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|Power Rangers character|
|First appearance||A Zeo Beginning, Part 1 (Power Rangers Zeo)|
|Last appearance||Countdown to Destruction, Part 2 (Power Rangers in Space)|
|Portrayed by||David Stenstrom|
King Mondo is a fictional character from the American television series Power Rangers Zeo. He serves as the principal antagonist of the series. King Mondo's costume and various pieces of footage were borrowed from the Japanese Super Sentai series Chōriki Sentai Ohranger. In that series, Mondo's name was Bacchushund (バッカスフンド? Bakkasufundo), and he served the same role. He is voiced by David Stenstrom and portrayed in costume by an uncredited actor. In scenes where footage of Bacchus-Wrath is used, Bacchus-Wrath's actor Yasuhiro Takeuchi takes the role in the suit.
Mondo is cast as an alien tyrant, the ruler of an extragalactic Machine Empire. His empire is called Baranoia (バラノイア? Baranoia) in Ohranger and simply "Machine Empire" in Zeo. Though in Ohranger he is unconnected to any previous series, in Zeo he ascends to the position of main villain by ousting the previous series' antagonists, Rita Repulsa and Lord Zedd. He is incapacitated in episode 34 of Zeo, but while he gets repairs between episodes 35 and 47 he is replaced by various usurpers. As with many villains from the first five seasons of Power Rangers, Mondo returns as a supporting villain in Power Rangers in Space, this time as a henchman to main antagonist Dark Specter.
Fictional character biography
Mondo's history is outlined to the Rangers by their mentor, Zordon. He broke off from the United Alliance of Evil. At the time Zeo begins, Mondo has conquered dozens of star systems, to the point where Earth's solar system has become the last hope of curbing his assault. Whenever Mondo conquers a planet, he strips its natural resources, processes them into soldiers for his empire, and moves on to the next planet. Setting his sights on Earth from his colossal Skybase, Mondo surrounds himself with his family: his wife Machina and son Sprocket. Despite his violent tendencies and short temper, Mondo shows himself to be a caring, if pampering, family man, often taking the advice of his family over that of his much more intelligent butlers, Klank and Orbus. Though he considers them primitive, Mondo is shown to be fascinated with mundane human activities, and many of his early schemes involve turning small problems in the Rangers' personal lives into life-threatening situations through use of his Machine Beasts.
Toward the middle of the series, Mondo begins showing increased interest in the mystic arts. He attempts to take possession of various magical totems, including Tommy Oliver's mysterious arrowhead and the powers of Trey of Triforia. When his forces uncover a vein of a magical metal called Neo-Plutonium on the moon, he uses it to form an armored coating for his monsters, though they are defeated once the rangers gain the Super Zeo Zords. Eventually deciding to confront the Rangers himself, Mondo retrieves the Sword of Damocles, in the series a mystical weapon capable of mass destruction that Mondo had used some time in the past (and had sealed away so he wouldn't be driven to use it again). When Mondo uses the sword, he swells to the size of a tall building, and the large gear on his back transforms into a metallic, streamlined arc with radial spikes running through it, giving the appearance of a pair of wings. When the Rangers form the Super Zeo Megazord, Mondo and his sword are destroyed.
After Mondo's destruction, the leadership of the Machine Empire is assumed by the usurper Louie Kaboom, a rogue creation of Rita and Zedd. At this time, it is revealed that Mondo has an adult son named Gasket, who was disowned for marrying into the family of Mondo's arch rival. Gasket and his wife, Archerina, send Louie to his death and assume leadership for themselves. Mondo returns, having repaired himself, in short order, causing the usurpers to flee to the other side of the universe. He also discovers Zedd and Rita have returned to the Moon, and are operating in a motorhome base. In the final episode of Zeo, Mondo makes a grab for the Gold Ranger powers yet again, only to be defeated by the Rangers and then seemingly finished off by Rita and Zedd, who send the Royal House of Gadgetry a bomb disguised as a peace offering. In reality, Mondo survives, though he is badly damaged, he swore revenge. Mondo and his family, repaired, later joined Dark Specter's alliance, and do their part in the invasion of the universe, attacking the Phantom Ranger's homeworld. Mondo is destroyed once and for all when the wave of good energy released upon Zordon's death turns him into a pile of sand.
