There are a plethora of reasons to enjoy the campy and fanciful franchise that is Power Rangers. A television series and media legacy spanning over 25 years, Power Rangers has stood the test of time in the eyes of its devoted fanbase by providing impressive martial arts mixed with classic slapstick humor. There is something for everyone in the world of Power Rangers, be it the stylish suits, state of the art weaponry, or memorable cast of characters. The various seasons of Power Rangers have engaged their audience by having charismatic stars like the many Rangers, entertaining supporting characters such as Bulk and Skull, or iconic threats like the many villains from throughout the show's run.
Because of Power Rangers' long history as an all-ages program incorporating the footage from another franchise -- the Japanese series Super Sentai in this instance -- it has had an eclectic array of very different antagonists. Depending on the themes, writing, or tone of a season, its villains could be comedic, intimidating, complex, and even a combination of all three. Villains from Power Rangers sometimes are adapted Sentai villains, save for new American suit actors and voice actors, but other times are whole-cloth new inventions, made exclusively for the Western audience. The villains of Power Rangers are just as crucial elements to the show as anything else, with many having a list of nefarious deeds and accomplishments to back up their designs and characterization. Here is CBR's list of the baddest bosses and meanest monsters to appear in the Power Rangers franchise.
The younger son of Emperor Mavro, Vrak was one of the main villains to the highly ambitious, but somewhat lackluster anniversary seasons Power Rangers Megaforce and Power Rangers Super Megaforce. Vrak received much more characterization than the other villains in the series, including his father and older brother Vekar.
Vrak was a schemer whose plans of conquest would often require a great deal of deception and trickery as opposed to his villainous peers. Whether it was forging alliances with other evil factions, or brainwashing Ranger ally Roboknight, Vrak's ability to manipulate friend and foe alike proved just as deadly as his physical prowess in combat.
When Broodwing was first introduced in Power Rangers: SPD, he was a general to the main villain Emperor Grumm, albeit a different kind of general. Broodwing was not a snivelling servant like those of past seasons, but a businessman who's only interested in self-preservation and profit.
Broodwing was a black market arms dealer with a collection of weapons, robots, and other useful armaments that he would sell to Grumm and the Troobian Empire. Grumm later decided to stop paying Broodwing for his repeated failed equipment, which led to Broodwing striking out on his own in an attempt to conquer the Earth before Grumm out of spite. This rivalry with Grumm was less interesting than the characterization that came before but did result in some victories for Broodwing such as his siege of the Space Patrol Delta headquarters.
Out of all of the generals in Power Rangers history, Ecliptar remains one of the most nuanced and complicated. The second in command to Empress of Evil Astronema, Ecliptar raised Astronema himself after she was delivered to him as a baby. The details of their history make their relationship unique, with Ecliptar's loyalties to Astronema coming from his place as her subordinate and a surrogate father figure.
Throughout the series, Ecliptar was shown to share characteristics with other PR villains, such as a desire for destruction and hatred of "goodness," but his genuine love for Astronema made him stand out as a unique character. Ecliptar cared about Astronema first and foremost and was willing to put her well-being above everything, including himself and the other villains.
A different kind of big bad, Sledge served as the main antagonist of Power Rangers Dino Charge and the ending portion of Power Rangers Dino Super Charge. Sledge was a bounty hunter hired by Lord Arcanon to acquire alien criminals and the rare Energems, but later ousting his employer and deciding to keep the bounties for himself.
A somewhat comedic villain, Sledge would gruffly complain about the labors of galactic conquest, his wife Poisandra, and the incompetence of his band of space pirates. Even though his character was played up for comedy, Sledge was still a serious threat, thrashing the Dino Charge Rangers with little difficulty in their early confrontations.
The Queen of Demons and the main antagonist of Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue, Bansheera was sealed away from the material world until the season's final handful of episodes. Though Bansheera proved to be quite the menace after she reclaimed her physical body, her most noteworthy character trait was her selfishness.
Bansheera as a villain is completely self-serving and was willing to sacrifice all of her minion's lives, including that of her own son if it meant defeating the Rangers and ensuring her survival. With no loyalty and powerful arsenal of attacks and magic, Bansheera was a great enemy that embodied evil itself.
