With the ability to grow into a silver and red giant, Ultraman battled monsters from the stars long before anyone had thought of the Power Rangers. A cult phenomenon, the character has reigned supreme as a monster wrestler and defender of our planet.
Created in 1966 by Eiji Tsuburaya, Ultra Q underwent several revisions. A sci-fi series similar in some ways to U.N.I.T. from Doctor Who whereby the Earth was protected from the regular attacks of bizarre aliens by an even weirder jump-suited force.
Set in the distant future, a well-armed planet-wide defense known as Science Special Search Party utilizes the most advanced arsenal of weapons and vehicles known to mankind. One key member of the global organization called the Space Patrol, Hayata, is abducted by aliens and granted the unlikely ability to grow into fantastic size, thus leveling the playing field against the race of skyscraper-sized monsters.
While Utlraman easily has the most diverse and amazing list of super abilities ranging from super speed to telekinesis to a kind of supreme super soaker ray, he primarily relies on his fighting fists. As Ultraman, Hyata primarily utilizes wrestler-style moves and the occasionally inexplicable blast of energy from a special positioning of his arms. Hyata has a limited but vague amount of time in which to defeat the alien threat, the limit of which is signaled by a flashing light on his chest. However, it’s not fair to really discuss Hyata and Ultraman as if they were one persona as they swap places in much the same way the Captain Marvel and Billy Batson do. While Ultraman is fighting a giant alien monster, Hyata is in some strange limbo.
Ultraman retains the Guiness record for spinoffs but while it is CG-animated, the new series looks to be a return to the character’s roots. No more rubber suits, but similar levels of devastation.
Ultraman will return in a brand new series in 2016 which appears unafraid to embrace its past.