Former Power Rangers star Jason David Frank is turning to something much gorier than the Mighty Morphin’ teen super-squad next year. Frank will star as the violent antihero Bloodshot in Valiant’s new web series Ninjak vs. The Valiant Universe, which was announced at New York Comic Con.
“There is no limit,” Frank told Inverse about his new role, a far cry from his iconic Green (later White) Ranger. “We go outside Power Rangers for this,” referring to the targeted older audience.
In Ninjak vs. The Valiant Universe, MI6’s own Ninjak (Michael Rowe) enters a gauntlet against signature Valiant characters like Eternal Warrior, Archer & Armstrong, X-O Manowar, and Bloodshot, a top-secret government killing machine with regenerative abilities and no memory of his previous life.
Comparing his squeaky-clean Tommy Oliver with the crimson-soaked, ghostly white Bloodshot, Frank said the two are “like apples to oranges.” “It’s just Bloodshot, there’s obviously more violence. That’s okay because that’s what calls for Bloodshot, and being in costume, I feel good about that.”
Although Frank is proud to have been a teenager with attitude, Bloodshot presents opportunities for him to try something different. The Green Ranger never fired machine guns, but Bloodshot will. “I’m unleashing my karate skills, sword skills, gun skills. Alvin, the stunts guy, created a lot of big, massive fights. It’s going to be amazing.”
Frank’s got the cred to kick butt: Undefeated in competitive MMA and the innovator of his own style Toso Kune Do, Frank won Master of the Year by the World Karate Federation in 2003 and was inducted into the Black Belt Hall of Fame in 2007. He also made Guinness World Records in 2013 for chopping seven pine blocks in freefall. But while Frank has been a superhero, he’s never been a killing machine until now.
Although his own fighting style is “rigid and military-ish,” Frank said Bloodshot is fluid and able to use any style in an instant. “He should be able to tune into Muay Thai if he wants, and you see him go into samurai sword stuff too,” he told Inverse.
Bloodshot is also more emotional than Tommy and is more than a trigger-happy super soldier. Frank’s Bloodshot is modeled after the character in Jeff Lemire’s acclaimed series Bloodshot Reborn, where the rogue soldier went into hiding in rural Colorado feeling guilty over Kay. In the Valiant universe, Kay was a young woman who learns she’s the avatar of ancient beings called Geomancers. In the 2013 crossover The Valiant, Kay cures Bloodshot of his powers but dies in the process.
“He’s not just a robot,” says Frank. “He is experienced. We touch a bit on that, but as far as fighting, he’s just business. All business with Ninjak.”
Ninjak vs. The Valiant Universe premieres on YouTube in 2017.