Mention Power Rangers and the first characters to come to mind are, obviously, the Rangers themselves. Then it’s the villains who are also key to making the series work. However, from the start, every Power Rangers show has been smart about putting in a good supporting cast. Every villain has a lackey (often a bad gal) who can face off against the Rangers and stand out nicely. There are also one or two characters who are the comic relief used in the side plots for the team. Finally, there’s a major mentor character who serves as the Rangers’ guide and helping them in battle. A few times, some of these supporting characters can step up majorly. Astronema went from the villainess of In Space to the Pink Ranger of Lost Galaxy. Cam and RJ likewise started off just tech guys and became Rangers themselves. It can be fun watching some of these minor characters become big deals.
The franchise has offered slews of examples of all of these types of supporting characters. Some are the comic relief, just used for funny stuff and often unaware of who the Rangers are. Others are their mentors or at least tech helpers who are critical to their success. And in a few cases, it’s the villains who can start off low-key but become major players thanks to some good character development. Indeed, it’s impressive how many characters who seemed one-note were given depth to transform majorly as their show went on. There are so many examples but here are the best, the 25 supporting characters from the franchise who showed that you didn’t need a costume to be a major Power Rangers character.
While a good-natured guy, Mick’s backstory was rather sad. He had been sold into slavery when his Lion Galaxy was invaded and used as a mechanic on an intergalactic reality TV show. He befriended Brody and Redbot and helped them escape from Madame Orbus. Mick has the ability to transform into inanimate objects from a boulder to a mop which can come in handy. He’s a mechanical genius who quickly becomes an aid to the team getting their powers. While cowardly, Mick can be helpful and his instincts are often right (such as suspecting an imposter robot was in their midst) as well as giving major advice to help the Rangers with issues.
Mick was overjoyed to find his parents were still alive and hoping to reunite with him. In the first season finale, when all the Rangers were down, Mick used a special Star to briefly become a new Red Ranger and actually did well in combat. He went back to being the team’s mechanical aide, feeling much more confident. The series ends with Mick deciding to stay on Earth and teach kids mechanics to show he could be a surprising teacher for teens.
It takes a lot to be a compelling mentor figure when you’re barely a foot tall. Sensei Kanoi Watanabe is the leader of the Wind Ninja Academy when his evil twin brother Lothor attacks (Grant McFarland played both roles). While the attack trapped all the ninjas, blasts of energy transformed Sensei into a talking guinea pig dressed in robes and a staff. He aided son Cameron in granting the Rangers their powers and served as their mentor. Despite his small size, Sensei still had his wisdom to aid the team and give good advice.
Kanoi had never wanted Cam to be a Ranger due to a promise to his late wife. But when Cam earned the role of the Green Ranger, his dad had to let him go on with it. A funny episode had Sensei briefly taking over the bodies of first Shane and then Dustin to try and lead the team. The final episodes had Sensei returned to normal form and later helping the team in Dino Thunder. Having a guinea pig as a mentor was odd even by Power Rangers standards yet Sensei pulled it off.
His real name is never mentioned on SPD and his nickname comes from the result of most of his inventions. A well-meaning cadet, Boom had grown up wanting to be a member of SPD all his life. Sadly, his desire couldn’t make up for his incompetence as a cadet and washed out after just a few days. Taking pity on him, Doggie Cruger got Boom a job at the SPD labs working with Kat. While he could cause the occasional explosion, Boom’s smarts did help Kat even if he usually was the guinea pig for her experiments.
Boom never had the heart to tell his parents he flunked out of the academy and told them he was now the Orange Ranger. This bit him hard when they paid a surprise visit and Boom nearly got himself killed trying to keep up the lie. He was happy when they told him they were proud of Boom no matter what. Kelsey Henderson truly sold the moment in the finale when Boom gives a rousing speech to the cadets to encourage them to stand up to an invasion. He may have been comic relief but Boom could bring some guts when it counted.
