While waiting in a parking lot during a recent car-ride, the child and I once again had some time to kill and took in a couple of episodes of Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, the 35th anniversary season of the Japanese show that spawned the American Power Rangers.  As is often the case, the child had a question that I had never considered, asking why the leader always wears red.  I had no real answer, other than, “it looks awesome,” but it started me thinking about the nature of colors as portrayed in pop culture.  Mario’s red suit makes him player one, Luigi’s green one is alternate.  Autobots tend to be more red, Decepticons purple.  Even the team that blew up the Death Star was Red Squadron, and the importance of the color red in the United Federation Of Planets is always obvious, though it changes from generation to generation.

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) wonders about chromatic superiority, asking: 
What color reads as the most heroic to you, and why?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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9 Comments

  1. Alexander D.
    August 15, 2012 at 12:31 pm — Reply

    Either Red or White, because they’re bright and symbolize passion and purity respectively.

  2. Arbor Day
    August 15, 2012 at 1:25 pm — Reply

    Blue, cause that’s the color Leonardo wore.

  3. Red Star
    August 15, 2012 at 1:35 pm — Reply

    Alexander D. says it well. I agree with him on both colors. For me green is a leaderly color as well, but it leans towards being more primal, natural, or nurturing. Purple is another one, but in a more negative sense–it being a color of royalty makes the wearer appear to be better or above everyone else, as if everyone else serves at the wearer’s whim.
    By the way, what is that picture from anyway?

  4. adam
    August 15, 2012 at 2:17 pm — Reply

    Red, White and Blue are leadership colors. Superman, Cap, Spidey. Wait a sec…those are the colors of our flag…..holy crap I’ve been brainwashed!

    Side note, when the hell did the original Red Ranger have the Green Ranger shoulder pads and use the Dragonzord?

    • KVH
      August 15, 2012 at 4:01 pm — Reply

      There was one episode I remember when they got the white giant brachiasaurus (or whatever it was) titanus I think and Tommy and Jason had to go get it to learn to work together and Tommy gave Jason the shield to use. But I am guessing that was a japanese episode sin the picture since I don’t recognize the rangers in the back.

    • August 15, 2012 at 5:36 pm — Reply

      In Super Sentai, the green ranger eventually died and passed on his powers to his brother the red ranger, who then utilized them for the rest of the series.

      In Power Rangers, when Rita had used the green candle to steal back the powers from Tommy, he passed off his power coin to Jason who used the shield, dragon dagger and dragonzord for several episodes until Zordon temporarily restored Tommy’s powers .

      • August 15, 2012 at 5:38 pm — Reply

        Oh, and the image is from Gokaiger, the anniversary series where they could become every ranger in Super Sentai history (including a few new hybrids).

  5. August 15, 2012 at 2:57 pm — Reply

    Blue with white. They’re calming colors, but they’re also bright & pure.

  6. KVH
    August 15, 2012 at 4:10 pm — Reply

    I always thought blue was (or at lease I always rooted for the blue in red vs blue things) it went well with gold or white that was mentioned. Of course maybe I was brainwashed for playing a human alliance paladin in WoW. I think Gold and Silver also lean towards “Good”.

    With color theory a lot has to do with the colors that play with it. For red they often symbolize with Fire (power rangers some times, mystic knights of tir na nog) with they then relate to the Fire within you. While blue is many times related to water or ice and thus is also good but not as “hip”.

    It’s a marketing thing too like red hot rods. Take the batman family in the New52 (comin right at you) everyone but bats (and maybe babs) have a costume that is black and red. I thought Nightwing’s blue and black costume was awesome and was disappointed that he went to red just like damian robin, red robin, red hood.

    While nothing against red, I always liked the 6th ranger better anyway….

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