Saturday, September 26, 2020

On The Shelf: A Japanese legend returns

 Marvel Comics is the latest to obtain a license for one of Japan's pop culture legends.

The Rise of Ultraman retells the origin of the superhero, Japan's 1st costumed hero, who made his debut in 1966, with the plot, understandably updated to today. Marvel and Tsuburaya Productions, which owns Ultraman, are hoping to reintroduce him to a new generation of readers. Tsuburaya tried more than 25 years ago with Harvey Comics, but it didn't get very far.

If you can stomach the short comedy bits that wrap around the back-up features, this should be fine. If you're a fan going all the way back to the beginning, I'd think this might be a must have. 

If Marvel is able to sell this to today's readers, there might be a sequel. However, it's a tough sell when today's fans associate Japan with a more modern concept which Marvel once had a license on, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (now licensed to Boom! Studios).

Rating: Incomplete.
Detective Comics reached 1000 issues a while back. This month, DC marked the 1000th appearance of Batman in the series in issue 1027. It's a mixed bag of short stories by writers as diverse as Tom King, Marv Wolfman, and James Tynion IV, and also includes teasers for forthcoming projects.

As is often the case with these potpourri editions, there are a couple of clunkers to avoid, but then, that's just my opinion.

Rating: B.
For some reason, American Mythology has an obsession with putting Zorro in some supernatural-themed stories.

The latest, Galleon of The Dead, includes a Lucha Libre themed villain who might've been inspired by the now-defunct Lucha Underground's resident zombie, Mil Muertes. However, as a purist when it comes to heroes like Zorro, there's something about this story, and its predecessor, Sacrilege, that leave me cold.

Rating: C-.
Apparently, with Young Justice ending its current run with issue 20 in November, Brian Michael Bendis is shutting down his Wonder Comics imprint, as December's Jinny Hex 1-shot, showcasing a modern descendant of 70's & 80's Western anti-hero Jonah Hex, is not under the Wonder Comics umbrella. And, oh, is that such a downer!

Fans of The Expanse, the former SyFy series now on Amazon Prime, might want to look into Boom!'s forthcoming miniseries, out in December, which provides a bridge to season 5, due in 2021.

Vampirella celebrated her 50th birthday last year, and now, Dynamite Entertainment has decided the alien vampiress needs some more standard superhero attire.


This is filed under, "If it isn't broken...", but the purpose is for a crossover, The Dark Powers, which kicks off in December. I guess the idea is the skimpiest costume ever made doesn't fit with other heroes, so Vampi gets a red & yellow leotard to wear so she can stand alongside other heroes like the Black Terror. 

Um, right. Kinda takes away one of the selling points to the character, doesn't it?

No comments: