Sponsored.  On Free Comic Book Day (Saturday, May 5th), participating retailers everywhere will be giving away a special Gatchaman #0 issue, re-introducing fans to Science Ninja Team Gatchaman, the five-member superhero team from the iconic Japanese anime!

Not only does Gatchaman #0 include three pulse-pounding stories perfect for longtime fans and curious newcomers, but this special FCBD release also serves as the ideal introduction to Mad Cave Studios’ 2024 Gatchaman family of titles.

Each individual story from the FCBD issue...

  • "Episode Zero" by Cullen Bunn (Deadpool) and Chris Batista (Booster Gold).
  • "Inner Compass" by Tommy Lee Edwards (Mother Panic) and Daniel Hansen.
  • "The Rival" by Steve Orlando (Justice League) and Kath Lobo (The Vampire Slayer).

...provides readers with a taste of a different upcoming title scheduled for 2024, respectively:

  • The ongoing, monthly Gatchaman series by Bunn and Batista.
  • A line of one-shot Gatchaman comics, shipping biannually and spotlighting solo missions, written by Edwards.
  • The four-issue Gatchaman: Galactor miniseries, by Orlando and Lobo, and focusing on the franchise’s main villain.

Mad Cave’s Gatchaman program is worldbuilding done right!  Each easy-entry project can stand on its own, but simultaneously contributes to a larger universe.  The whole publishing line is built under the collaborative guidance and singular vision of its passionate writers and artists, fully supported by Mad Cave’s editorial department and licensor Tatsunoko Production.

Let’s take a look at the three Gatchaman projects individually, with insights from the writers!

Written by Cullen Bunn and illustrated by Chris Batista, the monthly series kicks off with Gatchaman #1 in June, launching a colorful, dynamic storyline that captures the very spirit of the original anime which lifelong fans know and love, and yet is equally welcoming to readers experiencing Gatchaman for the first time!

"This is a fun book, first and foremost," says Bunn.  "These are high-energy adventures that should thrill and delight.  Also, Gatchaman stories often have messages of environmental consciousness, the value and responsibility of science, and personal dedication and determination.  Those messages will be there, as well!"

In the first issue, a mechanical terror has descended upon numerous cities and the world’s greatest scientists are disappearing.  The Science Ninja Team leaps into battle against the international terrorist organization known as Galactor, but their strength, willpower, and even vehicles are pushed to the absolute limit.  This series proposes a fascinating question: if our heroes should fail, who would be waiting in the wings to take their place?

"These stories are in-continuity to the original Gatchaman animated series, and yet, even with the rich history of the series, no new reader will be lost on my watch," says Bunn.  "We’ve been given a ton of room to create new characters—some you will love, some you will hate—and put the Gatchaman team in meaningful stories that will matter to them.  These stories will have long-standing ramifications for Ken and his teammates!"

Written by Tommy Lee Edwards, Mad Cave’s one-shot specials ship biannually, each one a self-contained story spotlighting a single member of the Science Ninja Team as he or she undertakes a dangerous solo mission.  Edwards will welcome a guest artist to visualize the heroes for each release.

"Jun, Ken, Joe, Ryu, and Jinpei all get to shine in individual adventures that fit right in with the existing 105 episodes of the classic anime," says Edwards.

The first release in this line, Gatchaman—Ken: Deathmatch, will debut in June, gorgeously illustrated by Mindy Lee (Harley Quinn).  In this issue, Ken the Eagle goes undercover to infiltrate an underground fight ring where the combatants are being forcefully recruited into Galactor.  If they refuse, they are dropped in the jungle and hunted as prey.  Can anyone make it out alive?

"Gatchaman is very rooted in Japanese tokusatsu culture, with teenage heroes fighting against an evil force and cruel alien leader who see humans as vermin on a planet not worth saving," says Edwards.  "It’s got plenty of action, martial arts, aliens, giant robots, monsters, aerial battles, romance, tragedy, and just about everything I personally love in a dramatic genre story!"

Keep an eye out for the second one-shot, spotlighting Jun the Swan, coming later in 2024!

A four-issue miniseries beginning in July and shipping monthly, Gatchaman: Galactor is written by Steve Orlando and illustrated by Kath Lobo, and delves into the seedy underworld of the Gatchaman universe through the actions and machinations of the deadly Berg Katse!

"Berg Katse is one of the smartest, strongest, and most devious people on the planet.  But even this villain has secrets, and even Galactor has weaknesses," says Orlando.

In Gatchaman: Galactor, the terrorist organization that regularly plagues Science Ninja Team is now under siege by a threat from within!  After a secret attempt on his life, Berg Katse sets out to uncover a conspiracy within their ranks, one born of the organization’s earliest days.  The masked scoundrel goes undercover to hunt, identify, and ruthlessly dispense with a revolution growing within Galactor’s ranks.

"This is a book about the complexities of pride and ego.  It’s about the inherent danger and power in keeping secrets.  And it’s about the intrinsic power of being understood, even if the only one who understands you uses that knowledge to oppress you," says Orlando.  "But at its core, this is a book about loyalty—and about doing everything in your power for something you believe in.  Berg Katse is a tragic, romantic hero in the vein of Milton’s Lucifer, with all that entails."

Mad Cave Studios is thrilled about Gatchaman, and hopes you are, too!  Visit Mad Cave’s dedicated Gatchaman website to learn more about the creative team and how to acquire copies for yourself.  BIRD, GO!

Click on gallery below for full-sized Gatchaman cover images and preview pages for Gatchaman #0.