6 Reasons the Red Ranger (Jason) Is Stronger Than the Green (Tommy)
Jason, the Original Red Ranger
The original leader and Red Ranger of the Mighty Morphing Power Rangers series, Jason Lee Scott's status as the most powerful Ranger of all time is contested only by his Green (later White) suited rival, Tommy Oliver. Tommy eventually assumed the mantle of leader and starred in many seasons, leading several fans to consider him the pinnacle of all Rangers.
Still, Jason's red duds evidently made Tommy green with envy, (Tommy himself donned a crimson suit come Power Ranger Zeo), and Jason retains a loyal following despite Tommy's popularity. Why do so many fans still maintain their faith in Jason's superiority? These are six reasons why the Red Ranger's skills exceed the Green's!
6. Jason Arguably Won Their Non-Suited Match
The very first time we encounter Tommy, he and Jason square off in a regular (aka non-suited) karate match. The fight ultimately ends in a draw, both contestants having earned four points.
I know I'll sound biased here, but if I absolutely had to give this encounter to someone, I'd go with Jason. All his points were earned through successful strikes to Tommy, while one of Tommy's points came from getting Jason out of bounds. A point nonetheless, but that razor-thin technicality could make all the difference in a real fight. This is also a great match to base their abilities on, as there are no suits or weapons (complicating the issue of whose skill is superior) to worry over.
5. Both Rangers Agree Jason is Faster
After Tommy's evil stint, he joins the team as their sixth Ranger. Sent on a mission with Jason in an episode titled "Gung Ho!", the two attempt to scale a cliff to rescue their allies only to be bombarded with energy blasts by the villain of the week. Jason concocts a plan to have Tommy distract the monster while he races toward their captive friends.
The important thing here is the dialogue exchanged between the two. Jason admits Tommy is better with a sword, but says he "has the strength to get up the hill faster than you." Tommy himself agrees and borrows Jason's Power Sword to help him distract their foe. In the spirit of fairness, you could argue that the superior bladework would counterbalance the power difference in a Ranger fight, but it lends credence to Jason's non-suited victory. Additionally, Tommy's prowess with a saber is possibly wasted considering he typically wields a dagger, not a sword, though perhaps it translates over.
4. Jason's Tyrannosaurus Dinozord defeated Tommy's Dragonzord
You could argue back and forth whether the strengths of each Ranger's Megazord component mirrors their own, but we're looking for any evidence we can find.
Jason's T-Rex zord is easily the strongest of his team, capable of fighting Rita's monsters without fusing with its brethren. Tommy's intimidating Dragonzord (which I swear draws inspiration from MechaGodzilla considering its finger missiles and appearance), summoned with his iconic Dragon Dagger tune, battles Jason's giant robot. In one of today's few clear-cut outcomes, Jason's mechanic reptile triumphs. Remember that both Rangers were piloting their respective machines, hinting that either Jason's zord was stronger or his piloting was superior to Tommy's. Ten points to Gryffindor.
3. Jason's Impressive Loss Against Tommy
Yep, you read that right. Why consider Jason losing a point in his favor? Well, we're referring to the time Jason held his own against the fully-suited Green Ranger—without his own suit—landing a surprising number of hits on his armored foe. And this was after Jason (again, suitless) had to battle Rita's fearsome second-in-command Goldar, meaning he was already tired before the match began.
Jason attempts to morph late into the battle, which Tommy barely manages to prevent, showing that he's too worried about facing a full-powered Jason to offer him the honor of a fair match. If Tommy was truly confident of his victory, wouldn't he let his rival morph?
2. Jason (Not Tommy) is Paired with the Weakest Ranger in Forever Red
In the special episode of Power Rangers: Wild Force entitled "Forever Red", all ten Red Rangers from each existing series were united against a common foe. During this nostalgic event, the ten Rangers eventually pair off against five enemies, meaning two team up against each villain. The group partners Jason—not Tommy—with the newest (and supposedly weakest) Red Ranger, Cole. This proves a wise decision, as Jason does the lion's share of the work in their battle, and the encounter shows the team considered Jason the strongest of their bunch.
1. Jason Defeats Tommy at the Height of His Power
Here's another blessedly simple point. Both fully morphed, Jason simply defeats Tommy despite the latter's superior suit.
You see, Tommy was lucky enough to have attire come with an extra bonus: the Dragon Shield, which manifests as two shoulder guards and increases his power. Additionally, he wields a gift from Rita, the mighty Sword of Darkness (which Jason destroys) plus his default Dragon Dagger. Despite all this, Jason manages to overcome Tommy after a titanic battle, and proves his leadership qualities by immediately forgiving Tommy and offering him a place on his team.
By the way, Jason himself gets to borrow the Dragon Shield and Dagger later in the series, after Tommy's Green Ranger power fades, making him even more formidable by combining his Red powers with Tommy's Green.
Bonus: Jason vs. Tommy in Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie
Jason vs. Tommy
While this article specifically discusses the original Red vs. Green debate, we can glean a bit more evidence from Jason's brief skirmish with Tommy during Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie. Here, Tommy now leads the Zeo team as its Red Ranger, but even his new duds can't save him against a brainwashed Jason, who easily dominates Tommy despite yet again lacking a suit against his fully-armed foe.
Jason and Kimberly?
This movie also suggests Jason may have even stolen Tommy's one-time girlfriend and original Pink Ranger Kimberly. While Jason was originally thought to have ended with Emily and Kimberly with Tommy, Turbo depicts Kimberly and Jason as being unusually close, especially suspicious given the notable absence or mention of Emily. If you're still skeptical, consider that Kimberly has previously mentioned experiencing similar feelings of safety and comfort around Jason, just as she did with her then-boyfriend Tommy. Also, the 2017 Power Rangers film outright paired her with Jason. Seems in the end Tommy got the team, but Jason got the girl.
Which Ranger do you prefer?
Granted, Tommy is undoubtedly the most influential Ranger of all time, starring in the greatest number seasons and frequently demonstrating his power. That said, the evidence suggests Jason Lee Scott is actually the strongest Ranger, especially upon adding the dragon items to his own. His unyielding but optimistic stand against evil endeared him to our young minds, and his added Gold Ranger form in Zeo only furthered our appreciation of his abilities.
Beyond his martial skills, Jason's incredible leadership earned him the respect of all allies, and Tommy himself often consulted the former captain for advice once he assumed the commanding role. His series may long since have ended, but Jason is certainly not forgotten.
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© 2018 Jeremy Gill