THE LATEST ‘ULTRAMAN’ MANGA TAKES AN ARMORED APPROACH


If you had to compare Tsuburaya’s Ultraman to a Western superhero concept, the closest comparison would probably be… Captain Marvel or a much friendlier version of Alan Moore’s Marvelman? Every incarnation of the longrunning Japanese tokusatsu and anime empire is different, but more often than not, the hero is the result of a nobel member of a kind of cosmic pantheon merging with a human host (or taking on a human form) to defend planet Earth from invading kaiju from space. In Japan’s Monthly Hero’s Magazine, however, manga creators Eiichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shimoguchi present a normal human donning a special high tech suit to protect the planet as Ultraman.

As seen in a new motion comic video promoting the series’ third collected volume, ordinary teen Shinjiro Hayata dons a high tech “Ultra Suit” created by his father Shin Hayata — the original human host for Ultraman — to covertly combat threats as part of a secret organization. In this continuity, it’s been around 40 years since the original Ultraman left Earth. When new monsters attack, it’s up to Shinjioro to face the new foes as he’s the only one with a bloodline that’s compatible with the armored suit, which channels energies unique to Ultraman and other beings from the Land of Light. And don’t worry, the suit of armor isn’t like Iron Man’s where it’s just a normal dude inside some metal shooting repulsor blasts. This suit sees Shinjiro do all the usual Ultra stuff, like growing to a height of several stories and blasting evil with the hero’s signature Ultra Beam/Specium Ray.

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