Everyone has their favorite Power Ranger, but you'll find original Black Ranger Zack Taylor atop many of those lists.
Zack Taylor's filled with boundless energy, and it shows in his mostly upbeat personality and dynamic combat style. Taylor was tasked with becoming the original Mighty Morphin Black Ranger, who commanded the power of the Mastodon. Part of that meant control of the accompanying Mastodon Zord, but he would later get an upgrade to the Lion Thunderzord when the Dinozords were destroyed.
Zack had a reputation for pranking the other Rangers, but some might not realize he was also the second-in-command to Jason Scott, the Red Ranger.
Taylor also wielded the Power Axe, which could combine with the other Power Weapons to form the Power Blaster. He could also use the Axe as a cannon on its own, which he referred to as the "Cosmic Cannon".
Taylor was played by actor Walter Jones, who brought his own sensibilities to the character's fighting style. Most of the others used standard martial arts techniques, but Zack opted for a dance-themed technique he coined "Hip Hop Kido". He would use a flurry of kicks and punches to keep his opponent off balance but then would interweave dance moves throughout. It certainly always kept fights entertaining.
Speaking of his trademark fighting style, it was conspicuously missing from the most recent reboot.
"[It had] no Hip Hop Kido!" Walter Jones told AiPT!. "It was a major motivator for so many fans to explore physical arts, dancing, gymnastics, parkour, etc… My character was the only character with that ability. It should have been included in some fashion."
There were plenty of those who agreed with him, but the reboot version also had some cool things to offer.
Zack has won many hearts over the years, so here's a walk down Mighty Morphin memory lane as ComicBook.com gives you the Zack Taylor 101.
Mighty Morphin Era
It took some convincing from Jason and the rest of the group to get Zack on board with being a Power Ranger, but once he finally gave in he took to it quite quickly.
Zack often keeps things lighthearted, what with his various pranks, stilt walking, and the like throughout his run on the show. Despite his cool exterior, he is also quite sentimental, demonstrated when the other Rangers "forget" his birthday, only for him to realize they've planned a surprise party in his honor.
He never hesitates to rush in to aid another Ranger either, and is one of the most determined to don the costume. Granted, he spends much of the first season using that determination to win a date with Angela, but he does manage to pull it off in the end.
Zack would grow alongside the other Rangers until a peace conference in Switzerland would pull him away from the group. Zack, Kimberly, and Jason would seek out the Sword of Light, which allowed them to transfer their powers to successors. For Zack that would end up being Adam Park, who successfully took the powers and became the next Black Ranger.prevnext
Super Megaforce: Legendary Battle
Zack was brought back once more during the "Legendary Battle" episode of Super Megaforce, alongside the rest of the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
The Super Megaforce Rangers fought their hardest against Emperor Mavro, but were on their last legs and without Zords as he made his final assault. A Legendary assembly of Rangers would arrive to help them fight off the final invasion, including the original Black Ranger and his power axe.
They ultimately pushed back the XBorg and Bruiser army and would return to the past as quickly as they appeared.prevnext
Power Rangers Reboot
The character of Zack Taylor would return for the live-action Power Rangers reboot, albeit with some changes.
The biggest, of course, is that the role of Zack in the film is played by Ludi Lin. This Zack Taylor is much less social than Jones' version but equally energetic, he just channels it differently. Most of that comes in the form of being a YouTube daredevil, which was in the original treatment of the character before those scenes got nixed from the final version.
He's a little harder around the edges, but that same enthusiasm can still be seen by those who bother to look, and his backstory is also one of the stronger elements, as he is simply trying to provide for his ill mother.
Rather quietly, Zack became one of the best parts of the film.prevnext
Unofficial Short Film
In Adi Shankar and Joseph Kahn's unofficial short film, the Power Rangers were given a much grittier makeover, and Zack played a big role in the story.
Spoilers for the fan film incoming, so you've been warned.
During Kimberly's interrogation, she is told by Rocky about the fate of Zack. It then switches to Zack's point of view, who ended up craving the adrenaline rush of being a Ranger so much that he enlisted with the Machine Empire to become a mercenary.
He enters a room full of soldiers and dispatches them with his usual flair. He is then shown training after a threesome with Divatox and Scorpina, but someone sneaks up from behind and executes him.
That turns out to be the Pink Ranger in appearance, but it's revealed to be Rita Repulsa in disguise.prevnext