Power Rangers literally owes its existence to Japan’s long-running Super Sentai franchise. For decades, fans on both sides of the ocean haven’t been able to get enough of the changing series of super-powered teens in colored costumes fighting a variety of monsters. It’s a formula that hasn’t changed too much over the years as why fix what isn’t broken? Since the beginning, Power Rangers has played with the “special Ranger” idea, a side Ranger who joins the team. It used to be called “the Sixth Ranger” but that’s a bit of a misnomer. Some shows have three main Rangers and then extra ones added in. A few shows expand it to the point of almost nine or ten Rangers total.
They can run the gamut from full-fledged team members to only aiding in a few episodes. There’s been slews of them with some better accepted than others. Obviously, working in the original Japanese footage can be tricky so some of these special Rangers don’t fit as well as others (particularly ones who are basically robots). Other times, the special guys just don’t spark up the series as much as they could have. But others are able to play major roles and help their respective Ranger series stand out much better.Here are how 20 of the best “Special” Rangers rank and how adding an extra color always ensures a special touch to the iconic franchise.
20 KAT, SPD
Some may quibble on this as she was only morphed for one episode. But given all her great work throughout SPD, it should count. Katherine Manx lived up to her name as a feline alien who aided the SPD team. She was their science whiz who helped develop a lot of their technology and a good source for advice. In one episode, Kat finds herself clashing with a former friend gone bad. She’s given a special morpher to become the Kat Ranger and does a terrific job in battle. Kat has to give it up but still helps the team. She even risks herself defending the planet from a huge invasion in the big finale. Kat proved she could be a heroine without a costume which just made her turn as a Ranger more notable.
19 MERRICK/LUNAR WOLF
Wild Force had some complex storylines but few were deeper than this. 3000 years in the past, Merrick was one of several heroes trying to fight back the evil Org empire. Merrick sought out a legendary mask he could use to defend his land. He succeeded but the mask’s power took over Merrick, turning him into the evil Zen-Aku. His comrades had no choice but to imprison him for his own good. He was freed by Master Org to attack the Rangers. They turned him back to the light but Merrick remained forced to transform into a wolf monster every full moon.
The Rangers helped break the curse and during a battle, Merrick found some of his old powers returning to him. This allowed him to become the Lunar Wolf Ranger to aid the team. Keeping to his nature, Merrick remained a lone wolf, often staying away but returning to aid the team in major fights (including the team-up with the Time Force Rangers). He may not have been a true team player but Merrick still made a good Ranger.
18 ANTONIO, SAMURAI
For a time, the Samurai Rangers had been getting odd notes from someone simply saying “see you soon.” They tracked the notes down to Antonio, a good-natured fish peddler. When the Rangers had been defeated, Antonio showed up with his own morpher to become the Gold Ranger. It turned out he had found the thing while fishing and used it to become a Ranger. At first, he was dismissed by teacher Ji as he’d never had samurai training but proved himself helping the Rangers later.
While he could be absent-minded (even once losing his morpher), Antonio’s enthusiasm made up for it. He was also a tech genius who helped craft various weapons and devices to help the team. His incredible speed allows him to take down scores of enemies at once so while he may not have the same training as his teammates, Antonio had the heart of a Ranger nonetheless
17 LEVI, NINJA STEEL
Introduced mid-way through Ninja Steel’s first season, Levi Preston is a major country music star that the Rangers are fans of (except Brody, who’s been in space for years). It was revealed that when the Warrior Dome forces attacked, Levi was abducted and put through a brainwashing machine that altered some of his memories. Levi would escape and steal a Gold Ninja Star to keep it out of the villains’ hands. When the Rangers were hit hard in battle, Levi used the Star to become the Gold Ranger.
His laid-back manner and ease with fame helped win the Rangers over to Levi as they accepted him as an aide. This set up the big turn that Levi was Brody’s brother to let them bond further as a team. Levi has been very capable in the role and top notch in a fight thanks to the great Gold Ranger powers. While music is his first love, Levi proves himself a star Ranger as well.
