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Cyborg 009 (Graphic Novel)

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Cyborg 009 (Graphic Novel)
009 cover
Author Shotaro Ishinomori (Creator)


F.J. DeSanto

Illustrator Marcus To
Publication date September 24, 2013
Published by Archaia Entertainment & Ishimori Productions
ISBN ISBN-10: 1936393948

ISBN-13: 978-1936393947

Publication Order
Preceded by
Cyborg 009: Conclusion GOD'S WAR
Followed by
N/A

Cyborg 009 is a 2013 American graphic novel published by Archaia Entertainment.

The book was written by F.J. DeSanto and Bradley Cramp, with artwork by Marcus To and Ian Herring. Before its graphic novel release, it was split into 5 issues for Comixology, with "Issue #0" detailing the prologue portion.

The plot of the graphic novel is a condensed retelling of the story from the early arcs of the manga that ran through Weekly Shonen King and Weekly Shonen Magazine (1964-1967), with some minor alterations to adjust for the present day setting, as well as to attract modern readers.

CharactersEdit

The Zero Zero CyborgsEdit

Black GhostEdit

Supporting Characters Edit

StoryEdit

Issue #0Edit

The story begins with a flashback from Cyborg 009's POV. While on a date with his girlfriend (a black-haired girl later revealed as "Ayumi"), he was approached by a group of Black Ghost agents, who take Ayumi away and give him a very brutal beating.

Suddenly 009 wakes up when he is told by a telepathic voice to "Wake up. The world is waiting for you." His gaining consciousness attracts a couple of giant robots, who proceed to shoot him with lasers. In desperation, 009 breaks free from the bindings strapping him to an experimentation table, but he is caught in the blast. However, he is revealed to be alive and standing among the wreckage, remarking "This has got to be a dream."

Suddenly the voice tells him to jump. Acting quickly, 009 narrowly manages to avoid getting shot again until another robot tries to grab him from behind. With a surprising strength, 009 grabs the robot by the arm and swings it around, toppling the other robots. Unfortunately, one of the unaffected robots successfully grabs the cyborg and tries to crush him. 009 breaks free and, after giving the robot a no-holds-barred beatdown, walks away as the robot explodes behind him.

Unbeknownst to 009, his activities are monitored by Sekar, the leader of Black Ghost. He reveals to his colleagues the production of the cyborg soldier, a new weapon that will allow Black Ghost promote warfare into the farthest reaches of space.

Back on the surface, 009 finds a group of scientists waiting for him, accompanied by eight other cyborgs. Dr. Gilmore, the leader of the scientists, congratulates his successful escape attempt by calling him "the pinnacle of cyber-human achievement" and " a masterpiece of war technology". To further test 009's latent potential as a weapon, Gilmore orders him to eliminate the present cyborgs standing before them, revealed to be 009's predecessors designated 001 to 008.

One of Gilmore's colleagues, Dr. Gamo Wisky, alerts him that the cyborgs' restraining program has been hacked into, causing him to lose control of their creations. Sensing this, the other cyborgs spring into action, turning against the scientists by proceeding to wreak havoc upon them. This revolt surprises Black Ghost's higher-ups; sensing the threat the rebellious cyborgs now pose, Sekar tells his colleagues that they need to leave.

Meanwhile, Gilmore again orders 009 to destroy the "traitors". However, Cyborg 003 pleads with 009 not to side with the "animals" that captured and experimented on them. When both sides try to appeal to the now confused cyborg, Cyborg 001 steps in by telling him to "listen to your heart". 009 is surprised to learn that the voice who helped him escape belonged to a baby. Said baby implores him to understand that "we [the cyborgs] are in this together."

00 Cyborgs (Archaia)

"We are in this together."

