Marvel’s acquisition of the Ultraman comics licence has given us a pretty great starting point in the Rise of Ultraman miniseries, laying the groundwork for a modern take on the classic story of the Giant of Light and his human partner Shin Hayata. But with this new approach established, it’s time for Ultraman to take the training wheels off.
Today Marvel announced that the Ultra series will continue with The Trials of Ultraman. It’s not yet been confirmed if this is another miniseries or an all-new ongoing, but Trials will retain Rise’s creative team of writers Mat Groom (Self/Made) and Radiant Black’s Kyle Higgins, as well as artist Francesco Manna, as the story continues to deal with the ramifications of Ultraman’s arrival on Earth.
With Ultraman’s presence and the kaiju threat now blown wide open — hard as it is for the secret anti-monster police in the United Science Patrol — Trials will see Shin tackle his relationship with the Ultra alien now bonded to his human form and the USP deal with the sudden arrival of a seemingly long-lost hero. “We get to really explore this new universe — the consequences of decisions made in Rise, and the possibilities (as well as tensions) of a newly fantastical global community,” Higgins told Marvel. “The introduction is over…now, we’ll be diving into the real meat of our Ultraman saga. And the stakes and scale will only continue to grow.
“It’s a privilege to continue to contribute to the wider Ultraman canon, and we’ll never take for granted that we’re only able to do so because of the support of readers,” Groom added. “We hope everyone will join us for the next step — there are big things ahead!”
Part of what made Rise so fascinating was its focus on the human relationships Shin forged with his friends and co-workers at the USP, and the messy, equally human drama of the organisation’s role in keeping kaiju hidden from the global populace’s eyes. As Trials expands Ultraman’s world — literally in the case of a size-changing hero, sometimes! — hopefully it’ll keep that personal, dramatic heart there, even as we go all in on classic tokusatsu action.
The Trials of Ultraman begins in March 2021.