One of the most memorable generals from MMPR, Scorpina was first introduced to bolster Rita’s forces during the multi-episode "Green with Evil" story. Scorpina would then appear sporadically throughout season 1, but only had one final appearance in Season 2’s "Goldar’s Vice Versa" before disappearing off-screen.
Even though her role in the ongoing arc of the series was quite minimal, Scorpina's unique design and deadly abilities left a lasting impression to the Power Rangers’ fanbase. The fan reaction to Scorpina was so positive that her character has been expanded on within the Power Rangers Hyperforce web-series and the Boom Studios! Comics.
The first monster general in Power Rangers history, Goldar was the right-hand man of Rita Repulsa, and later Lord Zedd. As his namesake implies, Goldar is adorned head to toe in gold-plated armor and wields the mighty sword of his brother Silverback, whom he betrayed to show fidelity to Lord Zedd.
Goldar was a character who greatly suffered from PR’s power creep, initially being a benchmark for Rita’s evil forces as her strongest warrior, but was basically a gag character by the end of Mighty Morphin and beginning of Zeo. Even with this fall from grace Goldar is an important fixture in the Power Rangers mythos, beloved by fans, and was even deemed important enough for Lionsgate to adapt for the 2017 Power Rangers film.
Simply called “The Master” by his minions, Octomus is the embodiment of evil magic in Power Rangers Mystic Force. A Lovecraftian-like nightmare with one of the best costumes in Power Rangers history, Octomus was an intimidating being of extraordinary power and influence. Trapped by a spell after the Great War, the forces of darkness freed Octomus in the final episodes of Mystic Force where he restarted his war on good magic anew.
Even if Octomus does not act directly until the end of the series, the references and humbled reverence invoked by minion and enemy alike imply what kind of force he is as the lord of all evil magic.
18 DARK SPECTRE
As the leader of the United Alliance of Evil, Dark Spectre was a powerful demonic-looking monster that unified the villains of Power Rangers into one galaxy-conquering army. This organizational feat, as well as the kidnapping of the Rangers' original mentor Zordon, are impressive accomplishments in their own right but more or less the only thing he has going for him.
Dark Spectre only exists to give the Alliance a figurehead to rally behind before Astronema rises to the role of true main villain herself with no personality of his own beyond being scary looking and evil. Even so, Dark Spectre still holds the distinction of being the first leader of a multi-villain alliance.
Finster started out his existence as a secondary villain; the monster maker to space witch Rita Repulsa. Finster was memorable to be sure but never stood out as an independent threat beyond doing the bidding for Rita and later Lord Zedd.
Like many aspects of the PR cannon, Boom! Studios would change this within the pages of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers comic. The various issues have heavily expanded on Finster, making him a chillingly interesting character with a tragic horror backstory and intriguing characterization behind his motivations. Sometimes creepy, always well spoken, this monster artisan's dreams are the Rangers’ worst nightmares.
In terms of villain arcs and character progression, Trakeena is definitely the Power Ranger villain who went through the most change. Originally the spoiled and bratty daughter of Lost Galaxy villain Scorpius, Trakeena had a massive motivation change following the death of her father midway through the season.
Trakeena became more intimidating, cunning, and physically skilled, being trained in these things and more by the swordsman Villamax. She developed ambitions of conquest similar to her father and swore vengeance on whomever was responsible for his death. This began a quest for retribution that would conclude with her transformation into a monstrous bug monster similar to her father.
15 RITO REVOLTO
The bumbling brother of Rita Repulsa, with a completely different last name for some reason, Rito was simultaneously the most comedic monster general from the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, as well as the most effective.
Rito journeys to the Moon offering to finally finish the Power Rangers on behalf of Rita and Zedd as a belated wedding gift. To his credit, he almost succeeds, gifting his sister and new brother-in-law with a new army of Tenga Warriors, and leading a small army of monsters to destroy the Thunderzords. Fortunately, the Rangers discover new Ninja Powers and use them to defeat Rito temporarily. Rito would recuperate and stay with his sister and company for the remainder of Season 3, acting as both added muscle and a comedic foil to Lord Zedd and Goldar.
Originally the warrior Leanbow, Koragg was an identity created by Octomus to enslave Leanbow, making him a servant to the forces of evil. The spell was a slight success, compelling Leanbow to serve the will of evil as Koragg, but so strong that it erased the warrior's personality completely.
