Ultraman: The Mystery of Ultraseven issue #3 came out today and let me tell you, you won’t be disappointed. Writers Kylie Higgins and Mat Groom joined forces with line artist Davide Tinto and color artist Espen Grundetjern to pull us all even deeper into this wild adventure. Watch out though if you haven’t read the prior two issues, there’s some series spoilers ahead!
Last month’s cliffhanger left me itching for more action and luckily that itch was scratched with issue #3’s intense opening scene. That’s right, we are launched into chaos from the jump, sharing Shin Hayata’s adrenaline as he hurls himself out of the VTOL, straight into the heart of a battle between Ultraseven and some familiar Kaiju—including fan favorite Eleking!
This issue balances energy beautifully by taking the form of a two-level narrative. We have a high-energy Kaiju fight breaking out full force and at the same time, on the liminal plane of the same space, a passionate discussion unravels between Shin and Ultraman.
On one hand, we get to see the engaging battle sequence we all love in any Ultraman story, but on the other we are forced to acknowledge a truth we might not have previously allowed ourselves to consider: Ultras carry trauma too. Although the Ultra capacity for endurance might be greater than an average person’s, it becomes clear that they are not exempt from the effect thousands of battles might have on one’s psyche. Shin and Ultraman struggle to see eye to eye on how to address Ultraseven’s unjust acts of violence.
The framing of this story feels like a great analogy for the splitting feeling of having to face the complexities of life while also trying our best to maintain our integrity. The tension of trying to make a moral decision while dealing with a demanding, high-pressure situation is familiar to all of u, especially when it comes to handling disputes with loved ones. With Shin, Ultraman and Ultraseven on edge, everything builds up to a shocking climax that anyone with siblings can relate to!
Although the story takes place over the span of one dispute, the visuals do a fantastic job of conveying grand-scale chaos. No matter who is winning, every fighting party has a glorious and majestic quality to him that serve as a great reminder for how high the stakes of these battles truly are. The use of light to differentiate different segments of the confrontation, the role the elements play in setting the scene, the juxtaposition of the dreamy liminal realm and the jarring real world. Everything is calculated and works together to establish a space that is both tumultuous and contained.
We get a special look into the different characters’ philosophies and how they handle fundamentally disagreeing with each other- And who doesn’t love when Ultraman gets philosophical? I always enjoy getting a closer look at a hero’s vulnerable side as it tends to be the side we all empathize with best.
Aaaaanddd another cliffhanger! Is that an Ultra staple I don’t know about yet? Because it’s working on me… I need to know what comes of this unlikely conflict and I’m sure you do too. For now, though, you can check out Ultraman: The Mystery of Ultraseven #4 coming in November and stay tuned for more updates here on UltramanConnection.com!