Power Rangers Zeo #1
January 17, 2011
We interrupt the Cry for Justice review with something with worse art but a more entertaining story involving robots!
(We open with Linkara on his green futon)
Linkara: Hello and welcome to a very special episode of “Atop The 4th Wall!” I was gonna release this on Christmas, but I got busy with other stuff. Lets talk about how much of a complete and utter dork I am about “Power Rangers!”
Linkara (v/o): Specifically, today we’re gonna be talking about “Power Rangers: Zeo.” I don’t think there’s a single person who was a live during the 90s who dodn’t know about “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.” Now, most would just abbreviate it to the last 2 words, but if you asked for the full series name, they’d always say “Mighty Morphin.” It’s like the original “Star Trek,” it doesn’t matter many seasons, how many new storylines, how many casts, the original “Star Trek” is the one that has its most prominent place in history. And in that same regard, so do the “Mighty Morphin” era of “Power Rangers” will always be the one that pop culture remembers. However, after the first three seasons of the show, there was a change. Promotional commercials started coming out for new show and the song told us to “Go Zeo!” In the show, the command center was destroyed; the powers were lost and seemed like evil had won! But wait; enter the Zeo crystal, a mystical crystal that granted the Rangers new powers! A new enemy came, the Machine Empire and for once, the suits themselves changed.
Linkara: And like pretty much every franchise, there was, of course, a comic, made by our friends at Image comics no less! So, let’s dig into “Power Rangers: Zeo #1!”
(We then cut to the “Atop The 4th Wall” theme and intro and then to the comic’s cover.)
Linkara (v/o): The cover is a dime-a-dozen group shot. A generic group shot from an Image comic made in the mid 90s? What a shock! Still, credit where credit is due, it’s still more dynamic than most Image comics get by virtue of at least having them do something other than just stand around. There’s real energy to this cover and a lot of bad muscle proportions, which is definitely a bad call all around. The Power Rangers were never meant to be body builders, for crying out loud. They were supposed to be athletically fit; slim, but muscular, like an Olympic track star. They were martial artists, not football players. These look like those cheap, weird, muscled Halloween costumes for “Power Rangers” that come out every year. We open to the Zeo Rangers attacking the military.
Linkara: My god! Soccer moms were right; “Power Rangers” are an evil, violent influence!
U.S. Military Official: Stop! Zeo Rangers, stop this attack! We’re U.S. Military Officials! Have you lost your minds?
Green Zeo Ranger: No, but maybe you Cogs have, if you think a few cheap disguises are gonna fool us!
Cogs/Linkara: CHEAP?!?! WE PAID GOOD MONEY FOR THESE!
Blue Zeo Ranger: Sorry guys, but we know an enemy when we see one!
Text Box: Do you really, Zeo Rangers?
Text Box/Linkara: Perhaps, the real enemy is prejudice! Think about it, won’t you?
Linkara (v/o): Anyway, the Zeo Rangers punch and kicj their way through several Cogs, the foot soldiers of the machine empire, disguised as ordinary troops. Their brilliant disguise is just a mask that splits in half as soon as you kick or punch it, I see a bit of a design flaw there.
Green Zeo Ranger: That Cog’s getting a little close to the bomb!
Pink Zeo Ranger: (in her Australian accent) Whoops! Can’t have that, can we?
Pink Zeo Ranger/Linkara: Otherwise, they might set up us, the bomb!
(Sound of audience booing.)
Linkara: Oh come on! That juke was relevant when that comic was made! Give me a break!
Linkara (v/o): The Cogs are trying to steal something called a pulse bomb.
Blue Zeo Ranger: Not as long as the pulse bomb is Earth’s best defense against the Machine Empire!
Linkara (v/o): Pretty fancy talk, considering we rarely, if ever, see the military fight off any of the aliens trying to conquer Earth. Only now are they getting around to building bombs and crap? We cut to sometime later, where the Rangers are being thanked by the real military for saving the day. (Bulk and Skull theme plays.) Of course, in the crowd are the true heroes of the show, Bulk and Skull, who modestly let the rangers take all the credit. After all, at this point in the series, the 2 are part of the Angel Grove Junior Police Force, a name that sounds like it was made for 4 year olds who do arts and crafts at events sponsored by the real police.