16 KENDALL MORGAN, DINO CHARGE
For most of the first season of Dino Charge, Kendall Morgan is the Rangers’ tech support and chief scientist. She can be stand-offish to the point of refusing to let anyone call her by her first name. Yet she has a great deal of smarts and cares for the team and not above being able to throw down on occasion with a bad guy. In the big first-season finale, Kendall infiltrates the enemy ship on her own to get her hands on an energem crystal before the bad guys. This proves her worth so the gem bonds to her and turns her into the Purple Ranger.
While not as skilled at first, Morgan rises up in the Super Dino Charge season to become a capable fighter. She’s still more at home in a lab than combat but proved herself defending the base from an attacker and laying it all on the line with the team. The final episode does have her finally letting them call her “Kendall” to show how this brainiac proved to be a terrific Ranger as well.
15 LEANBOW, MYSTIC FORCE
Now here’s an interesting case. As Mystic Force begins, Koragg is clearly one of the show’s big villains. A serious armored knight, he constantly battles the Rangers while also having a mental connection to Nick. It’s shown Koragg has a sense of honor, refusing to attack unarmed people and claiming victory means nothing if it’s done by less-than-wholesome means. In a huge fight, Koragg leaps to intercept a magical blast meant for Udonna. This causes him to transform into his true form of her husband, Leanbow.
Long thought lost in a huge battle long before, Leanbow was corrupted by dark magic to become Koragg. He leaves for a journey to try and control his dark side. When he returns, he’s now the Wolf Warrior, his armor bright red and a force for good. Discovering Red Ranger Nick is his son also aids Leanbow as he even helps Nick when the latter is briefly turned into a new Koragg. The rare case of an armored enemy who became a key Ranger, Leanbow has to stand tops among the "extra" Rangers.
14 GEM AND GEMMA, RPM
RPM was the darkest of the Rangers shows which took place in a future where mechanical forces led by Venjix conquered the world. A suprising turn was that the team’s science mentor, Dr. K was responsible for all this. Years before, she’d been held captive by a military think tank where she met Gem and Gemma. The twins were full of energy, very smart and would constantly finish each other’s sentences. To escape the facility, K created Venjix only for the virus to get out of control. She assumed the twins were lost when the base fell.
Years later, the Rangers find themselves aided by Gold and Silver Operatives. They turn out to be Gem and Gemma who aid the team. They can be a bit trigger-happy but it’s offset by their humor and wild behavior to win the team over. The Rangers crack on how it seems the duo share a single brain but make a formidable pair in combat to rank as an equal pair of special Rangers.
13 CAM, NINJA STORM
As Ninja Storm begins, Cam is the son of Sensei Kanoi and looked down on by the ninja students as a major nerd. When the main trio are all that’s left of the school, they discover Cam is a super-genius who has helped create their Morphers and other devices and weapons for them to use. Cam’s sarcastic sense of humor poked fun at the insanity of the Rangers’ adventures although he could provide some surprising support.
When the Rangers were powerless, Cam underwent a journey into the past. This led him to unlock the power of the Green Samurai Ranger. The team were amazed at Cam transforming into a fantastic warrior who became a major force in battle. He was far more confident although still with his sense of humor. He returned in the Dino Thunder team-up to show how you can never be sure who has the goods to be a Ranger.
12 TRENT MERCER, DINO THUNDER
While it was rather obvious from the start, it took a while for Dino Thunder to confirm that the evil Mesogog was the monstrous alter ego of millionaire Anton Mercer. Trent was Mercer’s adoptive son who preferred motorcycles over his father’s scientific work. Investigating his father’s secret life, Trent found a white gem that transformed him into the White Dino Ranger. At first, Trent can’t control it and finds himself corrupted by the gem to battle the other Rangers.
They help Trent gain control of himself to become a member of the team. Mesogog retaliates by creating an evil clone of Trent to give him constant trouble. While he has a bit of an attitude, Trent means well although keeping his dad’s evil side a secret does cause trouble with the Rangers. The character recently returned in Ninja Steel’s big anniversary team-up to show he still can roar with the rest of the Rangers.
11 SIR IVAN, DINO CHARGE
The Dino Charge Rangers had put up some odd events already. But the arrival of a Ranger who was over 800 years old was something else. Sir Ivan had been a knight in ancient times who battled the evil Fury. They were merged into a single being with Fury later using a special energem to battle the Rangers. This allowed Ivan to assert himself to take back both his body and the Gold Ranger powers. There was a clash of cultures as Ivan was a man out of time and having trouble handling the modern world. This led to humor of him being amazed at everything from technology to the Earth not being flat.
