Golgo 13

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DVD cover of Golgo-13: Queen Bee

Golgo 13 (ゴルゴ13 Gorugo Sātīn) is a manga series written and illustrated by Takao Saito, published in Shogakukan's Big Comic magazine since 1969. The series follows Duke Togo, a professional assassin for hire.

The manga is one of the longest running adult manga in Japan and has sold over 200 million copies in various formats, including compilation books. It has been adapted into two live-action feature films, two animated films and a television series.


Duke Togo is a professional assassin. His age and birthplace are unknown and there is no consensus in the worldwide intelligence community as to his true identity. Most of his jobs are completed through the use of a customized, scoped M16 rifle. Duke's alias ("Golgo 13") is short for Golgotha, the place of Jesus Christ's crucifixion.

The character was portrayed by Ken Takakura in the 1973 live-action film version of Golgo 13 and by Sonny Chiba in its 1977 sequel, Assignment Kowloon. The character was voiced by Tetsuro Sagawa in The Professional and Akio Ohtsuka in Queen Bee. Duke is voiced by Hiroshi Tachi in the 2008 television series.


In 1986, Lead Publishing Company released four Golgo 13 trade paperbacks translated by Patrick Connolly.

In 1989 and 1990, Lead and Vic Tokai published two new Golgo 13 comic books, as part of the promotion for two Golgo 13 video games. The comics were released to the US public via a mail-in offer with the purchase of the games and were later even found packaged with the video games. Each issue contained one complete story and had nothing to do with the storylines of the video games themselves.

In 1991, Lead Publishing and Viz Media published The Professional: Golgo 13, a three part mini-series. The Professional was a re-printing of "The Argentine Tiger", a story where Golgo is hired by the British Government to assassinate the reportedly dead ex-president of Argentina Juan Perón.

In January 2006, Golgo 13 was brought back by VIZ Media in their Viz Signature collection. The stories are picked from Golgo 13 forty year history, and do not necessarily represent the original's order of publication. The volumes are advertised under the moniker "13 volumes of Golgo 13's greatest hits." The first volume is entitled Golgo 13: Supergun.


In 1976, the manga won the 21st Shogakukan Manga Award for general manga.

Saito's work on the series has been compared to the novels of John le Carré and Frederick Forsyth, as the stories are "dark, meticulously constructed [and] painstakingly realistic".


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