Farkus “Bulk” Bulkmeier: Man, are these guys the coolest, or what?
Billy Cranston: They’ve sure got what it takes-
Eugene “Skull” Skullovich: (Laughs) Oh right, like you’d know!
Bulk: Yeah, Billy! You wish you had the guts and skill it takes to be a Zeo Ranger!
Skull: …Or a junior police cadet!
Billy: I guess you’re right, I’m no Ranger.
(Cut to black and the caption:…)
Linkara (v/o): (Echoey, big voice) “Time 4 back story!”
(Cut to footage from the show.)
Linkara (v/o): (Normal voice.) Billy, originally the Blue Mighty Morphin Ranger, voluntarily steped down from his role as the Zeo crystal could only provide power to 5 Rangers, instead becoming the Rangers technical advisor
(Cut back to the comic, on stage Tonya Sloan, (The Yellow Zeo Ranger) and Katherine “Kat” Hillard (The Pink Zeo Ranger) notice that Billy is depressed.)
Yellow Zeo Ranger: Poor Billy, I think he really misses being on the team.
Pink Zeo Ranger: Yeah, it can’t be easy watching us get all the action…and all the honors.
Pink Zeo Ranger/Linkara: Not that we’ll ever actually try do anything about it, we’re only paid to hit things!
Linkara (v/o): Meanwhile, in the M51 galaxy, we take a loot at the show’s original villains. (echoey voice and caption) “Time 4 back story!” (Normal voice and clips from the show.) At the beginning of Zeo, the original villains, Rita Repulsa and Lord Zedd, were forced off of their moon base by the Machine Empire and retreated to Rita’s Dad’s place in another galaxy. They swore vengeance and planned to come back to take back what was theirs, but instead, they ended up, as fans speculate, spending their time having a kid instead. That kid ended up looking like this. (We see Thrax, Rita and Zedd’s son in “Operation Overdrive.” He looks like Two-Face combined with a demon and Lord Zedd.) Sometimes this show can be really confusing and horrible if you think too much about it. Anyway, Rita’s father, Master Vile, is sheltering them, but their world is under attack by the Machine Empire! Vile summons the 2, wondering “What the hell, Mondo (King of the Machine Empire) has against him, all of a sudden?“ But, the 2 pretend not to know. Back on Earth, the Rangers return to civilian mode at Angel Grove High. Kat, the Pink Ranger asks Tommy if he’d be interested in seeing her ballet rehearsal. Tommy, confused by the fact that his head has become slightly misshapen by the artwork, stumbles in a response before 2 random teens come up.
Teenage Boy: I was going to say you could come with us to the auditions for “Camelot.”
Linkara: Wait, (Excited) “Camelot?”
Teenage Boy: This is my friend, Justine, she’s president of the drama club.
Justine: Oh yes, Tommy, you’ve just got to come! Please ?! You’d make a perfect Lencelot!
Linkara: They’re serious? “Camelot?” Awesome!
(Goes off screen and come back with CD soundtracks for “Camelot.”)
Linkara: (Giggling) “Camelot” is my favorite movie and musical ever!
Linkara (v/o): Kat is saddened by this turn of events, but I never cared about the forced romance the show tried to make between the 2. We see a montage of the team and some bizarre narration captions.
Text Box: Quiet, determined Adam, dedicated to spiritual growth through his martial-arts training…
Linkara: Nothing quite says “spiritual growth” as much as flying through the air and kicking a board that was floating for no reason.
Text Box: Adventurous, fun loving Rocky, who always knows how to keep things light…
Linkara: No, Rocky was not like that.
Linkara (v/o): Ok, anyway, “Camelot” auditions and…oh, the supposedly fun loving Rocky, who keeps things light, is doing crappy parody lyrics. (He sings “We eat Spam a lot! Here in Cameot.) Get it, Spam a lot rhymes with Camelot. (Fake laughs) “Monty Python” you are not, Rocky. If I could, I would get Richard Harris to punch you in the face!
Text Box: Popular, down-to-earth Tommy…
Linkara: Popular? Well, yes. Down-to Earth? (Makes a face like he can’t answer.)
Linkara (v/o): Well, let me put it this way, Tommy went from a race car driver to a science professor of paleontology in the span of about 10 years or so, along with a teaching license for high school science.
