! So much going on here, Spit Flower. A creature that must be studied.
12) Lanterra: A Chinese lantern monster that just gets cooler the more you look at him. The toothy mouth on its accordion — like body is striking, but its the spidery eyes at his “handle” — just a little too close together — that puts him over the edge. Also, his name is a pun on the band “Pantera”. Brutal!
13) Lord Zedd: All children envy Lord Zedd’s ability to wave his staff and create monsters from inanimate objects like trumpets and handbags. He’s also a big, defleshed goofball.
14) Brick Bully: A living brick wall covered in graffiti, The Brick Bully had two forms: a placid, ghostly incarnation with a chalk-white, upside-down human head; and a craggier, less structurally stable version where the head becomes a mouth when angry. If you remember the music video for Crossroads, Bone Thugs N’ Harmony knew the value of a haunted wall, too.
15) Finster: Undoubtedly the most tolerable ceramics student you’ll ever meet, Finster sculpted Rita’s monsters from a sort of alien clay, then sent them through a machine that would bring them to life. It was always a highlight of any episode, watching the creatures come down the chute and introduce themselves. In Japan, he’s called “Pleprechaun”!
16) Pipebrain: This guy gets a boost due to his original appearance on the Japanese series, Dairanger. The first monster of the season, “Pipebrain” sung a mournful dirge while playing with a yo-yo under the somewhat more dignified name, “Baron String.” In MMPR, he used candles to sap the Rangers of their powers. Still a cool design.
17) Pumpkin Rapper: A rapping pumpkin with an upside-down head. He was not very good at his vocation, but he was fun. Excerpted dialogue from his episode:
Zordon: “He will try to distract you with his raps and rhymes.”
Pumpkin Rapper: “Pumpkin rappin’ is about to happen!”
Zordon: “You must go to the park and find this monster…before he ripens.”
18) Rito Revolto: Rita’s screw up brother! Looks cool with a dual skeleton/military motif. Rito’s original concept artwork had some sort of epithet scrawled on the side his helmet to invoke US soldiers in Vietnam. On the Japanese series, Kakuranger, he was more of a punk rocker.
19) Cardiatron: The sentient heart residing inside a giant monster called Hatchasaurus, Cardiatron spoke in a haughty, aristocratic tone. Not quite Paul Lynde, not quite Jim Backus, but somewhere in between. An uncommon heart-themed monster, which needs a comeback.
20) Turban Shell: A cool-looking mollusk monster with a weird set of teeth lining its neck. It would pop out from its spiral shell to shoot tornadoes at people.
21) Goldar: The show’s longstanding Griffin monster and right hand man to both Rita Repulsa and Lord Zedd. Dated Scorpina. Had wings, sometimes.
22) Pursehead: A monster created from Kimberly’s purse! When it opened up, it held the disembodied head of a Buddhist monk.
23) Octophantom: Great-looking octopus/elephant/leech monster who steals people’s souls with a clay pot. What I imagine Chaugnar Faugn was meant to look like.
24) Skelerena: An anthropomorphic hyena skeleton. ‘Nuff said!
25) Bloom of Doom: A multi-eyed orchid monster with incendiary pollen. Stare into its eyes and you’ll be whisked away to another dimension!
26) Jellyfish Warrior: Odd-looking Jellyfish monster that carries around a parasol made from some sort of membrane. It’s all pink and veiny and I may have tried to recreate it once at home.
27) Arachnofiend: A spider from Billy’s garage Lord Zedd turned into a monster. Covered in whatever happened to be in Billy’s garage, like a “Keep Out” sign and a loom.
28) Magnetbrain: In the Japanese version, the monsters often spend half the episode in human guise, so interesting character actors can play them (in this case, Shoichiro Akabosh). And this guy was great! A man of the cloth, “Father Magnet” was still foremost a magnet, suffering from a verbal tic in which he had to conclude each statement with ,”Gauss”. Neat enough on Power Rangers, terrific on its Sentai counterpart, Dairanger.
29) Weaveworm: Scorpina’s pet silkworm! Spits goo from a skull-like head.
30) A.C.: Counterpart to D.C. and Henchman of Nimrod — another body part-themed monster — A.C. was the eeriest of the trio. Predominantly a pair of giant floppy ears with earrings, A.C. also sported a black boa, which he wore on his head like a mullet.
