Recently, we’ve taken a look at the first two Special Aircrafts employed by STORAGE, the heroic defense team from Ultraman Z — a show whose English dub premieres tomorrow, April 8, 2023. Sevenger and Windom are known for their heroic exploits and friendship towards the Ultras they support. However, what about robots who have a much less friendly history with the Ultras and humankind?
Let’s talk about King Joe.
King Joe’s origins, like Sevenger and Windom, can be tied back to Ultraseven. However, unlike those two, King Joe was no friend to Seven. No, the first appearance of King Joe was one of the most dire battles of Seven’s career. The weapon of the Alien Pedan, King Joe is a golden juggernaut of a robot, made from the combination of four ships. (Fun fact: King Joe is one of the, if not the earliest combining robots in Japanese fiction, predating Getter Robo, which is generally considered in the west to be responsible for the concept, by a whopping six years!)
Used as an invasion tool in retaliation for perceived espionage of their planet by human observation satellites, King Joe and its Pedanium armor were a threat unlike anything faced by the Earth up to that point. More than just its horrendous power, its golden body was durable, capable of easily deflecting every attack that Seven launched, even the Eye Slugger. In the end, none of Seven’s powers could defeat it — it was only the human-derived Ryton R30 Bomb that reacted with the Pedanium and destroyed King Joe, ending the Pedan invasion before it could begin.
However, King Joe is not a unique entity — crucially, it is the cornerstone of the Pedan army. The Pedan forces are capable of mass production of not only King Joe, but even its upgraded Black variant and several customs exist all throughout the multiverse. Dozens of King Joes have menaced humans, Ultras, and even other aliens since it first appeared in 1968.
That brings us back to the one that was formerly in the hands of Alien Barossa. Intended to steal the powerful Ultra Medals that have been gathered by humanity after scattering over Earth, it took the power of those very medals to defeat the golden robot. However, after the battle, the damaged robot was still mostly intact. The question then became, what to do with this alien weapon of tremendous power?
The answer was, of course, to adapt it to protect humanity. King Joe STORAGE Custom is one of the most potent weapons ever wielded by humanity in the Ultraman Series, a tremendously powerful juggernaut armed with the Pedanium Hammer extending arm and the Pedanium Particle Cannon weapon as its primary armaments, as well as countless missiles and its own strength. In addition, it is capable of splitting into four crafts, each one specialized for different tasks. Expanding beyond the original’s capabilities, however, these four crafts can combine to make a secondary tank mode, suitable for barrages.
Such a weapon’s strength is something to be feared — and that, unfortunately, is the point. King Joe STORAGE Custom was the first step in the greater plans of the parasitic alien Celebro, who sought to continue to arm and empower humanity until their own weapons could destroy them utterly — and this robot was the first true step on that dark road. Nevertheless, King Joe served its role as a protector more than adequately, and after the threat of Celebro was extinguished, King Joe has continued to defend Earth and humanity as part of STORAGE.
Next time, however, we will talk about STORAGE’s last Special Aircraft. The one that nearly destroyed everything.
Next time, we will talk about Ultroid Zero!
Until then, feel free to check out Ultraman Z when the English Dub premieres tomorrow, April 8th, on the official Ultraman Youtube channel. And for everything you may need to know about the Ultraman Series, stay close to Ultraman Connection.