Marvel and Tsuburaya Productions Team Up To Publish Ultraman Comics

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.”

Story and creative team details will be shared at a later date. Stay tuned at en.tsuburaya-prod.co.jp and Marvel.com for more information and updates

9 thoughts on “Marvel and Tsuburaya Productions Team Up To Publish Ultraman Comics

  1. So we’ve got the new Ultraman comic with Marvel, plus a second season of the Netflix Ultraman anime (with the manga still ongoing), plus Hideaki Anno’s Shin Ultraman movie (which is basically Anno going full circle considering the very first movie he did was a student film project called Return of Ultraman)

  2. I’m left wondering, if Ultraman and the rocket are in proportion to each other, who shrank Mt Fuji?

  3. @becca: is that specifically supposed to be Fuji? The sides are at least twice as steep to my eyes as those of the famous mountain, although the snow cap looks a bit like the picture in Wikipedia. Or maybe we’re just supposed to imagine it being a great distance behind the trophy….

    However, I’m sorry not to have been paying attention to the original discussion, as there was at least one datum missing: the Aussiecon 3 version of the Hugo appears to show it several times the height of Uluru (348 meters above terrain, per Wikipedia). OTOH, there’s nothing in @OGH’s extensive data set that would suggest this is possible (although a Culture ship could well have shaped itself like a Hugo just to be whimsical — they’re known for whimsy), so we’re free to argue the appearance of the trophy on esthetic grounds. I don’t like it — ISTM that scaling down Ultraman by a third would have been more balanced without dwarfing him — but when last I looked (a while ago) the base design was the concom’s prerogative.

  4. Well, I suddenly have a new regret in life: I will never be able to go back in time and win a 2007 Hugo Award. I love that base.

  5. To the ones asking who shrank mount fuji: probably no one, it’s only reduced for reasons of background perspective. I’m a big Ultra Man fan; I grew up watching reruns of the ’60s episodes. It’s interesting to hear that Marvel will be doing a comic adaptation, I’ve just become skeptical of Marvel and its over use of digital art. Maybe the Ultra Man comics will go the way of the Star Wars comics and get more free-hand art in it. We shall see.

  6. Chip says However, I’m sorry not to have been paying attention to the original discussion, as there was at least one datum missing: the Aussiecon 3 version of the Hugo appears to show it several times the height of Uluru (348 meters above terrain, per Wikipedia). OTOH, there’s nothing in @OGH’s extensive data set that would suggest this is possible (although a Culture ship could well have shaped itself like a Hugo just to be whimsical — they’re known for whimsy), so we’re free to argue the appearance of the trophy on esthetic grounds. I don’t like it — ISTM that scaling down Ultraman by a third would have been more balanced without dwarfing him — but when last I looked (a while ago) the base design was the concom’s prerogative.

    Now I’m really curious. Is there anything that you like? Seriously. Detail what you like. You aren’t fond of the extended Trek fandom, and now you don’t like the artistic interpretation of a mountain. What do you like?

  7. @Cat Eldridge: don’t put words in my mouth — it’s unsanitary.

    And if you really need an answer to your debatable comment, feel free to retrieve everything I’ve written.

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