31) Garbage Mouth: A blue fungus/trashcan monster with the lid permanently fused to his head, the best thing about Garbage Mouth is that the words “Welcome to Jlhouse” (sic) are inexplicably tattooed to his forehead.
32) Guitardo: A guitar-playing cicada! Created by Lord Zedd from a cicada crawling on Kimberley’s guitar, naturally.
33) Nimrod the Scarlet Sentinel: She’s a big, red fist with a ring worn on the middle finger for a face! Nightmarish.
34) Snizzard: Cool enough being a snake monster with hordes of snakes for legs and a golden apple on his head, Snizzard has enjoyed a boost in popularity in recent years once it came to light Bryan Cranston provided his witchy voice. The coolest thing about him, though, is still his ability to unhinge his jaw all the way down to the stomach, like a Bedouin sofa.
35) Slippery Shark: A hammerhead shark with forward-facing eyes! Creepy. Better still, Slippery Shark can remove its dorsal fin (attached to a chain) and fling it around like a meteor hammer!
36) Commander Crayfish: An anthropomorphic crayfish who commanded a squad of “Mutant Rangers” with the battle cry, “Its Mutant Time!” Loveable.
37) Gatekeeper: A weird-looking monster based on a set of jailer’s keys who served as groundskeeper to Lord Zedd’s haunted forest. We only see him for a minute in MMPR, so he’s pretty mysterious!
38) Hatchasaurus: The seemingly indestructible dinosaur Cardiatron lived inside. The scales on its stomach flipped open like a window shade to reveal rows of spikes.
39) Jaws Of Destruction: Known as “Archbishop Saw” in Japan, Lord Zedd created him from a saw in an Angel Grove High School woodshop classroom. Somehow, he still retained a baronial quality.
40) Smudgey Swirl: Another monster who fared better on the Japanese series, “Smudgey Swirl” looked a bit like the Chromoites from The Outer Limits and enjoyed collecting tattered rags and ruined clothing. Merely a background monster on MMPR, sadly.
41) Artistmole: Lord Zedd pulls the “Artistmole,” an outrageous beret-wearing French mole covered in comic book sound effects from a nightmare Kimberley has about her dad’s new fiancé, an artist from Paris. Underhanded!
42) Invenusable Flytrap: Neat-looking Venus flytrap monster who made a few appearances. Female in its first episode, “Invenusable” later become a male flytrap monster after regenerating. The action figure was impossible to find!
43) Scatterbrain: A kaleidoscope monster able to break its victims into pieces. The Power Rangers Wiki compares him to The Nabisco Thing, which I haven’t thought about in years.
44) Needlenose: A sassy cactus monster that travelled back in time to 1880 with Goldar. You don’t need to like this show, but you ought to respect it.
45) Two-Headed Parrot: A parrot with a parasitic twin embedded in its stomach! Finds the fruit from the elusive Paramango tree irresistible.
46) Terror Blossom: Cherry blossom monster and resolute dandy. Wears its own tree bark like a frock coat.
47) Lipsyncher: A tube of Kimberley’s lipstick Lord Zedd turned into a monster. Poor Kimberley was often punished for her fashion accessories.
48) Chunky Chicken: Many of Rita’s monsters were actually bizarre interpretations of creatures from Greek mythology. Chunky Chicken was the cockatrice. He carried a pair of hedging shears able to tear holes in the fabric of time and space, which is amazing.
49) Shellshock: A tortoise with a traffic light on its back able to stop and start the flow of time. Weak to pollen from the “Deandra” flower.
50) Bones: Skeleton in a black cape and hat able to reassemble itself. Trini throws his head into a volcano.
51) Weldo: A cockamamie robot with hair like the bassist in Warrant.
52) Photomare: Freaky-looking monster created from a Polaroid camera. She’s able to trap people inside photographs and create functional photocopies of Zords.
53) Oysterizer: An oyster monster (a sadly under-represented category) not created by either Rita or Zedd, but instead a naturally occurring undersea behemoth off the coast of Angel Grove! Could there be more Oysterizers out there, still waiting to be discovered?
54) D.C.: The necklace monster! Could have been creepier, honestly.
55) Piecemeal: Neat-looking patchwork monster unfortunately relegated to background status.
56) Crabby Cabbie: A monstrous taxicab. In the Japanese series, he’s a modern interpretation of a haunted ox cart.
