|Published by||Weekly Shonen King, various publishers after 1965.|
Its legacy has spanned over 5 decades, and has spawned a franchise with 5 feature films, 3 television anime series and an American graphic novel adaptation, as well as a multitude of merchandise and a special exhibit wing of the Ishinomaki Mangattan Museum entirely dedicated to it. The manga itself had finally concluded in early 2014; after over a decade long hiatus caused by the death of Ishinomori in 1998, the manga was completed by his son Jo and his co-workers using the draft notes he had left behind which he wrote during the final years of his life.
In late 2014, to commemorate Cyborg 009's then passed 50th anniversary (which was on July 19), Dynamic Productions contacted Ishimori Productions to do a collaborative crossover project. This was something that Go Nagai had wanted to do with his former mentor Ishinomori for years but never got the chance because of Ishinomori's death. While images were teased as being separate projects in their early announcements in 2015, it was finally revealed to be a crossover OVA film called Cyborg 009 vs. Devilman which was released in October 2015.
9 individuals from around the world are abducted by a shadowy war-profiteering and terrorist organization called Black Ghost, and converted into living cybernetic weapons. After breaking free from their captors, they use their new superhuman abilities to combat the machinations of Black Ghost while being hunted by them, as well as combat other bizarre phenomena that threaten Earth.
While campy and lighthearted at times, like all good science fiction, the series delves into slightly deeper and serious territory such as analyzing religion, war, the dangers of unethical scientific experimentation, cultural barriers, what makes us human and if an individual still retains some humanity despite having characteristics of such removed.
- Joe Shimamura/Cyborg 009- A Japanese boy who possesses super speed via an "advanced accelerator module" as well as (to a lesser degree) the powers of the previous 8 cyborgs. In his original manga incarnation and some other adaptations, he is additionally noted to be biracial, with his father having been a foreign man.
- Pyunma/Cyborg 008- An African man who has been modified for underwater combat. He is identified as being from Kenya in the last serialized one-shot, which is carried over to the OVA.
- Great Britain (aka G.B.)/Cyborg 007- A Briton who has shape-shifting powers used for infiltration missions.
- Chang Changku/Cyborg 006- A Chinese man who has the ability to breathe fire and burrow underground with it.
- Geronimo Jr./ Cyborg 005- A Native American who has super strength, enhanced skin which gives him high resistance to damage (but not invulnerability), and a sixth sense that detects imbalances in nature and the human heart.
- Albert Heinrich/Cyborg 004- A German who has cybernetic implants that make his entire body a weapon. (gatling gun fingers,concealed rocket launchers in his knee joints, etc.)
- Francoise Arnoul/Cyborg 003- A Frenchwoman and the only female member, she possesses super hearing, X-ray vision and telescopic vision.
- Jet Link/Cyborg 002- An American who has jets in his feet that allow him to fly at Mach 5, as well as an accelerator module in the original manga and some adaptations.
- Ivan Whisky/Cyborg 001- A Russian baby whose brain was enhanced by cybernetics, his powers are super intellect, teleportation, telekinesis, ESP, psionic blasts and telepathy. Despite being the most powerful cyborg on the team, Ivan's body cannot maintain the awesome power he wields for very long and usually tires out after using it. As a result he spends most of his time sleeping and only uses his powers when the team is in a situation they can't handle on their own.
- Professor Issac Gilmore-The mentor of the 00 Cyborgs and the team's scientific adviser.
- Black Ghost- A shadowy terrorist organization that plots to start World War III so that it can profit off its weapon designs on the black market.
- The Mythos Cyborgs- A group of powerful and more advanced cyborgs created by the evil Black Ghost scientist Dr. Gaia, all of which are modeled after the Gods and heroes of ancient Greek mythology. Notable among their ranks are Apollo, Achilles, and Helena.
Cyborg 009 laid the foundation of not only jump-starting Shotaro Ishinomori's solo career as a famed manga artist, but its story elements would be reworked and integrated to create the Kamen Rider and Super Sentai franchises which led to the tokusatsu hero TV boom of the 1970s and 1980s. Its influence can also be seen in pop culture references and parodies in anime, manga and J-dramas such as Aoi Honoo.