|Cyborg 009 (Manga)|
|Publication date||July 19, 1964|
Cyborg 009: Conclusion GOD'S WAR
Cyborg 009 is a manga series by Shotaro Ishinomori. It was first published on July 19, 1964, and concluded regular serialization in 1981, with a brief further serialization occurring in 1985.
It was his first major success, with it introducing manga's first super-powered team. It is notable for its long and varied publication history, running through several magazines throughout its run, as well as detailing the effects of war and the relationships between people of different races. The manga was ultimately unfinished due to Ishinomori's death in 1998.
However, the ending of the manga was eventually delivered in Cyborg 009: Conclusion GOD'S WAR, based on some of Ishinomori's concept ideas and drafts for a final arc that he had never had the chance to write out. This arc is an updating of the earlier and unfinished "Angel" and "Battle with the Gods" storylines that were both intended to serve the same purpose; as the cyborgs' longest and final battle.
The manga stands at a total of 27 volumes in its most recent re-release by Kadokawa Shoten. If adding the 5 volumes of Conclusion GOD'S WAR completed in 2014, the manga has a total of 32 volumes and has taken 50 years to complete.
Black Ghost, a terrorist organization bent on starting another World War in order to profit from it, has developed cyborg soldiers to aid in their plans for domination on Earth and in outer space.
However, the first nine cyborgs to be developed wind up rebelling against Black Ghost's plans and escape, along with the scientist Isaac Gilmore. These cyborgs, lead by their most advanced model 009, fight against Black Ghost and their attempts to not only kill them but provide warring nations with highly advanced weapons that would cause certain annihilation.
After many battles, the Cyborgs confront Black Ghost in the Underground Empire of Yomi for a final showdown. 009 finds himself transported inside a giant statue to fight Black Ghost's figurehead leader Skull, along with his controllers (a set of three brains).
With the destruction of Black Ghost, he and the other 00 Cyborgs confront other threats to the world, ranging from terrorists to supernatural beings. Eventually, a new Black Ghost organization rises, and the team are called back to fight against them, along with experiencing more supernatural encounters.
Creation of the series
In 1960, Shotaro Ishinomori had been in a creative slump and had wanted to gather ideas for manga, in researching other countries. He had also hoped to use his research for his dream of being a film director. After borrowing ¥2,000,000 from publishers for his world travel, he embarked on a three-month international trip through various countries, through the autumn of 1961. The places he visited, as well as other countries he had interest in, would be pivotal to the creation of this work.
During his travel, he happened to see the July 11, 1960 issue of LIFE Magazine which detailed an article on the concept of a "Cyborg"; a human being that would be extensively modified with robotics to travel into space. This would also inspire him heavily for his eventual series, along with the concept of baseball due to the fact that a team had to have at least nine players.
Alfred Bester's book The Stars My Destination also played a pivotal inspiration for 009's accelerator device, and the iconic facial scars from the story would wind up reflected in Kamen Rider, as well as on some minor characters within this series.
The title of the series went through some drafts, with the possibilities being Nineman, Cyborgman 9, 009, and Cyborg Soldier. Eventually, he settled on "Cyborg 009", although the "Cyborg Soldier" title would see some use as well (see "Serialization History").
For more information, see List of Cyborg 009 characters
- Cyborg 001
- Cyborg 002
- Cyborg 003
- Cyborg 004
- Cyborg 005
- Cyborg 006
- Cyborg 007
- Cyborg 008
- Cyborg 009
- Dr. Gilmore
The serialization of Cyborg 009 tends to be split into three terms by some fan historians; "Early term" (1964-1970), "Middle term" (1975-1978), and "Late term" (1979-1992).
However, some will also be more distinct in their divisions of this history, and count at least eight different terms for the series. The manga is known for its periods of hiatuses, and for changes it underwent due to different publishers and Ishinomori's own initiative, with character and story settings fluctuating to reflect the changing times and society.
Phase 1: Weekly Shonen King (Shonen Gahosha, 1964-1965)
The series commenced in July 1964's issue 30 with the Birth arc, detailing the origin of 009 and the escape of the cyborgs. The Assassins arc, Deep Sea Wanderer (also known as "Wandering"), and Vietnam arcs soon followed, along with The Mythos Cyborgs.
