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Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: 10 Questions About The Black Ranger, Answered

In the world of Power Rangers, there is a veritable rainbow of colors that could end up in a ranger’s uniform these days. In the beginning, however, there were only five: Red, yellow, blue, pink, and black. Though it was never explicitly stated in the show, the Black Ranger tended to be the second in command of the team and seriously underestimated. That was especially true during Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.

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The original Black Ranger was Zack Taylor. He and his best friends got to become superheroes in high school while he spent his spare time teaching martial arts, trying to save the environment, and writing music. Zack was a multifaceted Power Ranger, though he left the series in the second season.

10 Was Zack The First Choice For The Green Ranger?

During the run of the television series, Rita Repulsa decided to create her own evil Power Ranger in order to battle the teenage heroes. That was Tommy Oliver. The comics, however, demonstrated that he wasn’t actually her first choice.

Instead, Rita targeted an existing member of the team, trying to convince Zack that his friends didn’t actually appreciate him and that she could make him more powerful. She did that by approaching him on his birthday while he was alone. Zack resisted, and though he told Zordon about Rita’s offer, he kept it from his friends for a very long time. The experience led to him not trusting Tommy as much as the others when the Green Ranger joined the team.

9 Was He Really The First Power Ranger To Morph On Screen?

The first few times that the teenagers morphed into the Power Rangers on screen, they did it as a group. That meant their “morphin’ time” went in a very specific order with Zack’s “mastodon” leading the pack. He was the very first Power Ranger to morph in the television series as a result, but he wasn’t just the first in the group.

Zack also happened to be the first Power Ranger in the series to have to morph while out on his own. When the series began to transition from the group fights to spotlighting different characters, Zack was the first one to have the experience of a solo morph.

8 What’s His Favorite Food?

Thanks to interactive CD-ROMs and fan club interviews, there is a lot of information out there about the Power Rangers that weren’t necessarily included in the show. In the case of Zack, one of those things was his favorite food.

It was actually Jason who remarked first, during his own interview, that no one liked big bowls of ice cream as much as Zack did. Zack agreed, specifically citing cookies and cream as his favorite ice cream flavor.

7 Did Zack Ever Wear The Green Ranger Dragon Shield?

Though Zack might have been Rita’s first choice to become the Green Ranger in the comics (and she showed him what he would look like), he wasn’t the person who got to wear the dragon shield.

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In the television series, it was Jason who wore it into battle as the team leader. In the comics, Kimberly got to wear it as well when she was responsible for leading the team in the absence of Tommy and Jason. Zack did get one chance to wear the dragon shield in the series: It was placed on him when the Green Ranger energy was used to heal him.

6 When Did Zack & Skull Become Allies?

Bulk and Skull were the biggest bullies at Angel Grove High School. They also happened to become pretty big supporters of the Power Rangers. In the continuity of the series, Power Rangers: In Space saw Bulk, Skull, and many other Angel Grove residents pretend to be Power Rangers when the team was unmasked and in trouble. The comic books saw Skull and Zack join forces a little differently.

The “Shattered Grid” event revealed an alternate timeline where Tommy became an evil warlord. Zack, as a former Power Ranger, became one of the leaders of the resistance. They called themselves The Coinless, and Skull was amongst their ranks. In fact, Skull actually helped save Zack when Tommy’s Lord Drakkon held Zack captive and tortured him.

5 What Is His Star Sign?

Exact dates and a concrete timeline didn’t exactly get pinned down in the original series, but that didn’t stop Saban’s interactive Power Rangers CD-ROM from revealing birthdays for the group of teenagers. Zack Taylor was born on May 3 in Washington, DC.

His date of birth would make him a Taurus. Though Taurus is an earth sign, which means they’re usually practical and fairly stoic, those born under the sign can be a little different. They’re ruling planet is Venus, which means they’re also usually creative, appreciative of beauty, and love a little bit of luxury. That sounds an awful lot like Zack.

4 Was Walter Jones Supposed To Play The Blue Ranger?

Fans and critics alike have often looked back on the possibly racist implications of an African-American cast as the Black Ranger and an Asian-American cast as the Yellow Ranger. That wasn’t actually the intention, however.

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Thuy Trang wasn’t the first Yellow Ranger. Audri Dubois was cast and filmed the pilot but was replaced after filming. Rumor has it Walter Jones was originally cast as the Blue Ranger and David Yost as the Red Ranger. When the casting team brought in Austin St. John to fill out the ranger team, however, parts were retooled. Yost became the Blue Ranger, St. John became the Red Ranger, and Jones ended up as the second in command Black Ranger.

3 How Did The Series Pull Off His Final Appearance?

During the second season of the show, Trang, Jones, and St. John decided to renegotiate their contracts. The trio was tired of working grueling hours for very little pay. Since the series wasn’t a union show, the entire cast and crew pulled double and triple duty on jobs. The actors often choreographed their own fight scenes and some crew members and writers doubled as extras in shots.

The trio hoped that attempting to renegotiate their contracts would get the cast raises. Instead, producers decided they should part ways. Stock footage of the actors was reused with producers and writers dubbing in the lines. Body doubles appeared as their characters – seen only from behind or in Power Ranger uniform to avoid fans realizing the actors were already gone – were written out.

2 What Life Did Zack Pursue After Being A Power Ranger?

In early “character interviews” with Zack for fan materials, he actually discussed his desire to have a job that would allow him to see the world as an adult. He got the chance to do that in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Pink, a comic book miniseries that acted as a sequel to the original series, exploring what happened to Kimberly Hart when she moved to Paris.

When Kimberly needed help fighting monsters in Europe, she called on Zack and Trini for help. The duo were still by each other’s sides, though they were living and working (and dating) in South America. Zack was spending his time teaching kids his own particular brand of martial arts: Hip Hop kido.

1 Has He Returned To The Series Since Leaving It Behind?

Of the original Power Rangers, all of them have technically returned to the franchise. While Billy stuck around for a few more seasons, Kimberly and Jason returned for a movie (and Jason again for a few special appearances), and Tommy became a Power Ranger again in the Dino Thunder seasons. Of course, the entire team “appeared” in the Megaforce season for a massive battle.

Trini and Zack, however, are the only Power Rangers not to appear outside of their uniforms since the actors didn’t return. Thuy Trang died in a car accident in 2001 and never had the opportunity to reprise her role. While Zack didn’t return either, Walter Jones did. He appeared with Austin St. John to host a special “lost episode” of the series on television a few years after leaving the show.

NEXT: Power Rangers: 5 Reasons Lord Zedd Is The Best Villain In The Franchise (& 5 Why It’s Venjix)

Here are the answers to 10 questions about Mighty Morphin Power Rangers' often-underestimated Black Ranger.

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