Review – Ultramega by James Harren Vol 1 TP (Image Comics)

Publisher: Image Comics (Skybound imprint)
Writer/Artist: James Harren
Colours: Dave Stewart
Lettering: Rus Wooton
Release Date: 13th October 2021

A plague spread across the planet, infecting people at random and turning them into rampaging bloodthirsty Kaiju. Standing between them and dominion over the Earth were the Ultramega, a trio of heroes recruited by a mysterious cosmic entity and imbued with superpowers to stand against the monstrous tide.

Unfortunately, at the crucial moment, the Ultramega failed. They failed, and they died.

Struggling to survive in the wreckage of the last battle, Noah and his “family” are outcasts, unable to enter the safety of “the city”, falsely classified as carriers of the Kaiju plague and forced to fight for every last scrap as Kaiju Klan battles for control of Avalon. Noah however has a dream beyond just reaching the city. He wants vengeance on the Kaiju for the death of his father, and his thirst for vengeance may well lead him to more than he bargained for.

With the first four-issue volume under James Harren’s belt, this series has been an incredible thrill ride from first page to last so far. The world building has been epic and there is so much detail in the worlds of Noah, the Kaiju Klan, the Kaiju themselves and the mysterious cosmic entity that leads the battle against them. The story takes place in a sprawling landscape reminiscent of Mega City One and the Cursed Earth wastelands that surround it, and expands into a fantastic intergalactic setting of cyclopean proportions.

The characters we meet throughout the series are superbly fleshed out, albeit some more fleshy (and indeed tentacle-y) than others. Every character that we’re introduced to has a back story and serves a purpose (even if at times this may seem to be simply to die a horrifying death), which gives the story a depth that keeps the reader interested in the narrative should they ever get bored of the glorious spectacle of the monstrosities and action on the page.

The machinations of the Kaiju Klan lead our protagonists into some thrilling, if gruesome and often blood-soaked adventures, and the pace of this series has been breakneck to put it mildly. I’m not a huge follower of Kaiju comics outside of Kaijumax and the odd Godzilla, or the recent “Big Girls” (also from Image), but this is definitely a genre that I will be investing time and money into going forward, and Ultramega, for me at least, is a fantastic starting point.

James Harren and Dave Stewart’s artwork has been absolutely incredible. The character and creature design is up there with the absolute best, which is only right and proper for a team that has worked together for so long on the Lovecraftian horrors faced by the B.P.R.D. Right from the first issue I loved the way this series has looked, and the explosive body horror displays of entrails and body parts have been a joy to see.

If you haven’t read this series before, or haven’t seen James Harren’s work previously, then you’re missing out on a treat. However, if you think of the work that Ryan Lee did for Mountainhead then you won’t be far off the style, and sheer horror, that Harren and Stewart bring to the page here.

In my review of the first issue of Ultramega, I gave it a 5/5 rating and called it a must read comic, and honestly, nothing since has changed that opinion. This is still the very definition of a five-star comic, and I cannot wait for the start of the next arc.

Rating: 5/5.


The writer of this piece was: Mark Scott
Mark Tweets from @macoy_comicgeek ‏

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