Cyborg 009 (2013) #4 (of 4)
"The Black Ghost is still out there… But now, so are we."
Overall review under the cut!
We get our ambiguous ending and a bit of hope for adventures to come. Which I’d be interested in reading if this team was kept on board - especially Marcus To and Ian Herring. Just fantastic through and through in the art department.
As you could probably tell from the Rambles, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. But it’s not a perfect body of work and I had my apprehensions as such from the beginning. After all, I knew this was a huge volume of work being adapted and while it’s obvious that F.J. Desanto and Bradley Cramp have lots of love for this series and were trying to highlight the best of the characters and this arc, it does falter in places as a result. My preferred length for a miniseries usually is 4 issues, but I don’t think it would have hurt this particular series to be 6 issues. The pacing was fast, particularly in the first two issues, and it led to this last issue being almost completely a trailing off climax.
That being said, there must have been some amazing collaborative work between the art team and the writing team here, because it takes a lot for comics like this to take breaks from their pacing and trust the art team to layout one-to-two pages purely for moments between character interactions and subtle moments where the art took over the story. That’s honestly what impressed me the most from the very first issue on. I’m just not used to that being done in Science Fiction comics.
As for the story itself, I really appreciated it. It hits on a lot of regular Sci-Fi themes, but I liked that rather than deliver endless speeches about the nature of humanity and how that compared to the Cyborgs, we just got to follow Joe through his emotions and mistakes to sort of draw the conclusion on our own. It may not be mind breakingly new stuff, but it shows enough faith in its characters to let them answer the questions about technology and human progress.
If the point of this adaptation was to show love for a series the creative team really held dear to them and to perhaps open the doors for new readers to be interested in the Cyborg 009 franchise, it works beautifully. I know I want to go read Ishinomori’s work for myself now due to this series.
And I do believe this was at least part of the goal for the creative team because the entire second half of this issue is information on the creator and discussions on the manga that I think anyone would find interesting. It furthers my suspicions that this is quite the labor of love for everyone involved.
Not a perfect miniseries, but I enjoyed it immensely. I suggest it to anyone who wants to see dazzling art or is at least a bit interested in a new look at a Science Fiction classic. I definitely look forward to what the creative team has in store next.
Lovingly requested by my favorite Sis, smallestcoat