Ultraman has been a pop culture icon for over 50 years and this September, Marvel Comics will proudly contribute to the franchise’s incredible legacy with Rise of Ultraman #1! Writers Kyle Higgins and Mat Groom will join superstar artists Francesco Manna, Michael Cho, and Gurihiru to reimagine the thrilling beginnings of the Ultraman phenomenon.
In honor of Ultraman Day, the celebration of Ultraman’s first public television appearance in 1966, head over to marvel.com for a first look at the highly anticipated premiere issue including exclusive preview pages, a variant cover gallery, and more.
The Rise of Ultraman #1 comes to stand September 9th!
After months of anticipation, Marvel has revealed The Rise of Ultraman #1 will release in comic shops this September! Featuring a stunning main cover from legendary artist Alex Ross, Marvel’s upcoming series will reimagine the classic beginnings of one of the biggest worldwide pop culture icons: ULTRAMAN!
Storytelling masters Kyle Higgins and Mat Groom, together with superstar artists Francesco Manna, Michael Cho, and Gurihiru will take fans back into the days of darkness, where the terrifying Kaiju lurk. When these unfathomable monsters threaten all life as we know it, the only thing standing in their way…is the United Science Patrol! Who are these enigmatic defenders, and how do they perform their miracles? Shin Hayata and Kiki Fuji have spent half a lifetime trying to find out – and their quest is about to drive them toward a decades-old dark secret and put them on a collision course with a mysterious warrior from beyond the stars!
Ultraman has been a pop culture staple since the franchise debuted in the 1960s, and his thrilling stories have been depicted on both the page and the screen. Now, Marvel Comics will be able to add to this iconic character’s legacy. Stay tuned for more details about what can you expect from Ultraman’s adventures when The Rise of Ultraman #1 hits stands this September!
Speaking to a packed room at this year’s C2E2, Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski unveiled first story details and cover art for Marvel’s upcoming series The Rise of Ultraman, launching later this year! The Rise of Ultraman #1 will revisit the classic first generation of the worldwide phenomenon, co-helmed by writers Kyle Higgins and Mat Groom with art by Francesco Manna.
Both known for their talents in world building, Higgins and Groom will combine their acclaimed storytelling skills with the stunning style of superstar artist Francesco Manna, who has drawn for some of Marvel’s biggest series like Jason Aaron’s Avengers and Dan Slott’s Fantastic Four. As fans of the Ultraman series themselves, they will introduce Ultraman to new fans young and old and revisit the iconic era – and spirit – of the Ultras longtime enthusiasts know and love.
(W) Kyle Higgins (A) Aaron Lopresti, Matt Ryan (CA) Brad Walker, Andrew Hennessy In Shops: Jan 15, 2020 SRP: $3.99
The countdown to Aquababy has begun! As the birth of Aquaman and Mera’s child grows near, don’t miss this special interlude issue! In a story that takes place days after Aquaman and Mera’s engagement, a violent encounter with the resurgent Kingdom of the Trench leads to an unexpected outcome, and the conflict sheds new light on Aquaman and Mera’s plans for their future.
2019 was an interesting year for me comics-wise as I did not get to read as widely or deeply as I liked because of a variety of factors, including my final two semesters of graduate school, working two library jobs (Where ordering and promoting comics were part of my duties.), and an impending move. Also, I decided to catch up on some “classic” comics like Miracleman, Ghost in the Shell, Junji Ito‘sTomie, and most of Brian Michael Bendis‘ and Michael Oeming‘s Powers, and Gail Simone‘s run on Secret Six.
However, I did have the opportunity to read some fantastic comics in 2019 as two of my favorite series of all time reached their conclusion. I also branched out a little bit, and this is the first time my year-end list has featured books from Ahoy and Harper Collins as well as a self-published comic.
10. Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion (Dark Horse)
Gerard Way, Gabriel Bá, and Nick Filardi‘s Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion is as wild and anarchic as the Netflix show was tame and Muggle-friendly. Hotel Oblivion is a love letter to Silver Age supervillains while actually taking time to deal with the relationships between the Hargreaves siblings. Bá and Filardi’s visuals are a chaos magic-shaped bullet to the head and especially sings in the world and city-rending set pieces towards the end of the miniseries that I read in trade paperback format.
Beth Barnett‘s self-published graphic memoir-meets-historical biography Dreamers of the Day is one of the most unique comics I’ve read in recent years. It chronicles the author’s trip to England as she conducts research on a graphic biography about T.E. Lawrence aka Lawrence of Arabia and is educational while being emotionally compelling. If there’s one word to describe this comic, it is “enthusiastic” as Barnett’s passion for making art, studying history, and making it relevant to contemporary readers shines through in her iconic, Herge-esque art style and accessible prose.
8. Winter Soldier#2-5(Marvel)
Kyle Higgins and Rod Reis create a redemptive narrative for the sidekick-turned assassin-turned superhero and occasional black ops agent, Bucky Barnes in their Winter Soldier miniseries. The comic’s beating heart is the flawed relationship between Bucky and RJ, a child assassin, that Bucky sees a lot of himself in. There is both humor and tragedy in their interactions. Reis’ lush pencils to color art style works for both the emotional breakdowns and action beatdowns.