57) Miss Chief: A fireman/cupid monster that makes people fall in love. In the Japanese series, he was obsessed with the Aurora Borealis and hell bent on recreating it with fireworks. Added a strange pathos.
58) Yetiki: Another interesting background monster — a sort of Sasquatch bedecked in tiki masks. In the Japanese series, he made people choke on hairballs, so I have no idea why they didn’t feature an episode around him.
59) Showbiz Monster: Created from a TV camera. Speaks in “Showbiz” terminology like Mysterio, so that’s fun.
60) Professor Longnose: Master Vile’s creepy-looking field general. Based on a tengu, a long-nosed monster from Japanese mythology, but resembling a cartoon gold prospector with an unkempt beard. His hat flew off when he died, which was pretty excellent.
61) Flamehead: A fire-starting, oven-themed monster that rode a white stallion into battle.
62) Pachinko Head: Created from a Pachinko machine Rocky the Red Ranger couldn’t stop playing. Purple pants.
63) Putty Patrollers: The gobbling clay foot soldiers of Rita Repulsa and Lord Zedd. Fondly remembered by all.
64) Witchblade: An “old friend” of Lord Zedd’s who talks like the Wicked Witch of the West. Has a prosthetic arm the size of her entire body. Not as cool as Yancy Butler, but still pretty neat.
65) Parrot Top: Barely featured on MMPR, this monster had a dangerously codependent relationship with a squid-headed woman in the Japanese series, Kakuranger. Though played for laughs, it was still quite sobering when he’s cut in half while carrying the dying head of his wife into battle.
66) Polluticorn: Like the name suggests, a unicorn that pollutes.
67) Cannontop: It’s a cannon-themed monster, and on that point, it delivers.
68) Vampirus: Roughly vampiric monster with a tapered head ending in a puffball that talks like Peter Lorre.
69) Rockstar: Rock monster! And a good one, too. But still, only a rock monster.
70) Hate Master: The other MMPR monster to speak exclusively in rap. Simply not as charming as the Pumpkin Rapper.
71) Mirror Maniac: Another vanity item of Kimberley’s transformed into a monster. Kinda neat. Odd shade of green.
72) Master Vile: Rita’s dad. Enjoyed an antagonistic relationship with his son-in-law, Lord Zedd.
73) Hydro Hog: The arch nemesis of the Alien Rangers of Aquitar, he notably stopped the Shogun Megazord’s Fire Saber dead in its tracks. Looked a bit cooler in the original concept art, though.
74) Pudgy Pig: If MODOK were a pig and wore a galea. Based on the legend of Circe on Zyuranger.
75) Fang: An egg-obsessed monster with recessed eyes. Kinda tragic.
76) Stag Beetle: A stag beetle Zedd created from a sign-up sheet for a broomball team. He delivers. Giant, floppy pincers for arms.
77) Ravenator: A set of teeth with muscular arms. He was shrunk and injected into the body of Tommy so he wouldn’t stop eating.
78) Dramole: Bizarre interpretation of a mole that spews toxic smoke. Drama + mole = Dramole?
79) Barkzo: An upsetting clown/dog monster seen at Monster Vile’s Monster Conference. Based on the God of Poverty in the Japanese series.
80) Goatan: A chimera with a goat’s head radiating from its stomach.
81) Grumble Bee: A bee monster Rita commissioned from Finster to taunt Billy for getting a “B” on a science test. Heh. Looks a bit more like a Japanese giant hornet. Pretty solid, still.
82) Fighting Flea: A flea monster that gave Jason a hideous rash. Another nice insect creature.
83) Silver Horns: Monster with a southern accent, shaped like a triangle with jutting spikes. Has one humanoid eye and four that are more insect-like. Created from a tick.
84) Pirantishead: Piranha monster equipped with a pair of fish-shaped flutes held together by a chain and swung around like nunchuks.
85) Blue Globber: Slime monster created by Master Vile. Serviceably drippy.
86) Spidertron: A very round tarantula created to exploit Zack’s arachnophobia.
87) King Sphinx: A sphinx. Trivia: his head can be seen inside the comic shop on Saban’s later series, Big Bad Beetleborgs.
88) Robogoat: A “mythical cyborg goat” brought to life from Tommy’s illustrated book on myths and legends.
89) Tengas: Birds made of ooze that eventually replaced the putty patrollers as Rita’s foot soldiers. Have an incredibly dispiriting theme song, “Tenga Bye Bye.”
