Everyone's got their favorite Power Ranger, but for many, that honor falls to the ever resilient Tommy Oliver. If you don't know why that's the case, let us explain.
Tommy Oliver has had quite the trajectory. Starting out as a villain and turning hero isn't an easy feat, but Oliver accomplished that and so much more over the years. The character isn't the only one who made a return either, as actor Jason David Frank has become synonymous with the character, appearing in multiple series and offshoot projects time and time again.
Throughout his time on the show, fans have seen Oliver grow in both a leadership role and as a friend. Eventually, they even got to see him in a mentor role, and if you ask most fans they would be open to seeing him return to the universe once again if the opportunity presented himself.
So, with all that in mind, some fans might be more familiar with certain eras of Tommy's history. If you started at the beginning, you might love the Green Ranger and everything that comes with it. If you happened to hop on later in subsequent series, you might not realize just how much Tommy has accomplished in his time as part of the Power Rangers universe.
So, we here at ComicBook.com decided to break the character down into his biggest forms over the years, assembling a sort of Tommy Oliver 101 if you will. You might be surprised at just how much there is to Tommy Oliver, and who knows, maybe by the end of this, you'll have a new favorite Ranger!
Okay, maybe not, but hey, it's worth a shot right? In any case, it's time to get started with the series that launched arguably the most popular Power Ranger of all time, the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
The series that started it all (stateside at least) is also where fans met Tommy Oliver for the first time.
In fact, his debut arc has become one of the most popular series of episodes in Power Rangers history. In "Green with Evil", Tommy Oliver is introduced as a new student at Angel Grove High. After a martial arts competition against Jason Scott (the Red Ranger) reveals his natural fighting skill, Rita Repulsa decides to turn him into her evil Green Ranger.
Rita puts him under a spell and gives him access to the Dragon Coin, the until now hidden sixth Power Coin. He then sets off to destroy the Rangers from the inside, starting with their command center. He cuts the Rangers off from Zordon and uploads a virus into Alpha 5's systems.
After that he gets even more powerful, receiving the Sword of Darkness and the incredibly powerful Dragonzord. Combined with Rita and Goldar, it became too much for the Rangers to overcome, as an eclipse removing the power of the Dinozords sent them underground.
Eventually, though the Rangers were able to destroy the Sword of Darkness (which held Tommy under Rita's control) and defeat the Dragonzord, paving the way for Tommy to become an official Power Ranger on the side of the heroes.
Tommy would go on to help the Rangers full time, but Rita never gave up trying to recover the Dragon Coin and Tommy's powers. She actually succeeded at one point partway, removing the powers from Tommy. She didn't recover them though, as they went to Jason.
Eventually, Tommy would get the powers back, but they were only temporary. He would eventually lose them permanently against Lord Zedd and his latest creation Turbansheel. It took all the energy he had left to destroy the monster, and afterward, the Green Ranger powers were lost forever.
While Tommy lost his Green Ranger powers, it didn't take him long to find a new form.
Zordon and Alpha 5 would teleport him to the command center to reveal their plans. They were creating a new Ranger, one whose powers stemmed from the white light of good. He was now the White Ranger and given a new suit as well as his talking saber Saba. He would use that weapon to control the White Tigerzord, and Zordon them made him the new leader of the Rangers.
Tommy would learn to control his White Ranger powers over time and would reprise his role in the Power Rangers movie. During his tenure as leader three new Rangers joined the squad, as Trini, Zack, and Jason left the team. He even ended up facing an evil version of himself after Zedd and Rita cut off a lock of his hair so they could clone him.
Seriously, talk about attachment issues.
After Rito Revolto (Rita's brother if you couldn't tell) destroyed the Thunderzords and the existing Power Coins, the Rangers led by Tommy would seek out new powers from Ninjor. He eventually relented and would give them Ninja Ranger Powers, with Tommy becoming the White Ninja Ranger.
After a brief stint as a child (during the Mighty Morphin Alien Rangers days), the Rangers returned to an explosion at the command center. It destroyed their headquarters, but Zordon and Alpha 5 had built a plan B, known as the Power Chamber.
Tommy and the other Rangers were given the powers of the Zeo Crystal, with Tommy taking the Star Zeo Crystal to become the Red Zeo Ranger. Along with his Red Battlezord, the Rangers would fight King Mondo and the Machine Empire throughout the season.
Tommy would discover during his time as the Zeo Ranger that he had a brother named David Trueheart, linked to his time under the guidance of the sage True of Heart from Power Rangers Alien Rangers.
He would also have to yet again fight the effects of mind control thanks to King Mondo, who brainwashed him into fighting his friends. They were eventually able to break the trance though after revealing their identities to him, ushering in the return of his original memories.
Tommy would continue to be the Red Ranger, but the Rangers would undergo a power change after the defeat of King Mondo.
Divatox would step up to the plate as the Ranger's primary villain, and to face the new threat the Rangers would take on the Turbo powers. Tommy became the Red Turbo Ranger and would go on to fight Divatox's minions with the other Rangers until it was time for them to leave for College.
With the departure of Zordon and Alpha 5, new mentors would take over in their place. It wasn't long before Tommy would pick his own replacement, a young man named T.J., who saved him when Divatox tried to drop him into the Vortex of Eternal Doom and Sorrow.
He would give leadership over to T.J., and thus a new era began.
Tommy would return as the Red Ranger one more time thanks to his friendship with Andros, the Red Space Ranger.
Andros was in search of General Venjix and the last pieces of the Machine Empire and would enlist the help of other Red Rangers throughout the series' history. This included Tommy, who would morph into the Zeo Red Ranger with the help of his Zeonizer. Tommy also contacted the original Red Ranger, Jason Scott, to come and lend a hand.
Ten Red Rangers in all would seek out Venjix and destroy his remaining forces, stopping the reemergence of Lord Zedd's powerful Zord Serpentera.
Since his Zeo days, Tommy had managed to become a Paleontologist and eventually a teacher. His discoveries of the Dino Gems, along with two other associates, which would go on to power three students who figured out Tommy's origins as a Power Ranger.
Tommy then recruited them as Dino Rangers after discovering that his former friend turned villain Mesogog was still alive. He would join them to become the Black Dino Thunder Ranger, controlling the Brachiozord and holding the Brachio Staff.
He would fight alongside his young charges against Mesogog and another of his fellow researchers, Trent Mercer, who became the White Dino Ranger. Tommy would go through several transformations during this time, even being encased in amber for awhile. He would gain Super Dino Mode after the shattering of his Dino Gem put him in a coma, resulting in the memorable Fighting Spirit episode where he confronts his various Ranger incarnations of the past.
Eventually, the team would sacrifice their Dino Gems in order to beat Mesogog's final form, and with that Tommy would give up the Ranger life...for the most part.
Tommy's last stint of action occurred during Super Megaforce after Prince Vekar attempted to take over the Earth.
Tommy decided to recruit as many of the past Power Rangers as he could, resulting in a huge force of Rangers from all eras. They would join the Megaforce Rangers to battle Emperor Mavro, and Tommy would adopt his past Green Ranger powers during the battle. He also utilized Saba to save a child during the battle.
Together the impromptu Power Rangers force defeated Mavro, but then would need battle one more time against the XBorgs. It took all their might to push them back, but ultimately they destroyed them, and with that the Rangers would take their leave, teleporting away as quickly as they came.
Before he teleported Tommy said one last goodbye, saying No, Thank you. Earth is safe again. It was an honor to fight by your side. Well, it's time for us to leave. We'll always be with you."