However, during the run of Mythos , a new editor-in-chief was hired for the magazine and Ishinomori ran into trouble with the editorial department. He was told that the manga would be cancelled soon, the editor citing that the arc was too "confusing" for children to follow with its themes and multiple characters. The Mythos arc was thus reluctantly wrapped up at the end of September 1965, with a rushed ending that left the 00 cyborgs' fates uncertain.
This ending would be slightly extended for the volume collections by 20 pages, most notably depicting a battle between 001 and the villain Woman Esper going on as the Magma Island is destroyed. Even with the revisions, the arc still ended in an anti-climactic matter.
Ishinomori would write one last story for Weekly Shonen King at the start of the following year, titled "The Man in the High Castle". This incorporated the change of turning 007 into a young child, which was done to tie into the upcoming animated film adaptation. It also featured a revised design for 001 that left his eyes exposed, due to suggestions made by the Weekly Shonen King editor. These changes did not last long.
When the Birth arc was collected into volume edition, the origins for the other cyborgs that were drawn in the second serialization (see below) were included, along with a prologue explaining the Black Ghost organization.
Separate Shonen King (Shonen Gahosha, 1965-1966)
While the manga was still running regularly in Weekly Shonen King, Separate Shonen King first ran a special story in January 1965 titled Cyborg Soldiers: Prologue, which told of the first eight cyborgs' origins.
The stories Vacuum War, The Aurora Strategy, The Golden Lion, and A Phantom Dog followed through the year and into early 1966. All of these stories ran under the title "Cyborg Soldiers". The first story was excluded from some reprints and not considered canon, presumably due to the story having the cyborgs go into space (which would lessen the impact of developments in the Yomi arc). These latter four stories were also published after the Mythos arc had ended, and made no reference to it.
In collected editions, "A Phantom Dog" and "The Golden Lion" are sometimes placed after the Mythos arc, although other reprints place them after Vietnam to keep Mythos as a standalone arc. "The Aurora Strategy" is usually placed before the Wandering arc, owing to several textual (and visual) alterations made by Ishinomori in an attempt to fit it there.
Interestingly, while "Vacuum War" was initially excluded from collected editions, it did first appear in reprinted form as an unrelated story at the end of the first edition of Kikaider volume 5.
Phase 2: Weekly Shonen Magazine (Kodansha, 1966-1967)
Ishinomori continued the series in July 1966, starting with a special feature in issue 27 titled "Prologue". This presented an altered version of the 00 cyborgs' origin. By Ishinomori's intent, this chapter is not meant to be seen as canon, due to some of the changes he was made to incorporate for the ease of film viewers that were starting to read the manga (particularly 007 being seen as a child). The original magazine serialization even had Joe starting out as a racer, ala the film, and getting into an accident, which lead to his remodeling. This was altered for the tankobon edition, so he would come out of the crash unharmed, and then flash back to what had happened to him years before.
A few weeks later with issue #30, The Underground Empire of Yomi arc commenced. At the time, Ishinomori had avoided references to the Mythos arc and its canon status was deemed questionable due to the lack of its mention in articles for the series which treated Vietnam as the previous arc, although he had expressed an idea of possibly rewriting Mythos someday. Ishinomori was able to resume the Cyborg 009 feature due to the involvement of the Weekly Shonen Magazine editor Teruo Miyahara, who would allow him to write a satisfying resolution to the series.
The Yomi arc ended in March 1967, and was intended to be the final storyline. However, due to controversy and emotional outcry in fan letters over the ending to the arc having 009 and 002 die, Ishinomori was soon convinced to resume the manga and retcon the ending, after it moved to the next magazine. Miyahara was disappointed by the outcome in the series being revived, as he detailed in a 2005 retrospective "Shonen Magazine Editing Struggles", noting that he knew of the ending twist when Ishinomori began the arc, but that the backlash was unexpected. The final sequence in which 009 and 002 burn up in the atmosphere was an intentional reference to Ray Bradbury's short story "Kaleidoscope", down to the two being mistaken for a shooting star to wish on.
In reprints, "Prologue" tends to be placed before the Yomi arc, although it is also sometimes placed before "Monster Island".