Tommy Oliver: (To Justine) Um, are you sure I’m right for this Lancelot part?
Justine: Well. There’s only one way to find out…a love scene with the queen…
Justine/Linkara: Right before I’m burned at the stake for my adultery! (Realizes) Wait?
Text Box: And Katherine, usually an in-control, take charge young woman…
Text Box/Linkara (v/o): Well, we won’t finish that for you, her embarrassment at being easily distracted by thoughts of men pretty much speaks for itself.
Linkara (v/o): We cut to more Bulk and Skull antics. (Echoey voice) “Back story!” (Normal) Zed and Rita’s goons, Goldar and Rito, had lost their memory and…ah, screw it! Enjoy to monsters singing, “Billy the hero” while Bulk and Skull cover for them.
(Bulk and Skull find Goldar and Rito pretending to play guitar with brooms as “Billy don’t be a hero” by Paper lace plays.)
Linkara (v/o): This comic has a real problem with keeping a focus for more than one page at a time. We return to Master Vile’s palace, where Klank, the footman of the Machine Empire makes demands. Also, for those unaware, Klank is a robot with a Scottish accent.
Klank; (With his Scottish accent.) All we’re askin’ is that you surrender Lord Zedd to us. Y’see, Zedd never forgave Mindo for kickin’ him off the moon. So Zedd’s been plotting to destroy Mondo and take back his lunar base…and to further his schemes, Sedd has been secretly experimentin’ with some kinds great power, right under yer nose!
Linkara: And the Machine Empire knew about him doing this, how exactly?
Linkara (v/o): Master Vile thinks they should just hand over Lord Zedd, but Zedd has a plan to repel their attack. We cut to the Power Chamber, where Zedd is contacting…(Linkara notices that Zordon;s power tube is green) whoa! Zordon, what the hell happened to you man? Did someone lump Listerine in your tube? Where did the more detailed face come from? Anyway, Zedd requests the Rangers come to his rescue. Zordon, Billy, and Alpha 5, not being idiots, ask why the heck they should bother coming to his rescue.
Lord Zedd: Oh, if you must know, I saved the energies of your old power coins…the coins that gave the Rangers their abilities, before the Zeo Crystal-
Linkara: And if did have that energy, why did you never use it before?
Billy: What?! Those are our powers! You destroyed the coins and you stole our powers?
Zordon: Billy, please! This isn’t the time for old animosities. Zedd is right. If Mondo gets a hold of those energies, Earth could be in grave danger!
Linkara: As opposed to the mild danger they were in, what with the thousands of robot troops trying to take over the planet.
Linkara (v/o): Back at the Lunar Base of King Mondo, equipped with its own ferris wheel, it seems that King Mondo and Queen Machina were listening in on Zedd’s transmission and know that Zedd has called for help.
Queen Machina: …Perhaps your armies should retreat.
King Mondo: Retreat? With the energies of the Power Coins at Stake? Now we know we have something to fight for!
Linkara: So, you didn’t even know what was going on with Zedd, you just felt like sending your army to attack him?
Linkara (v/o): At the Power Chamber, the Rangers discuss the situation, not happy about helping Zedd. Also, Tommy has spontaneously become black now, that’s different. Oh and just as a reminder, when I watched “Power Rangers” as a kid, I didn’t have Tevo to skip through the Morphing sequence. So, like before, you must sit through it as well.
(As we see the Rangers Morph, we hear the audio of them Morphing in the show.)
Katherine “Kat” Hillard: Zeo Ranger One! Pink!
Tonya Sloan: Zeo Ranger Two! Yellow!
Rocky DeSantos: Zeo Ranger Three! Blue!
Adam Park: Zeo Ranger Four! Green!
Tommy: Zeo Ranger Five! Red!
Linkara: (Pleased) Sometimes, I just need to be a bit cruel to you all! (Smiles)
Linkara (v/o): The group heads out into space aboard the Zeo Megazord.
Blue Zeo Ranger: Hey, cool, Billy, I didn’t know this thing could go out into space!
Linkara: (Waving) Everybody wave to the Martians kidnapping Santa Claus!
Billy: Now it can, Rocky. I’ve modified the Zeo Megazord to give us interstellar capabilities.
