Power Rangers Beast Morphers, “Making Bad” Review (Goldar Returns…sort of)

***As big a Power Rangers fan as I am, I must admit: I’m a little behind on modern PR. Here’s where I attempt to fix that, as I check out episodes of Power Rangers Beast Morphers!***

Goldar Maximus, Power Rangers Beast Morphers, Making BadSERIES: Power Rangers Beast Morphers
S27:E14 – “Making Bad”
Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Campbell Cooley (Voice)
Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Maiya Thompson, James Collins, Cameron Dixon
DIRECTOR: Simon Bennett
June 17, 2020 (UK), October 17, 2020 (US)
Evox’s forces debate which villain to revive to take on the Rangers.

New around here? Check out the Power Rangers review archive!

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

“Making Bad” is a strange episode. Not necessarily strange in a bad way. But strange nonetheless.

The premise is that Scrozzle, Robo-Blaze, Robo-Roxy, and the other villains are debating about which villains to bring back next with the Reanimizer. They watch old footage of villains like Koragg, Astronema, Lord Zedd, and Psycho Red before finally settling on their choice. As a long-time fan that’s really cool to see, even if the footage is “watered down” (more on that in a bit).

But from a storytelling perspective, it’s odd that the episode spends so much time teaching us about villains we ultimately won’t end up seeing.  The four villains mentioned above have no impact on Beast Morphers whatsoever. So what’s the point in talking about them? Simple fanservice?

Lord Zedd footage, Power Rangers Beast Morphers, Making Bad

Incidentally, seeing how much Lord Zedd is emphasized in this episode and the previous one, I can’t help but wonder if at this point they already knew what they were going to do with Zedd in Dino Fury

Most of the retro footage we see in this episode has a “watered down” feel to it, as it’s all been re-dubbed by different voice actors. It’s not limited to actors inside suits, either. The “conventional” performances, where you can see the actors’ faces, are dubbed as well. For instance, in the footage we see from Power Rangers in Space, Melody Perkins (Astronema) and Christopher Kayman Lee (Andros) are dubbed over by new actors. And for the most part the original actors, like Perkins and Lee, weren’t used for the dubbing. (The only major exception is Koragg/Leonbow, whose actor Geoff Dolan does return).

According to research done by Linkara, this may have something to do with voice-only tracks for those old episodes not being available. Whether that’s actually the case or not, the effect is the same: It sucks. It really takes the punch out of seeing characters like Zedd and Astronema referenced in modern PR.

Trivia note: The actress who dubs for Rita’s voice, Susan Brady, also voiced the character during her brief appearance in Mystic Force.

After Robo-Roxy suggests Astronema be revived, Robo-Blaze says she should remember Astronema became a good guy from Ranger History Class. So wait, Blaze and Roxy took the class too?!? Who’s in this class, anyway? Did Nate take it too? Are Devon, Ravi, and Zoey still taking it as the series continues? I want to know!!!

Robo-Roxy, Power Rangers Beast Morphers, Making Bad

Robo-Roxy is batting a thousand in this episode, as she refers to King Mondo from Zeo as “King Mondu.” Whoops.

While the villains are debating about who to bring back, the Rangers spend some time hunting for a jewel thief who picks his targets in alphabetical order. It ultimately turns out to be a Robotron, who may very well be the stupidest jewel thief of all time.

Evox’s forces ultimately choose to revive Goldar, albeit an “upgraded” and enhanced version of Goldar. He’ll ultimately be referred to as Goldar Maximus, so that’s what we’ll call him here. Once again, Goldar’s original voice actor, Kerrigan Mahan, is not used. I’m not sure if it was a union issue (which Power Rangers has run into historically), an issue of not wanting to pay a certain amount to get him, or something else. Even more than the dubbed retro footage, that hurts the final product. No disrespect to Adrian Smith, who was ultimately picked to voice Goldar Maximus. But as a kid, a huge part of why Goldar had such an imposing presence, especially in season one, was because of the beastly and animalistic voice Mahan used. It just doesn’t feel like Goldar without him doing the voice.

Behind the scenes, the decision to use Goldar was dictated by the Sentai source material they’d been using for “Finders Keepers,” this episode, and the next episode, the movie Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger vs. Go-Busters: The Great Dinosaur Battle! Farewell, Our Eternal Friends. (Yeesh. That’s a title…) The film sees Goldar’s Sentai counterpart, Grifforzer, return in the altered form we see here. So to a large extent, if they wanted to use Kyoryuger vs. Go-Busters, they had to use Goldar…

Goldar Maximus, image 2, Power Rangers Beast Morphers, Making Bad

Or did they? Would it have been too lame to make the altered Grifforzer suit Goldar’s son, or some kind of relative? That would solve the Kerrigan Mahan issue.

On Evox’s order, Goldar kills Sledge for his insolence. That’s a nice little feather in Goldar’s cap, as Sledge was, of course, a lead villain. And I have no doubt Sledge will be back somewhere down the line. Beast Morphers was the third consecutive series he’d appeared in, after Dino Charge and Ninja Steel. The guy is hard to keep down, that’s all I’m sayin’.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Weekly Comic 100s: Power Rangers Unlimited: Heir to Darkness #1

***This is where we keep it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

TITLE: Power Rangers Unlimited: Heir to Darkness #1
L.L. McKinney
Simone Ragazzoni, Igor Monti (Colorist), Sabrina Del Grosso (Color Assistant), Ed Dukeshire (Letterer). Cover by Dan Mora.
March 31, 2021

This story, which nicely explores Astronema’s origins, seems a little confused about its timeline. It alludes to she and the rest of the villains not knowing where Zordon is. But I wasn’t under the impression Zordon’s location was a mystery. Particularly as he and the Rangers are defending Earth from Lord Zedd.

Still, this is pretty well executed. I’d enjoy seeing more stories published under the Power Rangers Unlimited banner. There’s no shortage of material.

Early in the issue we see Astronema fighting Rangers wearing the suits from the Super Sentai Choushinsei Flashman. Stuff like that is always fun.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Weekly Comic 100s: Power Rangers #5

***This is where we keep it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

TITLE: Power Rangers #5
AUTHOR: Ryan Parrott
ARTISTS: Francesco Mortarino, Raul Angulo (Colorist), Jose Enrique Fernandez (Color Assistant), Ed Dukeshire (Letterer). Cover by Matteo Scalera.
RELEASED: March 24, 2021

I was thrilled at the tail end of issue #4 to see the planet Onyx, and I’m even more thrilled to see it explored more here. In Power Rangers in Space, the Onyx Tavern was more or less the franchise’s equivalent of the Mos Eisley Cantina.

This is a good issue for in Space fans, as we can clearly see Ecliptor on the cover. And he’s not the only familiar character inside. Once again, different characters from different eras are colliding in the pages of Power Rangers comics. As a fan, it’s really cool to see.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.