In the 10th anniversary episode, Forever Red, the last surviving generals of Mondo's empire seek to avenge his death, by unearthing Zedd's zord Serpentera and taking over the Earth. The plan is foiled by an alliance of the 10 Red Rangers that existed at the time, and the generals are destroyed.
In other media
Mondo appears in the sole issue of the Power Rangers Zeo comic book released by Image Comics, written by Tom and Mary Bierbaum and illustrated by Todd Nauck. In the comic, Mondo's forces have followed Zedd and Rita to Gamma Vile, in hopes of capturing Lord Zedd and the Power Coin energies he possesses.
It should also be noted that he also appeared in the computer game Power Rangers Zeo vs. The Machine Empire, which was released in 1996, as the final boss. In the game, Mondo steals the Zeo Crystal, which prevents the Rangers from morphing. The player has to control one of the Rangers, and retrieve 100 shards throughout each level. In the final battle, the Rangers use the Zeo Megazord to defeat Mondo for good.
He was also a playable character in the Super NES Game Power Rangers Zeo: Battle Racers.
The creation of the new Power Rangers Zeo characters, including the King Mondo character, was part of a strategy to rejuvenate the entire series, and was described as "a moment of inspiration". As with most Power Rangers main villains, no merchandise of Mondo was released, being largely passed up in favor of his foot soldiers and Machine Beasts. However, a small figure of Mondo's Sentai counterpart Bacchus-Wrath, as well as figures of Sprocket and Machina's counterparts Hysteria and Buldont, was released in Japan with Ohranger's "Giant Roller" vehicle, Zeo's "Defender Wheel."
- Power Rangers: Zeo Episode 1, A Zeo Beginning, Part 1
- Power Rangers in Space Episode 43, Countdown to Destruction, Part 2
- Internet Movie Database - David Stenstrom
- Power Rangers: Zeo Episode 2, A Zeo Beginning, Part 2
- Maurstad, Tom (1996-04-20). "Power Rangers Being 'replaced'". Wilmington Morning Star. Retrieved 2009-08-04.
- Griffiths, Ian (1997-03-23). "The famous five power back: A new breed of Power Ranger is eyeing your money, warns Ian Griffiths". The Independent. Retrieved 2009-08-03.
- Mangan, Jennifer (1996-05-09). "Costly Changes - A New Generation of Power Rangers Means New Toys". Chicago Tribune. p. Tempo 3. Retrieved 2009-08-04.
- Power Rangers in Space Episode 1, From out of Nowhere, Part 1
- Power Rangers Zeo Episode 6, Rangers in the Outfield
- Power Rangers Zeo Episode 13, Mean Screen
- Power Rangers: Zeo Episode 11, A Few Bad Seeds
- Power Rangers Zeo Episode 5, For Cryin' Out Loud
- Power Rangers Zeo Episode 8, Puppet Blaster
- Power Rangers Zeo Episode 21, Brother, Can You Spare an Arrowhead?
- Power Rangers Zeo Episode 33, Revelations of Gold
- Power Rangers Zeo Episode 34, A Golden Homecoming
- Power Rangers: Zeo Episode 35, Mondo's Last Stand
- Power Rangers Zeo Episode 36, Bomber In The Summer
- Power Rangers Zeo Episode 40, The Joke's on Blue
- Power Rangers Zeo Episode 46, Another Song and Dance
- Power Rangers Zeo Episode 49, Hawaii Zeo
- Power Rangers Zeo Episode 50, Good as Gold
- Comic by Comic - Interview with Todd Nauck
- Power Rangers Zeo #1, from Image Comics