The Cyborg 009 graphic novel won’t be out until July but Archaia Entertainment has released a digital preview titled Cyborg 009: Chapter 000. It’s been adapted for a “Western audience” yet remains faithful to creator Shotaro Ishinomori’s vision according to writer F.J. DeSanto, who was interviewed for the book.
“I think it was more visual than anything else,” says DeSanto. “To be honest, we haven’t really deviated to much from the core essence of the characters. They’re still the same exact characters as before. The beauty of Ishinomori’s creation is that he was so ahead of his time!”
Included is a reprint of the original manga that features caricatures like an unemployed Indian and a blackface slave. Artist Marcus To’s interpretation of the characters is less politically incorrect but their overall appearance remains intact as do their origins.
“The story is still about nine random people who have been kidnapped by Black Ghost,” DeSanto assures readers. “They’ve been turned into cyborgs, the escape, and they turn the tables on their captors. We fleshed of the characters a little bit, especially Joe (Shimamura, a.k.a. 009,the lead character of the series). We gave him a little more of an emotional stake in it.”
That investment is apparently due to the hero having a new love interest. The preview opens with Cyborg 009 on the operating. He dreams about being separated from his love and receives a telepathic wake up call from Cyborg 001 that saves his life. Cyborg 009: Chapter 000 features the first ever truly digital variant cover created exclusively for comiXology.
Similar to Marvel Infinite Comics, each page plays of the previous one to create the appearance of motion while maintaining the static format of a comic book. The cover cleverly uses Cyborg 009, whose primary superpower is the ability to move so fast that everyone else appears to be standing still. Each turn of the page shows him striking his statuesque opponent.
Archaia Editor-in-Chief Stephen Christy described it as a “digital flip book,” in an interview with IGN.
“Digital allows us to innovate in a way that we never could in print,” Christy explains. “For me, in terms of the collector element, it’s all about added value. We’re going to be printing the first 17 pages of the graphic novel in April in a special $1 preview issue. But not only will the print issue not have the amazing digital cover, it won’t have the first 61 pages of the original manga, which we’re also including in the digital issue to give readers a taste of the original material.”
Download Cyborg 009: Chapter 000 at comixology for $2.99.