Here’s a fun case of a character who seemed forgettable but stepped up to the fore nicely. Barnie Duncan played this low-life alien crook who’s regularly seen rummaging through garbage and playing all sides. He’s usually the source of info for the SPD team and handling it with the humor of a coward. A development was Piggy winning the lottery and using his money to open up a food truck business. He was still used for information but had his own pride. When the Rangers question why the alien monsters are afraid of them, Piggy fires back “to them, you guys are the monsters!”
The character was funny and did have a heart deep down. In the series finale, he sells out the Rangers to save his own skin only to be overcome by guilt. He thus risks his life to rescue the Rangers from Gruumm and prove himself a good person after all. The show ends with a suit-wearing Piggy joining Jack in a new business and while still a sneaky side, has shown himself a well-meaning guy at heart.
Most fans agree Operation Overdrive is the worst Power Rangers season. It had promise but was affected by things like a lowered budget and some backstage issues. However, it did offer a nice standout in the character of Spencer. The butler to Andrew Hartford, Spencer is always there to aid the Rangers and David Weatherley was terrific putting a spin on the “staid butler” type. Spencer had a fantastic wit with some of the show’s best lines (“giant red lizards are attacking your houseguests, sir.”) and was more capable than he seemed. A master of disguise, Spencer was often used to test the Rangers in various ways to make sure they had what it took to get the job done.
While loyal to Hartford, Spencer was also willing to point out when his boss was in the wrong and had a good bond with the team. When Mack is upset upon learning the truth of his origins, Spencer gives him a pep talk/lecture to get him out of his funk. Despite not wearing a suit or powers, Spencer, like any good English butler, was the glue that kept the Overdrive household running smoothly.
Dino Thunder, like several Rangers series set in high school, had some classic tropes in characters. Cassidy is quite clearly a selfish and shallow gal who prides herself on being the most popular girl in school. Katrina Devine was funny in the role as Cassidy fancies herself a reporter and going to any lengths to get a story. Helping her out is Devin (Tom Hern), a nice guy who clearly has enough of a crush on Cassidy that he’s willing to let her step all over him and use him for any of her schemes. The two had a nice chemistry that led to some good fun such as when Cassidy is split into four different personalities to confuse Devin.
A hilarious episode has an energy force switching the personas of various characters. Devin becomes a dashing ladies’ man while Cassidy is a nerd pining for him. Yet there was growth as Cassidy is tempted to do a big story that will make the Rangers look bad and Devin threatens to walk if she does. Realizing he’s right, Cassidy passes on the story. The series finale has them finding out the Rangers’ identities but Cassidy doesn’t publish it as she considers them friends. She and Devin end up going to the prom as a couple with everyone noting how “it’s about time they got together.” For a supposed side couple, the two ended up stepping up nicely.
Few times has Power Rangers swerved viewers as well as this. At the start of Mystic Force, Leelee Primvare is a local kid in Briarwood who’s pretty much a “mean girl.” She has a sardonic sense of humor and often insulting the Rangers with Holly Shanahan looking nice in her outfits. Leelee did have a dark side such as making it look like Nick was stealing money from the Rockporium yet seemed just a schemer rather than anything major. At the end of “Stranger Within,” Leelee is walking through an alley when she’s attacked by Necrolai. Leelee shows amazing fighting skills before taken down by Necrolai…who turns out to be her mother.
It was a terrific twist that transformed Leelee from forgettable to a conniving player secretly working against the Rangers. They do discover the truth and are as shocked as the viewers. But under her sardonic attitude, Leelee isn’t as evil as her mother and doesn’t embrace her destiny of becoming the next queen of the vampires. She ends up aiding the team in rescuing Udonna and in the big final battle. It was a good evolution from just a brat to a decent lady to help make this series magical.
