Writer: James Harren
Art: James Harren, Dave Stewart & Rus Wooton
After the fantastic first issue. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on chapter two of Ultramega. Not only the first issue was a prelude to what we’ll actually see, meaning, this new one could act as part one of our story, but also because after such in-depth and well-written world-building, I got curious about where this was going.
The chapter starts off at the beginning. Of the universe, that is. We soon learn that the battle between Kaiju and Ultramega is as old as existence itself or maybe even older… With their fight spanning across time and space, eventually, the Kaiju learned how to corrupt forms of life. In order to properly respond, the Ultramega did the same. Fast forward to where we left off in the first issue, we follow Noah chasing after Kaiju Klan members as they run scared claiming they’ve met the “Masked Ultra”. The Klan members meet their peers and leader, Red Gara, who Noah apparently knows to be the killer of a character named Seth, who we still don’t know much about. Noah confronts the leader and gets defeated. Good thing it was just a remotely controlled drone.
I’m loving James Harren’s approach to this story so far. The first issue being about the world-changing event that led to our main setting rather than exposing it later via dialogue or flashback is really great and the writer is going about the rest of his world like that as well. We were given the basic framing for the story in the final pages of the first chapter, but in this one we get a lot more detail, all exposed organically through our protagonist’s eyes. Noah is the son of Jason, the ex-boxer Ultramega we saw in the first issue, and was saved by his mother as she died in the blood flood. He has a very manga-like mission of “defeating all the Kaiju” which inevitably reminded me of Eren from Attack on Titan. In this issue, he shows himself to be rebellious but a good boy at his core who just wished to make the world a better place for humans.
The manga influence is not only present in the plot but also in the art style. Harren’s depiction of facial expressions can be minimalist if the aim is to be humorous or extremely detailed if it’s more of a serious scene. Panel framing is also very reminiscent of Japanese comics as well as the depiction of movement. The latter banking on thick motion lines in big quantities almost casting a shadow of the characters. The designs for this world are also incredible. Much of it is familiar but used in a way that works really well.
Dave Stewart’s coloring is as amazing as the rest of the book. I love the palette choice s it reminds me a lot of some sci-fi anime, such as Cowboy Bebop or Akira, and it also draws influence from the Japanese culture which is consistently cool in this comic book. The very best of this issue’s coloring however is at the opening, in the big bang. The amount of colors portraying the newborn and crude universe is stunning and verges on Kirby-esque panels. It’s wonderful work.
Lettering is done by Rus Wooton and it is as stylistic as the rest of the artistic work. By God, this book is good. A lot of sound effects contribute to a dramatic feel similar to what I’ve seen before in anime. Some of the more gory sound effects are lettered as if they’re really loud sounds and it is greatly unnerving. There are some nice details to dialogues as well which help a lot with immersion.
Ultramega continues to deliver. From chapter one I knew this had potential, but it is really good seeing the level quality is the main goal. The creative team deserves tons of applause for the consistency in their work and how each part complements the other. It’s an exciting new take on a western comic with tons of eastern influence.
Ultramega continues to deliver. From chapter one I knew this had potential, but it is really good seeing the level quality is the main goal. The creative team deserves tons of applause for the consistency in their work and how each part complements the other. It's an exciting new take on a western comic with tons of eastern influence.