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F.J. DeSanto On Reinventing "Cyborg 009" For Mainstream Superheroes

F.J. DeSanto On Reinventing "Cyborg 009" For Mainstream Superheroes Image
  • Posted on 15th Sep, 2022 18:03 PM

Classic '60s cyborg superhero manga series "Cyborg 009" gets an American facelift from Archaia, and writer/producer F.J. DeSanto explains how he's keeping the series core while turning visuals over to Marcus To.

Over the past decade, manga has become more familiar to American comic fans than ever before. But while classic properties from "Astro Boy" to "Akira" had a head start on their way to becoming part of the American pop cultural firmament, one of the earliest hits of shonen manga is about to catch up: "Cyborg 009."

Created in 1964 by cartoonist Shotaro Ishinomori, "Cyborg 009" tells the story of a team of nine heroes turned to cyborg warriors by the mysterious arms dealer the Black Ghost and promptly rebel against him. The original manga ran for almost two decades and inspired a number of anime adaptations and will soon see a feature film launch in Japan. Meanwhile, Archaia has partnered with Ishimori Productions Inc. to help reinvent the property as mainstream superhero comic written by F.J. DeSanto and Bradley Cramp, and illustrated by Marcus To.


Fans may know DeSanto's name from his producing credit on "The Spirit" film or his writing of the "Immortals: Gods and Heroes" comic tie-in, but the writer is also a longtime follower of "Cyborg 009." Below, he tells CBR about his team's plans for the property from building directly off Ishinomori's original stories to presenting the multi-cultural team as they're supposed to be seen to letting To bring a mix of Western and Eastern art styles to the mix.

CBR News: "Cyborg 009" is a classic manga and anime that's come to America at a few odd times, most recently in comics when Tokyopop printed English editions of the first ten volumes. What was it that initially made you connect up with the series?

I feel a responsibility to the property because it's never been done like this before. I've been challenged, and I feel like Brand and I when we put together the story worked really hard to do something respectful of both Ishimori and the fans - which there are legions of around the world. Since the news came out, I've found so many people out there who are fans that I never knew of. I feel like one of the reasons we brought this to Archaia is that they get what it takes to put in the kind of quality that Ishimori would have brought to this. Our goal is to bring this to a whole new generation and a whole new audience, which is a daunting task but exciting at the same time. So we're all very excited about it, and we're all very serious about making this the most perfect book we can achieve.

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