The first episode of Jungle Fury has Fran seemingly just a random customer at RJ’s pizza joint when the Rangers arrive there. When RJ aids the Rangers fighting some monsters, Fran ends up running the diner herself and gets hired. A bookworm, Fran has a motor mouth and the running gag of the show is her going on a high-speed rant with someone telling her to stop for a breath. Sarah Thomson was fun in the role as Fran could be clumsy but well-meaning and her charm was infectious. The big turn was when she accidentally stumbled onto the Rangers’ identities and aided them.
The character could be amazingly brave such as when RJ is turned into a werewolf to attack her. Rather than run, Fran stands up to him and her words push RJ to regain control. When Lily is turned into a selfish woman by a magic spike, Fran tells her off and even gets into a fight with her to snap Lily back to normal. Her banter with Rhino Ranger Dominic was also good as Fran’s humor and bravery made her a true standout supporting character.
For years, Jerome Stone was a stalwart cop for Angel Grove who could handle any tough criminal. Then he met Bulk and Skull. He’s first shown as the main training officer for the Angel Grove Junior Police training academy when the two bunglers decide to become cops. Stone then had the misfortune of being their main boss and having to handle the almost non-stop chaos the duo created. Gregg Bullock was terrific showing Stone going from a slow burn to openly screaming at the pair. It was a good source of comedy to watch Stone being driven up the wall by having to trust these two morons with anything important.
It came to a head in Zeo when, after yet another mishap, Stone is fired for not being a good supervisor. He decides to embrace his dream of becoming a private eye and, for some reason, hires Bulk and Skull as his partners to predictably messy results. He then takes over the Youth Center when Ernie retires and ends up having to care for Bulk and Skull when they’re turned into monkeys. While it was clear that deep down he liked the duo, it’s amazing how long Stone put up hanging around with those nuts.
In terms of numbers, he’s among the biggest of the supporting players. Ernie was right there in the pilot for MMPR and would appear in a total of 101 more. True, many of them were just brief appearances but the heavy-set friendly owner of the Juice Bar was a regular presence for the show. Richard Genelle was a fun guy who would host numerous events at the Youth Center to make it a key hangout for the Rangers. He could even give advice from Billy learning martial arts to when one of the Rangers was down. Indeed, a fan theory grew that Ernie was actually Zordon in human form keeping an eye on the kids.
The producers have openly acknowledged that Ernie knew full well who the Rangers were but kept quiet because of how much he liked them. He left in Zeo with the talk of traveling to South America to help people there. Yet it’s hard to watch the classic MMPR era without Ernie’s presence around to remind the Rangers what they were fighting for.
This gorgeous woman seemed to be a classic fairy tale princess, down to her lovely outfit. Having once fought the Orgs, Shayla slept for millennia before they awakened. She used her powers to summon the Wild Force Rangers and help them into battle. Ann Marie Crouch was quite beautiful for the part and played the role with the air of someone not used to being around humans but loving nature. She was also attracted to Lunar Wolf Ranger Merrick although he felt he couldn’t return the feelings due to guilt over failing to stop the Orgs before.
While Shayla seemed quiet and sedate, she could be a good guide to help the Rangers keep on track. One of the show’s best moments is when Toxica invades the island to attack Shayla…and to the shock of everyone, this quiet princess breaks out some fantastic fighting skills. She may have seemed the regal type but Shayla’s spirit helped inspire the Wild Force team nicely
For the first few episodes of Dino Thunder, Hayley appears to be just a quiet gal who runs the local Cyberspace Café. Ismay Johnston gave the character a nice fun air that made her stand out with her warm humor. She allowed the Rangers to hang out a lot and seemed to like them. In “Legacy of Power,” Hayley reveals that she helped Tommy create the Dino Rangers tech and is a super genius. That elevates the character up as she becomes the team’s tech support and often a mentor position. She’s there to give them advice on their issues and she and Kira get along great as the only ladies on the team.
