Archaia Entertainment “Cyborg 009” Review

Michael Moccio ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Editor

After interviewing several of the creators involved in the production of Cyborg 009 [i|ii|iii], the graphic novel has finally hit stores to be enjoyed by the public! And let’s be honest: Archaia delivers an amazing story that surpasses much of what the big names are releasing to date.

The book is based off of the original manga by Shotaro Ishinomori, who is known widely as the Jack Kirby or Stan Lee of Japan. The manga ran from 1964 to 1981 and became one of Ishinomori’s most well-known projects, while his work on shows like Kamen Rider inspired the America version Power Rangers.

Archaia’s goal for Cyborg 009 was to reintroduce this classic work to a new audience, and they absolutely succeed.

The writing is top notch here. F.J. DeSanto does a beautiful job crafting the story. It’s linear and easy to follow, which makes engaging in the story that much easier. There’s no wasted space in the book: all the action, all the conversations, and all the exposition have an exciting and dynamic purpose that propels the story forward, which makes this book hard to put down. He fleshes out these characters to the core, and makes them human to us and makes us care about them.

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Dr. Gilmore explaining Sekar and The Black Ghost to the team.

The most fleshed out characters are Cyborg 001, Ivan Whisky; Gamo Whisky, Ivan’s father; and Doctor Gilmore, one of the scientists responsible for the Cyborgs’ creation. Joe, the main character, could have used a bit more exploration into why he fell in love with Ayumi. The villain Sekar, the leader of The Black Ghost organization, could have been expanded upon as a character, as the reader never fully understands why he does what he does and what his motivations are. Regardless, the plot is engaging enough that even without these insights, the reader can fully immerse themselves in the universe to enjoy the well-crafted story.

Ayumi and the child in question.
Ayumi and the child in question.

As always, Marcus To’s artwork is nothing short of breathtaking. He and Ian Herring, the colorist, really did amazing work on the visuals. The movement looks fluid and the characters could seemingly come off the page. No one element in any of the pages overpowers another, and everything is composed and crafted with a very talented eye. Marcus has the ability to go beyond the standard norm for comic books and create genuine art. The teamwork between Marcus and Herring gave breath to the world DeSanto created, and there just simply aren’t enough praises that do the artwork justice.

After everything that’s said and done, there are only two questions on our mind. Who was that with Ayumi on page 106? Although time-wise it would be impossible to be Joe’s child, the child has similarly styled and colored hair to Joe! And, most importantly, when will the next Cyborg 009 come out?

The book is a must read, and earned a 9/10 overall. You can pre-order the book here at Archaia’s website, or here at Barnes and Noble.

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