24 February 2006 | ebiros2
International Cyborg team by Shotaro Ishimori
Cyborg 009 was created by Shorato Ishimori (before changing his name to Ishinomori in 1986) and ran on weekly comic magazine "Shonen King" in the '60s. Ishimori had a very international flair for his comic characters, as many character he drew had "unknown" nationality or existed outside normal framework of country (like Mutant Sabu was Japanese, but he really didn't belong to Japanese race because he was a mutant). Cyborg 009 I think is a first fully integrated super hero team in history of comic and animation. All came from different country which included native American, and native African. In fact I think it's the first integrated team in history period. Early Cyborg 009 showed some influences from different sci-fi comic of the time such as Eight Man (by Jiro Kuwata, Kazumasa Hirai) being able to accelerate to enormous speed by depressing the accelerator switch hidden in his mouth, and Submarine 707 (by Satoru Ozawa) where subs Black Ghost uses looks exactly like Submarine 707. But asides from this, Cyborg 009 is considered to be Ishinomori's signature masterpiece although there are other better known works of his (such as Go Rangers, Kamen Rider, and Kikaida) because all his subsequent super hero stories shows influences of Cyborg 009. The story is somewhat dark for the comic of its time, as the main character was an ex delinquent orphan (in the original story plot !) who escaped juvenile prison (never was main protagonist in Japanese boys comic an ex-con before 009) and was picked up and converted into a cyborg by Black Ghost. No one actually knows about their existence, and they battle the world conquest schemes of Black Ghost in secrecy, and although they have super powers, they can never reveal themselves to the public. So all of them in a way are perpetual orphans. In a way, this was a story ahead of its time from a human perspective. If you can see this and its 2001 version which is fairly true to the original story together it will be even sweeter. Kadokawa publishing in Japan recently released a complete works of Ishinomori for a whopping $5000 which encompass 770 titles of his works. It might be interesting to read Cyborg 009 in its original form from this collection.