After setting out to rank the best of the best of the Power Rangers across the television franchise, it might have looked like the Black Rangers were left out in the cold. The often second-in-command with a usually distinctive fighting style haven’t been forgotten, though. Now that the debates about which Yellow Ranger was the best and which Blue Ranger was the worst have been settled, it’s time to get down to the business of analyzing all of those heroes in black.
Black Rangers actually appear least often across all of the series in the Power Rangers franchise, with Green Rangers only appearing in a few more seasons than them. Several teams sport guys in green in lieu of black, which means there isn’t a huge list of Power Rangers to work from like there is for the team-leading Red Rangers. In addition to the Black Rangers who appeared as members of core teams in their seasons, this list also contains a few special sixth rangers who stood in for the role when teams didn’t have anyone in black on the core team.
In other words, if a Ranger or a surprise ally wore black, we’ve got them covered. See just where your favorites shake out in Every Black Ranger, Ranked Worst to Best.
When the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers found themselves transformed back into children and unable to access their powers, their called on the Alien Rangers of Aquitar to help protect the planet. The Alien Rangers were a great team, who not only worked well together, but worked well with the existing Power Rangers. The downside? The heroes themselves required huge amounts of water to get through a fight.
Corcus (Alan Palmer) was the Black Ranger of the team, and though he wasn’t the member most frequently in need of a hydro-boost, he didn’t actually make much of an impression either. Corcus was most often the Ranger in the background, so it’s hard to say whether he was very effective in his role on the team or not, which is why he lands on the bottom spot on the list.
The Phantom Ranger, clad all in black in something that was a cross between a space suit and a suit of armor, appeared in Power Rangers Turbo with no real explanation, where he would frequently vanish for episodes at a time. He had some pretty cool abilities for this early in the franchise’s run, like being able to become invisible, but there’s one major problem with him: we never learn his story.
In addition to not providing the audience with any details about where he’s really from or what his mission is, the Phantom Ranger’s identity is never even revealed. Was he someone the Turbo Rangers knew? Or maybe someone from another time? Another planet? We learned nothing, even when he was busy helping get the Rangers out of jams and Pink Ranger Cassie saved his life. No one ever even asked him to take off his mask.
The Jungle Fury team is one of the many teams that doesn’t have a Black Ranger as part of the core group. What they do have, however, is a trio of Masters who help teach them all how to use their abilities. One of those Masters is Master Swoop, the man who accesses the Bat Spirit, which appears as a Black Ranger in a fight.
The Bat Spirit can be channeled by other Rangers as well. In fact, Blue Ranger Theo is trained by Master Swoop in the ways of the Bat and is able to use the Bat Spirit’s fan and gliding techniques in battle. The Bat Spirit only ranks so low on the list because it’s not an actual Ranger, but more of a power that other Rangers can access. It would stand to reason that as more Jungle Fury Rangers are trained, the Bat Spirit would eventually belong to someone else instead of just being co-opted for help in a fight.
Also, that helmet is pretty dorky looking, no?
The only Power Ranger to work as a spy before being recruited, Will (Samuell Benta) has a great skill set. He’s good at infiltrating places the Overdrive Rangers aren’t supposed to be. He also sports some enhanced genetic abilities that include telescopic vision and super hearing, which likely gave him an edge in his job. Will, however, is also one of the many Rangers in the history of the franchise who doesn’t understand the value of having a team until it’s almost too late.
In his early days with the Power Rangers, Will is so certain that his abilities are enough to get the job done that he attempts to do missions on his own. It backfires when he’s put in serious danger on one such mission involving Atlantis and the team has to save his life. It’s not until he almost dies that he realizes having backup might not be so bad.
Of course, Will also swings to the complete opposite end of the teamwork spectrum later in the series as well, when he accidentally loses a jewel to the enemy when he’s trying to return it to its rightful owners. His guilt causes him to quit the team… until they welcome him back with open arms, of course (it's a kids show, folks).
A former student of Pai Zhua, just like the Jungle Fury Rangers, Jarrod (Bede Skinner) was kicked out of the academy for bullying other students. With his spirit being the Black Lion Warrior, Jarrod took on a Master of the academy in his anger, accidentally unleashing an evil spirit that then took over his body for the bulk of the season. Now, Jarrod isn’t technically a Power Ranger, so how did he land on this list? A fan theory suggests that he might be one day.
