The Rise of Ultraman #1

Words: Kyle Higgins, Mat Groom

Art: Francesco Manna, Gurihiru, Michael Cho

Colors: Espen Grundetjern

Letters: Ariana Maher

Publisher: Marvel

I picked up this comic to review because I had never heard of this hero before. There is a reason for that. This character is primarily found in older TV series in Japan. However, let me tell you Marvel has done a great job at creating a fast paced story with the character borrowed from Tsuburaya Productions. The essence of this comic is big monster fights which I am a huge fan of. Though there is a new twist on the big monster fights. The reader gets a protagonist to follow and root for in these fights.

The hero the reader follows through this 5 issue story that started in September of 2020 is being built and explained for readers that are new to the character, but it is done in a way original fans of this hero can enjoy, too. In this series it opens up in a world where little is known except that Kaiju are bad, and the United Science Patrol save the day but are very secretive. Even though the reader is dropped into the action fairly quickly with a lot of questions this origin story of Ultraman should answer all of them in these 5 issues while entertaining the reader with monster fights, a hint of possible corruption, and great character dynamics.

Speaking of characters we are introduced to a good number of them, but I believe the series will focus on three main characters such as Captain Muramatsu (a USP veteran and skilled agent), Kiki Fuji (a new USP cadet that is still trying to figure everything out), and Shin Hayata (a smart civilian that is a USP reject, but may become more). There are other important characters that show possible side stories and offer some good information to the world as they are flushed out. On the topic of side stories in the end of this first issue there are “shorts” that further reveal history and information about the world. I assume that these will also be included in further issues of this 5 part series.

I know what you are thinking if this is such a good series why is it only a limited run. Well there is a sequel that is scheduled to start publishing in March of 2021, and it will be called The Trials of Ultraman. To me this is something to jump onto if you like Pacific Rim or anything in the Godzilla Universe and if you are possibly interested in Power Rangers. Honestly, I would further this to say you might want to jump on if you like well written and well illustrated lesser known hero comics.

I know for a fact this comic is going to be good because one of the authors, Kyle Higgins, has done great with something I would say is a similar type comic, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Also, let’s not scoff at Mat Groom who has written comics like Self/Made (this seems to be a Sci-Fi fantasy title) from Image Comics and DC’s Crimes of Passion (which focuses on a P.I., Batman, Catwoman, and Harley Quinn). In my opinion if DC lets this guy touch anything close to Batman he has to be good. Even the illustrator Francesco Manna is good enough to work on Marvel’s Avengers comic. This just seems like a dynamite team, and if you decide to pick up this comic you will see just how good they are.

Tyler Kirby is an an ex-engineer and current middle school math teacher. In his spare time he likes to read comics, play video games, and hang out with his awesome wife.

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