If you’ve ever heard of Bat In The Sun, then you are probably with their Super Power Beat Down series where they “take two super powered legends and make them battle”. Then again, if you’ve never heard of it, well now you know what they are. Well the reason I bring this up is because they finally released their highly anticipated Green Ranger vs Ryu fight, a battle that has been almost a year in the making.
Now the fight has gotten some mixed reviews from fans – as most of the fan battles do. Unlike other fantasy fight match-ups, Super Power Beat Down chooses the winner according to fan vote, not actual power. This has occasionally lead to some unrealistic wins – such as Batman defeating Deadpool – but few fantasy fight match ups are without their biases – such as how Death Battle overlooked many of Majin Buu’s abilities when they had him lose to Kirby (whom Death Battle also overlooked many limitations). Though it’s not just who wins that matters, but something much more. So let’s take a look at the Green Ranger vs Ryu match-up and discern everything Super Power Beat Down did right and what could use a little work.
Let Them Fight – The Choreographed Champions:
With Aaron Schoenke directing these battles, you know you’re going to get showmanship. He’s been working on fan-based films for over 10 years and with his father Sean at his side, you’ve got to admire what this father-son duo has created. From the choreography to cinematography, Super Power Beat Down has some of the most talented people working on it, and you can see their work come to life as these battles are just as beautiful as they are ferocious.
The Green Ranger vs Ryu battle had the perfect mix of honoring the classics while also adding that new spin. As you probably noticed, the Green Ranger suit is a little different from the original – new boot/arm cuffs, shoulder pads, helmet recolor. Even the basic spandex suit was reimagined thanks to the folks at Snakepit Studios. Though despite all these differences, the suit actually looks like the logical badass expansion of the original uniform. Dare I say it; but I actually love this custom suit more than the original.
Another aspect you have to give tremendous props for is how they actually work in each fighter’s abilities so everything gets a fair shake. From standard attacks and fighting styles to more special attacks, they’re all there. Even the presence – or rather absence – of the Green Ranger’s Dragonzord is addressed since Ryu destroys the dragon Dagger, thus making the Green Ranger incapable of summoning the Dragonzord.
Set Up & Resolutions – Who, What, Where, When, Why:
As spectacular as the fights themselves are, the story should be equally as well executed. These battles usually involved two completely unrelated characters, so the story set up is something that also sets Super Power Beat Down apart from the others. WHY have these two fighters crossed paths? Past fights have done this excellently by usually trying to rescue someone in need from their combatant’s clutches (ie: Deadpool captures Catwoman to lure out Batman, White Ranger must rescue a woman from Scorpion, etc). Green Ranger vs Ryu set things up a little differently since these two fighters are basically heroes, but it’s the end where there might seem to be a little bit of a disconnect. Thankfully this disconnect is remedied when paired with an original MMPR soundtrack/voice over.
As Power Ranger fans would recognize, the green glow in Tommy’s eyes as well as his use of the Sword of Darkness shows that this isn’t the normal Green Ranger, but the Evil Green Ranger. It’s not explicitly said during the fight, but this does make a lot of sense and better explains the tone of his final phrase “Welcome to my nightmare” – which is also a famous line Tommy spoke in the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers movie (though as the pure good White Ranger, not Green). So in the end, this all makes sense after all; but it sadly still leaves us without something people have been wondering for a while – why does anyone have to die?
No One Has To Die – The Ending We’re Still Waiting For:
When you have a hero vs villain or characters with murderous intent, the idea of one character killing the other makes sense. Though what about when you have two heroes facing off? Captain America vs Master Chief started to bring this notion up, but Green Ranger vs Ryu makes this more apparent than ever. Why can’t there be a fight where victory is achieved without death?
Some could say this is an ‘unrealistic’ belief, but it’s a FANTASY battle to begin with. Green Ranger and Ryu are both good guys – with their dark sides to be sure – so why couldn’t the fight end with one of them snapping the other one out if it. Imagine if you will:
A Green Ranger vs Ryu fight where the Green Ranger knocks Ryu down and out of his Evil form. The Green Ranger then offers to help Ryu up. Ryu accepts and the two exchange praise of each other’s fighting styles. Suddenly, a bunch of Putties and other enemies show up. The Green Ranger and Ryu stand side by side and say “Looks like the battle is never over” and we see these two working as a team in glorious combat.
Doesn’t that ending sound spectacular? It shows that one can best the other, but still keeps the good of these characters in tact. They are martial artists and have a respect for those of immense skill. Seeing these two fight together at friends after the battle would be much more rewarding than a fatality – at least in my opinion.
Did The Right Combatant Win?
To be fair, I did feel the end was a little rushed. Ryu kept pretty good pace with the Green Ranger so when he became Evil Ryu, he should have overpowered the Green Ranger more. Sure, he became strong enough to shatter the Green Ranger’s helmet, but we saw no recoil after its destruction – a recoil that was very prominent anytime the Rangers got injured during the original show. Even if the Sword of Darkness did even the playing field, I felt we should have seen more of the Green Ranger on the ropes.
That being said, I don’t know the full extent of Evil Ryu’s powers; but the Heroes Workshop helped fill in some of the blanks and explained how Evil Ryu is a lot more powerful and could potentially shatter the sword of darkness. Unlike Green Ranger, Ryu’s power boost isn’t just speed and slight strength. Power Rangers might receive protection from the suit and powers, but Evil Ryu’s powers are fully focused on the offensive. Thankfully there’s always an alternate ending – and that what really makes us have to tip our hats to Super Power Beat Down.
The Alternate Ending – The Most Honorable Of Fan Services:
With some voting polls being ridiculously close, Bat In The Sun has started shooting two endings for each battle in case the fighter you wanted to win didn’t. Could some call this a sell-out or a pure fan-service? Sure, but why is that bad? The point of Super Power Beat Down is to see two incredible fantasy fighters come together and duke it out. Going into these battles, we probably all have our own biases and hopes, so why is an alternate ending bad?
Super Power Beat Down offers us a chance to be kids again and see which fighter can best the other in heated combat. It’s all about the battle and the glorious show that the team spends months putting together. If you wait all that time and see a glorious battle only to realize your champion gets decapitated in the end, it could spoil your take away from it. That’s why there’s an alternate ending to cheer up those fans who would otherwise have wanted something else. These battles are by the fans for the fans, so why shouldn’t every fan leave happy?
The next Super Power Beat Down will actually be a tag team match up between Deadpool & Domino against Joker & Harley. Again, considering Deadpool’s healing factor and Domino’s ability to control ‘luck’ – ie: Joker’s gun malfunctioning – , the outcome might be pretty straightforward. Though this will be the Merc With The Mouth against the Clown Prince Of Crime, so I’m expecting just as many killer jokes as killer moves.