by Tokyopop Cyborg 009 is the story of a half-Japanese juvenile delinquent, Shimamura Joe AKA 'Cyborg 009.' 'Black Ghost,' a top-secret organization bent on promoting global warfare, kidnaps Joe along with eight other unwanted members of society from the four corners of the world and turns them into cyborgs. Though the organization intends to turn the group into super-powered killing machines, it's not long before Joe and his new companions rebel against Black Ghost and make their escape with the help of an old scientist.
Once Joe and friends have freed themselves, Black Ghost sends a series of other cyborgs and giant robots in hot pursuit. Using their new powers and abilities, our heroes stay one step ahead of Black Ghost and its evil machinations, but can they save the world from its diabolical scheme?
Cyborg 009 began publication in Japan in 1963. Although it was scheduled to end in 1967, creator Ishinomori Shoutarou 'lost to the tears of the fans' and resurrected Cyborgs 002 and 009 from a supposed death and continued the series. Cyborg 009 eventually spawned an animated film in 1966 followed by a sequel in 1967 (Cyborg 009: Monster Wars) and 1980's Cyborg 009: Legend of Galaxy (supposedly the best in the series). There were also two animated series, one from Toei Animation that ran in the 1970's and another 49 episode series that ran from November 2001 through October 2002. The final issue of the manga was to be published in the year 2000, but unfortunately, series creator Ishinomori Shoutarou passed away early that year before he was able to finish the story.
It's also noteworthy that the Cyborg 009 team comprises members from all over the globe. When Marvel Comics relaunched a flagging X-Men comic book in the 70's, they incorporated a Russian farmworker, an African weather goddess, a German acrobat, a Canadian madman, an Asian guy with powers of flight and fire and a Native American strongman. It turned the book into an instant hit. Could Cyborg 009 have been the template for this multinational action-packed goulash? Hmmm...