REVIEW: ‘The Rise of Ultraman,’ Issue #4

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Rise of Ultraman #4  is published by Marvel Comics, written by Kyle Higgins and Mat Groom, illustrated by Francesco Manna, colored by Espen Grudentjean, and lettered by VC’s Ariana Maher. After the events of the previous issue, Shin Hayata discovers a startling secret about the United Science Patrol from former USP scientist Yamamoto and USP director Ichinotani. Meanwhile, Kiki Fuji struggles to survive in a hellish dimension swarming with Kaiju.

This issue is packed full to the gills with revelations, especially about the USP. Throughout the first three issues, hints have been dropped about the organization’s less-than-noble nature, and now it comes back to bite them. Secret organizations in fiction are often a dime a dozen, but Higgins and Groom’s script actually puts a fresh twist on it. And this twist makes sense given how human nature often works out: of course, we’d attack an alien and take apart their ship to utilize it for parts.

Higgins and Groom also manage to keep Hayata front and center. Despite learning that the agency he worked so hard to join has some massive skeletons in their closet, he’s still willing to work with them and risk his life to save a friend. He acts on his own terms. Not Ichinotani’s, not Yamamoto’s, his. It’s extremely inspiring but risky since his connection to Ultraman is fading fast. Kiki, on the other hand, isn’t waiting around for someone to rescue her. She engages in combat with several Kaiju and manages to hold her own!

Manna continues to bring the same grand scale as he did with previous issues. Perhaps the greatest example of this is the Limbo where Kaiju are deposited. It is a strange, ethereal void where the debris from past Kaiju encounters floats in mid-air. Vegetation and minerals grow over said debris, adding to the alien factor. Grudentjean tops it off with a hazy fuchsia background, which sharply contrasts with the deep blue of the night scenes and the low red lights of the USP carrier ship. Manna and Grundentjean also portray Ultraman as a ghost, with a semi-transparent body that is slowly fading out of existence. Ultraman also gets to strike a heroic pose while transforming, soaring through the air like Superman.

Perhaps the best image in the issue comes at the end, where Manna draws a popular Kaiju from Ultramanlore. He captures the beast perfectly, from its design to the way it towers over the city of Japan. I never expected this to happen, but it’s amazing, and I definitely urge any Ultraman fans to give this book a chance if they haven’t already based on this page.

The Rise of Ultraman #4 brings several mysteries to light while keeping the same sense of grand scale and high-octane action laced throughout the series. With one issue left in the series, the stage is set for Ultraman to confront one of his greatest foes.

The Rise of Ultraman #4 is available wherever comics are sold.

The Rise of Ultraman #4
5

TL;DR

The Rise of Ultraman #4 brings several mysteries to light while keeping the same sense of grand scale and high-octane action laced throughout the series. With one issue left in the series, the stage is set for Ultraman to confront one of his greatest foes.