Linkara: Interstellar travel, courtesy of a high school student!
(Cut to the twin Hitlers from “Superman At Earth’s End.”)
Hitler Twin: Of course. Don’t you know anything about science?
Linkara (v/o): Tommy tells Billy that he shouldn’t get his hopes up, that even if they do recover the energies of the power Coins, there may be no way to restore his own abilities. Billy says that it isn’t about his powers but about keeping away from Zedd and Mondo.
Billy: That’s all that matters.
Billy/Linkara: Besides, we rely on footage from Japanese shows and we’re extremely cheap, there’s no way we’re springing for new footage with me in an old costume.
Text Box: After a quick journey…
Linkara (v/o): Yeah, quick doesn’t even begin to cover that, considering they entered an entirely different galaxy! Naturally, the site of millions of robot soldiers does not deter the Rangers and 3 of them head out to fight them off, on their own. You know, I’ve made fun of the Rangers being kind of stupid before, but it takes a unique kind of insanity to take on an entire army using just your fists and feet!
Red Zeo Ranger: Tonya! Rocky! Take the Zeo-Fighters!
Red Zeo Ranger/Linkara: Because we have those now, apparently!
Linkara (v/o): Yeah, “Zeo” is one of my favorite “Power Rangers” seasons and I don’t quite remember those. Billy stays in the Megazord because: “Hey, it’s giant robot, it’s probably the most effective weapon they could have in this situation. Of course, the plan of sending out 3 of them to fight with martial arts against robots was rather dumb of them. So we see Tommy and Kat having difficulties with the Cogs.
Red Zeo Ranger: Kat! I’m kind of surrounded here! Can you give me a hand?
Pink Zeo Ranger: Hey, I got problems too, y’know! You’re not the only one who needs a little support from your friends from your friends every now and then!
Pink Zeo Ranger/Linkara: My being pissed off at you about a ballet recital is obviously more important than our imminent deaths!
Linkara (v/o): Kat apologies, realizing how she stupid was for getting angry. Adam, meanwhile, defeats a Cog via “heil Hitler.” So yeah, with the giant robot, 2 fighters, and 3 people doing karate, the army of robots is thoroughly defeated. However, the Machine Empire isn’t done yet, naturally sending out a giant monster to fight the Zeo Megazord, because this is “Power Rangers” and it always comes down to a giant robot fighting a giant monster. While the Rangers take a beating, Klank runs off to strike a deal with Master Vile, Zedd and Rita cheering on the rangers. Vile agrees to hand over the Power Coin energies to Klank and said energies look a lot like Gummi Worms. Ok (?) The monster keeps unleashing its firepower on the Megazord. Realizing that their weapons are ineffective, they grab one of the monsters missiles out of the air and sends it right back at him, ending the episode…or comic with a bang. The Rangers head down and demand energies from Zedd and Rita. However, Vile reveals that he’s already handed over then energies. And so, our comic ends with Billy saying that they’ve got to do something!
Billy: With those energies, Mondo can easily conquer Earth. Or destroy it.
Linkara: (Raising his hand like he’s asking a question.) Um, wait, you guys have been away from the Earth for a day or so now, don’t you think the Machine Empire would’ve attacked the Earth while you were gone? Craaaaap!
Text Box: Next: Desperate Measures!
Linkara: (Puts the comic aside) Alrighty, time for the next issue! I can’t wait to see how this is resolved!
(A cover for “Power Rangers : Zeo” #2 is shown with the caption “Canceled.” Linkara is frozen in place, stunned by the news. He then gets angry.)
Linkara (v/o): From what I could find while researching, there were more issues of the “Zeo” comic drawn, but never published due to Image loosing the license. I haven’t been able to get any confirmed explanation for what would happen next, but I’ve heard a few rumors.
Linkara: It’s really disappointing, because, well, setting aside my nitpicking snarky-ness, this wasn’t that bad. I could totally see this issue as an episode and the dialogue didn’t have too much to make fun of.
Linkara (v/o): Though, here’s something that I need to track down, apparently there was, in fact, a crossover between “Power Rangers: Zeo” and “Youngblood!” Yeah, 2 issue mini-series, in fact. I’ve never seen this before and I want to track it down and it must’ve been published, since there are sales figures for it.