Hayley could be tougher than she seemed. She even joined with the Rangers on a quest to destroy a fortress, using her computer skills to set off a cyber-bomb. When Tommy was in a coma, Hayley took up a leadership role to keep the team going. While she oddly was never in the opening credits, Hayley was a key reason the Dino Thunder team worked so well.
Lightspeed had a few departures from the usual Power Rangers format. The team were young adults rather than teenagers and their identities were known to the public. Captain William Mitchell was the commander of the unit who had supervised building this massive base to face off against the demons attacking Earth. He was a stern man who could be no-nonsense in the field but did care for his people. The fact that daughter Dana was the Pink Ranger naturally meant he was concerned but tried to be all business. He had a knack of putting the Rangers through unique tests to strengthen their courage and was far from the stand-offish figure he portrayed himself as.
A major turn was when Mitchell revealed he’d been forced to give up his son Ryan to a demonic force long ago. That guilt had eaten at him but eased when Ryan returned, now the Titanium Ranger. Ron Rogge was well cast in playing this tough commander who could keep the team on track and prove you don’t need mystical powers to be a serious Rangers mentor.
Ninja Storm was notable for adding far more humor to the franchise with Lothor sometimes talking right to the camera. While he was an effective commander, Lothor did have to put up with the bungling of his two nieces, Marah (Katrina Devine) and Kapri (Katrina Browne). The two were absolute ditzes who constantly bungled every assignment, far more interested in shopping than taking over the world, and drove their uncle crazy. They were openly called a detractor to the name of evil as they enjoyed their wild outfits more than anything sinister. They were great comic relief with their antics to lighten the show up.
There were times when the two could be surprisingly effective in a fight. Marah once pulled off a great con on the Rangers pretending to turn good. Thus, it wasn’t too big a shock when the duo reveal they’re very smart and have been playing dumb all this time so people underestimate them. This backfires as Lothor figures anyone who could fool him like that can’t be trusted and turns on them. They return in Dino Thunder, once more acting the ditzes to undermine Lothor’s scheme. Most prefer them as the comic figures but the two sisters proved they were more than they seemed.
Whoever said “men don’t make passes at girls in glasses” never met Angela Fairweather. This gorgeous scientist instantly gets the attention of Green Ranger Joel who hits on her. He thinks she’s just a minor lab geek, unaware Angela is the genius who created the Morphers, Zords and other weapons for the team. During an early battle, Angela barks at Joel to obey her orders and it’s only after she chews him out later that he realizes who she is. Monica Louwerns was an incredibly beautiful woman in her nice outfits and even the glasses couldn’t hide that.
The character was very smart, showing her intellect was key to the team. She could step up to the plate to defend the base and be willing to stand with the Rangers if need be. It was also fun seeing the constant flirting between her and Joel as Angela wanted to be professional but won over by the pilot. Indeed, Time Force reveals the two are now married but Angela agreeing to let Joel go back for one more mission. Easily one of the most beautiful women on the show, Angela’s brain was just as notable.
Not to be confused with the former Pink Power Ranger, Kat Manx was the main tech support aid for SPD. Hailing from a planet of feline aliens, Kat is 147 Earth years old but looks much younger. Michelle Langstone did a fine job handling the unique makeup to make Kat stand out as the tech genius who keeps the Rangers going. She’s quite feisty and while her temper can occasionally get the better of her, she handles herself well. One episode has her using a special Morpher to briefly become a Ranger herself. It doesn’t last long but the team is proud to have Kat on their side.
The character still does her best, including the big season finale where she leads the defense of the planet against an alien invasion. It’s Kat’s analysis that finds the weakness the Rangers use to stop Gruumm once and for all. While she was a fine Ranger, it was Kat’s smarts that made her a notable aid for the SPD team.
It took a bit for Jungle Fury to confirm the rather obvious point that the evil Dai Shi had possessed human Jarod. At his fortress, Dai Shi summons his army of followers then calls out for Camille. Sauntering out of the wall she’s been stuck in for the past 10,000 years comes a strikingly beautiful woman who instantly takes a liking to Dai Shi’s new form. Camille shows she’s tough in battle with a massively long tongue and can transform into a deadly armored form. There was also the odd bit of Flit, a fly creature who she literally kept in her stomach.
