Power Wednesday returns with a look at the Zenith Megazord from Power Rangers RPM. RPM’s zords all followed an animal motif with some of the most adorable aesthetics the Power Rangers line has ever seen. This is strange considering RPM was pretty much the darkest Power Rangers ever got.
RPM was set in a universe where the last bastions of humanity were trying to survive against a robot uprising. There was only one city left and it had to be defended against the constant invasions by the machines looking to wipe humanity from the Earth. This isn’t a joke; in fact there are a lot of comparisons one could make to this season and the Terminator franchise. A huge chunk of humanity is just assumed dead at the beginning of the show. This wasn’t about beating up the bad guys and being super heroes, this was about trying to fight a war that by all rights humanity had already lost. So what would our warriors ride out into battle to appose the apocalypse? Why, cute animal vehicles with the ability to make endearing expressions with their cartoon faces!
It may seem crazy, but Saban thought this would be their last season of the show and wanted to let loose and do something special. Unfortunately, the sentai they were given was from a very feel-good pro-Earth environmentalism-is-rad sort of show, that had about the same seriousness as Captain Planet. It was really not intended for the darker story that was planned, but they said “to hell with it” and wrote what they wanted, Eagle Racers and Croc Carriers be damned. The funny thing is that for the most part it worked. They may have had cartoonishly goofy weapons at their disposal, but the audience could tell that a lot of heart and soul went into that show, and so the toys became that much more appealing.
The Zenith Megazord is actually a combination of two megazords you could get in a single pack. So yes, not only could your set of animal-themed vehicles combine into a giant robot, but those giant robots could then combine together again for an even bigger robot. Once again, it is sort of like dressing one of them up in power armor, but this time the Zenith Megazord gets to look cool without sacrificing poseability. The other crazy thing is you could do it AGAIN with a third set! Even if we take the vehicles on their own, they hold up due to the imagination displayed in their design. It is really hard to deny the awesome of an orca that is also a motorcycle.
In the end it didn’t matter where the footage or the toys came from. What mattered was the toys were fun and the show entertained. So next time somebody says it can’t be done, you tell them the story about how a sickeningly cute bear ATV protected humanity from a ripoff version of James Cameron’s interpretation of Harlan Ellison’s vision the future.