Linkara: Still, like I said, there’s no conclusion to this story and that’s a big let down.
(He throws the comic unto the green futon and exits the room. He then spots something..)
(He duck as he is nearly hit with a gloved hand, we se it’s….)
Linkara: Mechakara ! (Pulls out his “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” Morpher) It’s Morphing time!
(Mechakara puts his hand on the Morpher, crushing it just enough, Linkara sees that it’s now craked.)
Linkara: Well, crap.
(He throws the Morpher to the ground; he tries to punch Mechakara, only to hurt his hand in doing so. Mechakara holds him up on the wall.)
Mechakara: I grow weary of flesh!
(He then throws Linkara to the ground. On the ground. Linkara draws his Magic Gun and fires at Mechakara. It does some damage at first, but his force field adapts to it. See it makes no difference, Linkara holsters the magic gun in his jacket.)
Mechakara: Vyce’s resources have made me even more powerful than before, you insolent worm.
(We see Pollo appear and try to hack him again, but Mechakara eyes light up as Pollo is flung away.)
Mechakara: Unlike last time, my software cannot simply be overridden.
Linkara: Fine then. (Calls to the other room) Liz, little help here!
(Iron Liz is shown at the doorway with the BFG.)
Iron Liz: Fire in the hole!
(She aims and fires the BFG at Mechakara. knocking him aside, but he gets back up. Liz shoots at Mechakara again, but his shields have adapted.)
Mechakara: I am invincible to your weapons! (She tosses the BFG to the ground.) Everything that you have used has been filed, cataloged, and adapted to. They are worthless.
Liz: (Pulls out her swords, laughing.) Well, you haven’t fought me before, Tin face! (Mechakara presses something on his wrist.) Let’s see how you deal against a real metal head!
(However, before she can step forward she is blocked by the sword of another woman. Liz and Linkara are shocked by her.)
Mechakara: (To the other woman) Deal with the woman. I will have no more interruptions by chattering things.
(So, Liz gets ready to face her opponent as Mechakara punches Linkara to the ground. Linkara then jams the Dragon Dagger in Mechakara’s chest. He then pulls it out and plays the flute part, causing Mechakara damage, But Mechakara adapts to that too. Linkara then throws it aside. Mechakara then punches Linkara to the ground again, knocking his hat off. Mechakara has Linkara by the throat. But then Linkara gets the magic gun by Mechakara’s head and fires, but it mostly annoys him. Mechakara then puts Linkara against a wall and starts punching him, Linkara starts to draw blood. He throws Linkara back to the ground and grabs his shirt.)
Mechakara: Any last words before I punch a hole through your face, meat boy? Linkara: Yeah, Zeo Gold Powe Staff!
(The Zeo Gold Power staff of the Gold Zeo Ranger appears in his hand, he uses it to know Mechakara off of him. Linkara gets up and fires lightning at Mechakara as he goes for him! Linkara gets a paper towel to wipe the blood off his face,)
Linkara: You must think I’m really stupid, asshole! You almost killed me, when we last fought! (Fires the power staff at Mechakara again.) Did you really think that after all of that, I wouldn’t prepare myself? That I wouldn’t get better weapons incase you came back? (Fires again) I’ve spent the last year adding to and upgrading the Arsenal of Freedom! Weapons and technology that you couldn’t hope to fight! (Linkara Fires again, but Mechakara adapts to it.)
Mechakara: You fool, I will always adapt to your pathetic weaponry!
Linkara: Maybe, but there is a special project I’ve been working on and you know what? I think it’s time. Specifically, It’s Morphing time!
(He turns his wrists as the 2 parts of the Zeo Morpher appear. Linkara does the Zeo morph as wee see his clothes change. His brown fedora is now white, his pants are white and his shoes are white. His jacket is now a long white jacket his shirt is white with the gold Zeo belt anf and neck piece like the Zeo suits. And he wears the white gloves from the Zeo suits. With his new suit, he stands ready to fight. He then lands several successful punches of Mechakara, until Mechakara grabs his fist.)
Mechakara: Do you really think your new powers can stop me? I am your undoing, I am-
(Linkara then punches him with his other hand. Linkara then grabs him and starts punching him.)
