|You can destroy his body, but you can't keep a good crimefighter down. The villainous Saucer Lips learned the hard way when he killed police officer Peter Brady (no, not that Peter Brady). Little did Saucer Lips know he was sowing the seeds from which would spring his greatest foe, the bionic superhero known as…Tobor, the 8th Man!
Created by writer Kazumasa Hirai and artist Jiro Kuwata in 1963, 8-Man was a Japanese comic strip detailing the crimebusting adventures of 8-Man. The comic was developed into an animated series, which was re-edited, dubbed into English, and brought to the United States in syndication in 1965.
After Saucer Lips (“Mukade” in the Japanese series) killed Brady (“Rachiro Azuma”), the slain police officer was found by Professor Genius (“Dr. Tani”). The Professor used Brady’s body, memories, and personality to create Tobor (spell it backwards), the 8th Man, an atomic-powered crimefighter with super strength, an arsenal of robotic weapons, and the ability to change his facial features into any form he chose.
Operating his own private detective's agency, Tobor flew into battle against Saucer Lips and such other villains as Armored Man, Baron Stormy, Dr. Demon, the Satan Brothers, and a spy ring called Intercrime. Trying to maintain a low profile, the former Peter Brady kept his origin a secret from everyone except Police Chief Fumblethumbs.
8th Man ran for several years in syndication, continuing to blaze the trail that imports like Astro Boy had marked. The series’ impact is most evident in the number of similar works it helped inspire, from The Six Million Dollar Man in the 70’s to Robocop in the 80’s to Now and Again in the 90’s.