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‘The Rise Of Ultraman #4’ (review)

Written by Mat Groom, Kyle Higgins
Art by Francesco Manna
Published by Marvel Comics

 

For a comic based on a series about kaiju, The Rise of Ultraman has been curiously light on the strange beasts. That changes with the penultimate issue, which reveals a huge secret that shakes everything up.

The search for answers about the USP led Kiki Fuji to former USP scientist Dr. Yamamoto in issue #3. But it ended badly, as he seemingly disintegrated her with a K-Ray, the USP’s weapon of choice in fighting kaiju.

But what Shin Hayata learns when he confronts Yamamoto, and what Kiki discovers firsthand, is that the K-Rays don’t kill kaiju.

They transport them.

Specifically, the K-Rays transport matter to a limbo dimension.

The USP has been sending kaiju there for 40 years, but their “kaiju vault” is cracking apart and perilously close to bursting. And even worse, Kiki is on her own and on the run from the savage monsters.

Yamamoto sends Shin into limbo, where he transforms into Ultraman and finds his friend. And while they return to Earth, they aren’t alone. A classic foe follows them, setting up a big fight finale.

One of my biggest problems with this series has been the slow pace and lack of substantial monster action. Here, however, we have a whole bunch of monsters chasing Kiki around. If you picked up this series looking for kaiju, then this issue starts paying that off.

Not only that, but we also have a major plot twist that sets up a number of possibilities for this new Ultraman continuity. What happens when the barrier between limbo and Earth disintegrates? Will the breach attract even more alien enemies, or new allies?

All in all, The Rise of Ultraman #4 is a step in the right direction.

The plot reveals are intriguing and the art is excellent. I’ve gone from largely indifferent to highly interested in next month’s final issue, and where Marvel’s version of Ultraman goes from there.

I just wish they’d bring back the Pigmon backups though.

 

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