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‘The Rise Of Ultraman #5’ (review)

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

 

In the end, it all comes down to an old-fashioned giant monster fight.

The fifth and final issue of The Rise of Ultraman sees the red and silver sentinel pitted against classic foe Bemular, accidentally freed from the USP’s kaiju vault.

And this time, Ultraman grows to giant size for a proper confrontation.

This is what I wanted from The Rise of Ultraman, but it took five issues to get to this point, and even then, the battle ends faster than it should, well before Ultraman’s color timer starts blinking.

If it just ended with Bemular’s destruction though, I’d be fine.

However, there’s more.

It turns out the kaiju vault, a pocket dimension storing all of the USP’s collected monsters, is about to burst, so Shin’s big idea is for Ultraman to break it open in a controlled fashion, scattering the beasts around the world rather than let them congregate in Tokyo.

With that, Ultraman rises, I guess.

All in all, I’m a little disappointed personally. It’s a solid enough story and a new take on Ultraman, which should be great, but the series lacked the fundamental weirdness and looseness of its source material. Stretching out the pace and hanging a conspiracy storyline onto the original Ultraman series is very much a Western approach, but it doesn’t quite fit for me.

That said, what does fit is Francesco Manna’s artwork. His rendering of Bemular is recognizable and reverent, giving the classic monster an added sense of menace lacking in a rubber suit. What’s more, he conveys the gigantic scale of the battle wonderfully. It’s an excellent book to look at.

The Rise of Ultraman is a serviceable introduction to Marvel’s version of the hero, but it lacks a certain snap and a feeling of whimsy. Perhaps the upcoming Trials of Ultraman will rediscover what sets Ultraman apart from his Western counterparts, and give us what we want.

If nothing else, just throw in more Pigmon.

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