At times, Ivan’s sense of honor led to issues as he could be a tad too trusting for his own good. He clashed with Phillip, the prince of his current nation, over the Gold Ranger mantle but that was settled by Phillip becoming the Graphite Ranger. Serving with honor, Ivan brought some class to the Dino Charge team to show he was as great a Ranger as he’d been a knight.
10 HUNTER AND BLAKE, NINJA STORM
“It takes a Ranger to beat a Ranger.” Lothor decided to use this idea to finally go after the Ninja Storm Rangers. The trio were shocked to find themselves attacked by a pair of figures in Ranger armor with lightning-like powers. They clashed a few times although the Rangers were confused with the Thunder Rangers bailed them out of a jam and claimed they were repaying a debt. The explanation came when they discovered the Thunder Rangers were Hunter and Blake, a pair of adoptive brothers the teens had befriended.
The duo had lost their parents to an evil force and been trained as ninjas. They managed to get the Thunder morphers as they were tricked by Lothor into thinking the Rangers were their enemies. They soon realized the truth and turned on Lothor to join the team. They could clash with the Wind Rangers a bit but still helped out in the final battle to save the day. It showed the bond of the brothers was always great to bring some thunder to the Ranger mythos.
9 DAGGERON, MYSTIC FORCE
In the Mystic Force episode “Long Ago,” Udonna discovers her former ally Calindor has become the evil Imperius. Meanwhile, the Rangers are battling a monster when a frog manages to save Madison’s life. She gives it a kiss which breaks a curse and transforms the frog into the handsome Daggeron. He immediately uses a Solar Cell morpher to become the Solaris Knight. A great fighter, he uses the genie Jenji as an aide in battle.
Daggeron also became a teacher to the Mystic Force, helping them with their powers and even a fun “field trip.” He lets the Rangers learn from their mistakes while being there to help them with some issues. Stern and non-nonsense at first, Daggeron softens a bit as the series goes along but still shines well as a mentor as well as a Ranger.
8 ZHANE, SPACE
A recurring bit on In Space was Andros hiding something in a chamber from the other Rangers. It turned out to be a figure in some sort of cryogenic chamber. Andros explained this was his best friend, Zhane. They had been defending a planet from an alien attack when Zhane took a blast meant for Andros which put him into a coma. When their ship crashed, the Rangers found themselves overtaken in battle. The Rangers were quite surprised when enemies were sent literally flying out of the ship before a recovered Zhane came out as the Silver Ranger.
Zhane proved his skills by single-handedly defeating Ecliptor. He could get into some trouble by jumping into situations fast but humor as he actually tried to date Astronema (not knowing she was Andros’ sister at the time). He even stepped up to a leadership role later in the season to show he was equal to Andros in terms of being a great Ranger.
7 ERIC MYERS, TIME FORCE
Time Force was pushed by Wes accepting his role as the Red Ranger on the team and trying to make a path without the air of his millionaire father. In a move to prove his power, Wes’ dad created the Silver Guardians, his private police force for the city. Their leader was Eric, Wes’ former friend from prep school. The two had a falling out with Eric wrongly believing Wes looked down on him as Eric grew up poor. This led to him truly intense in the field to prove himself.
Eric managed to get possession of a special morpher hunted by both sides and became the Quantum Ranger. At first, he clashed with Wes and the other Rangers but soon realized they had to be on the same side to battle evil. He even stands up to his boss to defend the Rangers. Wild Force reveals Wes and Eric have become friends again and Eric still serving as the Quantum Ranger to show a good switch from his previous poor attitude to become a hero.
6 RJ, JUNGLE FURY
When the future Jungle Fury Rangers go to find their new master, they assume they’re looking for some aged figure. Instead, it’s RJ, the young, quirky, laid-back owner of their local pizzeria. While his “training headquarters” is laid out like a rec room, RJ actually aids the Rangers well, giving them their Morphers and training in their powers. His dad was one of the Spirit Rangers although RJ was a bit more rebellious.
