We come to kaiju movies for the monster fights, and the Godzilla franchise is absolutely bursting with them. Godzilla’s fought giant spiders, giant crocodile plants, giant three-headed golden dragons, and giant clones of himself from space. What of the humans, though? Unfortunately for us, there has basically been an unwritten rule throughout the series that our weapons cannot stop him, barring a few very specific examples. As we continue to look at how the King of the Monsters would square up against a number of foes from outside of the Toho catalog, I think we need to look at something that might be one of those very specific examples. I think we might need… teenagers with attitude!
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Debuting in 1993, Power Rangers is a strange blend of Kamen Rider and Saved by the Bell, utilizing dubbed-over footage of the Japanese tokusatsu series Super Sentai along with brand new scenes filmed with English-speaking actors. There have been 27 seasons of the show so far, as well as three feature films and a whole host of comic books and video games (including last year’s Battle for the Grid, which is way better than it has any right to be–seriously, it plays like Marvel vs Capcom 2!). In addition, there is a 28th season scheduled for next year and another theatrical reboot in the works.
Throughout the years, the team has been shuffled, overhauled, and reworked a number of times. Members have come and gone, locations and time periods have changed, and the gimmicks, weapons, and overall storylines have been revamped over and over. What remains fairly consistent is that the Rangers are a group of themed warriors in brightly colored spandex and motorcycle helmets that punch and kick monsters. They also pilot giant robots called Zords.
As opposed to Godzilla, there’s absolutely no way to come up with a “generalized” version of the team, so let’s go with the classic. If you’re an aging Millennial like I am, then Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers was a huge part of your childhood, so there was never really any other choice to begin with. This incarnation consists of Jason, Kimberly, Trini, Zack, Billy, and Tommy. For absolute clarity, I do mean the version of these characters from the tv show, not the (highly underrated) 2017 reboot. Their Zords are each modeled after a prehistoric creature like a T. Rex or a Mastodon and when they all get together they form the Megazord.
Separately, the Dinozords aren’t going to do a whole lot in this fight, though they do have a few tricks up their sleeves. The T. Rex has laser eyes and an Earth-shattering roar; the Mastodon has a powerful freeze breath; the Pterodactyl can fly and shoot lightning; and the Triceratops and Sabertooth Tiger have tail lasers. Still, they’re far too small and weak to put up much of a fight on their own, outnumbering their opponent or not. Even the Megazord doesn’t exactly live up to Godzilla’s sheer bulk. At only 41 meters tall compared to the kaiju’s 100, Godzilla absolutely towers over the giant robot. However, (as evidenced by the previous fight) size isn’t everything and the Megazord definitely has the arsenal to make up for the disadvantage.
Generally, they would start off in Tank Mode, where they gain access to some huge canons and multicolored lightning blasts. While this can knock a monster or two off their feet, it’s usually just a little appetizer before they get right into Battle Mode. This is where they transform into the big humanoid robot that you probably remember. While it maintains access to the multicolored lightning (now shooting it from its forehead), this is where their close combat capabilities increase dramatically with improved agility and access to the Power Sword and Mastodon Shield. The sword is incredibly powerful and generally serves as the robot’s finisher, being able to absorb energy as well as throw it right back,
Godzilla is no stranger to these sorts of robotic opponents, however, with one of his most iconic foes being the mechanical doppelganger MechaGodzilla. He’s fought three different versions of the big metal beast on at least five separate occasions (not including the anime version, which is something else entirely). While these have been some of the closest matches in the franchise, none of them have managed to take down Godzilla for good, and every one of them arguably has far more advanced weaponry than the Megazord can muster.
I don’t think the Power Sword alone can edge out a win for the Rangers here, with that size disadvantage really making close combat an uphill battle. That said, they’re not out of this fight just yet because they’re not exactly alone. Eagle-eyed readers may have noticed a sixth name when I ran down the list of Rangers earlier in this article; and while their Zord was not present in the following rundown, that was by design. Fashionably late as always (due to a lack of usable Super Sentai footage of the character), this is where the Green Ranger Tommy would show up.
By playing his dagger as a flute without even taking off his helmet, Tommy summons the Dragonzord, a big MechaGodzilla knockoff with power rivaling that of the Megazord itself. This effectively doubles the Rangers’ chances in this fight. The Dragonzord can shoot missiles from its fingertips and has a big drill weapon on the end of its tail, giving it a bit more of a ranged game plan than the Megazord has. Outnumbered, Godzilla may be starting to sweat, but a stray atomic breath could easily knock either one of them out of this fight. It’s time to pull out the big guns.
Aside from its own fighting capabilities, the main power of the Dragonzord is how it can further combine with the Megazord to reach an even more powerful final form. Since we’ve got the whole squad here, we’ll skip the Dragonzord Battle Mode, which involves it combining with the Sabertooth Tiger, Mastodon, and Triceratops Dinozords to form its own Megazord. Let’s skip right to the Mega Dragonzord. This monstrosity involves the Megazord essentially wearing the Dragonzord as an additional suit of armor on its head and shoulders. This increases its size up to 58.2 meters and gives it access to new shoulder cannons and energy blasts. Further still, this is where they can summon Titanus, and combine with that to form the Dino Ultrazord.
Part Megazord, part Dragonzord, part robot brachiosaurus, all thinly-veiled toy commercial. The Dino Ultrazord is finally the actual final form. 116 meters long, 62 meters tall, this absolute unit is sort of like a bigger, more extreme version of the Tank Mode that they originally combined into. It’s funny how we’ve come full circle like that. Giving up its agility for sheer unmatched firepower, this thing has never been defeated, and I don’t think that’s changing any time soon.
While Godzilla maintains a size advantage through every stage of this fight, the Rangers have a massive arsenal at their disposal, complete with a vast number of tactics to keep the kaiju guessing. When one thing isn’t working they can just try something else, and as their combined forms get more and more complicated, they end up closing the size gap more and more. When it comes down to the Dino Ultrazord, it’s just such a massive wall of firepower that Godzilla would be absolutely overwhelmed, especially after a long and grueling fight where his opponents keep switching up their attacks. His atomic breath is one of the most dangerous weapons in this fight and he could get lucky in the early game, but at the end of the day, it’s just not enough. On top of all of this, the Rangers have a significant intelligence advantage and a lot of experience fighting off giant monsters. It won’t be easy, but they’ll just barely get this one in the bag.