Written by F.J. Desanto and Bradley Camp
Illustrated by Marcus To
Colored by Ian Herring
Lettered by Deron Bennett
Designed by Jon Adams
Edited by Stephen Christy
Created by Shotaro Ishinomori
Release Date: September 24, 2013
Cover Price: $24.95
Archaia Entertainment has updated Shotaro Ishinomori‘s manga about a multicultural group of cyborg outcasts, Cyborg 009. A young man known only as Cyborg 009 wakes up in a top-secret research facility. He has no memory of his previous life. He is immediately told to destroy his predecessors Cyborgs 001-008.
Eventually, the cyborgs escape along with Dr. Gilmore, one of the more sympathetic scientists involved in the cyborg soldier project. Cyborg 009 learns about his origin and the origins of the other 8 cyborgs. Most of them were randomly kidnapped and they have very diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds. He has a bit of a rival in the group in the New-York born Jet Link, and a potential love interest in the French-born Francoise Arnoul. Cyborg 009 has to deal with an emotional tug-of-war between a longing for his old life, and the pressing need to unite with his cyborg brethren against Sekar, the villainous leader of the group that turned them all into cyborgs.
F.J. Desanto and Bradley Camp‘s script is straightforward, yet still intriguing. The script can truly be enjoyed by young and old readers. Also, you do not have to be familiar with Ishinomori’s original manga or the anime to understand this story. It is a self-contained reimagining of the concept. I enjoyed this, because I’ve only seen a little bit of the anime and I have never read the manga. I also liked the fact that one of the robots that Sekar sends after the cyborgs is reminiscent of Ishinomori’s cartoonish drawing style. Cyborg 009 is a worthy reboot that has made the characters fresh and exciting for a new generation of readers.
The back of the hardcover lists this book as “Ishimori Universe, Book 1.” Hopefully, that means that more of Ishinomori’s creations will also have new life breathed into them. Plus, the ending leaves room for more stories about the cyborgs as well. Cyborg 009 is an action-packed, exciting read that does not sacrifice characterization or plot development. Kudos to Archaia for thinking outside the box when it came to reviving older concepts. I am anxious to explore more of the Ishimori Universe in the future.