Jet Link (ジェット・リンク Jetto Rinku), aka 002 and The Jet, is a former American gang member who was turned into a cyborg after he was captured by Black Ghost.
Among the cyborgs, he is known for his flying and acceleration capabilities.
002 is a tall, lanky young man, standing as the second-tallest out of all the team members. His most defining features are his long, swept-back ginger hair and a very prominent pointed nose that gives him a bird-like appearance.
The "bird"-like features of 002 evolve over the course of the manga and Ishinomori's art evolution, with his nose appearing large but less beak-like in early chapters, as well as his hair being shorter and less exaggerated.
In Emergency Simulation 1992, his hair is depicted as a dark blond, contrary to the ginger orange that it appeared as in preceding color artwork.
When not dressed in the standard team uniform, he usually wears street clothes or a suit.
Early on in the manga, 002 is one of the more level-headed and easy-going cyborgs, although he is always prepared to go into a fight (but nowhere near the same level as 004). He generally acts as a cooperative "big brother" type, deeply caring about the other cyborgs and willing to risk impossible odds in order to help them. And yet, he is not one to be the most detailed about his emotions.
Later on in the manga, he can be seen with a somewhat more pessimistic attitude as he realizes the downfall of being a cyborg, which is seen clearly in the story "The Glacier of Love". He also is seen to act more brash and is quick to lash out when angered, which causes friction between him and 004 in the holiday story "Cyborg Soldiers, For Whom Do You Fight?". It is also discovered that he bears repressed trauma over murdering the Shark gang leader, as he begins to panic when forced to remember the incident in the "Aztec" arc.
002 is equipped with a flight unit in both of his legs, which allows him to hover and fly. Due to a special acceleration unit equipped in them, he is able to fly at Mach 5 speeds. It is for this reason that 002 is often used for aerial assaults. However he lacks some physical strength due to his lightweight body for flight, and his limbs prove to be especially vulnerable.
Before becoming a cyborg, Jet had experience in street-fighting, with having been part of a gang and avoiding law enforcement. During the Underground Empire of Yomi arc, he was shown to play professional American football without the use of his abilities.
Later on in the 1970s-1980s run of the manga, he first takes on the job of being a F-1 racer (as seen in "Edda" and "The Undersea Pyramid"), before later being referred to as a youth counselor in "The Golden Triangle".
In a fight against the rival Sharks gang, Jet and the rival gang leader got into a switchblade fight that quickly ended with Jet accidentally murdering the other man. While on the run from the cops, he was approached by the Black Ghost operatives in an alleyway and promised a getaway ride.
Upon the completion of 009, the cyborgs revolted against Black Ghost. Demonstrating his amazing speed and flight, 002 fought against the Black Ghost assault with some help from the just-as-fast 009. He, along with the rest of the cyborgs, escaped from Black Ghost on a submarine and departed to Japan.
002 usually fought alongside the other cyborgs against the forces sent by Black Ghost, including the cyborg assassins and the Cyborgmen in Vietnam. In aerial battle against a Cyborg Man, one of his legs was vaporized by the Black Monster mecha and had to patched for the rest of the mission. Without proper equipment, the other cyborgs managed to take over the Cyborgman's compound and fix 002.
In the battle against the Mythos Cyborgs, 002 was injured by Minotaur's lasers and was thought to have been consumed in the eruption on Magma Island. However, he survived the events with the rest of the team, and retired briefly to become a football player. This would be quickly subverted by Black Ghost coming back into action.
In the final battle against Black Ghost, he and the other cyborgs were captured but wound up freed by the Pu'Awak sisters, and proceeded to fight off the enemy robots. Before Skull could blow up the island from his Demon God Statue, 001 teleported everyone away, with the exception of 009, who was teleported inside the giant robot. With the possibility of 009 dying, 002 flew up through the atmosphere into space in an attempt to save him. After the statue was destroyed, 002 managed to find 009, but revealed that he did not have enough fuel to get back down to Earth safely. The two re-entered the atmosphere and appeared to burn up, being seen as a shooting star.
However, it was later revealed that 001 fortunately managed to teleport them to safety, but that the two cyborgs were damaged and near death, necessitating them to be remodeled by Dr. Gilmore. A few months later, the team had to deal with the "Monster Island" case, as well as the battle against Moses in the Middle East, where 002 once more wound up vulnerable.
- According to the Shotaro World edition of the manga, with notes taken from Ishinomori, 002 was modeled after the actor James Dean. His name is also derived from the "Jett Rink" character that Dean played in the film Giant. This is also stated in the planning notes for "Conclusion GOD'S WAR", although there is also claim that the character took inspiration from The Godfather (perhaps being exclusive to the GOD'S WAR version or later characterizations, as the novel and film came out after 009's release).
- As "Jett Rink" was rendered as ジェット・リンク in Japanese, it could be assumed that Ishinomori might have (initially) intended for 002's name to be read the same way. However, after decades without an English notation, and owing to the R/L ambiguity in the language, the "Jet Link" spelling became the official one used in Toei's simple English scripts for the 1979 series, as well as used by IshimoriPro. However, "Jett" and "Jet" can both be legitimate readings for his name, when considering that the latter also references West Side Story (see below).
- In the book "Cyborg 009 a la Cult", it is revealed that besides Jet, the names Hank and Jim were also considered for 002. The earliest draft of a 002 had him without his trademark beak nose, but with freckles and a somewhat more realistic hair style. Another draft of 002 had him with a smaller, but still beak-like nose, and a hair style that would wind up being closer to his realized design.
- Along with his given name, his residence being the "Upper West Side" of Manhattan and the Shark gang are further references to the West Side Story musical and film. His exact American ethnicity is not detailed within the manga, although the 2001 anime and the later pachinko games based off that adaptation establish him as Italian-American, perhaps based off the Godfather mention in the GOD'S WAR notes. It is unknown what Ishinomori might have intended, although the references to the musical in his origin may give the impression that the "Jets" gang could have potentially been Polish-American.
- He is not given a set age within the manga, although he seems to be initially depicted as a teenage delinquent in his origin before being portrayed and treated as somewhat older than Joe, leading to assumptions that he is in his twenties. The 1979 anime adaptation thus gives him the age of "22", and this tends to be used as a placeholder for the manga as well.
- Initially, Jet used the pronoun "boku" in the manga, providing a slightly softer impression to the character's sometimes slangy, informal dialogue. The usage of "boku" went well into the 1970s, until Ishinomori opted to have him use "ore", to correspond with the 1979 anime series and to better reflect a tougher yet loose personality.
- Jet's design was recycled for a "Jet"/020 character in the 009-1 manga, as well as a nameless "00 Number Group" cyborg resembling him. He also appears as a nameless villain in Android V, known only as "The Boss' Younger Brother" in the Ishinomori Character Guide.