Linkara: (Between each punch.) You. Talk. Too. Much. During. A. Fight. Scene! (He punches him further away and holds up his right arm.) Battlizer!
(The battlizer wrist device from “Power Rangers In Space” appears on his wrist, Linkara activates it.)
Linkara: Now then, I believe when we first met, there was something I said. Oh yes: “You are an android, but me? I AM A MAN!”
(He punches Mechakara with his now energized fist, thanks to the Battlizer. As Mechakara’s eyes glow, we see that this has caused some serious damage to him as he falls to the ground. Meanwhile, Liz is still having her sword fight with the other woman, who is clearly a match for her.)
Liz: Who the hell are you?
(We then see that the other woman is a version of Liz from another universe, but with a “Judas Priest” song.)
Judas Liz: (Laughs) Don’t you recognize me, dear? It’s me, Judas liz! (She knocks our Liz’s swords away.) Just die, there can only be one in this universe!
(Linkara stands behind Judas Liz with a Powered Up Zeo Pistol aimed at the back of her head.)
Linkara: How about 2 for 1?
(He shoots her down and then holds his arms crossed like and x.)
Linkara: Power down!
(Back on the floor, Mechakara spots the “MMPR” Morpher and grabs it. Linkara is now back in his usual attire.)
Linkara: (To Iron Liz) You okay?
Liz: (Sarcastic) Oh, I’m just great, how are you?
Linkara: Great, me too, take a look for your self.
(They head back to the living room of the apartment to find Mechakara standing up, holding the power coin. Liz draws her swords and Linkara aims the Powered Up Zeo Pistol.)
Mechakara: BY THE POWER AND FORCE OF STEEL, BY THE PURITY OF CIRCUIT AND WIRE, BY THE BLOOD OF ELECTRICITY, MAKE ME GROW!
(He then vanishes/ Linkara and Liz head to the window as we see Mechakara outside the city, the size of a giant. We see him pass a billboard for Obscurus Lupa’s review of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”)
Linkara: It’s okay, I prepared for this. (Heads to the kitchen.) Pollo! Pollo, it’s time!
Liz: “Prepare for this?” What are you talking about?
Linkara: (Rummaging through the drawers) It’s always been a possibility that someone would steal the Magic Coin or that I wouldn’t have it available to me if I needed it.
(The room shakes with Mechakara’s footprints)
Liz: Ok, he getting closer!
Linkara: well, at 1st I thought to myself, “I’ll just build myself a giant robot.” But then I realized, “Who has time to build a giant robot, really?”
Liz: So, what are you going to do?
Linkara: So, I figured, “Why build a one when someone else has already built one.”
Liz: (Realizes) You didn’t!
(Holds up the controller for Neutro.)
Linkara: I took it from Doctor Insano after he parked it behind Spoony’s place! (Heads to the living room) Pollo, is it ready?
Pollo: It’s ready whenever you are.
(Places the Neutron Controller on his wrist and raises his other arm like when “Power Rangers” calls there Zords.)
Linkara: I call upon the power of Neutro and the Ultrazord!
(He presses a button on the controller and beams onto the cockpit of Neutro.)
Linkara: Alright, I’m ready to go now, Pollo, activate the control console!
Pollo: (With a head set on his head.) It’s already activated, it’s right in front of you.
(Linkara looks in front of him, only to find a NES Advantage controller.)
Linkara: Pollo, this is an NES Advantage.
Pollo: I got busy and never finished it, I figured this would work just as well.
Linkara: What do I pay you for again?!
Pollo: You’re other robot buddy is still out there, you know?
Linkara: Oh, crap!
(He then uses the controller moves the robot, really Liz in a suit. The 2 fight, evenly matched. Mechakara shoots electricity at Neutro, but Neutro bounces back. After a few punches, Neutro uses his laser vision on Mechakara, blasting his arm off.)
Linkara: Alright, Mechakara, it’s time to finish this one and for all! (Holds his arm out.) Neutro, activate final attack!
(He realizes that this does nothing, and he just presses a button on the controller. Neutron then summons an energy ball from his arc reactor and fires it at Mechakara, destroying him. Sometime later, Linkara takes Mechakara’s robot hand and puts it on the book shelf, like a trophy.)
Linkara: Well, one down.
(He exits the room, as we see a finger of the robot hand move slightly.)