A dozen years ago John Hertz and I were discussing the silly controversy about Nippon 2007’s Hugo Awards base. From all the griping you’d think the Japanese superhero Ultraman practically dwarfed the Hugo rocket.
A lot of fans thought it was perfectly fine for a Japanese Worldcon to honor an icon from its country’s sf tradition. But for or against, all fans seemed to take for granted that the figure of Ultraman was exaggerated. No one ever asked whether Ultraman and the rocket might, in fact, be in proper proportion to one another, or how to find that answer.
Ultraman is supposed to be 130 feet tall. Just how big do we conceive the Hugo rocket to be? I came up with an answer in “How Tall Is the Hugo?” It turned out the proportions were just fine.
That memory returned when I saw a press release from Marvel Entertainment and Tsuburaya Productions announcing their collaborative plan for new Ultraman comics and graphic novels in 2020.
Ultraman has been a pop culture classic ever since its introduction in the 1960s, resulting in more than 50 years of stories told on screen and in the pages of manga and comics. Today, Ultraman continues to be a worldwide phenomenon, but fans will always remember the groundbreaking thrill and wonder of the first generation of Ultraman that started it all. Beginning next year, Marvel will expand that iconic era of the Ultras through the lens of Marvel’s art and storytelling.
“As one of the world’s most popular franchises, Ultraman has brought together some of the most passionate fandoms in pop culture today, and we can’t wait to bring his story to even more fans around the globe,” said Marvel Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski. “Like Marvel, Ultraman captivated generations by telling spectacular stories grounded in the real world, and it continues to be a beloved classic through its television shows, movies, toys, games, comics, and more. We are so thrilled to introduce new chapters to the Ultraman Multiverse next year.”