Camille did warm up as the season went on, including a bit of her going around as a normal lady Lily tries to help. As Jarod begins to fight off Dai Shi, Camille realizes it’s the human she’s attracted to, not her monstrous master. She thus stands with Jarod when he breaks free of Dai Shi and then encourages him to help the Rangers. The show ends with the duo both making the most of a second chance and Holly Shanahan did a wonderfully job showing her path to redemption.
Mystic Force was always good changing the initial perceptions of characters. Clare first comes literally running into the scene to talk to Udonna. She tries to prevent the Rangers from leaving Rootcore but instead accidentally turns herself into a sheep. Udonna’s niece, Clare was also her apprentice although rather bungling. She had a good heart and a fun sense of humor and could stand up to some bad guys. Antonia Prebble made the character loveable with her funny antics and seemed set as just comic relief.
A major turn happened when Clare discovered her mother had been a powerful sorceress in her own right. In a battle, she took up a mystical crown to become the Gatekeeper. This led to a fantastic fight with Clare showing some amazing magical skills. It didn’t last long but it did give Clare major courage to step up more. That included rescuing Udonna and taking part in the big final battle. The final scene of the series has the one-time bumbler now the keeper of Rootcore for some great character development.
Adelaide Kane has become a popular face on TV thanks to Reign and Once Upon a Time. Before that, Kane broke out as the key supporting villainess on RPM. Tenaya-7 boasts about being the height of cybernetic power created by Venjix. She’s first sent to try and steal the Green Ranger morpher which showcases her tendency to whistle “Farmer in the Dell” while stalking her prey. She comes close before being beaten back and keeps returning for more attacks. However, while fighting Dillon, Tenaya is startled to find she’s bleeding which means she’s not a cyborg.
The original plan was to have her just be a random lady before some backstage shifts pushed the obvious idea of Tenaya being Dillon’s long-lost sister. Despite that turn, Kane still did well in the role of Tenaya trying to regain her lost humanity and turning on her master. She got a happy ending back to being human and a good highlight to one of the show’s darker seasons.
This is one of the best evolutions of a villain who never got a “redemptive ending.” As Lost Galaxy begins, Trakeena is the daughter of main villain Scorpius and seen as a bit of a bumbler. She’s incredibly vain to the point of one scheme having her trying to steal the youth of every woman on Terra Venture so she can be the most beautiful. She’s also bratty and complains a lot and most of her fights have her just hanging back before the Rangers easily beat her down. While Amy Miller looked great in the costume, it seemed Trakeena was a typical flunky.
The big turn was when Scorpius was destroyed by the Rangers. Having undergone some training, Trakeena vowed to avenge her father. It soon became clear she was far more ruthless and effective a general than Scorpius had ever been, actually giving the Rangers a hard time. Her power grew to the point she became a truly monstrous figure who actually crashed the massive space city in the finale. She seemed destroyed before returning in Lightspeed Rescue for a final defeat. Chewing up the screen wonderfully, Miller showed Trakeena turning from forgettable to one of the best villains in the entire franchise.
For the first few episodes of RPM, Dr K is seen by the Rangers only as a computerized face speaking from afar. They eventually discover their scientist leader is a young woman who can be colder than most of the machines they face off against. Olivia Tennant made the character stand out with her dark hair and brisk, no nonsense manner. While an absolute genius with technology who gave the Rangers their Morphers, K is hopelessly crippled in social manners with no idea how to talk to people. It ends up justified in her origin as she was used by a secret think tank to dream up weapons and robbed of any normal childhood.
