The Return of Ultraman (帰ってきたウルトラマン Kaettekita Urutoraman?, roughly meaning "Ultraman Has Returned"), is a tokusatsu science fiction/kaiju/superhero TV series, and is the fourth in the Ultra Series.
Eiji Tsuburaya had originally intended for the Ultra Series to end with the 1967 series Ultra Seven (Urutora Sebun, 1967). Ultraman (Urutoraman, 1966) proved to be too popular a character to omit.
Eiji Tsuburaya died in 1970. His son Hajime Tsuburaya (who took over Tsuburaya Productions until his own death in 1973) revived the Ultra Series with Return of Ultraman.
The show features a new Ultraman named "New Ultraman" (新ウルトラマン Shin Urutoraman?), or just "Kaettekita Ultraman" (帰ってきたウルトラマン?). In 1984, he was renamed "Ultraman Jack" (ウルトラマンジャック Urutoraman Jakku?) due to licensing issues. Tsuburaya and Bandai (which had just bought the Ultraman toy license in Japan) held a contest for children to pick a new name for this Ultraman. Although he is called "Ultraman Jack" for licensing in and out of Japan, he is still sometimes referred to as "New Ultraman"/"Kaettekita Ultraman", by some fans (and also in some official sources). This change was done due to a last-minute decision as the original plan for this series was for the original Ultraman to return to Earth to resume the fight against aliens and monsters.
While nearly identical in appearance to the original Ultraman, the red pattern on his silver suit is slightly different. Furthermore, the new Ultraman can be distinguished by his shorter pants, the pinstripes along the red areas, and the fuller sleeves/kneepads. The characters and related events are described below using in-universe tone.
Due to the mid-season addition of 'Ultraman' being Ultraman Jack, the series reintroduced his predecessors, Ultraman and Seven to the series canon - Both his predecessors were originally in different canon 'universes' beforehand. This began a shared universe which continued throughout the Showa series, with Zoffy, Ultraman's superior, being reintroduced to the canon the following year in Ultraman Ace.