The Bomb Model "Raiden" (Kodansha, 1966)
In Kodansha's "Separate Shonen Magazine", Ishinomori rewrote and retold "Vacuum War". It was presumed that he may have been unhappy with the original telling, although the new story wound up becoming an amalgam of "Vacuum War" and "The Man in the High Castle" due to Ishinomori recycling artwork from both (due to a possible deadline issue). This also leads to 007 being briefly seen in his child form.
This version was also not intended to be seen as canon, likely due to it relying on recycling artwork and dialogue. Some collected editions left out the chapter (along with "Vacuum War" and "The Man in the High Castle") due to Ishinomori's intent. Later collected editions usually place this chapter in the middle of the Wandering arc, along with the two other non-canon stories. This may lead to confusion from new readers, particularly about the state of 007.
Phase 3: Adventure King (Akita Shoten, 1967-1969)
After the jump to Adventure King in May 1967, the Monster Island arc commenced and included the aforementioned retcon of 009 and 002's fates, where the two are revealed to have survived and the team regroups to fight against a remnant of the Black Ghost organization. It was followed by The Middle East, Immigration, The Song of Lorelei, and The Bottom of the Sea. While the Adventure King run initially focused on the team fighting against the remnants of Black Ghost, this setting declined after the first two arcs.
The Weekly Shonen Magazine "Prologue" chapter and "The Bomb Model "Raiden"" were also reprinted as special features during this publication time, with the latter being retitled "The Dr. Kaminari Rescue Operation".
In 1969, Ishinomori opted to end the manga once more with the Angels arc, but various difficulties lead him to leave off on a cliffhanger and he informed readers that he would need time to plot out the finale. The series was then dropped from Adventure King.
Reprints of this era have encountered some censorship due to elements considered insensitive to disabled people and victims of nuclear radiation (see Retcons section). The original manuscripts are believed to have been lost.
Phase 4: COM (Mushi, 1969-1970)
The Battle with the Gods arc began in October 1969, and was the next attempt at finishing the series, being a revised version of the "Angels" story. The arc infamously features anachronical storytelling, with some events taking place much earlier or later than the subsequent chapter, and others occurring after unseen events.
Ishinomori's intent was to tell the story out of order, but then put it in the correct sequencing when he'd finish it and publish it in tankobon form. The final storyline was meant to be split into three different phases, known as "Angels", "Devils", and "The Battle with the Gods". However, due to Ishinomori's writer's block, fan complaints over the structure and the sex scene between 009 and 003, as well as other difficulties in continuing the story, this arc cut off on another cliffhanger. The series was then put on hiatus. Ishinomori would later attempt a light novel of "Battle with the Gods" in 1973, but this too wound up unfinished.
This arc was not reprinted in the first tankobon edition due to its unfinished state (although "Angels" was), but would see reprint in later collected editions. It was also featured in the 1978 Asahi Sonorama book "Cyborg 009: The World". Due to the hiatus that the series was put on, the Sunday Comics tankobon were briefly suspended, wrapping up with "Angels" at volume 10.
Non-Canon One-Shots (1971-1972)
In light of the complications of completing the series, Ishinomori opted to first write two one-shot stories, that were not intended to adhere to the greater canon of the series. In addition to being reprinted in volume releases, they can be seen in outside books about the series (such as "Cyborg 009 a la Cult" and "Cyborg 009: Large Anatomy").
- "Cyborg 009 and the 300 Million Yen Criminal" (Medium One, January 1971)
- "Dinosaur" (FunKinder TV, March 1972)
Phase 5: Shojo Comic (Shogakukan, 1975-1976)
Cyborg 009 ran as an occasional feature in the magazine through these two years, with a trilogy of stories focused on myths and mysterious female characters.
- "The City of Wind" (1975, issue #38)
- "The Snow Carnival" (1976, issue #8)
- "Edda" (1976, issues #31 to #33)
The character designs were slightly tweaked for the Shojo Comic audience, particularly with the style of 009 and 003's eyes.
Phase 6: Various publishers (1976-1978)
The series continued to run for a few more brief stories through various magazines, with the series continuing its more experimental turn.