Angry, Gilmore tells the cyborgs that even with their newly-installed abilities, none of them will escape Black Ghost's island base. Cyborg 002 then grabs him by the arm, telling the scientist that he is to serve as a hostage should the escape plan fail. 009, distrustful of Gilmore, demands to know why he was turned into a cyborg, but Cyborg 008 intervenes, revealing that Gilmore was helping the cyborgs escape all along; he was playing along with the others to hide his betrayal. Gilmore himself promises to tell 009 everything once they take down the person responsible for the cyborgs' predicament.

While running down a corridor, they find themselves pursued by armed guards. Using his shapeshifting powers, Cyborg 007 disguises himself as Dr. Wisky and creates a diversion by leading the guards in the wrong direction. However, the cyborgs' efforts end up in vain when they spot Sekar's plane flying away just as they arrive. 002 takes the initiative and flies after the plane, unaware that he is targeted by anti-air missles.

Black Ghost's security forces catch up to the cyborgs and shoot at them, injuring Cyborg 006 in the process. While Gilmore tends to 006's injuries, the others protect them from the attacking forces.  On the plane, Sekar is called out by one of his colleagues for abandoning their technology and weapons. Sekar kills him for speaking up and sets the island base, revealed to be set on an active volcano, to self-destruct.

The explosion does not go unnoticed, and Cyborg 004 proposes leaving in one of Black Ghost's helicopters. 007 questions his ability to pilot the helicopter, and 004 claims that he was once a captain of the German Air Force and a pilot for Lufthansa Airlines...or so he thinks, much to 007's dismay. Meanwhile, 002 is hit by the pursuing missles from behind and the resulting explosion causes him to fall into the ocean. 008 spots him and orders 004 to get closer to the water. When he does, 008 jumps into the water to retrieve the injured 002.

The others worry that the helicopter will run out of fuel before 008 could resurface. Fortunately, he does, with 002 in tow. After getting them back on board, the cyborgs manage to successfully escape before the volcano completely destroys the island.

Gilmore warns the cyborgs that Sekar will not rest until they are either captured or destroyed. When 003 laments that they won't have a place that is truly safe for them, 001 assures them all that they are finally free.

Differences of the graphic novel from the 1964 mangaEdit

Visual changesEdit

Cosmetic changes were made to the characters, mostly to accommodate for Marcus To's more realistic western style of art rather than Shotaro Ishinomori's cartoonish Osamu Tezuka-style format of the 1960s manga:

  • 002 is now taller than 009, with long blond hair. He also lacks his trademark beak-like nose, with it being depicted in a smaller and more aquiline style. This caused a minor controversy in the 009 fandom as they felt that making Jet a "pretty boy" was unnecessary. These changes (ie: the blond hair, smaller nose) also can be seen in his 009 RE: Cyborg incarnation.
  • 005, 006 and 008 were updated by removing racial stereotypes that were present in the manga. Both 008 and 006 had their facial features tweaked to appear more realistic and less caricatured, with 006's design skewing close to how he appeared in 009 RE: Cyborg. 008's infamous blackface from the original manga was removed, something that unfortunately had been a part of the character's design until the 1980 film Cyborg 009: Legend of the Super Galaxy. 008's design skews closer to his appearance in the 2001 series, with him having a blond crew-cut.
  • The costumes were redesigned; the initial suits the team wear lack the scarves and appear as form-fitting red tunics and pants. The later suits worn after their escape are spandex-like bodysuits in red and black, although they and the earlier suits still retain a resemblance to the original manga. To pay homage to the yellow scarves in the manga, 009 keeps Ayumi's scarf after she dropped it, and the rest of the team eventually wear yellow scarves as well.
  • 003's hair vacillates between being blonde and a ginger shade throughout the graphic novel, while she is usually a blonde in the original manga artwork.
  • Cyborgs 0010+ and 0010- were redesigned and renamed as 0010 Alpha and 0010 Omega, appearing much more humanoid and lacking their lightning bolt facial tattoos and albino-esque appearances. Their clothing color schemes were also swapped around, with 0010 Alpha (the first twin) now wearing red while 0010 Omega wears blue.