7. Steeple #1-4 (Dark Horse)
The fantastic John Allison (Giant Days) both writes and draws this miniseries about an Anglican priest in training named Billie, who is assigned to a parish in the kooky village of Tredregyn, Cornwall. Steeple has an “anything but the kitchen sink” tone as its plots include fights against sea monsters, a charismatic Christian cult connected to windmills, and an ongoing conflict against the Church of Satan. (Billie also strikes up an unlikely friendship with the Satanic priestess, Maggie.) Allison mines a lot of humor out of the idiosyncrasies of different religions and small town life as well as the melodrama of good versus evil, and his art is expressive as always with the help of colorist Sarah Stern.
6. Second Coming #1-5 (Ahoy)
Speaking of religious satire, Mark Russell, Richard Pace, Leonard Kirk, and Andy Troy do an excellent job of showing how the historical figure Jesus would be received in the modern world with the twist of having an “edgy” superhero named Sunstar as a roommate. Beginning with a retelling of the creation of the world, Russell and Pace walk a tightrope between reverence and irreverence touching on a variety of issues, including megachurches, homophobia, and Pauline theology. Another enjoyable part of Second Coming is Leonard Kirk’s inking when the story decides to be a traditional superhero comic for a second, or there’s a flashback to Satan tempting Jesus as he plays a complex role in the narrative.
I knew Kieron Gillen, Dan Mora, and Tamra Bonvillain‘s Once and Future would be my cup of tea when it featured Arthurian legends and the town of Bath where I studied abroad in summer 2014 as plot points as well as having a complicated relationship between a grandmother and grandson at its core. Once and Future is action-packed read steeped in Arthurian lore with dynamic art from Mora and a mystical color palette from Bonvillain. It’s a straightforward adventure/dysfunctional family/romance comic that also plays with the symbols (Excalibur, Holy Grail etc.) and tropes of these kinds of stories, and I’m glad that it’s an ongoing and not just a mini.
4. Giant Days #46-54, As Time Goes By (BOOM! Studios)
Esther, Daisy, and Susan finally go their separate ways in the final issues of John Allison, Max Sarin, and Whitney Cogar‘s Giant Days plus a reunion one-shot where Daisy and Susan tag-team and rescue Esther from the clutches of Type A London publishing types. The final year of Giant Days had a lot of pathos to go with its usual comedy with several issues focusing on the strained relationship between Susan’s boyfriend McGraw and his father and his reaction to his sudden death. There is also all the usual college shenanigans with moments of reflection to show that these women have come a long way from randomly sharing a room back in far off 2015.
3. House of X #1-6, Powers of X #1-6 (Marvel)
In their ambitious twelve-issue House of X/Powers of X “event”, Jonathan Hickman, R.B. Silva, and Pepe Larraz made the X-Men relevant again thanks to a heavy dose of speculative fiction, geopolitics, and good old fashioned superhero soap opera. Hickman gave B-list characters like Goldballs, Doug Ramsey, and of course, Moira MacTaggert and the sentient island of Krakoa pivotal roles in his story of a rise of a mutant nation as well as the usual suspects like Magneto, Professor X, the Summers family, Jean Grey, and Emma Frost. He created a fantastic sandbox for these fan-favorite characters to play in as well as leaving some intrigue open for the spinoff stories. (The whole Moira X thing, Kitty Pryde being unable to enter Krakoa, Apocalypse and Sinister’s intentions.) I haven’t been this excited to read the X-Books as a line since Jason Aaron and Kieron Gillen were writing Wolverine and the X-Men and Uncanny X-Men respectively. Plus the Hickman designed diagrams add great depth to the story and area visual treat.
2. New Kid (HarperCollins)
New Kid is a middle-grade graphic novel by cartoonist Jerry Craft that was recommended to me by my supervisor at the public library I worked at. Itis about an African-American teenager named Jordan, who transfers from a diverse public middle school to a less diverse private one. Over the course of the book, Craft fleshes out Jordan and his relationships with his old friends from his neighborhood to his new ones at the private school as he navigates playing soccer, racial microaggressions, crushes, and bonding over art and video games. The comic deftly navigates race and class issues while being an enjoyable slice of life story with Craft adding some fun visual flourishes like making the title page of each chapter a pop culture homage. New Kid‘s clear storytelling and a relatable storyline about not fitting in at a new school make it a book that I would recommend to kids and adults, comics and non-comics readers.
1. The Wicked + the Divine #41-45 (Image)
Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, and Matthew Wilson really stuck the landing in the final arc of The Wicked + the Divine, which was titled “Okay” and followed the surviving Pantheon members as they gave up divinity and lived normal lives. Basically, they grew up, and so did I. The last issues of WicDiv are peppered with powerful moments as Gillen and McKelvie connect flashbacks of the millennia past to the Pantheon’s reality and let Ananke/Minerva be a manipulator, Luci be wicked, Baal be a protector, and Laura be human one last time. The final issue is an epilogue set in the future and filled with love and emotion with McKelvie and Wilson nailing the look of the elderly, former Pantheon members. It’s sad to see WicDiv go, but it had a beautiful ending and was my favorite comic, both of 2019 and of the decade as a whole.