- "Deinonychus" (Monthly Shonen Jump, Shueisha, June 1976)
- "Green Hole" (Play, Akita Shoten, August 1976)
- "Mysterious Star" (Adventure King, Akita Shoten, New Years' special 1977)
- "Phantom Island" (Weekly Shonen Magazine, Kodansha, 1978 issue #2)
Monthly Shonen Manga (Asahi Sonorama, 1977-1979)
After the one-shots above, Ishinomori began another long arc, titled The Undersea Pyramid. However, it experienced a brief hiatus through the November to December 1978 issues.
At the time, Ishinomori had hoped for this arc to be the penultimate storyline of the series, with a revamped "Battle with the Gods" to act as the final arc, but the upcoming release of the 1979 anime caused plans to be altered, with more manga required to be written while the show was running. This arc wrapped up sometime after the anime began, and while the Weekly Shonen Sunday run had taken off.
The Sunday Comics tankobon release resumed for volumes 11 to 15, collecting the Shojo Comic stories, the 1976-1978 specials, and this arc. However, no stories following Undersea Pyramid were reprinted under this specific release.
Phase 7: Weekly Shonen Sunday (Shogakukan, 1979-1981)
The Neo Black Ghost arc commenced in March 1979, to tie into the aforementioned anime adaptation. Although initial stories in the run featured the Neo Black Ghost organization as the threat, most stories focused on individual members of the team and human drama, and the team members characterizations underwent some maturation. The story "Arctic Ghost" suggests that nearly two decades have passed since the start of the series, with the Neo Black Ghost arc set at some point in the 1980s ("198X") and the character of Anna Kurishima being in her late teens at the least or early twenties at most.
However, this detail also appears to have been inconsistently adhered to, and the "Arctic Ghost" story itself also implies a sliding timeline and that the team formed in the early 1970s, leading for some fans to consider this run a separate continuity.
While Ishinomori oversaw a few early concepts of the 1979 anime and some elements were reflected in the manga (such as Gilmore's mansion, Joe's car "The Stranger", the existence of a "Neo Black Ghost", and the redesigned Dolphin), both versions diverged heavily from each other.
Shortly before this relaunch, Ishinomori had written a story focused on "The Count of Saint-Germain", as an epilogue to the Undersea Pyramid arc.
The stories serialized in this run included:
- "Conan, the Giant of the North" (1979, issue #9)
- "The Golden Triangle" (issues #13-19)
- "Arctic Ghost" (issues #20-26)
- "Aztec" (issues #27-33)
- "The City of the Future (Computopia)" (issues #34-40)
- "The Glacier of Love" (issue #41, spotlight on 002)
- "A Machine's Machinery" (issue #42, spotlight on 004)
- "The Frozen Autumn" (issues #43-44, spotlight on 006)
- "Passing Shot" (issue #45, spotlight on 003)
- "Blood Spirit" (issue #46, spotlight on 005)
- "The Strange Star Flower" (issues #47-48, spotlight on 001)
- "Baby Poppins" (issue #49, spotlight on 001)
- "The Frozen Time" (issue #50, spotlight on 009)
- "Fountain of the Water Spirits (issues #51-52, spotlight on 008)
- "Cyborg Soldiers, For Whom Do You Fight?" (1980, issue #1, New Year special, spotlight on 007)
- "The Diary of Chang Changku's Struggling Restaurant" (issue #2, spotlight on 006)
- "The Red Shoes" (issues #3-4, spotlight on 003)
- "Farewell, Nessie" (issues #5-7, spotlight on 009)
- "Ishtar's Dragon" (issues #8-14)
- "Hepatica Symphony (issue #15, spotlight on 004)
- "Pharaoh Virus" (issues #16-18, spotlight on 003)
- "The Modern Narcissus" (issue #19, spotlight on 003)
- "The Seven Children" (issue #20, spotlight on 001)
- "Invisible Strings" (issue #21, spotlight on Dr. Gilmore)
- "Cosmo Child" (issues #22-30)
- "Rainy Days on the Yamanote Line" (issue #31, spotlight on 009)
- "Night of the Star Festival" (issues #32-33, spotlight on 009)
- "Vision of a Butterfly (Akaboshi Parnassius Glacialis)" (issue #34, spotlight on 002)
- "The Dolphin and the Boy" (issue #35, spotlight on 001)
- "Metamorphosis (Romeo and Juliet)" (issues #36-37, spotlight on 007)
- "Aphrodite (The Empire of Beauty and Pleasure)" (issues #38-42)
- "Legend of the Star Mermaid (Den Lille Havfrue)" (issues #43-51)
- "Deep Space (THE INNER SPACE TRIP)" (issue #52, 1981 issues #1-11)
Some stories had two titles when they ran in Weekly Shonen Sunday, with the alternative being shown in romaji or in katakana in parentheses.
