Check out THIS SCRIPT for a comic book inspired by Ultraman and other Tokusatsu heroes.
The Trials of Ultraman #3 – May 19, 2021
Writer: Matthew Groom, Kyle Higgins
Penciler: Francesco Manna
Cover Artist: Arthur Adams and Rachelle Rosenberg
It turns out that the forces aligned against the USP and Ultraman are far more widespread -and more organized!- than our heroes had ever suspected. If they’re going to survive, they’ll need a new ally of their own…and the man they’re looking at just so happens to be one of the most powerful and influential people in the world. But what’s his history with the USP, and why does he seem to have his own hidden agenda?
-Manna’s art is a little lacking and inconsistant for me in some areas. Here are two examples. Look at the video or, even better, at shownotes to see what I am talking about.
1. The Italians Ultraman rescues are reduced to having these 3 dot faces where there eyes and nose are just 3 dots as they are shown in Ultraman’s giant hand. That level of detail grates on me. Why not just color over their features or put them in silhouette if you don’t want to put the time and energy into properly rendering their faces there?
2. Kiki and Kato’s adopted daughter, Yuriko have the same face. Their hair is even fairly similar, though Yuriko’s is longer and more brown than black. At a glance, they could be confused for the same person. Look at Yuriko’s face compared with the two Kiki faces I put on either side of it. The features are nearly identical and not enough has been done to differentiate them. That’s bad. I don’t get why this is being allowed. It would not take much to make them look quite distinct.
-There is this great shot where Ultraman is framed within the wreckage of the robo-kaiju torn asunder by that circular saw beam attack. It looks and feels so good.
-The countdown to detransformation was a lot of fun. The color timer adding stakes to Ultraman was a brilliant stroke 55 years ago and it works just as well today. Watching them desperately toss that core away where it couldn’t hurt anyone was exciting. I even like Shin’s little joke that followed in the aftermath of it.
-Shin and Ultraman are so focused on saving people’s lives that they let that kaiju get away. I love their dedication to protecting people, it raises the stakes and consequences, sets up tension with Shin at the USP and seeds danger for them down the line. What if that kaiju comes back at a bad time and they get hurt or fail to save lots of people because of this choice? That is some great writing. Potentially.
-Dan Moroboshi and Kato’s kids and Fuji questioning the USP and having a healthy skepticism towards it is nice.
-What’s Shin’s dad’s problem? I don’t get it. Would he be dubious about his son being a firefighter or other dangerous profession that works to save people? What do you think his problem is? Is there something in his past to make things extra comic-book and soap opera-like or is it just a generational divide type-thing?
IS THIS A RECCOMENDED?
Yes. This issue was good. I enjoyed it. There are interesting things being set up, it basically stood on its own, except that it picked up from a cliffhanger moment and it told set up cool stuff for future issues.
All that being said, much like Dan, I have reason to be wary. The conspiracy theory angle and the people joining together to support the kaiju skeptic that worked for Kato feels like it is going to go in a bad direction. It feels very 2021 backlash agains those who dare question authority, even though the Rise of Ultraman adequately showed just why one should question authority. Also, we know that some malevolent force is secretly working the USP from the top. Remember Wheelchair Lady? She murdered a dude in cold-blood. She is the authority ATOP to USP and she ISN’T to be trusted. Despite the fact that Shin took heat from brass over saving people instead of killing the kaiju, it seems like he will be deployed to stop these dangerous radicals who want to prove that the governments of the world may not have the best interest of the masses in mind. This is some slippery terrain and I hope this series doens’t fall on its face.
Like this book? Get it for yourself!
Official Page for Trials of Ultraman #3 – https://www.marvel.com/comics/issue/91294/the_trials_of_ultraman_2021_3
Need MORE Ultra-analysis? Check out these other Ultraman shows I’ve covered!
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