Official Press Release
VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry's most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, in conjunction with Stan Lee's POW! Entertainment (PK:POWN) has announced the North American debut of the exciting Prologue Chapter of ULTIMO in the September 2008 issue of SHONEN JUMP magazine, which hits retail outlets nationwide on August 5 for $4.99. ULTIMO is the result of a historic collaboration between comics legend Stan Lee, creator of many iconic superheroes including Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, and the X-Men, and Hiroyuki Takei, the creator of the popular SHAMAN KING manga (graphic novel) series.
The ULTIMO story: High above Farmless City, citizens are stunned by the sudden appearance of two floating figures. Are they human boys, monolithic robots, or something much more strange? As the battle ensues between them, destruction and devastation falls on the hapless city. One figure is Vice, and seems to be as evil as his name implies. The other is Ultimo, intent on trying to stop Vice from wreaking more havoc. But who are Vice and Ultimo really? Where did they come from? A new mystery begins with the fate of the world possibly hanging in the balance! The ULTIMO Prologue Chapter recently debuted in a special standalone issue Jump SQ. published by the Japanese manga magazine Jump SQ., the sibling publication of Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump, which is historically the best-selling manga magazine in Japan.
"Wow! This is just what I've been waiting for!" says an excited Stan Lee. "For the very first time I'm able to create superheroes in the fantastic Japanese manga style thanks to my lucky partnership with the great Hiroyuki Takei. What a kick it'll be to join Hiroyuki-san in offering brand new, action packed stories to an army of readers in both the Eastern and Western worlds!"
"Word of ULTIMO's development and subsequent debut in Japan led many domestic fans to wonder when they would get a chance to read it so we're very excited to offer the North American debut in the upcoming September issue of SHONEN JUMP," says SHONEN JUMP Editor-in-Chief Marc Weidenbaum. "ULTIMO was developed as a true collaboration with Stan Lee sending his initial story idea to Takei-san, who developed artwork and characters and reworked the plot to fit into the Japanese manga storytelling style. The result is something extremely compelling and we invite everyone to check out this historic release in our upcoming issue!"
For over half a century, Stan Lee has been synonymous with superhero comics. In addition to creating countless memorable series and characters, including Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men and Daredevil, he served as the former president and chairman of Marvel Comics. Lee remains a hugely respected and dynamic figure in the entertainment industry and continues to develop a variety of film, television and video game properties.
Unconventional author/artist Hiroyuki Takei began his career by winning the coveted Hop Step Award (for new manga artists) and the Osamu Tezuka Award. After working as an assistant to famed artist Nobuhiro Watsuki (RUROUNI KENSHIN), Takei debuted in Weekly Shonen Jump in 1997 with Butsu Zone, an action series based on Buddhist mythology. His multicultural adventure manga SHAMAN KING debuted in Japan in 1998 and has been adapted into a popular animated television series. The SHAMAN KING manga series is also published in North America by VIZ Media; for many years it was serialized in English in SHONEN JUMP magazine.
For more information on ULTIMO, SHONEN JUMP and VIZ Media please visit www.shonenjump.com or www.viz.com.