Ultraman: The Mystery of Ultraseven #1 continues Marvel’s adaptation of the classic Tokusatsu series. After the events of the previous mini-series, Shin no longer has the ability to turn into Ultraman and Ultraseven seems to have his own mission to complete. This new installment in Ultraman’s journey comes courtesy of writers Kyle Higgins and Mat Groom, David Tinto and David Lopez, Espen Grundetjean and KJ Kiaz on coloring, and lettering by VC’s Ariana Maher.
Giant kaiju roam. A sinister conspiracy consolidates power. And there’s nobody left to stop it – because Ultraman is GONE! How did the situation go so wrong…? And how can the United Science Patrol claw their way back from the brink? The answers lie in the appearance of an enigmatic new Ultra, and a secret that has remained hidden for decades. From distant stars to lost dimensions, untangling this twisted web will require Shin Hayata to go farther and fight harder than ever before!
The issue addresses how the Ultra exist with the other races of the universe. They come off as a mixture of the Green Lantern Corps but employ a version of the Prime Directive from Star Trek. The Ultras are only allowed to save civilizations from Kaiju attacks but not get involved in their society. The internal struggle of Ultraseven as he wrestles with the duties he has to the Inter Galactic Defense Force and the citizens of the planet he guards.
Writers Kyle Higgins and Matthew Groom show an excellent grasp of the characters with this third installment. Additionally, the second story in the issue harkens back to the sidestory in the first mini-series and showcases there are more forces at play than what Shin and the United Science Patrol are dealing with presently. Just as the title promises, there is a deep air of mystery present in the issue and many questions remain to be answered. What is Ultraseven’s plan? What really happened with Dan Moroboshi? Questions like these will keep the readers sticking around to see the mini-series through to the end.
The art work by David Tinto and David Lopez offers both striking and memorable visuals. With Tinto’s work, there is a great sense of scale, the impressive two page splash between Ultraseven and fan favorite monster Eleking. Meanwhile Lopez delivers a deep sense of foreboding, especially with the character of Executive Director Morheim. The intense facial features in both works express powerful emotions the readers will easily pick up on.
The coloring between Espen Grundetjean and KJ Kiaz offers different aspects to the issue. With the first story Grundetjean’s coloring adds to the world building. This is accomplished by making sure to have the Ultras be presented with distinct coloring to distinguish how they are truly beings of light before they fuse with another a human and become more corporeal. With Kiaz’s work, the coloring adds to the intensity and mystery as a jaw dropping scene unfolds in the end of the second story. It’s far too intense to spoil here but let’s just say it justifies the cost of the issue.
With the lettering by VC’s Ariana Maher makes sure to add to the flow of the story without being distracting. This is accomplished by having many effects blend in with the action taking place on the page. This intensifies the visual, audio, and narrative nature of the Tokusatsu based source material.
Ultraman: The Mystery of Ultraseven #1 is another phenomenal installment in Marvel’s Ultraman saga. Higgins and Groom create an immersive insight into familiar characters aided by phenomenal artwork. If you haven’t taken the time to check out this series, you owe it to yourself to explore the ever expanding universe of Ultraman.