Story changesEdit

  • In addition to her super hearing and vision powers, Cyborg 003 now has the ability to manipulate sound as a superpower, according to her stats in the comic. This marks the third instance of 003 gaining a new power, as the anime adaptation of Conclusion: GOD'S WAR (sourced from Ishinomori's development notes) gave her precognition and an enhanced version of her powers. In addition, the 2012 film 009 RE: CYBORG implies that she has technopathic abilities.
  • 004 is stated to have missile cannons in his elbows in addition to his knees. Previously, the elbow cannons were only a feature shown in the two '60s animated films by Yugo Serikawa.
  • Cyborg 009 has amnesia, a plot element that was never in the original story. He also had a girlfriend named Ayumi, who was originally a minor character who appeared at the end of the battle with Black Ghost. In an homage to the original, Ayumi later appears with a young boy that resembles 009, though his relation to her is not clarified (while in the manga, he was her younger brother named "Kazu").
  • Skull is renamed Sekar in the graphic novel, with "Sekar" being one of a few alternate romanizations for the original name in katakana ( スカール, Sukaru), which had been meant to be read as "Skull".
  • Foundation X from the Kamen Rider tokusatsu television series Kamen Rider Double is mentioned at different points as a supporter of Black Ghost. Due to the lack of any continuation to the story, it is unknown if this would have lead to a comic book crossover with that series. This incarnation of the 009 characters seem to exist in a version of the Heisei Era Kamen Rider universe that the writers would have built into a world where all of Ishinomori's superheroes and characters exist in some form of shared continuity. The Cyborg 009 novel is labeled Ishinomori Universe: Book 1, indicating that the original plan was to launch a series of graphic novels featuring his characters.
    • However, the graphic novel line has been put on indefinite hold, as Archaia and Ishimori Pro are unable to come to any agreements on how to proceed with the project due to "cultural issues".
  • The second costumes that the 00 Cyborgs wear have some kind of electronic adaptive camouflage that blends in with its surroundings, such as altering their coloration into a violet-and-white scheme to blend in with the snow. The suits also have heat shielding strong enough to withstand atmospheric re-entry.
  • The story takes place in the 21st century, with the team members' origins updated and tweaked to be more contemporary. In particular, 004's original origin no longer worked due to Germany having been reunified since 1990, although it is vaguely mentioned that he was trying to smuggle Hilda into the country. 002's gang leader history is also excised, with Jet only being a homeless street punk that wound up stabbing a man who had attempted to rob him.
  • Cyborgs 0011 and 0012 are not present in the graphic novel.
  • Cyborg 0013 has a much smaller role, and his robot body is composed of nanobots.
  • 002 is initially presented as more of a foil and rival to 009, as he had been in the 2001 anime adaptation, rather than the more supportive character seen in the early manga.

NotesEdit

  • The Graphic Novel, photos and information on the people who worked on it and some of its sketch artwork were put on display at the Ishinomori Manga Museum in the Cyborg 009 Room exhibit during a special event.
    Manga Museum copy

    The Japanese backprint of the novel on display

  • Trevor Hairsine was originally going to draw the graphic novel, but backed out due to other commitments. Some concept art from his take can still be found online. His designs skewed toward a more muscular and realism-based style for the team, and his take on 002 seemed to edge closer to how the character appeared in 009 RE: Cyborg.
  • Earlier promotional artwork by Marcus To and Ian Herring depicted 008 with dark hair, 002's hair being slightly shorter, 001 being barefoot during battle, and 003 with lighter blonde hair. Marcus To noted that the promotional artwork was his first time drawing the team, and that their designs in the graphic novel had been altered as he'd gotten a better feel for each character.
  • In one of the scenes in Tokyo where Joe is wandering around, there is a sign in kakatana that when translated reads "Who is The Skull Man?".
    • F.J. DeSanto stated that this was a potential hint/easter egg at which Ishinomori characters would be featured in the graphic novel line. Meaning that a Skull Man novel was being planned at some point but ultimately nothing came of it due to the aforementioned cultural issues between Archaia and Ishimori Pro.

External LinksEdit

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