Even as Koragg, he would live by a personal code of honor, sparing the Rangers when he deemed them too weak to fight, and insisting the only true victory would be to beat the forces of good on equal footing, something that would infuriate his fellow general and temporary big bad Imperius.
13 MASTER VILE
The father of Rita Repulsa and Rito Revolto, who somehow has an even different third last name, Master Vile was a brilliant and twisted sorcerer ruling the evil M51 Galaxy. Like Rito before him, Vile comes to Earth to assist his daughter and her husband in their war against the Rangers.
Vile proved to be a different type of villain than Rita and Zedd, using plans with multiple moving parts like tricking the Rangers to steal the Zeo crystal for him or putting the Rangers in compromising positions by tying a monster's life force to that of their friend Ninjor. He did, however, show less patience than Zedd and Rita, returning to M51 after only a handful of defeats. Whether this means he is a sore loser or knew to quit while he was ahead is open to debate.
12 EMPEROR GRUMM
The emperor of the Troobian Empire and arch-enemy to Anubis Doggie Kruger, Grumm was an intimidating enemy from Power Rangers SPD. As a Power Rangers-exclusive villain, the designers gave Grumm design elements that proved successful in past enemies including a staff, booming voice, pointed horns, and intimidating throne.
He showed prowess as a military commander, with nuanced plans that required deception and subterfuge, his monsters attacking multiple locations to throw off the Rangers' concentration from his true goal. And while it was a little disappointing that Grumm was revealed to be the henchman of a greater evil, he was still a frightening villain with a track record of destroyed worlds following behind him.
A much more sympathetic villain than most of what Power Rangers brings to the table, Ransik was a genetic Mutant, created 1000 years in the future from humanity's experimentation with genetic engineering. Like other Mutants, Ransik experienced hardships separate from the utopia of the 31st Century, which put in him a desire for hatred and destruction.
Ransik did, however, have one soft spot in Nidara, his daughter, who he loved above all else. This relationship added an extra layer to his character beyond his hatred and desire for destruction. Ransik was also a very capable villain, able to pull weapons out of his body to face the Rangers head-on.
10 MASTER ORG
One of the most realistic villains in Power Rangers history, Master Org is the modern incarnation of an ancient pollution demon of the same name. Originally, Dr. Viktor Adler was a scientist and member of an exploration team along with couple Elizabeth and Richard Evans. Adler was in love with Elizabeth and envious of Richard, growing to hate them both as he consumed the 3,000-year-old remains of the original Master Org.
Now imbued with supernatural powers and a hatred of humanity, the new Master Org would oppose the Wild Force Power Rangers, including their leader Cole Evans, the son of Adler's former colleagues. When stripped away from the magic and the fantasy, the story of Dr. Adler's monstrous transformation is somewhat relatable to real-world societies, and how depressing isolation can turn a person into a monster that destroys all they claim to love.
The alternate personality of wealthy scientist Anton Mercer, Mesogog was created from Mercer’s research with dinosaur DNA. Mercer was on the verge of a breakthrough, but couldn’t risk testing his new serum on anyone but himself, unleashing the Mesogog persona in classic sci-fi fashion.
Mesogog was cunning and cold, only lashing out at moments of extreme anger when his minions showed weakness or failure. He believed in dinosaur superiority and should inherit the Earth once more, attempting to achieve that goal with his telekinetic powers and army of genetically-spliced monsters.
8 DAI SHI
A malevolent beast that was imprisoned by the Pai Zhuq society, or Order of the Claw, Dai Shi was freed hundreds of years later, battling the Jungle Fury Power Rangers. Possessing the body of disgraced Pai Zhuq student Jarrod, Dai Shi poisoned the mind of his host by fueling Jarrod's worst impulses.
Like the Symbiotes of Spider-Man lore, Jarrod's repressed anger and inclinations toward bullying are magnified by Dai Shi, making their union a hybrid of the two's worst traits. Dai Shi was both a powerful supernatural enemy and a mental one when considering how traumatic the experience of possession was on Jarrod.
7 THE MACHINE EMPIRE
After antagonizing the Power Rangers for three years, Rita Repulsa and Lord Zedd were dethroned as main villains of the franchise by the resource-hungry forces of King Mondo and the Machine Empire. Introduced as a massive army of robot aliens, the Machine Empire was like nothing the fans of the franchise had seen before and brought tremendous new possibilities with their arrival.
