True Manga Success? Being Turned Into an American Comic

I’m still not sure whether this is an amazing or disturbing thing… Someone’s really trying to make some money out of Cyborg 009. It was originally a manga which ran from 1964 (!) – 1981 in Japan. Tokyopop translated the first ten volumes, which are now out of print. There were two movies, two radio dramas, and three anime TV series (plus a spin-off film).

In October, comiXology licensed the series for digital distribution, along with the rest of author Shotaro Ishinomori’s catalog. Right now, there are five volumes available, each with a free preview.

More surprising to me is the announcement that Archaia will be releasing a graphic novel adaptation for Western audiences. The hardcover is written by F.J. DeSanto and Bradley Cramp and illustrated by Marcus To.

Cyborg 009 GN sample art

The story itself is about nine kidnapped humans turned into cyborg weapons who fight back against their captors, a good basic manga plot. The art and premise sound like a good choice for a transplant, with lots of superhero-like elements. No specific release date has been announced, although the graphic novel will also be available digitally. I do wonder how they’re squishing 30-some volumes into one volume, or if this is intended to start another series.

2 Comments

  1. Jim Perreault

    I recently saw a promo piece about a new movie version that is being released in Japan. It looked like a pretty drastic revamp, although I am not familiar with the original.

    The most interesting bit that I found was the fact that the movie is all CGI generated, but then goes through a post processing step to make the characters look hand drawn.

  2. The original manga is very episodic (in fact, continuity seemed to break down entirely at points in those first ten volumes) so this is more likely to just cover something like the first arc.

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