Audiences already knew that Jarrod had the Black Lion Warrior inside of him. Though he spent much of the season as an antagonist, he was eventually able to get Dai Shi, the evil spirit, out of his body. He then made a return to the side of good, not wanting to hurt anyone else, even though the Rangers didn’t trust him. By the time the series ended, Jarrod had enrolled at the academy again as a beginner, leading to the fans theorizing that one day he could become a Black Ranger in his own right.
Carlos (Roger Velasco) began his time in the Power Rangers franchise as a student at Angel Grove High on the soccer team coached by Adam Park. He eventually took Adam’s spot as the Green Turbo Ranger before leaving Earth behind (at least for a little while) to track down Zordon in outer space.
As one of the Power Rangers In Space, Carlos became the Black Ranger of the team. He remained the least mature of the group, and the one most often to make rash decisions. When things went badly for him on a mission, he wound up severely injuring Pink Ranger Cassie instead of their enemy by mistake. He made the decision to quit the team, thinking he was putting everyone else at risk, even though he’d been a Ranger for at least a year by that point with no adverse effects. It took Adam, the Green Turbo Ranger and Black Mighty Morphin Power Ranger, fighting alongside him with a defective morpher to change his mind and get his head back in the game.
It might be a surprise to see the original Mighty Morphin Black Ranger so low on the list, but given how short his days with the team were, and how much the show has evolved since his time, we can honestly say he doesn’t get to jump up any higher than this.
Zack (Walter Jones) was the coolest of cool outside of his Ranger uniform. A charming guy replete with a great set of dance moves, he had no trouble making friends, though he did have some difficulty getting the attention of the one girl he liked. He even had his own signature fighting style, hip hop kido, but was it really effective when half his time was spent pulling off dance moves instead of taking out the bad guys? Zack also was one of the first Rangers to voluntarily leave the team as he, the Red Ranger, and the Yellow Ranger all handed off their power coins to a few newcomers who actually fought against the bad guys without any special powers.
From a distant planet called Sirius, which was destroyed, Anubis Cruger (John Tui) is the acting commander of the Earth branch of SPD. It’s Cruger who assembles the Power Rangers teams and helps to create the protocol for operations. As a result, he’s more of a mentor than he is a Ranger for much of the series, but in a season where there is no Black Ranger, he does get his hands dirty in the field once in awhile.
When he entered the fold as the Shadow Ranger, Cruger repeatedly took on bad guys on his own, either taking on secondary missions from the team or heading into battle himself. Not only did he take on some of the SPD’s toughest opponents and best them, he was also promoted to the position of Supreme Commander of SPD by the end of the season’s run. His one fault? He overlooked the fact that his A-Squad of SPD Rangers had actually been turned to the dark side.
The Lost Galaxy season of Power Rangers was a little different in that it was the first series where there wasn’t a mentor figure like Zordon choosing who got to use the powers to save the world (or in this case, the galaxy). Destiny determined who would pull legendary sabers from a stone to wield the powers of the Rangers. Mike Corbett (Russell Lawrence) is the man who would have been a Red Ranger, but he passed along his saber to his little brother instead.
Mike, thought dead by the rest of the team for much of the season, reemerged when a being called the Magna Defender revealed he used Mike’s body to escape an abyss, where he had spent years waiting for a chance to get out and take revenge on Scorpius, the monster responsible for the death of his family. Mike’s moral compass prevented the Magna Defender from doing anything too bloodthirsty, and eventually, the power was passed on to him in his own right instead of sharing a body with another being.
As the season neared its end and the space colony Terra Venture was trying to escape a portal, it was Mike who used his abilities - ultimately sacrificing them - to hold the portal open and allow the colony to pass through.
A very different season of Power Rangers - the only one that exists in an alternate reality - calls for some very different Rangers. While most of the Rangers on the RPM team seem like stereotypes when the audience first meets them, their character arcs make them stand out from a lot of the characters in the franchise. Dillon (Daniel Ewing), who only calls himself that because he doesn’t know his real name, is one of those characters.
Suffering from amnesia, Dillon begins the show trying to make his way to the protected city of Corinth and repeatedly being attacked. Even though his car was being hijacked at one point, he teamed up with the hijacker (and another future fellow Ranger) to make sure that they would both get to the city alive. He was aloof and standoffish when his offer to join the team was extended, but he respected the Red Ranger as leader and felt a sense of duty to protect the city.
It’s later discovered that he and his sister were separated at a young age and that she was raised by the bad guys. They both have programming in the mechanical portions of their body that should make them both evil, but he is able to remind her of the good in her, and the pair goes on to help rebuild damaged cities as the series ends.
In the Megaforce seasons of Power Rangers, Jake (Azim Rizk) began his journey as a Black Ranger before becoming a Green Ranger when the “Super” version of the Rangers’ abilities came into play. As a result, he’s one of the few Rangers on this list to have more than one color under his belt.
Jake is a character who is outgoing and always willing to do the right thing, but some very human traits - like jealousy and a need for recognition - can get in his way. It takes him quite a while to mature over the course of the series, and some viewers might even think that he’s still the class clown when the series wraps up. Despite that fun loving nature, Jake is someone who can always get the job done, often having to bail his teammates out of trouble all on his own.
The first Ranger to receive his energem in the present day on the Dino Charge team, Chase (James Davies) proved himself as a truly brave soul before he was ever granted special abilities. He received the energem as a reward for saving a woman’s cat, and he became the first Black Ranger to become a Power Ranger before the rest of his team.
While Chase’s courage is never in question - and neither is his commitment to the team, since he returns to the fight even after they’ve gone their separate ways - he does have a few traits that keep him from cracking the top 3 on our list. For one thing, he’s incredibly forgetful, and he might just have the worst memory of any Power Ranger, save for those who experience amnesia. For another, he’s never on time, which gets him into quite a bit of trouble in his time with the team.
'90s fans know Tommy Oliver (Jason David Frank) as the original Green Ranger of the franchise, but he went through many colors in his journey as a Power Ranger. In fact, Tommy has seen more costume changes than anyone else in the franchise. Starting his career in green before moving onto white and red before leaving the show, he emerged in Dino Thunder as a scientist, something no one could have seen coming, before becoming the team’s Black Ranger.
Tommy has a big advantage over everyone else on this list: he knows the game. By the time he’s a Black Ranger, Tommy has seen more than his fair share of action, been on a few different teams, been brainwashed and come out of it more than once, and has gone up against more villains in the franchise than anyone else. That should make him the best Black Ranger, right? In reality, he’s better off as a mentor to his team than he is a Ranger.
At this point, it had been nearly a decade since Tommy passed his uniform on to someone else in the Turbo season. Isn’t it a little strange to have a teacher team up with the students he’s supposed to be supervising in detention?
Danny (Jack Guzman) was the fourth Ranger to be recruited for the Wild Force, as all of the heroes got the call at different times. Something of a gentle giant, Danny is physically the strongest member of his team, but he’s sweet and introspective, not someone who's prone to showing off his skills.
In addition to that strength, Danny can also understand what the Wild Force zords are saying, though the only other Ranger who can is the team leader. He also serves up a near constant reminder to never give up, though sometimes he needs a little reminding of his own. He puts his place on the team above everything else, despite his outside interests in studying flowers or in his coworker at a local flower shop. Danny was a steadying force for this incarnation of the team, though that consistancy wasn't quite enough to earn him the top spot.
The second hero to wear the Black Ranger suit, Adam (Johnny Yong Bosch) came onto the Mighty Morphin team when Zack left. He held the Black Ranger mantle through the Power Rangers getting new ninja powers, and he appeared in the first franchise movie, though it wasn’t part of the show canon. After that, he would go on to be the Green Zeo and Turbo Rangers, being the first to start the trend of Green standing in for Black in many of the seasons.
Some might be wondering just how Adam managed to outrank his former team leader Tommy, and if this were a list of Green Rangers, Tommy would come out on top. As a Black Ranger, Adam was the consummate team player, always being there to fight alongside his pals, and he even did it before officially becoming a Black Ranger, helping the Pink Ranger long before he was offered a power coin of his own. He experimented with new forms of fighting, kept an open mind when he met new people, and slowly built up his confidence over the course of the series.
Despite his last Ranger color being Green, Adam also returned for a few team up episodes in his old Black Ranger gear, once to show Carlos what it meant to be a Ranger for In Space, and once in Operation Overdrive with Rangers from various seasons to help out on a particularly tough mission. For Adam, once a Ranger, always a Ranger.
Where did your favorite Black Ranger end up? Did we get the rankings just right, or does someone else deserve the top spot? Hit us up with a comment and let us know!
So far, Power Rangers Ninja Steel doesn’t have a Black Ranger in the lineup, but you can still catch all the Power Rangers fun as the series airs on Nickelodeon. And if you want to see a very different version of the original Mighty Morphin lineup, Power Rangers is currently playing in theaters.