Review: ‘UltraMega’ #1 Is A Horrifying New World Of Monsters And Heroes

Kaiju and the humans that fight them are all the rage right now. Godzilla Vs Kong is one of the most anticipated movies of the year. Super Sentai and Power Rangers are exploding, and Ultraman is gaining popularity in the States. Even with that popularity, it’s clear that Image Comics’ UltraMega #1 is a wholly different take on the popular genre.

With this triple sized debut, we get to see a new world, new heroes, and the horrible threat at its core. Even better, it includes a massive twist that caught me completely unawares. It was created by James Harren, Dave Stewart, and Rus Wooten.

The UltraMega were chosen to defend the Earth. The alien virus transforms ordinary people to horrifying kaiju. Jason is one of the three UltraMega, but he’s just a man. Now, his sins are coming back to haunt him in a big way… literally and terribly.

Harren shows off his skills as a writer and artist in this issue to fantastic effect. Even with a triple sized issue, this feels bigger than it actually is. He doesn’t waste any time in his world building- including stunning Kaiju and Ultra designs- and every bit of it feels like it will be an important detail to the story to come. 

Even better is that it’s thrilling from beginning to end. Jason’s fate as Earth’s protector is immediately set up and begins paying off. We don’t even realize there’s more to the character until halfway through the issue. Then, the pieces begin falling into place, and the reader realizes that this kaiju versus hero story has a dark and horrifying heart.

Stewart’s colors evoke the story’s inspirations, but he keeps things grimy and dirty. His choices for the Ultras and the kaiju are both intelligent. He chooses more natural and realistic tones for the heroes, showing they come from Earth and are here to save us. But the kaiju are rendered in sickly and unnatural shades. It makes them alien and makes us consider them something to be feared. Wooten does the same with his lettering work, making sure that the balloons and captions are as much a part of the art as Harren’s work. You can practically hear what’s being yelled, or the sounds the battle makes as you read.

It’s a fantastic first issue, and its all upended by the twist at the end. It’s one I won’t spoil, but it sets up a series that wasn’t what we might have expected. I’m excited to see what it turns into and how the war against the kaiju changes.

UltraMega #1 is available now from Image Comics.

Kaiju and the humans that fight them are all the rage right now. Godzilla Vs Kong is one of theCOMICONRead More

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