These stories, as well as the ones in Shonen Big Comic, were reprinted in Shogakukan's "Shonen Sunday Comics" tankobon releases, which ran for 12 volumes.
Shonen Big Comic (Shogakukan, 1979-1980)
Other short stories in the "Neo Black Ghost" arc ran in a simultaneous, less frequent serialization in this magazine, providing more focus on the individual team members. Some of these stories featured much more mature themes, due to Big Comic's older demographic.
This run included:
- "Sargasso Sea" (1979, issue #7)
- "Eyes and Ears" (issue #11, spotlight on 003)
- "The Kidnapping" (issue#14, spotlight on 001)
- "Father and Son" (issue#17, spotlight on 007)
- "Go for it, Big Brother!" (issue #19, spotlight on 009)
- "Clockwork Heart" (issue #24, spotlight on 004)
- "At the Zoo" (1980, issue #6, spotlight on 001)
Phase 8: SF Animedia (Gakken, 1985-1986)
Ishinomori briefly resumed the manga's serialization with The People Drifting Between Space and Time, revisiting the Immigration story and seemingly ignoring the events of the Shonen Sunday serialization. The Count of Saint-Germain reappeared in the arc, but with a modified appearance.
This arc was planned to be the penultimate chapter of the series, but due to Ishinomori's death, remains as the final canonical arc and the series leaves off with no conclusion. Before it was collected into later tankobon editions of the entire series, the arc was first reprinted as a one-volume book by Nora Comics in 1987.
Extra: Sankei Shimbun (New Years 1992)
After the previous serialization, Ishinomori wrote one last commemorative one-shot for the New Years' celebration, titled Emergency Simulation 1992. The manga was officially put on hiatus afterwards.
This one-shot is notable for displaying the cyborgs' reactions to the contemporary changes in their home countries (such as the reunification of Germany, the collapse of the Soviet Union, etc.), as well as a revised character design for 008. It was originally published in full color, although some of the subsequent reprints have it rendered in grayscale. 001, 002, and 004 are notably depicted as blond men, and 003 with red hair.
While this one-shot has been reprinted in some collections, others opt to leave it out such as the case of the "Complete Works" edition by Kadokawa Shoten.
Phase 9 (Posthumous Sequel and Conclusion, Shogakukan, 2006-2014)
Other Related Stories
Mini-comics (Asahi Sonorama, 1965-1968)
Around this time, Ishinomori was contracted to draw a series of yearly, full-color short comics to go along with the vinyl record drama albums for Asahi Sonorama. Four stories came about as a result:
- Volcanic Island Shock Tactics
- Attack the Ghost Island! (loosely based off of the "Birth" arc and 1966 film)
- Monster Wars (based off the film of the same name)
- The Confrontation of Antarctica (loosely based off of "The Aurora Strategy")
Although 007 appeared as an adult in the first story, his appearance was modified within the next three to comply with the film producers wanting him to be a child. 009 also became a racer, as he was in the 1960s film continuity.
Though these comics are not meant to be in continuity, they are included in some compilations due to their part in the history of the series.
Cyborg 009: SF Roman (Asahi Sonorama, 1978)
Main article: Cyborg 009: SF Roman
A light novel was later commissioned by Asahi Sonorama. Although Ishinomori did not write the story for the novel (with Akiyoshi Sakai being at the helm instead), he did provide several full-color illustrations.
It provided an alternate story for the cyborgs' early adventures, with the plot taking cues from both "The Underground Empire of Yomi" and the "Monster Wars" film.
Non-009 Stories Later Included in Compilations (1978-1979)
In 1978, in another Ishinomori-penned manga series titled "Peeping Through a Fusuma" that ran in Play Comic, a chapter titled "Cyborg Soldier" was published. In the chapter, 004 makes a cameo as the titular soldier, and winds up maimed and killed in a fight against a mysterious alien being. Before he dies, he manages to encounter the main character of the series, and has a final conversation with him. This story is only intended as a nod to the Cyborg 009 series and not meant to be treated as applicable to its continuity, though it was still included in some later manga releases.