The Machine Empire is most intimidating when considered as an all-encompassing force. Though it was primarily controlled by King Mondo, it has also seen leadership from the likes of Mondo's eldest son Prince Gasket, and usurper Louie Kaboom. No matter who wears the steely metal crown, the Machine Empire is a universal force that destroys anything within its metal grasp.
Born into the human colony of KO-35, the Empress of Evil known as Astronema was once a little girl named Karone, sister to future Red Ranger Andros. After being captured by the forces of evil, Karone was lied to about her past and brought up to believe in the ways of evil.
Raised by Ecliptar, who she viewed as a father, Astronema would go on to be one of the most feared dictators in the galaxy, able to vaporize ancient warriors and civilizations with the power of her staff. The character journey of Astronema is one of the most tragic and most fascinating in the entire series, with Astronema severely conflicted about her loyalties after discovering the Red Ranger is her brother.
5 PSYCHO RANGERS
Five monsters powered by the Morphin Grid -- the power source for all teams of Power Rangers -- the Psycho Rangers are as psychotic and frightening as their name implies. With each one being more sadistic and deranged than the last, the Psychos only care about the total destruction of the Power Ranger representing their individual color.
Though the concept of the Psychos could on paper be weak or one-note, their use of strategy, their multitude of abilities and dogged tenacity to achieve their goal -- even in opposition to other villains -- make them a frightening and fascinating group of villains.
Unlike most of the villains on this list, the sentient computer virus known as Venjix was the first villain in Power Rangers history who can claim victory over his version of Earth. At the beginning of Power Rangers RPM, the world is a polluted dystopia, most of humanity is enslaved or worse, and Venjix sends his robot forces to assault the domed city of Corinth Earth's last vestiges of humanity.
Venjix is a cruel, unfeeling, unyielding being making various physical bodies so he can participate in his final conquest up close. Venjix is a monster lacking any semblance of humanity, and is determined to crush the world under the heels of his mechanical forces.
3 LORD DRAKKON
A tragic figure, Lord Drakkon is an alternate version of veteran Power Ranger Tommy Oliver. In the prime timeline of Power Rangers, Tommy was brainwashed by Rita Repulsa before being freed and befriended by the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. In Lord Drakkon's timeline, however, Drakkon is freed of Rita's hypnotic influence, but still decides to side with the Space Witch in the conflict over Earth. He eventually overcomes the Rangers once and for all, while increasing his own power - and hunger thereof -- exponentially.
Thus began the journey of Lord Drakkon, a dark shadow of Tommy Oliver that would become the twisted dictator of his world. Drakkon is complex, sadistic, tortured, and misguided quickly becoming a fan-favorite and one of the best contributions of Boom Studios! Power Rangers comics.
2 RITA REPULSA
The first main antagonist faced by the first team of Power Rangers, Rita Repulsa's place in the franchise is indisputable. A space witch sealed away in a galactic dumpster for 10,000 years, Rita Repulsa uses occult monsters and vaguely steampunk technology in her quest to subjugate the Earth.
Rita Repulsa's name is synonymous with the franchise, her plans are franchise-defining, and her monsters are some of the most beloved and memorable in the series. She has seen further adaptation in new media like Lionsgate's Power Rangers film, where she was played by Elizabeth Banks or the Boom Studios! comic books, where she receives new explorations of her character. Rita Repulsa is the original Empress of Evil and will always be remembered as such.
1 LORD ZEDD
Rita Repulsa was the first main villain, the original baddest baddie. When writers decided to revitalize the franchise with Season 2, they knew they needed a villain that could be just as intimidating, memorable, and beloved as Rita was for so many episodes. Enter Emperor of Evil, Lord Zedd.
An original US creation with a nightmarish design that included exposed muscle and striking skeletal armor. Though Zedd's actions were very similar to Rita's, the methodology behind those actions set them apart. Lord Zedd didn't just make monsters from nothing, he would attack the Rangers personally with spells and curses that would bring their prized possessions to life, or trick them with mystical deceptions. And though he failed just as frequently as the Empress of Evil, he would return to the cold comfort of his chair, staring at the Rangers from above as he schemed his next sinister plot.