In a world where silver giants clash with scheming aliens and giant monsters, you need to do anything to gain an edge. In the Ultraman universe, humans and aliens alike have constructed titanic machines to advance their ends. In the modern era, this is best represented by the powerful piloted robots of STORAGE (Special Tactical Operations Regimental Airborne and Ground Equipment) in the Ultraman Z series. Each of these mechanical marvels stands on the front lines to protect humankind from whatever may threaten them. However, though these mighty robots may be the product of human ingenuity in their universe, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen them in the Ultraman franchise. Each one has an analog in the Classic ULTRAMAN series, some of which diverge quite a bit from their New Generation counterparts.
First Appearance (Classic): Ultraman Leo Episode 34 “The Ultra Brothers’ Eternal Vow”
First Appearance (New Generation):Ultraman Z Episode 1 “Chant My Name!”
Sevenger, the adorable, plucky mascot and powerful asset of STORAGE, was the first robot designed by the human race in the world of Ultraman Z. The first bipedal creation in the history of Earth’s defensive development efforts, Sevenger is the longest-serving robot in STORAGE’s possession. More than simply a weapon, Sevenger’s prodigious strength is often used in relief and reconstruction efforts after battles. As the first of its kind, Sevenger unfortunately has a few shortcomings in its design that have since been improved upon by subsequent robots, such as its tiny, one-minute battery life, and low quantity of actual weaponry. With the introduction of King Joe STORAGE Custom, Sevenger has finally been retired. However, we salute the plucky robot, we hope he returns, and we’ll never forget the work it did to keep Earth safe!
In the Classic ULTRAMAN series…
The “occupant” of the Monster Ball, a superweapon from the Land of Light, Sevenger only got a single chance to show his incredible power during the classic era. He was brought to Earth by Ultraman Jack in an effort to support Dan Moroboshi, whose wounds and broken Ultra Eye prevented him from assuming his true form as Ultraseven. Sevenger and the Monster Ball were thought lost when Jack was ambushed en route by the malicious space criminal, Ashuran.
Retreating from this vicious foe, Jack, in his human form of Go Hideki, was able to make it to Earth, and eventually found the Monster Ball in time to mobilize Sevenger against Ashuran. The classic Sevenger was an absolute combat powerhouse, easily shrugging off the alien’s assault (attacks strong enough to wound an Ultra!), and retaliating with a number of devastating blows. However, Sevenger was bound by a single weakness (one shared by his New Generation counterpart, though STORAGE’s Sevenger triples it with 3 batteries): his one-minute operational limit. Just as Sevenger was about to strike the final blow, he was forced to return to the Monster Ball.
Thankfully, Ultraman Leo was able to finish the job. Though Sevenger never reappeared, it is believed that the Monster Ball stayed with Dan, kept in reserve in case his tremendous power was needed again.
First Appearance (Classic): Ultraseven Episode 1 “The Invisible Challenger”
First Appearance (New Generation): Ultraman Z Episode 4 “The Second Robot Activation Plan”
Windom is the second robot designed by STORAGE, as the endless monster threat to Earth demanded further defenders. Created after the arrival of Ultraman Z, Windom was significantly more combat-capable than its “older brother” Sevenger. Windom is equipped with lasers, flight verniers for quick maneuverability, powerful missiles, and a number of other powerful abilities.
The biggest improvement over Sevenger, is its 5-minute operation limit, a massive improvement when every second counts. However, a drawback to this comparative battery life was an enormous four-day charge time. Thankfully, through careful application of Kaiju-derived technology (Neronga’s horn amplifies energy quite well!), this drawback was diminished significantly, making Windom a more consistent asset in STORAGE’s arsenal.
In the Classic ULTRAMAN series…
Strangely enough, in Ultraseven, Windom isn’t actually a robot at all. Though he is made of metal, he is a naturally ferrous alien life form, aiding Ultraseven as one of his Capsule Monsters. Summoned when Dan Moroboshi was incapable of transforming into his giant alter-ego, Windom was a steadfast ally against the various aliens that threatened Earth.
Unable to match the might of Ultraseven, he was an invaluable defender that often gave the hero time to gather himself or solve whatever problem kept him from joining the fray himself. Though grievously wounded against the malicious Guts, Windom would remain a devoted asset to Seven and the human race, even being recreated as a Maquette Monster by the GUYS (Guards for UtilitY Situations) team as Fire Windom to aid Seven’s distant successor, Ultraman Mebius, almost 40 years later!
KING JOE (ORIGINAL AND STORAGE CUSTOM)
First Appearance (Classic): Ultraseven Episode 17 “The Ultra Guard Goes West (Part 1)”
First Appearance (New Generation): Ultraman Ginga S Episode 3 “The Meaning of Strength”
King Joe is likely the most famous (or perhaps infamous) robot to have ever existed in the Ultraman universe. With a brilliant golden hull, King Joe was designed to conquer, with power nearly equaling that of an Ultra! Frequently used by the most vicious criminals and villains from around the galaxy, King Joe was finally turned to the side of good in Ultraman Z, when the space pirate Barossa’s personal model was defeated and commandeered by STORAGE, who rebuilt it into King Joe STORAGE Custom.
Though remade with human ingenuity rather than alien science, King Joe STORAGE Custom may exceed its original counterpart in pure power. Capable of splitting into four distinct vehicles, and recombining as both a traditionally robotic form, as well as a mighty tank, this King Joe’s power cannot be denied. However, the question must be asked—how powerful is too powerful? After walking through the blasted remains of its first sortie, against the manipulated, tortured monster known as Grigio Raiden, he has given certain STORAGE team members pause: what can actually stand against such formidable power?
In the Classic ULTRAMAN series…
The original King Joe, as with the other robots, was first encountered by Ultraseven during his long tenure as a defender of Earth. Unlike the others, however, King Joe came not as a friend, but as an enemy. The crown jewel of the Pedan War Fleet, the golden robot was sent to Earth as a counter-response to what the aliens believed to be human espionage on their world. In truth, this was a mere accidental capture from an exploration satellite.
Alongside its Pedan masters, King Joe came to Earth in the form of four ships, intending to capture or kill the Earth’s greatest scientists and leaders, to prepare for an invasion. Such vile subversion would of course be met by the planet’s defenders—the Ultra Guard, and their seventh member, Ultraseven. However, King Joe was no simple threat, and did the impossible—it defeated Ultraseven, beating him down in a brutal assault.
It was not until an American scientist, escaping her alien captors, revealed the secret weakness of the Pedanium alloy that composed King Joe’s hull, that the golden titan was defeated, brought low by a human bomb and a renewed Ultraseven. Since then, King Joe has appeared several times, becoming the mass-produced unit of the Pedan army, in both Black and Scarlet variants. Each time, at every level, it has been an existential threat to all life—human, alien, Kaiju, and Ultra—that stood in its path.
STORAGE may have access to some of the greatest mechanical beings of the Ultraman universe, but there are plenty more, in many shapes and sizes, peppered throughout the cosmos. Be sure to check out new episodes of Ultraman Z every Friday evening on the Ultraman Official Channel on YouTube. And watch for future coverage of all things Ultra in the Q Files section at UltramanGalaxy.com!