This leads to the surprising revelation that it was K who created the deadly Venjix virus to escape that prison only to have it get loose and nearly destroy the world. That guilt clearly drives her on and explains why she’s so cold. Yet the character also possesses a sharply sardonic humor that can lead to some hysterical lines. She can also hold her own against Tenaya and others. Watching her slowly come out of her shell to bond with the Rangers was good as K was always surprising folks with her character.
The 1995 big-screen movie is generally considered “out of canon” for Power Rangers fans. That seems proven by how the third season of MMPR took a different route for the Rangers getting new powers and Zords. After losing their old ones on an attack, the Rangers are sent to a distant planet to find the mysterious Ninjor. They meet an armored figure who talks like Dudley Do-Right with a quirky sense of humor. While at first dismissive, Ninjor agrees to help the team and grants them their Ninja powers.
Ninjor also aids in battles, able to grow to giant size himself and take on a more powerful armored form. Despite his nutty lines, the character was an ace fighter who proved himself in battle. He could be abducted a few times but kept coming back to aid the team against Master Vile and others. He didn’t make too many appearances yet his fun personality made him a huge winner for the fans as a twist on the usual “wise warrior” character.
The robotic sidekick was a standby of sci-fi long before Star Wars came around. It’s clear Alpha was meant to be for kids, this plucky robot aide for Zordon helping the Rangers. True, his “ai-yi-yi-yi-yi” bit could be annoying but Alpha did overcome that to win the fans over. He could be surprisingly tough, even able to stand up to a few baddies who invaded the Command Center. His humor was fun with good lines and handled the nuttiness of the Rangers’ lives rather well. He was also steadfast loyal to the team and that never wavered no matter what incarnation they were.
Turbo had Alpha joining Zordon on a quest and replaced by his “brother” Alpha 6 who spoke in a tough New York accent. Thankfully, Alpha 7 debuted for In Space to aid the team in their quest and was far more like the old Alpha. Bill Hader gave a modern edge to the character in the 2017 movie yet most prefer the classic Alpha who became an iconic character of the mythos.
It’s a classic formula for comedy: A big guy and a thin guy as bumbling morons. MMPR pushed that as Bulk and Skull were the local bullies always shoving folks around. They were also presented as total dimwits and meant to be just comic relief. Paul Schrier and Jason Narvy did manage to make the characters unique and smartly, the writers began to show some depth to them. In the second season, they move from just mean to more comic as they try to uncover the Rangers’ identities. This included a great episode where, with the Rangers taken down, Bulk and Skull end up saving the day. There was more depth as Skull turned out to be a great piano player and Bulk smarter than he seemed.
Season three had them actually becoming junior cops and doing a fair job of it. They would bounce around various bits from being turned into monkeys to becoming private eyes to aiding a scientist. A major moment of In Space is them standing right up to an alien invasion. Samurai had Bulk becoming a mentor to Skull’s nephew, Spike. Skull did show up in the finale, revealing he was now a rich man but he and Bulk still friends. In many ways, Bulk and Skull were as popular as the Rangers themselves and showed great growth from two jerks to loveable characters.
From the beginning, he was the one who started it all. A former grand warrior now trapped in an odd void, this interdimensional being had been waiting on Earth for millennia just in case a grand evil came calling. When Rita Repulsa broke free from her prison, Zordon recruited the Rangers to fight her. From the start, he was presented as a wise figure, always there for advice and his strength inspired the team majorly. For basically a giant floating head, he came off as a good mentor and the Rangers trusted him totally. He could face issues like being “offline” but kept coming back as his experience and intelligence were the key to the Rangers’ success.
No matter how the team changed, from Zeo to Turbo, Zordon was always there for them. He did finally leave on a quest and In Space was dominated by the Rangers trying to rescue a captured Zordon. It culminated in him sacrificing his life to unleash a blast of energy to wipe out nearly all evil in the galaxy. While Bryan Cranston presented a darker Zordon in the 2017 movie, fans still prefer David Felding’s warm performance that made him the best and most iconic of all Ranger mentors.