Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Obscure Superhero Week: Ultraman

A hardy welcome and on to day 3 of Obscure Superhero Week. I have noticed the trend of the suffix "man" needs to added to far far too many heroes so I will look tomorrow for female heroes in film that doesn't involve them just being primarily jiggly entertainment for hetro men and I suppose lesbians that simply want eye candy to gawk at.  Today's feature is based from the 1966 creation by SFX director, producer and director Eiji Tsuburaya (The H-Man, The Last War, The Mysterians and The Three Treasures) and prior in 1954 was the series Ultra Q similar to the Outer Limits, this film was broken into 24 minute TV episodes. This is Ultraman.


The SSSP (Science Special Search Party) an international police organization with so much clearance seeks out aberrant anomalies, kaiju attacks, paranormal and extra-terrestrial goings on, have multiple headquarters around the planet ranging from New York, London to Paris, Tokyo and even Brazil. Their telephone number is apparently international as well as it is only 999.   C'mon folks, make it a bit more fun than that. Try 0118 999 881 999 119 725... 3.  Works wonders. Back to the review now, the people of the planet Nebula in the universe M-78 discovered... the power of the Ultra.

It's only a model.

Finding themselves with a conscience and conviction for justice, these people became the Space Garrison, an organization with vim and vigor to help neighboring planets in times of peril so much so, they would dispatch an Ultraman to deal with the threats against said planet and fight to the very death defending it if needs be. Lead stuntman/model for suit and actor Bin Furuya (Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, Ultra Q, Ultraman, Ultra Seven, Ultraman: Monster Big Battle, The Monster X Strikes Back: Attack the G8 Summit and Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Galaxy Legends- The Movie) is the man in vinyl and spandex gadding it up.

Gamera is friend to all children and...ow! Stop that!

Ultraman comes to Earth in pursuit of a kaiju Ultraman's ship crashes into Space Patrol Shin Hayata damaging him rather severely. Rather than Hayata facing um... Ultrajustice? Ultraman allows his powers to be transferred to Shin (Clearly Ultraman is a great judge of character) giving him instant costume change, martial arts, the ability to travel in the vacuum of space, density and height shifting and whatever they hadn't written down at the time. Honestly they have qualities of DC comics Green Lantern Corps or Marvel Comics Nova Corps. Take your pick. So yeah now Hayata can be 60 to 80 feet tall and do battle with men in rubber suits...I mean Kaijui!

This series is the Japanese Doctor Who, spawning multiple TV series, mini-series, TV movies and theatrical films as well ranging from 1966 to 2015. Sadly, it sort of follows the Godzilla re-imaging and branding issues of continuity being altered but general story ideas being the same. The transition retcon (retroactive continuity for new info on a per-established continuity of existing fictional work) has not be obscene as it was for Godzilla but the M-78 Universe or galaxy has altered a lot from an artificial satellite giving Ultra powers to the folks of Land of the Light to the universal spark animating armored beings solely for combat against evil.

At the end of the day, you have men of power fighting in foreign worlds and asking for no reward...which is good considering how much of the landscape, communities and buildings get smashed on a regular basis in these series. Hell there is an official trailer for a 2016 for Ultraman X- The Movie: Here it Comes! You can embrace this phenomenon for what it is. A giant space alien smacking the ever-loving crap out of kaiju that originate from space or Earth itself.

Not sure why no Ultragirl or Ultrawoman so that seems screwed up.   Guess the Ultra power is Y chromosome only??

Dammit guys, we all cosplayed an X-Wing pilot!?!