It was a bit surprising last year when Marvel announced plans to bring the popular Japanese superhero Ultraman to America. At C2E2 this weekend, the publisher revealed the creative team and some cover art for the series, which will debut later this year.
The Rise of Ultraman will be written by Kyle Higgins and Mat Groom, with artwork by Francesco Manna.
“A few years ago, thanks to my time on Power Rangers, I was able to discover and learn more about Tokusatsu. With its wildly different conventions and inspirations, Tokusatsu — and Ultraman in particular — has been a huge source of joy for me,” said Higgins. “It’s a genre so ripe with possibilities, even down to what we conceive of in the structure of Super Hero storytelling. It’s both an honor and a privilege to bring Ultraman to Marvel.”
Ultraman, star of the Ultra series from Tsuburaya Productions, has appeared in movies, TV, video games and manga since debuting in the 1960s. The name “Ultraman” actually refers to members of an alien race who come to Earth to fight giant monsters — so there’s been more than one over the years.
“Monsters in fiction have been embodying all that is dark and scary in our world for as long as we’ve been telling stories. But I don’t think anybody understood the immense scale of our most pressing problems quite like Eiji Tsuburaya,” said Groom. “He imagined the darkness looming overhead as tall as skyscrapers— alien and unknowable and ANGRY. But he also imagined us being able to stand up to those monsters, by rising above our worst impulses and embracing a nobler way of being. He imagined Ultraman. What does that mean in this complex, contradictory world of lies? We’re going to find out…”
No word yet on when the first issue will arrive, beyond “later this year.”