In April 1979, Ishinomori published the story "Barefoot Zanzibar" in Boy Challenge Magazine. The plot focused on a young African athlete that went by the name of "Zanzibar", and his struggles in his country. For some reason, Ishinomori decided to retcon the story into being part of the Cyborg 009 continuity when the 1979-1981 Weekly Shonen Sunday and Big Comic runs were collected into tankobon format. A framing sequence was drawn, featuring 008 relating the story of Zanzibar to the rest of the team.
See List of Cyborg 009 volumes and reprints for more, detailed information.
Cyborg 009 has been collected into several editions over time, each with a varying volume count and way of ordering the stories. By either Ishinomori's own choice or editorial, readers will be able to find some differences in chronology or artwork and text, depending on which edition they buy.
To date, seven different publishers had handled the series in its serialization: Shonen Gahosha, Kodansha, Akita Shoten, Mushi (defunct), Asahi Sonorama, Shogakukan, and Gakken.
In republications, Kodansha, Akita Shoten, Shogakukan, and Kadokawa (formerly Media Factory) all share the publishing rights for the series. The reprint company Fukkan has also currently been publishing deluxe editions of the series, collecting it by era.
Tokyopop Release (USA)
Through 2003 to 2005, Tokyopop released 10 volumes of the series, covering the "Birth" to "Yomi" arcs. The basic translation was provided by Bryan Matsumoto, with Mike Wellman credited for the reversioning for the English scripts.
This release of the manga followed the chronology used in Media Factory's then-recent "MF Comics" re-release of the series. However, some continuity anomalies that existed in the Japanese tankobon releases were carried over, such as "The Man in the High Castle" being placed in the middle of the Wandering arc (as opposed to after Mythos), and "Vacuum War" and "The Bomb Model "Raiden"" also being placed in that arc.
This translation of the manga left most sound effects untranslated, and also contained numerous translation errors and significant liberties with the dialogue. After Comixology gained distribution rights to the Ishinomori catalogue in 2012, these ten volumes were re-released with new covers, while keeping the old Tokyopop translation.
As of 2015, the USA rights to the manga have been effectively "frozen" by Ishimori Productions, with Comixology only allowed to release the recycled Tokyopop volumes, owing to the low sales on the site as well as the low sales that the manga encountered while it was being published by Tokyopop.
For detailed information on the changes made by Mike Wellman, see the article Alterations in the Tokyopop Release of Cyborg 009.
Retcons and Revisions
Throughout the manga's publication history, different retcons and changes were employed:
- The team's origin was rewritten in the Weekly Shonen Magazine "Prologue". However, Ishinomori himself did not consider this to apply to canon. Within the rewritten version, 007 is depicted as a child, and as mentioned before, 000's origin initially followed the film telling before the reprints excised that portion. Editions that include this chapter before the Yomi arc tend to fail to explain its non-canonical status, or the discrepancies between it and Yomi.
- 009 originally had the name of "Joe Muramatsu" in early chapters of the Weekly Shonen King serialization, however, later reprints corrected any instances of "Muramatsu" to "Shimamura", to keep consistency with later chapters and perhaps due to "Muramatsu" being an oversight by Ishinomori (as his drafts had the surname as "Shimamura"). Even so, volume 1 of the initial Sunday Comics reprint keeps the references to "Muramatsu".
- 003 did not initially have her given name stated and was simply referred to as "Arnoul" by her brother. This was corrected and revised with reprints, although some early editions kept the initial panel of Jean screaming "ARNOUL!".
- 004 was only referred to as "Heinrich" in the initial arcs either due to Ishinomori using Japanese formalities or having not yet decided on his full name. Tokyopop's edition attempts to correct this by having Hilda refer to him as "Albert" in his origin sequence. The later releases of the Yomi arc (such as the MF Comics edition) also edit in his given name, when he reveals his name to Vena.
- The first version of "The Aurora Strategy" originally took place with the team being on a trip in England, but Ishinomori revised the text to have it take place in Yokohama, which carried over to all subsequent printings. A panel depicting the Thames River was removed, and other artwork alterations were made.