90) Bratboy: When Bulk, as a child, was turned into a monster by Rita and Zedd. Long story.
91) Vase Face: Tommy’s art project brought to hideous life!
92) Fourhead: Has four heads.
93) Mantis: It’s… a mantis. Spot on, too.
94) Centiback: A centipede/football quarterback monster. Challenged the Rangers to a game with an explosive football.
95) Tube Monster: Monster made from Bulk & Skull’s inner tube. Repaint of Pipe Brain.
96) Beamcaster: A radio/Ronin monster. Talks like a news reporter.
97) Katastrophe: A cat monster in lacy underwear. The monstrous alter ego of Australian exchange student, Katherine Hillard, the incoming Pink Ranger.
98) Soccadillo: Armadillo. Socks people.
99) Slotsky: When the Power Rangers were de-aged into children for a few episodes, Billy made this correcting device in the shape of a humanoid robot with dollar signs for eyes. No idea why. Naturally, Zedd brought it to life.
100) Babe Ruthless: Baseball-themed monster. Had a giant hole bored through its stomach by the Dragonzord. The camera panned through the exit wound like a David Fincher movie.
101) Trumpettop: Monster made from the trumpet belonging to Zack’s jazz musician uncle.
102) Dischordia: A monster who speaks in the voice of Ethel Merman.
103) Genie: It’s a genie, but also, Anubis?
104) Bad Bookala: Kabuki space alien.
105) Baboo: Monocle-wearing vampire-monkey. Part of Rita’s entourage.
106) Squatt: Baboo’s other half. Born on Venus.
107) Marvo the Meanie: The monstrous identity of science teacher, Mr. Wilton.
108) Eric & Merrick the Barbaric: Surfer dudes in neon blue and orange, straight out of the 1990 Ocean Pacific catalogue. They hug each other in death, which was sort of upsetting.
109) Peckster: Woodpecker monster. His voice is excruciating.
110) Saliguana: Fire-breathing monster made from Miss Appleby’s pet iguana.
111) Primator: An albino gorilla monster with baboon-like attributes.
112) Rhinoblaster: Rhinoceros creature with a recessed head poking from its fat neck. Also played football.
113) Gnarly Gnome: A gnome that threatened people with a rake.
114) Cyclops: A cyclops. Shapeshifter. Meh.
115) Inciserator: A deflated-looking monster exclusive to the US series, recycled from three suits belonging to other, cooler monsters. Most notably the “Bird Cage Vagabond” from Dairanger, which MMPR didn’t even bother to use! Come on, a living birdcage with a personal code of ethics and wanderlust!
116) Madame Woe: A woman who upsets people.
117) Repellator: A kinda crude repaint of the Silver Horns costume. Catches Kimberley’s cold.
118) Lizzinator: Lizard with hair. Underwhelming compared to most. Looks a bit like a Brian Froud creation.
119) Sinister Simian: Rastafarian monkey.
120) Mr. Ticklesneezer: Trini’s favourite doll, brought to life by Squatt. Trapped people inside his magic bottle, but the whole episode was only a dream of Trini’s.
121) Twin Man: Reflective monster. Cool looking, but not very imaginative.
122) Dark Warrior: Ninja in army camo. I have no time for this guy.
123) Frankenstein: Straight up, simply Frankenstein’s monster. Swung a ball and chain around, which was pretty great.
124) Lokar: Floating head who aided Rita for a few episodes.
125) Mondo the Magician: Antagonist from the book, Grumble, The Magic Elf. Fought the Rangers when they entered the storybook realm.
126) Samurai Fan Man: A monstrous humanoid with a big fan. Power Rangers would get better with upsetting humanoid creatures by the time they reached Turbo.
127) Octoplant: Fails to live up to either the promise of an octopus or a plant.
128) Mighty Minotaur: A minotaur that was more deer than bull.
129) Knasty Knight: Just a big, black suit of armour.
130) Snow Monster: Lousy repaint of Primator.
131) Giant: A giant. First monster the Rangers defeated. It was all uphill from here!
132) Wizard of Deception: US only monster, clearly built from the Halloween aisle of a nearby pharmacy.
133) Turkeyjerk: Saban plucked the Chunky Chicken costume, and made a turkey. Was it worth it?
134) Ghost Of Darkness: A plastic skull surely acquired from that same trip to the pharmacy. Still kinda charming.