Tales From the Dark Multiverse: The Judas Contract #1
(W) Kyle Higgins, Matt Groom (A) Tom Raney (CA) Lee Weeks In Shops: Dec 11, 2019 SRP: $5.99
The Dark Multiverse reimagines one of the most renowned stories in comic book history, “The Judas Contract”! In this shocking tale, Terra’s betrayal starts not with the Teen Titans, but with Deathstroke himself! Now, free from her mentor’s influence and supercharged by the same serum that turned Slade Wilson into the world’s deadliest man, Tara Markov will forge a new destiny, written in the Teen Titans’ blood.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Shattered Grid Deluxe Edition HC
Publisher: BOOM! Studios Writer: Kyle Higgins & Ryan Parrott Artist: Daniele di Nicuolo, Diego Galindo, Dan Mora, Jonas Scharf, Huang Danlan Colorist: Joana Lafuente, Walter Baiamonte, Raúl Angulo, Marcelo Costa Letterer: Ed Dukeshire Cover Artist: Goñi Montes Price: $75.99
Lord Drakkon—a twisted alternate-reality version of Tommy Oliver (AKA the Mighty Morphin Green Ranger)—and his newly reformed army are crossing dimensions in order to execute an all-out attack that threatens the very existence of every Power Ranger ever.
For the first time in comic book history, the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers will join forces with some of the most popular Power Rangers teams in the franchise from across time and space to face the ultimate threat…one that will mean the death of a Ranger!
Join New York Times best-selling writer Kyle Higgins (Winter Soldier) and Ryan Parrott (Star Trek) and artists Daniele Di Nicuolo (West Coast Avengers), Jonas Scharf (Bone Parish), and Diego Galindo (Red Sonja) for the Power Rangers epic that redefined the comic book series.
Collects Mighty Morphin Power Rangers issues #24-30, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Free Comic Book Day Special 2018, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers 2018 Annual #1, and Go Go Power Rangers #9-12, with an all new short story from writer Ryan Parrott and artist Huang Danlan.
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Since it’s announcement, I’ve been excited to dive into DC’s new anthology series Tale From the Dark Multiverse. I’m happy to say, despite high expectations, Tales From the Dark Multiverse: Batman: Knightfall does not disappoint.
Written by Scott Snyder and Kyle Higgins, Tales From the Dark Multiverse: Batman: Knightfall is a mix of “What If” and a tease of DC’s next “Crisis” event. Tempus Fuginaut plays the role of the Watcher introducing the story and delivering an epilogue. Each issue takes on an iconic DC event set in a world in the Dark Multiverse, in this case “Knightfall” which saw Batman’s back broken by Bane and Jean-Paul Valley taking over as Batman.
Instead of Bruce regaining the mantle, in this version Valley continues to be Batman defeating Bruce and then turning Gotham into a religious fascist-like state. A champion must rise to defeat him and one does in the son of Bane.
It’s an interesting story and solid start to this new line of comics. The one issue is it’s too short. There’s concepts that are a bit too quick and not explored enough and as a whole the story is a bit compacted. It could have used an extra issue if not an oversized one. Still, it’s an entertaining one and done story.
What’s surprising is the brutality of the story. There’s some over the top action and concepts that are definitely not kid friendly. The twists towards the end put the “dark” into Dark Multiverse. Snyder and Higgins nail the twisted tone set when we were introduced to this perverted multiverse.
The art by Javier Fernandez is solid. The colors by Alex Guimarães are solid along with the lettering by Clayton Cowles. What particularly stands out is the subtle addition of a religious/church vibe to it all which we see in Valley’s Batcave. The changing of colors too evoke the fact this isn’t the main multiverse but something different. Finally, the design of certain characters (no spoilers here!) are really original and interesting. There’s just a dark ominous tone to the art which fits the story and setting so well.
While a bit too short, the comic is a solid start and beginning to build to something big. This isn’t just a series of one-shot comics, there’s something else there that’s coming down the road making these all the more interesting. This is a comic anyone can pick up and just enjoy and for those who have been reading DC’s master story, it’s one you probably won’t want to miss.
Story: Scott Snyder, Kyle Higgins Art: Javier Fernandez Colors: Alex Guimarães Letters: Clayton Cowles Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy
Tales From the Dark Multiverse: Batman: Knightfall #1
(W) Scott Snyder, Kyle Higgins (A) Javi Fernandez (CA) Lee Weeks In Shops: Oct 16, 2019 SRP: $5.99
Don’t miss this twisted tale from the pages of the game-changing event “Batman: Knightfall”! Thirty years after Bruce Wayne was broken and failed to take back the mantle of the Bat, Jean-Paul Valley, now known as Saint Batman, has turned Gotham into the city of his dreams. In his new order, killing has become commonplace and criminals live in constant fear-all in the name of justice. But just when all seems lost, a new hope for Gotham City rises…the son of Bane!