Rowdier than the Rowdy Rough Boys and more unjust than the Injustice Gang, the Psycho Rangers were the best evil counterpart team to show up in any Saturday morning kids TV lineup. Debuting in 1998's Power Rangers In Space, the Psycho Rangers were a squad of evil Power Rangers created by Astronema.
While Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers had Commander Crayfish and the Putty Power Rangers and Power Rangers Turbo had the Shadow Rangers, those dark reflections of the Rangers never earned the same notoriety as the Psycho Rangers, who were a truly menacing threat with a memorable design. That's also what set them apart from the other evil Rangers like the Cyborg Rangers from Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue, The A-Squad from Power Rangers S.P.D., the Darkest Timeline Rangers from Power Rangers Time Force, the other Shadow Rangers from Power Rangers Wild Force.
With the Psycho Rangers set to make their return in a Boom! Studios graphic novel, CBR is taking a closer look at the Psycho Rangers.
RANGERS GONE PSYCHO
Premiering in "Rangers Gone Psycho," the Psycho Rangers started off as imposter Power Rangers who shot lasers wildly into the air. After revealing their true forms, the Psycho Rangers offer up a short but apt explanation of who they are: "We're the Psycho Rangers. We're faster than you. Smarter than you. Stronger than you...But we're evil!"
While creating the Psycho Rangers, Astronema secretly linked her squad to her master Dark Specter's power, meaning that every spark-filled psychotic skirmish simultaneously sapped her superior's power level. Since Astronema sought to usurp Dark Specter, most fights were deliberately drawn out or interrupted, despite victory being imminent. In their first appearance for instance, the Psycho Rangers are about to destroy the Power Rangers with Dragon Ball Z style energy beams, only to be called back by Astronema.
THE PSYCHO RANGERS' POWERS AND ABILITIES
The Dark Specter, a kind of intergalactic devil, explain the Psycho Rangers' ridiculous powers, like being able to summon lightning bolts or turn into lightning.
Since they were designed to hunt their lawful good counterparts, the Psycho Rangers are adept trackers that can listen in on every phone call within Angel Grove. Furthermore, the Psycho Rangers are fast enough to turn into color coordinated blurs of energy like Sonic The Hedgehog, can teleport across short distances instantly and even alter their appearance.
Of course, the signature move of the Psycho Rangers is the "Brain Drain," where a Psycho Ranger absorbs the energy and memories of their victim. While this technique works on anyone, each individual Psycho is primarily fixated on destroying solely their color-coordinated counterparts.
Additionally, each Psycho Ranger has an alternate "Monster Form" for Megazord fights. If a Psycho Ranger's humanoid form was inevitably destroyed in a karate-explosion, then Astronema could utilize "satellite lasers" to make her monsters grow when apropos.
THE PSYCHO RANGERS' BIGGEST WEAKNESS
Despite beating the Power Rangers initially, the Psychos never effectively operate as a team. After Astronema instructs them to focus on dividing and conquering the Power Rangers, Psycho Pink and Psycho Yellow launch their own assault, resulting in Psycho Pink's demise.
At one point, Psycho Red is single-handedly thrashing the Power Rangers, only for Psycho Black to complain about Psycho Red for hogging all of the glory. Right when the Psycho Rangers are about to win, Psycho Red screeches that only he should defeat the Rangers. While Psycho Red performs friendly fire, the Power Rangers reconfigure their Megazords to fire a spaceship-sized missile at the Psycho Rangers, vaporizing them.
THE PSYCHO RANGERS' ULTIMATE ACHIEVEMENT
Unlike every other Power Rangers villain, the Psycho Rangers have souls, and briefly return as ghosts before digitizing their ectoplasmic forms into physical bodies in "Ghosts in the Machine." After being tricked with karate, the Psycho Rangers are digitized onto data chips that are promptly lost in a super-villain lair explosion.
Inexplicably, the Psycho Ranger data chips wind up across the galaxy, where a robot reanimates the squad in "To The Tenth Power" from Power Rangers: Lost Galaxy. Despite having no real connection to the Power Rangers of Lost Galaxy, the Psycho Rangers immediately restart their color-coordinated vendetta.
Severely overpowered, the Galaxy Rangers team up with the Space Rangers from Power Rangers In Space, prompting a fight filled with colorful explosions and two Power Rangers for every Psycho Ranger.
Incidentally, while Psycho Pink is the first Psycho Ranger to fall in Power Rangers In Space, Psycho Pink remains as the last psycho standing in "The Power of Pink." After brain-draining the Pink Galaxy Ranger, Psycho Pink acquires the legendary Savage Sword, an energy sapping blade that grows larger with every swing.
Ultimately, Psycho Pink sets herself aside from every other evil Power Ranger by actually killing a Power Ranger, specifically by forcing the Pink Galaxy Ranger to sacrifice herself in order to save the Pink Space Ranger.