Don’t Know A Thing About Ultraman? Start With The Rise of Ultraman

In another edition of Andy Confesses Things, I have to admit something to you:

I have no idea who Ultraman is.

Should I be embarrassed? Maybe. But at the same time, knowing virtually nothing about the character let me easily enjoy the first issue of The Rise of Ultraman.

The Rise of Ultraman #1
Writers: Mat Goom and Kyle Higgins
Artists: Michael Cho and Francesco Manna

Here’s how our friends at Marvel describe the new series:

Ultraman’s incredible legacy expands next month when Marvel Comics and Tsuburaya Productions team up for THE RISE OF ULTRAMAN #1 , a comic series reimagining the fabled beginnings of this iconic hero. Crafted by an all-star cast of talent including writers Kyle Higgins (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers) and Mat Groom (Self/Made) and artists Francesco Manna (Avengers, Fantastic Four) Michael Cho (Captain America) and Gurihiru (The Unstoppable Wasp), THE RISE OF ULTRAMAN will retell the origins of the Earth’s mysterious defender against the terrifying Kaiku and promises to entertain both longtime enthusiasts and newcomers to the fascinating world of Ultraman. Get your first look at the action that awaits in a thrilling trailer for the debut issue before it lands next month!

If you’re a newcomer to the mythology of Ultraman, I’m happy to say that this first issue is an easily accessible read that doesn’t require any knowledge of the character or the world they inhabit. The series is a solid mix of science fiction adventure with a little X-files thrown in. Clandestine agencies; massive Kaiju monsters; and a duo determined to discover the truth that’s out there.

Higgins and Groom have a crafted a fun story, one that I’ll keep reading to be sure, but I’ve got to acknowledge the excellent artwork of Manna and Cho, which keeps things moving and feels different from other Marvel artwork. Even in quieter moments of conversation, the character faces are impressively and exceptionally expressive. If you’re looking for something different from Marvel, you can’t go wrong with The Rise of Ultraman.

Final Empyre thoughts: With the Empyre crossover recently completed, crossover masterminds Al Ewing and Dan Slott wrapped up the various storylines in two books – Empyre: Aftermath Avengers and Empyre: Fallout Fantastic Four. While Ewing does a solid job with the Avengers book, Slott changes the Fantastic Four status quo by giving the characters of The Thing and Alicia Masters a family of their own. I enjoyed Empyre as a whole, and these issues bring it to a strong conclusion. If for some reason you didn’t read Empyre, I do suggest reading Fallout Fantastic Four to see where Slott will be taking the ongoing series.

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