Comic-Con 2012: 'Cyborg 009' Coming to American Comics, Movie in Development

Archaia Publishing will release an American adaptation of Japan's first super-team; Here's an exclusive first look on the art.
Archaia Publishing will release an American adaptation of Japan's first super-team; Here's an exclusive first look on the art.

Cyborg 009, the first superhero team created in Japan, is getting the English-language treatment, with Archaia Publishing teaming up with Ishimori Production Inc. to introduce American audiences to the property.

Archaia will publish an all-new graphic novel while Ishimori, the company founded by Cyborg 009’s creator, the late Shotaro Ishinomori, will explore taking the property to the big-screen and a transmedia level.

Writer-producer F.J. DeSanto and Bradley Cramp, the co-writer of Columbia’s hot sci-fi project Invertigo, are penning the book. Art duties will be handled by Canadian Marcus To (DC's Red Robin).

DeSanto, who was a co-producer on the Frank Miller-directed adaptation of The Spirit, will act as a producer on the feature and other potential Ishimori projects.

Archaia plans on unveiling the project and some art at Comic-Con. HeatVision has the exclusive first-look at the art for the project, right next to a classic shot.

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The creative team, along with Archaia editor-in-chief Stephen Christy, have spent the last six months developing the new book by taking the important elements of the original manga and presenting a fresh and modern story that can appeal to a worldwide audience. The goal is to publish the graphic novel around Comic-Con 2013.

Cyborg 009 follows a group of normal people of various backgrounds who are kidnapped by an evil organization named the Black Ghost, which experiments on them and turns them into cyborgs possessing extra-human abilities. Nine rebel against the institution and vow to bring it down.

“With the world in love with superheroes and superhero movies, the timing is perfect for a re-introduction of Ishinomori’s creations,” said DeSanto. “The book was created during the Cold War and its themes of teamwork and global co-operation still resonate in today’s culture and climate. The book was clearly ahead of its time.”

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Ishinomori, considered the Stan Lee of Japan, created the manga back in 1963, the same year that saw the creation of X-Men and The Avengers in America. The Japanese comics ran throughout the 1960s and 1970s, were spun-off in several anime TV shows and movies, even a radio drama.

And while Ishinomori passed away in 1998, Cyborg 009 is still going strong. Currently being published in Japan is the ongoing manga series Cyborg 009 Conclusion: God’s War, which is the final chapter of Ishimori’s original manga series and is based on original concepts and artwork that he created before his death.

(The initial manga were translated by TokyoPop in the 2000’s but this will be the first time the property is being adapted specifically for a modern and English audience.)

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Ishinomori created dozens if not hundreds of characters, with the most popular one titles Kamen Rider (Masked Rider). Over the course of 41 years, more than a thousand episodes of Kamen Rider and 39 feature films have been produced. It is now the number one boys merchandise seller in Japan.