A wild plot had RJ finding himself turning into a wolf-like creature. This turned out to be his inner spirit trying to break loose. In a method to control it, RJ had his own morpher to become the Wolf Ranger in a purple suit. That led to him becoming a stronger leader and teacher for the Rangers team and also making up with his dad. RJ ends the show still running his pizza parlor but proved he was a great first Purple Ranger.
5 UDONNA, MYSTIC FORCE
The first encounter of the Mystic Force and Udonna is her in a cloak scaring them in a forest. Udonna proves herself a wise sorceress who recruits the Rangers as mystic guardians. She’s actually the first Ranger to morph on the series, taking on the persona of the White Mystic Ranger. She loses her Snow Staff which forces her to be without her powers for a time. However, Udonna becomes a very good teacher to the Rangers, passing on her wisdom and warm humor.
A major turn has Udonna discovered enemy Koragg is her long-thought dead husband Leanbow. That leads to the discovery Nick is their son. Udonna does regain her Staff later in the series to once more become a Ranger and aid the team in the epic final battle. The last we see of Udonna, she, Nick and Leanbow are going on a family motorcycle trip to bond and let the character shine as a wonderful teacher in many ways.
4 CRUGER, SPD
From the beginning of SPD, Doggie Cruger was the tough-as-nails commander of the super police squad. He was as gruff as his namesake but cared for his people. He wanted to give lessons to the Rangers in order for them to learn from their mistakes and be as great as they could be. He was haunted by the invasion of his home world and loss of his wife which drove him to be tougher on others. Facing a deadly enemy, Cruger broke out a special morpher to become the Shadow Ranger. He showed his stuff by taking out a hundred enemies in his first battle.
Cruger still could be a teacher. When the Rangers appeared to slack off because of the Shadow Ranger, Cruger stayed out of a fight to remind them of their responsibilities. He would find out his wife was alive and rescue her while still proving himself as a commander. The Rangers always respected Cruger but him as the Shadow Ranger made them admire him more.
3 MAGNA DEFENDER, LOST GALAXY
This mysterious armored figure first showed up in Lost Galaxy intent on destroying the evil Scorpius. Once a noble warrior, the Magna Defender was thrown by the loss of his son, Zika, and dedicated himself purely to revenge. He clashed with the Rangers as much as aided them, intent on destroying Scorpius above all else. He revealed he had saved the life of the Red Ranger’s brother, Mike, before engaging in a final battle. He fell and was shown finally reuniting with his son.
When the Rangers were being trashed by a monster, Mike wanted to help. The Defender’s spirit arrived to reveal his new destiny by having Mike literally take up his sword. Mike became the new Magna Defender, a warrior capable of transforming into his own Zord. Mike was willing to let his younger brother Leo lead the team and trusted him totally. Mike sacrificed his powers to save Terra Venture yet proved he was an even better Defender than the original.
2 JASON LEE SCOTT (ZEO)
The original Red Ranger, Jason Scott did quite well as the team leader. He handled a variety of monsters, teenage issues and helped the Rangers out majorly. In the second season, Austin St. John left the show in a bit of a cloud with Jason passing the Red Ranger mantle to Rocky. In Zeo, the Rangers had discovered the mysterious Gold Ranger was the alien Trey. The man had been forced to split into three beings who couldn’t contain the Gold Ranger power. Needing a new host, the Rangers called on Jason who gladly accepted the chance to get back in the saddle. He did great working with the team once more although he was forced to give the powers back to Trey in the end. Still, Jason showed he was just as terrific a Ranger in Gold as he had been in Red.
1 TOMMY OLIVER
Green, White, Red or Black. It doesn’t matter what color he wore, Tommy Oliver was always the best of the “extra” Rangers for the team. It all began in the first season of MMPR as Tommy was put under a spell by Rita to become her evil Green Ranger. He broke it to become a great ally of the team and romancing Kimberly. He lost his powers only to gain the new ones to become the White Ranger. He moved to become the team leader and did a good job there. When they Rangers turned to Zeo and then Turbo, Tommy took over as the Red Ranger.
Dino Thunder brought back Tommy, now a teacher who guides a new team of Rangers. Eventually, Tommy gets his own Dino Gem to gain the power of invisibility and becoming their Black Ranger (which even had him noting he would have to start wearing darker clothing). He also showed up in the recent 25th anniversary episode. No matter what color he wore, Tommy was one of the greatest Rangers in history and truly special in his own way.