'My Hero Academia' Fans Uncover Izuku's Prototype

Fans of My Hero Academia have found what they believe to be an early prototype of Izuku Midoriya in an old comic by Kōhei Horikoshi.

Horikoshi, the creator of the beloved series, has been working in manga for many years both as an assistant to toher artists and on his own original stories. However, his flagship series Boku no Hero Academia seems to have begun much earlier than most fans realized, in a 2008 one-shot story titled "My Hero."

A fan tweeted a few drawings from the comic -- specifically its protagonist, Jack Midoriya, who seems to be a pretty clear first draft of Izuku himself.

"Kōhei Horikoshi's prototype for Deku, a sickly salaryman named Jack Midoriya, from a 2008 one-shot," they wrote.

The one-shot reportedly followed Jack through his work at a company that sells super hero supplies. The hapless Jack yearned to be a hero in his own right, but he was too ill to do so.

The story evolved a lot between that early attempt and today's globally dominant series. When he changed from Jack to Izuku, the hero went from being a downtrodden "salaryman" to a young, awkward student. Additionally, his poor health seems to have transferred to All Might, while instead, Midoriya was given the simple disadvantage of being born without powers.

"I like seeing stuff like this, because it's reassuring to know that artists you think are at the top of their game go through a decade's worth of rough drafts too," the twitter user wrote.

"The One Piece influence feels a lot stronger here," added another.

One person even replied with another early sketch, showing a younger but still depressed-looking Midoriya, and a much more savage-looking Deku costume.

However he got there, Horikoshi found his perfect niche with My Hero Academia. The 31-year-old has made a series that appeals to all age groups and fans of any version of super hero stories. These days, his manga routinely outsells American comics in the U.S. markets, and the anime spends most of its time at the top of the "popular" list on Crunchyroll.

On Friday, My Hero Academia: The Movie - Two Heroes premiered in Japan to overwhelmingly positive reviews. It is expected to reach the U.S. on Sep. 25 for a string of limited screenings, both subtitled and English dubbed. In the meantime, new episodes of the anime premiere every Saturday at 4 a.m. ET in the U.S., on Hulu and Crunchyroll.