- The young girl in "The Aurora Strategy" story was originally named "Iruka", however, Ishinomori revised her name to be "Cynthia" in the Sunday Comics reprint. This is likely due to the fact that "Iruka Dolphin" would have been a redundant name, as "Iruka" is Japanese for "dolphin". Even so, some later editions such as the Shotaro World and MF Comics releases (which Tokyopop sourced from) reverted her name to "Iruka", before Kadokawa's reprints changed it back to "Cynthia".
- As mentioned previously, 009 and 002 were intended to have died at the end of the Yomi arc. Fan demand necessitated the retcon seen in the Monster Island arc, where 009 narrates that 001 rescued them from burning up with his teleportation power. However, he then adds that he and 002 were left comatose and needing to be remodeled due to damage they received from re-entering the atmosphere, and that 001 himself fell into a deep sleep from using up so much of his energy.
- The team originally wore green uniforms in the "Birth" and "Assassins" arcs, as seen in early Weekly Shonen King cover artwork during 1964, though a red uniform would be seen in a December issue. The uniforms' color schemes were officially changed to red during the Vietnam arc in 1965. When it came time to do the deluxe color release of the manga in the 1970, Ishinomori and assistants depicted their uniforms as red in the earlier arcs to keep consistency.
- 008 originally did not have a home country specified, with him simply noted to be from "Africa". However, by the time of Emergency Simulation 1992, Ishinomori decided upon him being from Kenya. While this creates some oddities and discrepancy with his initial backstory involving him being sold into slavery (when Kenya had become independent by 1964), it is to be noted that later chapters of the manga and the 1979 anime adaptation put more focus on Pyunma being a resistance fighter for his country.
- Dr. Semushi in the "Monster Island" arc had his name altered to "Dr. Mamushi" for reprints, as "Semushi" means "hunchback".
- The "Immigration" arc had a plot point censored in reprints, due to it being considered insensitive to survivors of nuclear radiation. Rina's mutation of having six toes was redrawn so that she had a bite scar on her foot, and her brother being born without arms was changed to him losing his arms by vicious animals.
- Nana Kashima was originally a sixth grader in "Clockwork Heart". Due to her sexual portrayal and her delinquent behavior in the chapter, later reprints altered the references of her being in sixth grade to her being in eighth grade, in an attempt to downplay pedophilic implications.
- "The Aurora Strategy" was reprinted under the title "The Neo-Nazis" in some early editions (Sunday Comics, the Kodansha full-color release, and Shogakukan Bunko).
- The "Assassins" arc is sometimes retitled "The Black Ghost" in some reprints as well, such as the Kodansha full-color edition, but most notably in the MF Comics edition (as it was sourced for Tokyopop's localization).
- "A Phantom Dog" was given the name "Kubikuro" in the first Sunday Comics reprint, as well as Kodansha's full-color release, the Shogakukan Bunko release, and Akita Shoten's deluxe reprints.
- "Monster Island" was originally titled "Phantom Island" in its first printing. "The Middle East" had its title altered to be "Moses in the Desert" in some reprints.
Supplemental Reading Material
Throughout Cyborg 009's publication history, a number of books have been published which provide more information on the development of the series.
- Cyborg 009: a la Cult: Covers the development of the series and includes Ishinomori's planning notes, along with reprinting the early 1970s one-shots and reprinting other manga stories which were either influential to the creation of the series or that contain cameos of its characters.
- Cyborg 009: The Complete Book: The first edition covered the history of the series up until the concept for "Conclusion: GOD'S War", and an announcement of the then-in development Cyborg Soldier anime adaptation. A revised 2012 edition covers the Cyborg Soldier anime, and developments that had been more recent like 009 RE: Cyborg (which received its own Complete Book).
- Cyborg 009 Research Guides: Written by Junichi Fukuda, editor behind the Shotaro World edition of the manga. These five volumes include material that he was unable to fit into the Shotaro World release, along with his own theories and research behind mysterious points of the series. They were sold through the Shotaro Ishinomori Fan Club website.
- Shotaro Ishinomori Character Picture Guide vol.1: Part of a discontinued series that was to profile all of Ishinomori's works. This volume contains an overview of the characters in Cyborg 009, as well as summaries of each publication period. It was also edited by Fukuda, and is somewhat debated for containing claims that were his own substitutions for undefined points of canon.